Hold onto your helmets, these six cycling breaks will give you the chance to take in the sights of Europe on two wheels. Spectators not included
Words Sabrina Nunez
As the Tour de France sets up to cover 3,500 kilometres of French ground over July, cycling enthusiasts can get in on the action without the pressure of competition. Luckily, cycling breaks are abundant across the European continent, so you don’t have to go far. Even better, this gives you the chance to cycle through some of Europe’s most scenic landscapes in a more intimate way than the traditional tours. You’ll get to cover more ground and put in a workout that suits your level. Read on to see how we’d spin across the continent.
Sail and Cycle
Are you between a bike and cruise ship? Combine the best of both worlds with a barge and bike cycling holiday. This way, you get to take to the water overnight and can travel lighter during the day. It will be hard to find yourself tiring of either experience, but should you choose to take a day off from the trails, you can sunbathe on deck with drink in hand for a day or two in true holiday form.
Browse the Baltics
Cycling breaks in the Baltics mean you’re in for a new adventure everyday. The architectural masterpieces of your journey will see influences from neighbouring Russia and a war-torn past. The nine-day trip covers Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and is primarily on flat, easy-to-moderate terrain with a greater focus on exploring the rich history and cultural immersion than on undertaking a cycling challenge. The first parts of each day are dedicated to cycling, with walking tours at the day’s destinations, making this equal parts cycling adventure and holiday.
Take to the Alps
Trade in your skis for wheels with this 10-day holiday that will have you chasing the Krimml waterfalls. You’ll still see some snow in the valley of the Alps and pass its glaciers, mountains, caves and groves. The tour is family-friendly, offering an easy terrain and plenty of leisure time and opportunities to explore stops like Salzburg. Alternatively, adventure is abundant with activities like tobogganing, archery, rafting and a uniquely fun experience at the forest slide park. Even your rest day is exciting with the chance to participate in Maishofen bicycle golf.
Cruise Along the Amalfi Coast
Italy’s beautiful coastal stretch is a hot spot for A-listers looking to bask in the Mediterranean sun in style. Cycling breaks here mean you’re able to explore this busy, affluent region, while also taking in the sights of the peacefully undisturbed Cilento National Park. Five days will also see you through Paestum, Minori and Positano. While undoubtedly scenic, this cycling break will mean you don’t have to justify an extra slice of pizza and a scoop or two of gelato.
Wind Down in France
The South of France is famous for its wine, so why not combine the two with a cycling break? With this kind of tour, you get to sample scenery and wines of the region on your down time. Rivers, ruins, vineyards, mountains and charming French towns make up the scenery of this tour, which are all absolutely breathtaking. With days full of cycling in the sunshine and beautiful weather, you’ll have to indulge in wine of the region.
Traverse the UK
You don’t have to leave the island for this cycling break. It starts at the very bottom of Cornwall and goes up into the highest tip in Scotland. More of a proper cycling challenge than the others in this list, the Land’s End to John O’Groats path takes you through the length of the UK in either direction. The tour can be supported or independent, and can take between 9 and 21 days, depending on how much you want to challenge yourself. You’ll cover a range of terrain and scenery, from country roads and steep hills, to busy towns and the Scottish Highlands. A challenging, yet rewarding way to experience the UK.