3 Great Destinations for a European Cycling Holiday.
Over the last few years people have been rediscovering the possibilities of exploring new areas by bike and experiencing them in greater depth than you would by car.
Choosing the right area to visit is key, ideally you will be looking for a region which offers quiet roads, picturesque or interesting places to visit within a reasonable distance of where you are staying and good food to refuel in the evenings after cycling during the day.
If you don’t want to base your holiday around cycling it can be great to hire a bike for a day or two whilst visiting these countries for unique experiences away from the well-trodden tourist’s path.
Probably the most famous cycling destination in the world, as the home of the Tour de France this nation has been popular for cycling tourism since the 1800’s.
There are destinations and routes for cyclists of all levels from beginners/family rides along the Loire, or the beaches Atlantic coast, through to vineyard tours of the Champagne region, and stopping for a break to taste the regional food at cafes near the banks of the Dordogne.
For those looking to emulate the riders of the Tour de France on the same roads the crowds have gathered over the years there are the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees with famous climbs such as Alpe D’Huez or the Col du Tourmalet.
The UK has seen a resurgence in cycling over the last 10-15 years since the country experienced international success in the sport and hosted stages of the Tour de France.
The cool climate means that summer is the best season for a visit to enjoy the beautiful countryside with long days giving you plenty of time to explore.
September 2019 sees the World Championships being held on the rolling roads of Yorkshire.
The countryside surrounding Harrogate, Leeds and Ripon will be
UK Cities are also seeing a resurgence in cycling with London now having cycle superhighways and numerous bike hire schemes which offer the quickest way to get from A to B whilst sight-seeing.
The 2012 Olympic cycle route through Box Hill and the Surrey Hills is a good option for those looking to get out of the city for the day.
For challenging rides and a true escape from the city Applecross or Aviemore in Scotland, Snowdonia in Wales and the Lake District are on many peoples must go checklist.
Italy is famous for producing some of the most well-known sports cars and its love of motor racing, perhaps less well known is the nation’s passion for cycling. Italy hosts the second biggest cycle race of the year, the Giro d’Italia, a showcase for its scenery, combined with the temperate climate and excellent food make it a great destination for a cycling holiday.
Italy like France has Alpine mountains which include the Stelvio Pass, the second highest paved road in Europe and the beautiful Dolomites range.
For a more leisurely experience Tuscany is a must with stunning scenery, wine, coffee, and food, after a few days you won’t want to leave!
If you are spending any length of time in Italy the Lakes around Milan offer the perfect place to explore by bike, stopping at waterside cafes for a coffee and gelato.