Bike a section of the glorious Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
See a diverse array of attractions on tour
Spend part of the tour on this revered ride
Participate in a tour with like-minded new friends
Stretch your legs and your lungs on a terrific tour

The Carolinas Bike Tour: Active Greenville to Arty Asheville

5 days
$3,599 USD

Join a 5 day cycle tour of the Southern Appalachians on a tour filled with natural splendour, vibrant culture and some of the most spectacular riding on the East coast. From outdoorsy Greenville to artsy Asheville, you'll be sure to find your ideal spot in the Carolinas. Enjoy the elegant charm of George Hincapie’s cycle-centric hotel and the opulence of George Vanderbilt’s sprawling estate. Experience a superb bike tour and don't forget to delight your taste buds with the regional specialities on offer, including farm-to-table cuisine and craft brewery explorations on this Carolinas' cycle tour.

  • Category
    Easy-going & Leisurely
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    5 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    84.5 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    16.8 miles
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  • Where does the tour start and end?

    On the first day of the trip, meet your Trip Leaders (the folks in Backroads T-shirts) at 11 a.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites Greenville Downtown (864-271-8700), located at 171 River Place in Greenville, South Carolina. Please arrive dressed in your biking clothes and bring your luggage and a daypack with your rain gear and anything else you may want for today's ride (your luggage will be transported to your first night's accommodations).

    The trip ends after lunch at the Biltmore Estate around 1:30 p.m. The tour operator offers complimentary shuttle service to the Asheville airport, arriving around 2 p.m. If you're flying out of Asheville on the day the trip ends, please schedule your flight for after 4 p.m. If you're staying in downtown Asheville, your leaders can help arrange a taxi from the Biltmore Estate. If you're heading back to Greenville, the tour operator also offers complimentary shuttle service to the Greenville airport and the Hampton Inn & Suites Greenville Downtown. The shuttle takes about 1½ hours, arriving at the airport around 3:30 p.m. and the Hampton Inn & Suites shortly thereafter. If you're flying out of Greenville on the day the trip ends, please schedule your flight for after 5:30 p.m.

    This trip starts in Greenville, South Carolina, and ends in Asheville, North Carolina, with an option to shuttle back to Greenville. The tour operator recommends flying into Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina (GSP) and out of Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina (AVL). While you can instead fly out of Greenville, the tour operator recommends Asheville to cut down on shuttle time.

  • How long is the tour? How many days cycling?

    The tour is 5 days long with all 5 days being cycling days.

  • What's the tour like?

    The terrain on this trip incorporates some long, gradual climbs, as well as steep hills with winding descents—you are riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains after all! Remember, take your time and go at your own pace—you're on vacation! Your Trip Leaders are there to provide the support you need when you're ready for a snack, a cool drink, or a lift back if you're done for the day. Most days you'll have a choice of mileage options, so you can decide how active you want to be—it's always up to you.

  • Can you tell me about the trip leaders?

    Each of your Trip Leaders plays many roles during your vacation: guide, host, caretaker, naturalist, chef, historian, troubleshooter, interpreter. These remarkable individuals have highly developed instincts for making people comfortable, for seamlessly handling the logistics of travel and for successfully navigating a wide range of unexpected situations.

    They're passionately committed to ensuring you enjoy an exceptional vacation—smooth, flexible and tailored to your needs. With their knowledge, professionalism, enthusiasm and service ethic, they're the number-one reason people return to travel with the tour operator again and again.

  • Are tips included?

    Gratuities for most services during your trip are included in the price. While the tour operator has thought about including a Trip Leader tip as part of the overall trip cost, they acknowledge that gratuities are often customary as a way to recognise excellent service on a more personal level. They offer specific Trip Leader tip recommendations because guests have consistently asked for them.

    The recommended gratuity for this trip is $190 per guest. While cash gratuities are always preferred, checks (on UStrips only; payable to a Trip Leader) or PayPal are also available options. At the beginning of the trip you'll receive a contact list with your leaders' email addresses, which also serve as their PayPal IDs. Regardless of the number of leaders on your trip, you can pay the full amount to any one of them. All gratuities are then divided among your leaders.

