Travelling the world is a dream of many and it has been for decades. The idea of going around a country or a part of the world you’ve never been to before is always appealing and many take the plunge every year, going to far out places and creating wonderful memories. Cycle touring is similar in essence but it’s all done on the bike!
Cycle touring has been an old school tradition for hundreds of years and has seen a recent resurgence with many being allured by the often cheaper costs as well as the appeal of not having to rely on cars which can often be difficult to manage as well as not being environmentally friendly.
At its core, cycle touring is designed to take people back to cycling’s roots, old fashioned riding into the unknown. Relaxing in the beautiful sights and sounds of a new place and taking in experiences many will never get to experience. Cycle touring is not for everyone and not for the faint of heart, it often requires riding heavy duty bikes for long periods of time over long distances and depending on the location, the prices can mount up whether you are doing it off your own back or through a touring company.
However, if you do wish to give it a go, Europe is a great place to begin looking for touring destinations. Europe is obviously known for its cycling and picturesque scenery and there are many locations throughout Europe that make for incredible cycling tours from the obvious to more adventurous. Below are 5 top locations for biking tours in Europe :
Let’s get the most obvious location out of the way early; France is where most minds will go when thinking of a cycling holiday. France has an iconic history with cycling, picturesque views, brilliant cuisine and the great roads necessary for the ideal cycling tour. One of the key locations in France is Provence, a beautiful region in southeastern France that offers stunning landscapes, charming villages, and picturesque roads. You can bike through lavender fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and explore the stunning countryside and coastline. The region also falls on the border with beloved tourist destination Italy, making it an ideal destination for cyclists looking to check both locations off their bucket lists as most touring companies will include some crossover in their packages. Speaking of Italy…
Tuscany is a popular destination for bike touring, thanks to its rolling hills, picturesque towns, and delicious food and wine. You can cycle through vineyards, olive groves, and tranquil hilltop towns, and enjoy the stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage of this beautiful region. Italy is a popular destination in general for bike touring as there are so many historical roads and places to visit such as Sicily or the Amalfi Coast, all of which would make brilliant destinations for a biking tour. Tuscany is our particular selection as it provides a bit more variety and freedom in crafting your ideal tour but this is subjective and no matter where you go in Italy, you are likely to create unforgettable memories.
Danube River, Austria and Germany
Quite a popular option for a cycling tour is to cycle along an iconic stretch of water as this not only provides a clear path for the journey but it can often provide an interesting point of reflection for the journey as you see how the wildlife, scenery and the culture changes as you progress. The Danube River in particular is a popular destination for bike touring, thanks to its flat terrain and stunning scenery. You can cycle along the river from Austria to Germany, passing through picturesque villages, mediaeval towns, and beautiful landscapes. The Danube flows for many countries so it makes it an ideal location for biking tours as you can choose the right route for you and your goals. You can even tackle different sections of the river over different tours, that freedom and changeability is the essence of biking tours and why they make ideal holiday destinations.
The Algarve is a beautiful region in southern Portugal that offers stunning beaches, charming villages, and beautiful landscapes. You can bike along the coastline, explore the quaint towns, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and warm climate. The Algarve is home to 4 main cycling routes making it ideal for cycling and more approachable than some on this list with tours often ending up in Lisbon or another of the major cities. This allows you to take in the culture of Portugal while also enjoying the coastal views and the beautiful locations Portugal has to offer.
The Netherlands is famous for its bike-friendly culture, with dedicated bike lanes and paths that make it easy and safe to explore the country on two wheels. With it being quite a small country that’s easily cycleable, it provides a great opportunity to visit many different cities and take in multiple different towns and cultures. You can cycle through charming villages, past windmills and tulip fields, and along the scenic canals and waterways. If you are looking for something a bit more relaxed and ideal for inexperienced cyclists who just want to enjoy the sights and sounds of a tour through a picturesque part of Europe, the Netherlands may be ideal for you.
Biking tours are a great way to get out and see the world and Europe is a wonderful place with so many ideal cycling destinations. As we so often say, we want to encourage you to take advantage of these idyllic locations listed above and research your own ideal cycling holiday. It can be something closer to home or something even further afield but a cycling tour is something every cyclist should experience at least once in their lives.