If you like to ride a bike and have a week of vacation time, drop all plans you have for relaxing and book a cycling tour in Europe.
Biking is one of the best ways to travel because it takes you places you can’t visit by car and it also enhances your awareness. You’ll be awe-struck by what the old continent has to offer in its backcountry.
This kind of trip is not all about biking. The tours in this list include ones that will test your physical limits and have you indulge in everything you can presume to experience on a holiday – tasty food, amazing wine, other adventures and stunning views.
Explore Northern Spain on a bike and indulge in everything the tour has to offer – amazing wines, art, architecture, drinks, food, seashores and backcountry adventures. Cycle and hike through the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually a large network of ancient pilgrim routes.
Slovenia may just be Europe’s secret gem for all kinds of activities in nature. The small country is tucked between its much more popular neighbors of Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and the Adriatic Sea. You probably don’t know this but Slovenia holds a world record for park land – nearly 36 percent of the country is protected. The Bicycle Adventures tour will have you riding labyrinths of panoramic mountain roads and hiking more than 4,000 miles of trails in ancient forests.
Stay in a big beautiful villa for a week. Fully unpack your bags for the entire week in the middle of Tuscany or Girona. The staff working on the Rapha tour will map out rides that start and finish from the house each day. Finish with a chef-prepared meal and relax. This trip is ideal for more enthusiastic cyclists who are looking for week-long training on some of the most beautiful roads on the planet. Also, this is the kind of trip to bring along a non-riding partner who can sneak away to Florence in the morning while you're riding and meet up for dinner.
This is the most traditional style of cycle tourism. The trip is about a week long and covers a lot of ground by riding to a new city each day with the aid of a sag vehicle transferring your luggage. While this base format is similar to other cycling companies, the lux service and Rapha touches make for a very special trip. It's great for someone looking for a mix of training and a wider tourist view of the region.
The Classic Climb is a summer adventure you should plan now. Set in northern Italy, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. This range with more than a dozen major peaks is a top destination for adventurous travelers — offering incredible mountain climbing, hiking, cycling and hang-gliding in the warmer months. Make sure you visit the spectacularly gorgeous man-made caves. The terrain is challenging – you’ll be climbing rough peaks, riding roads made famous by the Giro d'Italia and cycling through lavish alpine meadows.
Cycle from Tuscany to the Italian Riviera on this tour. The easiest day is riding approximately 16 miles with 1,440 feet of climbing; the hardest is approximately 43 miles with 3,730 feet of climbing. You’ll be tested but have a lot of fun in the process. The breathtaking views of the five villages you’ll be visiting – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – will energize you every minute. Explore the rocky architecture, far-reaching hillsides and ancient culture.
You can pick a tour that will have you bike for a week from the historic Dalmatian Coast to the increasingly popular tourist destination of Dubrovnik. The coastline is stunning, rugged mountains are nearby, certain popular tourist sites have been there since the 13th century, and the wine is divine. You can also go for a more adventurous version of the tour and add hiking and kayaking. You get to island-hop along the sunny Adriatic and splash in hidden coves.
“The Cycling House provides an amazing cycling and living experience. I rely on their camps to boost my fitness level and performance, and am never disappointed.” This is just one of the many similar reviews people have written. Ride along the jagged but stunning island in the Mediterranean Sea. Stay in a classic Spanish Villa in the countryside for a week. Cycling to the Cap De Formentor, a lighthouse surrounded by cliffs diving into the Mediterranean, is one of the tour’s highlights. You’ll be challenged by hairpin turns, descending down then climbing up on the backroad. Indulge in the amazing Mallorcan food, wines and culture when you’re off the bike.
Enough cannot be said about this tour. Just imaging riding through the world-famous green playground beauty of Ireland. Some of the highlights of the DuVine tour include cycling along the Wild Atlantic Way, around peninsulas that overlook the seas, majestic valleys with castle ruins and sheep-studded fields; exploring the country’s highest mountain range, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks; immersing yourself in Gaelic culture; and having many Irish breakfasts and pints of local beer.
There is nothing like cycling through the Scottish Highlands. The Scotland Bike Tour’s general description says it all: “Explore sleepy coastal villages in the Kingdom of Fife, rural farmlands in Perthshire, and serene landscapes in the Scottish Highlands. Delve into the region’s rich culture and history with visits to famous sites, tastings of Scotland’s finest whisky, and conversations with local personalities. Sleep in beautiful boutique hotels that exemplify the kind hospitality of the Scottish people.”
You’ll be riding from Blois to the remarkable Chateau de Chambord, which is the Loire's largest and possibly the most distinguishable wonder of French Renaissance architecture. The trip’s highlights include riding 25-40 miles a day along the quiet back roads of the "Garden of France,” exploring magnificent châteaux, outstanding vineyards, and old-fashioned medieval villages, and tasting delicious traditional local food.
“Every day was a highlight,” one review says. “Beautiful scenery, amazing food, delicious vino, fantastic hotels and excellent guides (Mauro and Gionata) that are very knowledgeable in cycling as well as their country.” But Tuscany Cycling is also challenging. You’ll be riding up to 42 miles a day and it won’t all be on flat smooth surface. The lavish hillsides and Renaissance towns, although beautiful, will make you sweat.
This is an 11-day trip of Mediterranean island hopping. You will be biking through the Italian-influenced Sardinia and French-flavored Corsica. Along the way you’ll see rolling hills to thousands of prehistoric Nuraghi towers, jagged purple-pink rock formations, white cliffs, and translucent blue coves where you can swim if you would like. The amazing local and fresh seafood could become one of your favorite parts of the trip.
This is a 6-day biking trip in Germany during which you get to explore the vibrant cities of Berlin, Potsdam and Dresden. You’ll see the countryside, crossing forest paths and journeying along lakeside trails outside of Potsdam, whirling through the woods of Swiss Saxony and through the Elbe River valley. You’ll also get to sleep in a real castle.
This astonishing bike tour will have you enjoy eight villages classified as some of the most beautiful in France, hence the name “Les plus beaux.” The itinerary includes a big challenge – climbing Mont Ventoux. You’ll also “wander the streets of St Remy, birthplace of Nostradamus and visit the site of the sanitarium where Van Gogh painted his final works; be enchanted by the rich Roman heritage of the region; sample the sophisticated wines of Côtes du Rhône.”