Imagine the scene. You, in a gorgeous destination, cycling through incredible scenery and experiencing a different culture. You, going solo, with the freedom to do as you please, on your own terms. Self-guided cycling holidays are only getting more popular. Why not let sunny breezes and the gentle wind ease you into a very special cycling holiday with these great cycling tours?
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” - Albert Einstein
Your road cycling holidays in Europe 2020 start here in the hilly regions of Provence, in the south of France. The seductive countryside practically begs you to take flight on a bicycle and explore the inner regions by taking part in the Mont Ventoux cycling challenge. Time moves slower here, and when you have finished basking in the glory of incredible vistas and expansive fields on your two-wheeled magic carpet, end the day with a relaxing massage and a glass of champagne.
Of course, this is all arranged by your accommodation at La Baye Des Anges, a villa rental located about 86 km north of your cycle trip whose owners have plenty of experience traversing the steep and windy Mont Ventoux trails, and even reached the top on a city bike. Deservedly, on your return, you’ll be greeted by an optional massage and a sumptuous glass of champagne.
When it’s time to rest your head, La Baye des Anges certainly caters. What was once a working farm is now a tantalising inn full of rustic Provencal charm and stylish comfort. There are many places on the property to steal away for a hearty bite to eat, with meals prepared from fresh produce. Then get your grill on with an authentic charcoal barbecue, built right into a stone wall.
For a truly one-of-a-kind outdoor cycling experience, Alps cycling takes the cake, and even adds an extra layer of frosting on for good measure. Surprisingly, Gstaad is still an insider’s tip for those keen on an epic bike ride. Unforgettable moments abound in your saddle in your Alpine adventure. The physical and mental revitalisation is not only endless fun, you will gain a whole new appreciation for nature.
Gstaad is perched high in the Saane Valley in the Bernese Oberland. Old World charm emanates from its grand hotels and boutique-laden streets — a refinement amidst Switzerland’s most imposing peaks. Roll past well-kept pastures with horse stables as you glide up and down the valley. Who knows? You may even find that a horse or two will choose to gallop alongside you, checking you out on your own two-wheeled horse. As posh estates give way to lumber yards, and chalets are replaced by centuries-old farms, the only sounds you may hear for a while are cowbells and the whir of your own bike chain.
Why not join HUUS Gstaad on their mountain biking adventures? Offering a wide selection of summer and winter activities to get stuck into across Gstaad, explore the magnificent 140km mountain bike trails with their local guides. Revel in the gorgeous flower meadows, delve into the beautiful rolling hills and breathe in that fresh alpine air throughout your journey. Whatever your cycling ability is, there’s something for everyone here with HUUS Gstaad.
There is no better way to immerse yourself in a pictorial oasis of palm trees and lush valleys, than to hop on a bike for a guided 2-hour tour of Kilpoh Village in Indonesia's Karanganyar. Wind through 10 km of green rice fields and villages, as your guide waxes philosophical about the history of this land and its humble people. Towards the end of your journey, you will be rewarded with fresh coconut juice and light snacks.
Then retire to your private oasis at Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa, less than an hour’s drive north of the village. Be pampered in a hidden paradise in a spacious villa with rain showers and your own private pool. But the adventure doesn’t stop if you don’t want it to. Indulge in river rafting, horseback riding, and Javanese dancing, just to name a few.
Here in Britain’s only royal county, a day cycling leisurely throughout the countryside is one very well spent. Old England offers grandiose pictorial sweeps of Windsor Castle, Eton College and Thames ide pubs.
Take the Jubilee River Route, a 11-mile trail traversing in a circle through the watery landscapes of Dorney and Eton. Part of the NCN4, it goes alongside Avon Canal and Kennet and is relatively car-free. The route is mostly flat, making it ideal for beginners and experienced cyclists alike. The route continues to Newbury and Hungerford. If you have an extra day or two, carry on to Bath and Bristol.
For a wonderful weekend tour, traverse the 140-mile Berkshire cycle route, including the Crown Estate Woodland near Bracknell, with Windsor offering some dandy fine on and off-road cycling.
For the ideal base, Hurley House Hotel is situated in the heart of Berkshire, a chic, boutique hotel that has won multiple awards. With ten luxurious en-suite rooms to choose from, relax amid elegant intimacy and don’t forget to have dinner at the restaurant with menus that present a range of Modern British cuisine expertly prepared.
Cycling through Italy’s grand countryside is romance personified, and a cycling trip can make it even more romantic. How’s that, you may ask? Well, hear us out. Whether you do it completely solo or with a group of newfound friends on a cycling tour, you can trust us when we say that pedaling through the Dolomites is a romantic experience no matter how you slice it. And you will come away having fallen in love — perhaps with yourself!
