10 July 2018
Cheap and eco-friendly, cycling is one of the best ways of getting around, but it can also be a great way to discover a new country at your own pace, and with the advantage of keeping you fit too.
Avoid the hassle of public transport, hire a bike and free-wheel your way through the following fascinating, culturally rich and scenic places – often reaching spots that can’t be accessed by other modes of transport.
Best for scenery: The Alps
Head to the Alps for a cycling trip and allow yourself to be rewarded with some of the world’s most incredible mountain scenery. But it’s not just about mountain-biking. You could also try a more leisurely, relatively flat route on a self-guided circuit of Lake Geneva. Start at Le Jardin Anglais in Geneva itself and head through the city to La Parc de La Perle du Lac, where you’ll find designated cycling paths, a kids’ playground and dramatic views of the surrounding peaks.
Best for families: Lanzarote
With a mild climate and minimal traffic, the fourth-largest of the Canary Islands offers a compelling blend of country lanes, lovely beaches and charming villages. Don’t miss Timanfaya National Park, created by continuous volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736, to see the magma bubbling away below.
Best for foodie cyclists: Tuscany
The exquisite Chianti region of central Tuscany has enchanting medieval scenery that makes it worth the ride up its hills, plus there are plenty of paved cycle-paths. During your journey stop off at some of the region’s wine cellars, al fresco lunch venues and gelato parlours to help you refuel and cool down in style.
Best for escaping the crowds: Charente Valley, Western France
Follow a wonderfully eclectic route through the Charente Valley around the area of Saintes and Cognac and you will take in canals, lakes and vineyards. France’s car-free Voies Verts (‘greenways’) make for safe and scenic journeys. There are plenty of short routes in the Charente region, making it a great place for cycling with kids.
Best for natural wonders: Plitvice National Park, Croatia
Choose from easy lake-side routes or challenging hill trails in this divine spot, weaving past crystal-clear rivers, waterfalls and natural pools. Visit the Black and White rivers and Šupljara cave along the way and find out about the biodynamic phenomenon of karst waters.
Best for culture: Malta
Navigate the narrow streets and country lanes of Valetta by bike and discover a whole host of fascinating attractions that contributed to the Maltese capital being designated the 2018 European Capital of Culture. There are plenty of routes to choose from, both coastal and inland, and lots of cycling shops offering bike hire. Alternatively, heading over to the neighbouring island of Gozo to try some of the routes over there.
Ready to explore one these wonderful cycling destinations? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor today.