Phone Icon +1 877 967 9628
Your journey so far

Best Cycle Routes in Europe

Posted 26 Jan 2021

Whether it is gradually soaking up the culture and scenery of a new place, savouring the best food and drink, or exploring a region’s specialities, we offer all this and more, from the seat of a bicycle. Take life in the slow lane, enjoying the experiences en route as much as the destinations themselves. You can set off on a standard touring bike or make use of a little extra ‘oomph’ on our e-bike tours. Here is our Softies pick of the best cycle routes in Europe.

Loire à Vélo route, France

We recommend the roundtrip between Montsoreau and Saumur along the excellently signposted Loire à Vélo route. An easy route with a few short inclines, it includes riverside paths, passes old troglodyte dwellings and a stretch through hilltop vineyards. From a short ascent you are rewarded with stunning views of the Loire Valley below and Château de Saumur, which really encompasses the experience of cycling in this part of the world.

A large stretch of the Loire is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it is also known as The Garden of France. You’ll pedal past spectacular castles through the Loire region, playground to the French and English nobility for more than 1,000 years. With châteaux to explore, take in the elegant gardens, underground tunnels and elegant architecture preserved for all to enjoy. 

On our tours you will cycle between 20km to 36km a day visiting ancient riverside towns and sun-baked vineyards. The terrain is predominantly flat, meaning that the miles fly by on a bike and many interesting places can be experienced on each ride.

View our Loire cycling holidays here

Bourton-on-the-Water and Lower Slaughter, The Cotswolds

This quintessentially English area of countryside is packed full of hidden gems that can be explored by bike. Our recommended cycle routes take in Burford with its plentiful antique shops. You will follow the river to begin with, hopping from village to village, before approaching Bourton-on-the-Water with its model village and then Lower Slaughter.

Cycling on to Cirencester allows for a trip back in time at the Corinium museum which documents the town’s Roman heritage. Its proximity to Westonbirt National Arboretum gives cyclists the chance to discover more than 2,500 species of tree from all over the world in a stunningly beautiful setting.

On a Softies Cotswolds tour, we use e-bikes in our itineraries, making it easier than ever to cycle around. After a day’s cycling, pamper yourself in one of our luxurious spa hotels.

View our Cotswolds cycling holidays here

Costa Smeralda coastline, Sardinia

Cycle the glamorous Costa Smeralda, a stunningly beautiful coastline dotted with fine accommodation, excellent restaurants, and no shortage of natural beauty. The roads here are largely car-free and with e-bikes used as standard on our Sardinia cycling tour, you’ll be able to cycle further and tackle the rugged coastline with ease, leaving more time to enjoy the ocean views.

Begin by heading into the granite hills of San Pantaleo, a charming little village and enjoy a fantastic freewheel back down to the coast. We recommend stopping off at the glamorous town of Porto Cervo, playground of the rich and famous. This cycle route has spectacular coastal views and secluded beaches. Remember to try a crisp glass of Vermentino post-cycle.

View our Sardinia cycling holidays here

South Tyrol to Lake Garda, Italy

The South Tyrol has some of the best cycle routes in Europe. It really is a cycling paradise with stunning scenery, great food, and wine. The geography of the region sees high alpine peaks with deep valleys. Each major valley in the region sees at least one cycle route running through it, with countless mountain passes branching off into the hills at regular intervals. The routes come together in the Adige Valley, where they join one of the world’s best developed cycle paths, linking charming towns including Bolzano, Trento, Riva del Garda and Verona. 

We recommend the cycle route down from the high, German speaking valleys to the lower, Italian speaking ones – pedalling from a land of speck to a land of spaghetti. Weave through apple orchards and vineyards down to the shores of glamorous Lake Garda and enjoy a glass of wine on arrival.

