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Vail

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  • Vail

    Nestled in the center of Colorado in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Vail is easily accessible from Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs.

    • Aerial of Downtown

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    • Biking in the Vail Meadows

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    • Downtown in Winter

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    • Downtown in Summer

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    Aspen and Vail are world famous for providing some of the best skiing available but winter isn't the only season to visit. The fusion of history, culture, festivals, sports, restaurants and music, makes these legendary Colorado towns very special world-class resorts.

    A playground for the rich and famous, celebrities flock to Aspen and Vail to ski in the winter – and yes to vacation in the summer so who knows what famous person you might bump into walking down the street!

    These two giant ski resorts are as different as chalk and cheese. Aspen’s heritage goes back to the silver mining days of the 1800’s. By contrast Vail was created in the 1960’s – a European ski resort catering for the world’s thirst for winter sports and yet before the snow melts this Alpine-style village comes alive as the town displays its many hanging baskets cascading with flowers. Indeed one of the most colourful places in Vail is the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens which contains a multitude of native and mountain species of plants.

    Aspen and Vail both cater for the influx of visitors whilst retaining the charm of the Rocky Mountain environment. You can enjoy outdoor concerts, festivals and dance performances on the streets. Shopping, lectures, exhibitions and walking tours as well as a whole host of dining experiences are on offer - from the inexpensive to gourmet and fine dining.

    In common with all the mountain environments there are ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as horseback riding, paragliding, ballooning, rafting, mountain biking and trekking and some of the best trout fishing in Colorado can be found close to these towns.

     

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    • Top Tip 1

      Even if you're not a skier, take a gondola ride to the top of Beaver Creek Mountain at any time of year. The views will take your breath away.

    • Top Tip 2

      Take the Durango - Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, but just do it one way (and take the motorcoach back the other way). The train journey takes around four hours and the coach journey back is just over an hour.

    • Top Tip 3

      Another one for train buffs is the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad which travels between Antonito in southern Colorado and Chama in northern New Mexico.

    • Top Tip 4

      Visit the Four Corners, where you can have a foot and hand in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona - all at the same time.

    • Top Tip 5

      If you're in western Colorado make sure you visit Black Canyon at the Gunnison National Monument. It’s a hidden gem and well worth a visit.

    • Top Tip 6

      Looking for somewhere to have lunch in Denver? Check out Marlowe's Restaurant; it’s a deservedly popular spot with the locals for both lunch and dinner.

    • Top Tip 7

      Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, just 15 miles west of Denver, is a world famous outdoor venue, with excellent hiking and biking trails as well as the only naturally-occurring, acoustically-perfect amphitheatre in the world.

    • Top Tip 8

      Visit Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, voted one of the ten best places for solitude in the US. Include the 23-mile scenic Rim Rock Drive in your itinerary. If you're going to hike in the area, be aware that midges can be a nuisance from mid May to mid July, so take some repellent. Click here to view a live webcam from the Colorado National Monument's Visitor Centre

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  • Rocky Mountain Discovery

    Begins in and ends in Denver, Colorado

    14 Days / 13 Nights

    Departures: April to September

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    Your fly drive includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Personalised Road Book
    • Vail

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    • Estes Park

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    • Mountain Biking

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    • Colorado

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    • Capitol Building

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    Day 01

    Arrive Denver

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Denver. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to your hotel, ideally located for sightseeing and shopping in downtown Denver.

    Hotel: The Curtis, a DoubleTree by Hilton

    Day 02

    Denver

    Enjoy a whole day exploring the delights of Denver. This is a wonderfully cosmopolitan city with a myriad of attractions including Larimer Square, Denver Zoo and the U.S. Mint to keep you entertained.

    Hotel: The Curtis, a DoubleTree by Hilton

    70Mi/113Km

    Day 03

    Estes Park

    Today leave the bright lights of Denver behind and make a stop at the colourful city of Boulder, before arriving in Estes Park. Sitting on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park you will find yourself surrounded by breath-taking views of colourful wildflowers, clear lakes and abundant wildlife.

    Hotel: Rocky Mountain Park Inn

    139Mi/224Km

    Day 04 Day 05

    Steamboat Springs

    It's just a short but wonderfully scenic drive through Rocky Mountain National Park to Steamboat Springs at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, it offers awe-inspiring views across towering mountain peaks and deep forest floors, tempting you to hike or bike the rugged terrain. The less energetic may choose to simply relax in the town's natural mineral hot springs.

    Hotel: Sheraton Steamboat Resort

    92Mi/148Km

    Day 06 Day 07

    Vail

    It's a short journey today to the attractive alpine village of Vail. Famous for its world-class skiing, Vail is an area of numerous possibilities. There's plenty of outdoor adventures to keep you busy, from hiking and biking to white water rafting, climbing and jeep adventures. We suggest a visit to Beaver Creek which is just ten miles away.

    Hotel: The Sebastian

    146Mi/235Km

    Day 08 Day 09

    Grand Junction

    Venturing towards the far east of the state, today's destination is Grand Junction; Colorado's wine country. Enjoy the charming downtown with great shops and restaurants and more than 20 wineries. Visit the Colorado National Monument, where towering monoliths and fascinating sculptures dot the vast red-rock canyon landscape. Watch for the bobcats and mountain lions which prowl the area! Ride the range at Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area; 36,000 acres of rugged canyons and plateaus located just eight miles from Grand Junction. If you have a fascination for dinosaurs, this is the place for you. Hundreds of species have been unearthed here and there are many museums and attractions dedicated to the magnificent creatures.

    Hotel: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Grand Junction

    130Mi/210Km

    Day 10 Day 11

    Aspen

    Your journey today takes you through the San Juan National Forest to the chic town of Aspen, renowned for its relaxed pace life and upscale shopping and restaurants. Enjoy the mountain lifestyle whilst keeping a watch for the occasional celebrity! If you have additional time to spend in Colorado, you may wish to extend your trip to include Durango, an old Wild West and silver mining town 170 miles to the south. Renowned for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which was constructed in 1882 to haul silver and gold from the San Juan Mountains, you can journey the same lines today, experiencing the spectacular canyons.

    Hotel: The Little Nell

    157Mi/253Km

    Day 12 Day 13

    Colorado Springs

    Leaving Aspen behind, today you weave through the Rockies, along Independence Pass and alongside Mount Elbut, Colorado’s highest point, to Colorado Springs. The Broadmoor, where you spend the next two nights, offers a wide range of outdoor pursuits to keep you entertained. Make sure you include a visit to the United States Air Force Academy during your stay, in addition to spending time at the Garden of the Gods, where towering sandstone rock formations contrast against the snow-capped mountains at Pikes Peak.

    Hotel: The Broadmoor

    89Mi/143Km

    Day 14

    Journey home

    From Colorado Springs, it's a short drive north back to Denver, where you return your rental car and check-in for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £2650 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.