South Tyrol has a beautiful network of cycling paths, geared towards all experience levels. One of the most popular tracks is San Candido to Lienz which offers 46km of downhill track passing through Austria, immersing cyclists in the green valleys and scenic countryside. There are many available food stops along the way so you can keep your bellies full on your journey. Other routes include Dobbiaco to Cortina and The Stoneman trail, for every time of cycling adventure you can imagine, and the chance to enjoy the enchantment of the Dolomites.
The perfect base with which to relax and recharge after an invigorating day cycling is the Boutique Hotel Zenana, which offers easy access to many of the trails mentioned above, including the beginning of the cycle path to Lienz starting outside the hotel. San Cadido’s most inviting townhouse hotel flowers you with simplicity and sophistication; each suite has been adorned with a mix of oriental and Western décor.
There are moments when cycling through northern Spain that you could swear you were breezing through a landscape portrait created by the hands of an unseen entity. Make every moment count. You are here and you don’t want to miss a thing.
The Picos de Europa Mountains whisper promises of serene quiet in the mountains, along with diverse wildlife and rich beauty.
For the truly adventurous (and truly fit), challenge yourself with Spain’s infamous Alto del Angliru. Ascend into the heavens on the route’s several steep climbs during the final 6km of the journey. Here, cars are an anomaly, but the incredible scenery is not, sp you can indulge to your heart’s content.
Then, rejuvenate at El Gran Sueño in Asturias. A blissful boutique as historical and charming as they come. Set atop a twisty winding road, it’s like delving into a fairy tale. The trifecta of simple design, quiet comfort and delectable food will whisk you away, body and soul.
Out in the Swedish countryside, things are a bit different. A bit more fairytale-like, allowing you to tread off the beaten path. Which rabbit hole will you go down? Whichever one you choose, but for an extra dose of exhilaration, take to your two-wheeled chariot as you wind through dense forests, hidden lakes and fields-of-dreams. In Trosa, there are plenty of scenic trails, from Tullgarnsleden that runs through the beautiful Tullgarns forests, to Västerljungsslingan, that begins at Tureholm Castle, going through Tora’s airfield and through to Sille where you’ll find a charming swimming area. Discover several guided cycling tours and let the magic happen for you.
At the end of your fairy tale day, gently lay your head at the eclectic Bomans Hotell in the town of Trosa. With personality a-plenty, each room has its own quirky vibe whilst providing the utmost in comfort and highly personable service. It is a property that is as stylish as it is playful.
Cycling holds the promise of freedom, of exhilaration, and this can be achieved brilliantly in the chateau-laden atmosphere of the Loire Valley. Exploring the rolling yet mostly flat fields, one can breathe in the true essence of what it means to live in the moment. This is a prime cycling country and fit for any skill level.
What’s more, the area between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers an incredible cultural landscape with historic towns and villages, classic architectural monuments and centuries-old cultivated lands. Discover a wide range of cycling tours, whether it is a 2-day or week-long excursion; the valley’s whimsical landscapes will embrace you on your two wheels and make you a part of it.
What can be more inspiring than following utter bliss on a bike ride through Mayan ruins of Tulum? Get there early before the crowds, and you will be rewarded with breezing through different ecosystems such as beach road, forest trails and hidden finds. Envelop yourself in authentic Mexican culture, as your cycling guide takes you through the wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Cycling tours with archaeology guides, environmentalists and passionate bikers can lead you through the lush tropical rainforests, stopping by local settlements to sample such delicacies as fresh herbs, native plants and honey straight from the hives. Along the way, learn the rich cultural heritage of the Maya, by riding Mayan backroads as monkeys swing above you through the trees, before stopping to cool off with a refreshing dip in a crystal-clear cenote.
The rugged landscape shaped by volcanic phenomena holds a magic all of its own for cyclists. Drift towards the natural wonder that is the Volcano San Antonio on an e-bike. Enjoy panoramic vistas and uncover La Palma’s volcanic past at the Visitor Center, and dare to walk the volcanic crater rim. (We promise, it’s not active!)
For a more challenging adventure, hop on a mountain bike and enjoy the scenery, with your pedal power as the only means of exploration. Many cycling tours offer a trip to The Observatory—the highest point on the island. But it gets better. The south side of the island offers a unique journey also, as you meander through backdrops that gently change from rocky desert to lunar landscapes to lush forest. You will experience it all here.
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