WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
As a locally owned company, we believe in treading lightly on the places we visit and have deep respect for each destination’s culture and traditions. We support local companies and encourage our guests to buy local (we’ll take you to the best artisans and craftspeople). Our trips are designed to ensure your comfort in a manner that nurtures sustainable relations with locals and the planet.
our guides are experienced and passionate
All the most wonderful things about travel come from getting a deep, close-up look into local ways. Consider our guides a key to that door. Step through that door and meet farmers at the local market, vintners at a vineyard in Provence, cheesemakers in Piedmont, and First World War historians in Normandy. Our guides and experts have years of experience as global travelers and tour leaders and all speak several languages including fluent English, French and Italian. On top of their cosmopolitan spirit, they bring reams of local knowledge and passion to their jobs. From Piedmont-born Giro d'Italia bike race experts to Côtes-du-Rhône wine ambassadors, they know their stuff and are itching to divulge it to you.
meet the Team
These are the people who will lead the way, point out highlights, keep you safe, ensure you eat and drink well, tell stories, translate, share insights into local culture, show you where the bathroom is, and become your friends. In other words, they will transform your carefully planned itinerary into the trip of a lifetime.
Logistical genius, biking fanatic, touring Goliath. Provence-born founder and head guide Bruno is a “migratory bird” who has spent a lifetime adventuring across “15 countries from South America to Europe to North Africa,” including stints as a winemaker in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and a sommelier at a Relais & Châteaux property in Los Angeles. Armed with diplomas in hotel management and oenology, he has guided for many of the world’s foremost bike touring companies. He founded Active Adventures and put everything he has learned into it to create the most personalized experiences for bikers, hikers, and food and wine lovers.
Before getting into cycling, Stéphane spent many years as a ski instructor in California, and as a hiking guide, tour leader, and global adventurer. He's currently based between the French Alps and Burgundy, and says his favorite ride is “anything that goes uphill.” He loves to share his love of history, wine, chess, rose growing, and literature with guests. Stéphane speaks fluent English, as well as “a bit of German, Spanish and Icelandic."
An Italian filmmaker, history buff, and avid cyclist, Gabriele combines his passions as a tour leader. A Giro d'Italia bike race expert, he told the story of a cyclist from his hometown near Turin in an award-winning documentary. And he'll gladly lead you into those mountainous slopes of Piedmont, and to Sicily. His bike adventures include a 5,000-mile loop of 14 Mediterranean countries. As a guide he relishes “exploring the world on a bicycle, diving into the local history and landscape, and telling the stories that come from them," over a glass of vino.
An Italian currently living in Milan but mad about French bread (and the “lost art” of Italian saffron), Silvia is an architect and combines her love of biking and architecture by leading tours to Sicily and Provence. ”My speciality is sharing with people my knowledge of art, architecture and culture.” A master pedaler, she became hooked on the life-changing power of bike adventures after major solo trips along the Danube, and in South America while living in Chile.
Tuscany-born Matteo is a trained environmental tour guide—guida ambientale in Italian—with a penchant for leading guests into the hills and mountains of his native Italy as well as in France and Spain. He says he's convinced that by exploring a territory “you can meet with history, culture and tradition” and help unravel the enthralling puzzle of life through man’s relationship to nature.
An Italian living in France, Roberto, a former journalist, guided several of his first bike tours with founder Bruno Ramain in Provence and Dordogne. “Making a job out of one of my strongest passions really changed my life. It also leaves me enough time to cultivate my other passions and interests: reading, baking and cooking, meditation, and traveling.” Based in Avignon, Provence, the wine and tea connoisseur says he’s “curious about almost everything.” He speaks Italian, French, English, Spanish, and is currently studying Russian.
Nothing in Kelly’s past hinted at his career as a star sommelier in France. “I was born in Nevada, in a place where beer, tequila, and whisky rule.” Working as a young model between Paris, Milan, and London, his wine passion set in, and he gained diplomas in oenology from UC Berkeley and the Université du Vin Suze-la-Rousse near his adopted town of Avignon. After many years working with grand chefs, including Alain Ducasse in Paris and Las Vegas, today he teaches and tours and loves pairing local Côtes-du-Rhône with equally authentic, full-bodied food.
Marseilles-born Véronique is Active Vacations’ private chef à domicile, and loves re-creating her heirloom Mediterranean dishes and ambience for others to enjoy. “My grandmother made us discover the pleasure of cooking for both us and guests.” After studying hospitality management she returned to her grandmother’s side in the Luberon as an apprentice. Inspired by family meals on the Provence vineyard, today she “innovates, modifies those recipes, and tests dishes incessantly, adding my personal touch." Whether it’s a scallop tart or iced melon soup “fresh, local produce and seasonal vegetables are on the menu."