Considering a cycling holiday? 5 of the best biking routes in Europe – words Alan Woods
The European cycling has been booming in recent years, whether it’s because of people getting on bikes for health reasons, an interest inspired by the tour de France, or just for adrenaline and adventure, people are taking up riding in their thousands.
With that in mind, you may be considering a cycling holiday and for us, there are few better places than Europe to go on a two-wheeled tour, and there aren’t better ways than the humble bike to explore this amazing continent either.
Why Choose a Cycling Holiday?
If you’re looking for a holiday with a new perspective and one where you’re more immersed in the culture and environment of the country you’re in, then one of the best ways to do it is on a bicycle. Europe is blessed with a wide range of landscapes, cultures and architectural wonders that a run-of-the mill holiday tends not to do them justice. For an up-close and intimate experience, nothing surpasses biking holidays as they provide an unhurried and richer experience that lets you explore your surroundings at your own pace.
A good place to start is through Europe’s quieter countryside where traffic is thinner and your cycle routes are full of breath-taking views and stunning landscapes.
Whether you love nature and being outdoors or you have a passion for architecture, there no better way to immerse yourself in the things you enjoy the most than a biking holiday.
5 of the best Biking Routes in Europe
If you’re interested in taking a cycling holiday in Europe then the 5 biking routes below are a great place to start as they are suitable for both amateurs and more experienced riders.
A Luxury Cycle to Versailles, France
For those who are keen to explore the architecture and history of some of Frances’ best known regions, then this luxury cycle route to Versailles is the perfect choice.
The Royal Ride to Versailles is a cycling tour run by Belle France that gives riders the opportunity to cycle through two of France’s most beautiful forests on their way to Louis XIV’s former residence.
The route takes you from the gates of Paris and through the picturesque villages on the gently rolling countryside that leads to the Palace of Versailles. Highlights include a tour of the Palace’s gardens, the Forest of Rambouillet, and the Forest of Fontainebleau. You also get to cycle on the riverbanks of the Seine and through several grand Châteaux and their magnificent grounds and gardens, for an all-round cycling experience like no other.
lEtape du Tour, France
LEtape du Tour is a one day cycling event that lets amateur riders cycle on a Tour De France mountain stage during one of the professional riders’ rest days.
The event has been in existence since 1993 with over 10, 000 cyclists having taken part so far. Bicycle tour providers that offer guided packages for similar routes have five or seven day long options that take riders on stages from previous tours. In some cases you may also have the opportunity to ride alongside current pros and retired legends as well.
Land’s End to John O’ Groats, England
This renowned cycling route takes you from the south west tip of England in Lands End to the borders of Scotland in John O’Groats over a 1000 miles and 14 days later. By taking the quieter country roads you’ll be able to experience quaint country lanes, hidden villages and historic inns.
Highlights on this route include the Lake District with its pristine lakes, beautiful mountain-dotted landscapes, and calm farmlands with their eye-catching brown and green patchwork-quilt designs.
No other European countries are as well known for embracing cycling culture as Belgium, with many of the country’s regions playing host to their fair share of classic races.
For more demanding routes none come better than the cobbled hills of Flanders that are a mainstay of many of the Belgian classics such as the Tour of Flanders which makes for a biking experience of cycling’s heartland like no other.
Picos De Europa, Spain
Often featured in the Vuelta A Espana, the Picos De Europa is Spain’s version of the Pyrenees.
Located on the North coast of the country, the region is sometimes subject to some harsh Atlantic weather that makes it one of the more adventurous sojourns on two wheels in this list. Nonetheless, more often than not expect to ride along serene and picturesque landscapes without a soul, even other cyclists, in sight.
Whether you simply love the outdoors, enjoy staying active, or are into architecture, cycling holidays are rare delights in that they offer the opportunity for you to explore all three at your own pace.
From following in the tracks of professional cyclists on routes that take you along previous stages to discovering some of Europe’s best hidden gems, why not consider a cycling holiday for your next getaway?