View our South Tyrol cycling holidays here

Dune du Pilat, Bordeaux

Worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage status, bike friendly Bordeaux has a rich history, world-class architecture, haute cuisine and fine wines. The cycling routes vary between flat riverside paths and scenic coastal routes to cycling through vineyards. We recommend the cycle route along the Atlantic coast to the Dune du Pilat. The 110m dune is the highest in Europe. You can walk up and along the dunes for incredible views of the Atlantic coast. 

The cycle route takes you along the coast to the classical seaside town of Arcachon. Taste the locally farmed and deliciously fresh oysters, made creamier when paired with a sweet Muscadet or champagne. Jump on one of the ferries with your bike, cruise across the bay and enjoy a nice, easy ride around Cap Ferret. Cycle past the famous lighthouse and glorious beaches, it is one of this part of the world’s most charming and traditional spots.

View our Bordeaux cycling holidays here

Mazan to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Provence

Explore the Côtes du Rhône region by bike, enjoying the postcard-perfect landscapes, charming towns and delicious wines of Provence. Pedalling around 30km each day, you'll weave between the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards and through the history-rich streets of Avignon.

Start with a cycle into the town of Carpentras, a treasure trove for lovers of history and architecture. Keep an eye out for the Port d’Orange, the fortress ruins. From Carpentras pick up the Via Venassia cycle path for an easy, traffic-free stretch taking you to the village of Jonquieres. Further down the road lies Courthezon, perfect for a quick refreshment stop on your way to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. From the hillside, we drop down into the Rhone valley and take a flat route loosely following the rivers path, following the Euro Velo 17 long distance cycling route with our final destination at Avignon. 

View our Provence cycling holidays here

Gubbio to Assisi, Umbria

Start your cycle at the Tuscan jewel of Cortona, set up in the hills of southern Tuscany with spectacular views of the valley and Lake Trasimeno. Enjoy lunch in the Upper Tiber Valley before cycling the riverside path and country roads to medieval Montone where you can enjoy a fabulous dinner. Here, pick up the trail of St. Francis of Assisi and enjoy the spectacular vistas before arriving in Gubbio. Cycle through the city gate towards the rolling foothills of the Apennine and the Via Flaminia, Rome’s ancient highway to the north. We recommend stopping for a coffee break, before cycling to Assisi, the birthplace of St.Francis.

Our Tuscan e-bike tours are the perfect way to discover the rolling hills of the region. Pedal your way gently along quiet side roads; travel the ancient 'via Flaminia' highway and feast on delicious Italian cuisine and Italian wines.

View our Umbria cycling holidays here

For more information on the best cycle routes in Europe, please call our cycle experts today. 

View our cycling holidays here

Back To Blog

Cycling Holiday Inspiration

View all posts

A Family of Six Expert Travel Companies





Britain's original ski travel agency and tailor-made ski tour operator, Ski Solutions has been arranging ski holidays for over 30 years across Europe and North America. The Ski Solutions team are all skiing experts, and their knowledge and passion for the mountains will ensure you experience a truly memorable ski holiday.

Visit website

The ultimate collection of European Cycling Holidays. BSpoke's cycling experts can tailor-make your perfect holiday where you can travel at your own pace or in a group of like-minded individuals. A BSpoke Tour is all about being as restful or as adventurous as you desire.

Visit website

Wilderness Scotland offers an inspiring range of guided and customised adventure holidays, in the most remote and beautiful regions of Scotland. The Wilderness Scotland team know how to create enriching adventure holidays and know the wild places of Scotland better than anyone.

Visit website

Specialists in offering a range of adventure holidays, tours and incredible wilderness experiences. Wilderness Ireland take their clients to the most remote and beautiful regions of Ireland, all while staying at the most welcoming accommodations and delivering outstanding customer service.

Visit website

Wilderness England creates incredible journeys into the wild and magical outdoor spaces across Yorkshire, the Lake District, Northumberland, the Cotswolds and the Peak District. Providing inspiring active experiences, immerse yourself in the unique landscapes, history, culture and wildlife on a Wilderness England adventure.

Visit website