How can I get in touch with Butterfield & Robinson?
You can reach B&R by phone, email, fax or letter—or just swing by the office for a cup of coffee. For complete details on how to request a brochure, get more information or to share your thoughts, see the Contact Us
What’s this ‘B&R Difference’ I keep hearing about?
Essentially, it’s everything we do; the things that make our trips unique, memorable and full of life-changing experiences. The B&R difference includes the best biking and walking routes in the world’s most incredible destinations. It’s having the smartest, most capable and all-around interesting people guiding our trips. It’s staying at exceptional hotels in every region, and having exceptional relationships with those hoteliers. It’s unique events and access to special spots that you’d find difficult, if not impossible, to arrange on your own. It’s amazing culinary experiences; state-of-the-art bikes (included in the trip price, of course); great wines at dinner; a water bottle that’s always full; route suggestions you won’t get in any guidebook; the B&R van turning up just when you need a drink, a snack, or a lift up that last hill.
Above all, the B&R difference is the special touches—what’s not mentioned in the itinerary. We’re a group of people who are passionate about travel and passionately devoted to delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We provide unrivaled personal service, delivered by bright, creative people who anticipate your every need. We foster creativity in the way we assemble our trips, making savvy choices in order to build memorable travel experiences. That’s the B&R difference—not just biking and walking, but experiencing. Learn more on Why B&R.
Do I need to be an athlete to do a B&R trip?
Not at all! Our trips are not athletic contests. If you walk or bike to stay fit, or if you swim, play golf or do another aerobic activity, you shouldn’t have any trouble on our trips. We’re not distance walkers or pro cyclists out to challenge your limits. We bike and walk simply because we believe they’re the best ways to get a true sense of the region you’re visiting. Our trips span a whole range of activity levels; choose the level that fits you best and then set your own pace. And whatever level you choose, you always have options—add an extra few kilometres, take a shorter loop back, or just spend the day by the pool catching up with a good book. And wherever you are along the route, you can always catch a lift with the B&R support vehicle. If you get in a little exercise before you leave (we send some training suggestions before your trip!), you’ll have no trouble going the distance.
For more details on the kinds of distances and terrain we cover, read about our Activity Levels.
Do I have to carry my own luggage or gear?
Nope. On a B&R trip, you never carry your own luggage. Everything you need during the day fits into your handlebar bag or a small daypack that you can bring on the walks. All other luggage is transported by local baggage handlers or the B&R van. Your luggage will be waiting in your hotel room when you arrive at the end of the day.
What if my travel companion is less (or more) into active travel than I am?
We understand that many people travel in pairs but don’t necessarily have identical tastes. For that reason, we offer two or more biking or walking routes daily, allowing couples to move together in the morning and then split up to enjoy different activities and experiences in the afternoon. One might do the extra walk while the other relaxes at the hotel with a massage. During the day, we never bike or walk all together in a group—the pace is entirely up to you. Some travellers visit every museum along the way, while others stop at all the cafés and patisseries. We’ve spent years searching for interesting diversions along our routes, but we leave it for you to decide which ones you’d like to explore. Also, we try to build in a little downtime at every hotel, and you can always skip a day of activity and spend the day shopping, swimming, or simply unwinding at the hotel.
What kind of support can I expect along the way?
Behind the wheel of the B&R van, your guide provides support along the day’s route, offering refreshments, picking up your purchases (it’s not easy walking or biking with ceramics or several bottles of olive oil) and giving weary travellers a lift. You will see the van in action as it sweeps slowly back and forth along each day’s route and occasionally positions itself at pre-arranged checkpoints that you pass en route. The guide may also use the van for certain trip support duties, such as shopping for the perfect picnic. Where some trails aren’t accessible by vehicle, your guide(s) will pre-arrange rendezvous points each morning, allowing you to make your day as long or as short as you’d like. Plus your guide(s) are just a phone call away; we provide their cell numbers on the first day of trip.
So, how many guides will be on my trip?
Exactly as many as it takes to deliver an exceptional experience and make sure all the details are covered. For most trips, this means an average of 1 guide for every 7 travellers. For larger groups, we’ll also add a second van for enhanced support on bike rides – and to zip you back to the hotel should you decide that a dip in the pool is in order before dinner. Whether they’re behind the wheel of the van providing support (and maybe a surprise or two) on your ride, explaining the finer points of a region’s rich history, or recommending the perfect restaurant for a night on your own, B&R’s highly trained guides are there to ensure every aspect of your trip runs seamlessly.
What kind of trip information does B&R provide to travellers?
When you book a trip, you receive a comprehensive confirmation email. It includes a detailed itinerary and all essentials you need to start getting ready for your trip. Each B&R trip has its own mini-website that provides everything you need to know before you go including suggestions for making your travel arrangements, what to bring, where to stay before and after your trip, and tons of other helpful tips. You will also receive a package in the mail containing some fun items to help you get excited for your trip. When you arrive on your trip, you will also receive relevant trip information from your B&R guide, either daily overviews or a trip travelogue detailing the places we’ll pass each day and the stops we’ll make PLUS a highlighted map; and detailed Route Suggestions for each day of the trip.
Who travels with Butterfield & Robinson?
We appeal to travellers of all ages; singles, couples and families from all around the world. People choose B&R trips for a vacation that stimulates the mind and palate. Our years planning Private Travel has attracted groups of all types; multi-generational families, corporate incentive gatherings, alumni groups. More than half of our clientele are repeat travellers, and another 25 percent join us at the recommendation of their friends.
Can kids go on B&R trips?
Absolutely! Though our regular trips are restricted to adults 18 and older, we design a variety of trips to meet the needs of travellers who wish to travel with children. And that doesn’t mean dragging your kids along on adult-oriented trips. Instead, we research and design trips specifically for adults travelling with kids.
B&R Family trips offer activities for adults as well as all kinds of kid-centric stuff: castle tours, zip-lining, scavenger hunts, canoeing, falconry, you name it. We designate a minimum age for children based on what types of activities are planned on each departure.
How long have you guys been doing this?
Pretty much forever.
Butterfield & Robinson was founded in 1966 by George Butterfield, his friend and fellow law student Sidney Robinson, and Sidney’s sister, Martha (who later married George). From those modest beginnings as a pioneer of biking trips in French wine country, B&R has evolved into the world’s premier luxury active travel company.
What’s a ‘single occupancy' supplement?
Because our hotel prices are based on two people sharing a room, we have to charge a supplement to travellers who reserve a private room on a trip. We are not marking up this cost. Your B&R Travel Advisor can fill you in on all the details if you’re curious.