The 2012 Olympics and Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win saw a boom in cycling as a part of many people’s daily lives, and increasingly part of their holiday plans.
But where is good to venture for the best cycling holidays Europe has to offer? Here are some of the most popular and interesting destinations…
Famous for package holidays and pretty much guaranteed summer sun, the Balearic island of Mallorca is one of Europe’s busiest and best all-round holiday destinations. It’s not all all-inclusive and partying though; capital city Palma has stunning, old town streets and a breathtaking cathedral, and you can take the old-fashioned train from there to the wonderful old town, and port, of Soller.
That isn’t all, Mallorca is home to some of the best cycling roads and routes in the world – in fact, its winding, mountainous roads are used frequently for altitude and warm weather training by professional cycling teams ahead of competing in famous road races. Whether you want to enjoy some road cycling, mountain biking or just cruise along on your electric bike or mountain bike, Mallorca caters for all.
Either arrange with your airline to take your own bike with you, or simply hire one from the many bike shops or cycling tour companies when you arrive. There are routes to suit all needs, flat, easy trails for the beginner, and long, brutal climbs for the experienced cyclist.
France and cycling need no introduction. The world’s most famous cycling event, the Tour de France, takes place across the country each year, and there is no shortage of holiday opportunities for you to discover. France has different regions, with different climates and terrains, so there is something for you no matter what your cycling preference.
The French Alps contains some famous and bucket list climbs, including the legendary Alpe D’Huez, What better way to spend a break than recreating your famous climb, and don’t worry about bikes and equipment. Bike hire is plentiful, offering everything you need from the latest carbon racer, to the essential road bike helmet.
Still in France, with a different vibe, is the city and area of Nice. Famed for its stunning beaches, fine restaurants and classy bars, Nice offers a different experience for the cyclist then the Alps, but it is no less enjoyable.
Long associated with cycling, perhaps most famously for the annual Paris-Nice Eight Day race, Nice is accessible for cyclists of any ability. City and coastal cycling can be left behind as you head out of the city and test your legs on the terrain and climbs of the Col de Vence – you will certainly be earning that famous French cuisine.
Beautiful Italy. Beautiful Tuscany. Renowned for being one of the most beautiful parts of Europe, and indeed the world, Tuscany is also a fantastic destination for a cycling holiday.
You can cycle through miles and miles of famous vineyards, on stunning white roads. Whether you wish to explore Tuscany on your own, or as part of a guided tour, you will be blown away by the beautiful scenery, wonderful architecture and of course, some of the best food and drink on the planet.
Equally beautiful, explore the stylish Amalfi coast. Don your best cycling jersey, cycle through some of the most stunning coastal towns, including Positano, Amalfi and Ravello as you have the experience of a lifetime – the famous Italian cuisine once again will have you spoilt for choice, and what better place than to watch the sun go down with a glass of cold, refreshing wine, than the Amalfi Coast?
The British Isles
Let’s not forget just how much the British Isles has to offer for a cycling break. Varying terrains, differences in climates and cultures and stunning scenery. From the Scottish Highlands, right down to Cornwall, the road cyclist is spoiled. Forests, trails and mountains offer something for those riding full suspension or hardtail mountain bikes, and beautiful beaches and coves are there for a cyclist of any ability to enjoy.
Islands, including Jersey, make for a fantastic cycling trip, with the Channel Island offering views to France and the opportunity to take in the entire island, from the capital St Helier to the small villages and ports.
So, there we have it, some of the best cycling locations in Europe to enjoy a holiday.
Whether you hit the Alps for a climbers’ paradise, explore the beautiful, unpredictable British Isles, or venture over to Italy for some of the most stylish cycling in the world, there is a cycling holiday for everyone. Roadies, Mountain Bikers and Leisure cyclists cruising along the coast – what better way to spend a break?
- Sources | Cycling Holidays Italy | Italy Bicycle Tours | Cycling for Softies (cycling-for-softies.co.uk
- Images | courtesy Shutterstock
- Main image | Pixabay