The bicycle was invented in Europe and was once an invaluable mode of transport, though bike use has changed since the arrival of motorised travel. Nowadays bike riding is a popular pastime, hobby and spectator sport, as well as an increasingly common method of commuting. Some countries such as the Netherlands and Germany boast excellent networks of dedicated cycle routes while every country has quiet backroads that have been largely superseded by modern road networks, leaving the cyclist in relative peace to enjoy the old rural routes. The EU has coordinated and developed a network of cycle routes, known as the Eurovelo, that traverse numerous countries to cross the continent.
Wherever you cycle, there is little doubt that a cycle holiday is a healthy and green option. You may choose the classic cycling destinations of Spain, France, Italy or Portugal with a wealth of history, architecture, fine wines and good food. Or you may cycle the less visited eastern European countries with wild nature, traditional life that has changed little over time, stunning scenery and a warm welcome, from Poland through to Hungary and beyond. Pedal along the Baltic coasts in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania, or discover the Balkans on two wheels in places such as Bosnia and Albania, where cyclists are starting to discover the wealth of attractions of these little visited nations.