On a rainy bike ride home, it’s hard for the mind not to wonder towards dreamier climates. My mind always wonders back to my cycling holiday along the Rhine in Germany and inevitably to the many pints consumed along the way.
Cycling Holidays are great fun and a great way to socialise, and we really are spoilt for choice with loads of great cycling destinations around Europe, and there are routes to suit all abilities depending on the style of riding you are after. If you’re fit and agile, there are some great mountain and woodland trails that will really push you to the limit. However there are also some flatter, less intense trails that are perfect for Families, over 50s still wanting an active holiday or just regular groups that prefer a more relaxed break.
In whichever form you like your cycling holidays, we wanted to sum up some of the top options available in Europe so you can start planning ahead for the summer months.
With more than 500km of bicycle paths and bridges dedicated to bikes, Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities in all of Europe. Check out the Apollolaan area and Vondelpark, with picturesque views. Enjoy all the city has to offer or take a half-day bike ride into the suburbs for a quieter but equally lovely view.
Take a break from traditional winter weather and head to Spain to enjoy training camps, tours or self-guided rides through national parks, mountain terrain or bike off the holiday fest with a bit of leisure rides complete with photo stops.
If you’re looking for a family cycle holiday with a view, look no further than Belgium. The 29km route around the city of Bruges is the perfect route for a family with older children thanks to the flat route with signs located all around.
The Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel is a road race that offers three different routes to match your skill and comfort level as a cyclist. The Maratona course is 138km, the middle course 106km and the Sellaronda course is just 55km, so it is an event that suits all riders aged 15 and older.
Bicycling along the River Danube in Austria provides a beautiful backdrop for cyclists willing to endure the 225km Danube Cycle Path. Hop on two wheels and prepare to go from Linz to Vienna through bucolic rural Austria, stopping at historic villages and vineyards along the way.
Salzburg, Germany (to Lake Garda, Italy)
Ambitious cyclists will want to enjoy the Trans-Alp cycle race that traverses 400 off-road miles through the Bavarian Alps on to Lake Garda. Make no mistake this is a climbing race—about 19,00m total—but most cyclists aim to simply finish the route rather than place. Find your way to the start of this event and everything else will be taken care of for you.
Sure more people know about one of the most cycle-friendly cities in Europe—Copenhagen—but cyclists in the know head for the Baltic Island of Bornholm for scenic recreational cycling. With a craggy coastline and rock formations and sandy beaches, you can loop the entire coast in about 105km.
Enjoy a leisurely holiday through the Venetian countryside that offers a combination of short cycle routes and day-long excursions on the valley floor. Stay at an agriturismo or book into one of the nearby vineyards. This is the perfect cycle destination for family with a 5km route along Lake Fimon perfect for young children.
Mecklenburg Lakes, Germany
Germany is one of the most bicycle friendly countries in Europe with more than 70,000km of trails and 200 different long distance routes. Combine beautiful scenery with a challenging ride along the 640km length off Mecklenburg Lakes, starting in Lüneburg. Hop off the bike long enough to enjoy various water activities, picnics or photo ops.
Every summer the ski resort of Flims transforms into a paradise for cyclists. With 330km of marked mountain trails, forest treks, cross-country routes and freerides taking cyclists from Laax Staderas through Conn and Lake Cauma. Stay at one of the many bike hotels for added convenience.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.