Spring is in full swing across Europe now and summer is just around the corner. Our range of cycling holidays in Europe cater for all levels of experience and fitness. With so much to choose from, we’ve focussed here on our most popular European cycle destinations.
Just across the channel from the UK and home to the biggest road race in the world, France is a great and varied cycle-friendly destination to discover on two wheels. For easy pedalling you can ride between the chateaux of the Loire Valley, along the tree-lined towpaths of the Canal du Midi or on a gourmet route to Bordeaux. For moderate grade cycling the Burgundy Wine Route is a classic route between historical towns. Or if you are up for a real challenge, discover the scenery and light of Provence that inspired Van Gogh while following some of the hill climbs used in the Tour de France including cycling up the legendary Mount Ventoux.
Try: Gourmet Cycle to Bordeaux, Canal Du Midi, Provence and the Ventoux, Cycle the Burgundy Wine Route, Velo En Provence, Loire Valley Cycling
Blessed with a warm, sunny climate, wonderful scenery and great food and wine, Spain is a beautiful country for a cycling holiday. A classic cycle route is the Camino de Santiago - one of Europe’s oldest and most popular pilgrim routes traversing northern Spain. The ‘Vias Verdes’ are old railway tracks that have been converted into gently-graded, dedicated cycle trails and these feature in our tours of wine-tastic Rioja and in Catalunya from the Pyrenees to the Med. The Moorish influence is stronger in the south of Spain and from sunny Andalucia it is easy to hop across to Morocco as well as cycling the ‘Rock’ of Gibraltar, thus cycling in three countries in one week.
Try: Cycle the Camino De Santiago, Pyrenees to the Med, Cycling La Rioja, Cycling Spain, Morocco and Gibraltar
Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is justifiably famous for its dramatically beautiful scenery, balmy Mediterranean climate and clear waters. Explore Dalmatia on a cruise between islands stopping off to enjoy easy-grade rides. For a bit more of a challenge you can cycle moderate-grade cycle routes on the islands, gradually making your way between Split to Dubrovnik by public ferry. Albania is one of the forgotten corners of the Balkans with refreshingly few tourists but get there soon because it is slowly getting recognition as a ‘hidden gem’ with mountain scenery, coastal scenery and a traditional culture that has changed little in modern times.
Try: Cycle and Cruise Croatia, Cycle the Dalmatian Coast, Cycle Albania
From the towering Alps in the north to the sun-kissed olive groves of the south, Italy is a top cycle-friendly destination with great diversity, history, food and wine. Discover the heel of Italy in Puglia on easy-grade rides in glorious sunshine between medieval towns, sampling fine local wines before heading to the beaches of the Adriatic coast. For renaissance art and culture it is hard to beat Florence and you can discover evocative Tuscan scenery as you cycle south on a moderate grade tour across the Chianti hills to Sienna. The Langhe hills of Piedmont are a renowned foodie destination with moderate grade cycling and delicious food to reward you at the end of each ride.
Try: Puglia on Two Wheels, Pedalling in Piedmont, Cycle Tuscany
Voted in Wanderlust’s Top 50 best trips in 2013, Explore’s easy grade ‘Cycling the Baltic States’ enjoyed a very successful first year and is continuing to attract a lot of attention in 2014. Explore’s 9-day tour pedals through national parks, medieval towns and coastal cycle paths. It features the highlights and contrasts of this fascinating region on a journey from Lithuania through Latvia to Estonia along the Baltic Sea Coastline.
Try: Cycling the Baltic States