  • Can you tell me about food and drinks on tour?

    Food is an important part of the tour experience. For lunch, the tour operator looks for the best way to capture the essence of the region. It may be a Grand Picnic, where your Trip Leaders prepare the freshest and healthiest local fare at a carefully chosen setting along the day's route; a boxed lunch; a packed lunch; a meal together at a favourite restaurant; or the opportunity to have lunch on your own.

    Dinners feature Carolinian specialities, inspired by the region's seasonal produce.

    Alcoholic beverages at meals are not included in the trip price, unless otherwise noted.

    All breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners are included in the trip price. Be aware that vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free and low-carb dishes are not always available. If you have special dietary requirements, please indicate them on booking.

  • What's the weather like?

    Spring and fall days in the Carolinas are warm with about 60 percent humidity. Although it doesn’t rain often, when it does it can be significant, so the tour operator suggests bringing along quality, breathable rain gear.

  • Are bikes included?

    Yes, you can choose from 3 different types of bike.

    If you'd prefer to have your own pedals, helmet or seat, feel free to bring these along. Your own gear can help to make your time on the bike as comfortable as possible, especially if you're someone who likes to log a lot of miles. Your leaders will be happy to put on your pedals and seat for you at the beginning of the trip.

    The following items are included with all titanium bikes. Trip Leaders also have full tool kits on hand and are available to do mechanical repairs.

    • bike helmet

    • two water bottles

    • safety triangle

    • lock and cable

    • tube and patch kit with tire levers

    • pedals (with toe clips/straps, if requested)

    • rear rack and reflective trunk bag

    • map case

    • wide range of gears

    • GPS device

  • Can I bring my own bike?

    Yes. If you plan to bring your own bike, it should be tuned and in excellent mechanical condition and ready to ride before the trip starts. Otherwise, you are welcome to use the tour operator's bikes.

    If your bike is new, ride it at least 50 miles (to break it in) and then have it adjusted by a professional mechanic. Please bring only one bike per person.The following items on your bike should be properly adjusted and in good condition: brakes and brake pads; the headset, pedals, cranks and hubs; gears; derailleurs; handlebars; tires and tubes; brake and derailleur cables; and the chain. Make sure the bike is well lubricated, the wheels are true, and the seat, seat post and handlebars are adjusted and tight.

    If you are bringing your own bike and are comfortable doing minor on-the-road adjustments, you may want to bring a multi-tool. If your bike is highly specialised, bring any tools—and extra spokes and tubes!—that are specific to your bike. Use the list on the previous FAQ as a guide for recommended equipment if you are bringing your own bike.

  • Please read here for a message from the tour operator regarding COVID-19

    The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organisation and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired May 11, 2023.

    Effective June 1, should a guest choose to travel when positive or symptomatic with COVID-19, they will be required to wear a mask indoors and in vehicles, and to dine separately from the group.

    Additionally, travelling unvaccinated may cause trip disruption. Backroads will not offer refunds or expense reimbursement to those unable to join a trip or take part in certain activities due to not meeting requirements. We ask that all guests carry a mask, as local regulations or vendors may require them in certain settings.

    Travel Insurance: In the event a physician recommends you discontinue travel or not join your Backroads trip due to COVID-19 or other illnesses, consider trip insurance to help protect your travel investment.

    Regional Entry Requirements: Please note that some regions (especially international destinations) have COVID-19 requirements and/or documents needed for entry.

    Last update: Oct 2023

Overall Rating:
Challenging rides, beautiful views, deluxe accommodations
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

We had a fabulous trip to the Carolinas. Due to Covid, we decided to take a USA trip. What a great choice! This trip can rival any tip in Europe! Our guides Haven and Jeffrey were outstanding! Tons of fun! Highly recommend this trip!

Very scenic ,challenging rides on great roads for cycling
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Typically great Backroads experience, perfect organisation, great rides and accomodations ,super guides.

Amazing bike trip in the Carolina's
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

This was one of my all-time favourite vacations. We met great people, had awesome guides (Haven, Kayla and Leah), amazing food and EPIC rides.