International leisure travel is slowly but surely making a comeback. Vaccinated travellers can now enjoy quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US, and with Australia and Switzerland starting on 8 November and South Korea on 15 November.
If you’re looking to travel to the US, California is one of the best states to explore especially if you love wines and the great outdoors.
As America’s top wine producer and the world’s fourth-largest, it’s no surprise that California is home to thousands of hectares of vineyards, owned by some 4,700 wineries. The Golden State has over 100 different wine-growing regions, with Napa Valley and Sonoma County being the two world-famous ones.
Separated by the Mayacamas Mountains, Napa and Sonoma are about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Blessed with rolling hills planted with some of the world’s most sought-after wine grapes, mild weather and plenty of sunny days, the regions are perfect for bike exploration.
Pedal through sun-dappled vineyards, while taking in the breathtaking scenery and indulging in world-class wines along the way.
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or beginner cyclist (an e-bike can be your friend!), there are winery-speckled routes with stunning views waiting for you in Napa and Sonoma’s wine country.
The Tuscan-like Napa is home to hillside vineyards, grand estates, expansive tasting rooms, charming towns, trendy restaurants, elegant lodges and even a replica of a 13th century Tuscan-inspired castle that’s also a world-class winery. Napa is known for its rich, fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon.
Running the length of the east side of Napa Valley, this 27-mile (43.4 km) designated bike lane from Napa to Calistoga is parallel to Napa’s main Highway 29.
The gently rolling to flat trail flows along a two-lane country road surrounded by shady oaks on both sides, offering gorgeous views of mountains and vineyards.
Over 40 vineyards and wineries dot the trail including reputable names such as Clos du Val, Joseph Phelps, Mumm Napa, Signorello Estate, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, William Hill Estate Winery and ZD Wines.
Rent a bike and explore Napa at your own pace, stopping for sips of wine, of course. Choose from mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, tandems and e-bikes. Some bike shops offer guided tours for day excursions and most will offer suggested routes for self-guided rides along with insider advice.
For multi-day cycling adventures or curated bike tours with wine and food pairings, contact:
Three times the land area of Napa County, laid-back Sonoma County boasts 55 miles (88.5 km) of rugged Pacific Ocean coastline, ancient redwoods, gently rolling hills, neat rows of vineyards and wine castles. It is a hot destination for Pinot Noir, especially the ones from Russian River Valley, as well as Zinfandel, particularly those from Dry Creek Valley.
Both flat, paved trails are built along the route of a former railway line which links Petaluma and Santa Rosa with Sebastopol and Forestville. The 5.5 mile (8.85 km) West County Trail is flat and paved, while the 8.5-mile (13.6 km) Joe Rodota Trail is a paved, off-road.
Enjoy scenic views of vineyards, pastures, red barns and rising hills. The trail starts near the intersection of Mill Station Road and Highway 116 in Sebastopol and connects to Graton and Forestville.
Starting from Healdsburg, this 30-mile (48.2 km) loop is considered one of the world’s most famous wine country bike routes for its stupendous views of vineyard-covered valleys backdropped by rising hills and mountains, wooden barns and outbuildings.
Wineries to check out in the area include A. Rafanelli Winery, Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, Preston Farm & Winery, Quivira Vineyards and Raymond Burr Vineyards.
For full-day or multi-day excursions covering Sonoma’s gems with wine and food pairings, contact: