Best Cycle Holidays Europe
Some of the best cycling tours in Europe for 2023 can be found in the glorious wine regions of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK.Read more
There are superb cycling destinations in Europe to visit and at Cycling for Softies we want you to discover some fantastic cultures and places. Whether you want an alpine experience in the Dolomites or enjoy the many amazing vineyards of Provence, there’s a place for you. Our experts have created a guide to the 15 best cycling destinations in Europe. Read on to find out more about the best places for cycling holidays.
The Loire Valley is a favourite amongst Cycling for Softies clients. If you love beautiful views and historical sites to visit, this is one of the best cycling destinations for you. It is known as the Garden of France with its vast green beautiful landscape. You will be able to visit the luxurious and stunning estates and châteaux that date back thousands of years.
In addition to the scenery, the local cuisine is delightful and you will visit some of the best restaurants and hotels in the area. You will taste the best organically grown and locally sourced food in the region. Whether it’s delicious seafood or tasty fruit bowls, your taste buds are in for a treat. You can also drink fantastic dry Sauvignon Blanc and sweet Chenin Blanc white wine produced by local vineyards.
Located in south-east France and bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence is one the best cycling destinations in Europe. There is plenty of monuments, building and vineyards that date back over two thousand years. In particular, St Rémy de Provence showcases Roman architecture. You can see the ruins at the Glanum archaeological site.
The cycle routes are gentle country roads surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. If you’re in the area between June and August you can witness the iconic vast lavender fields. There are also stunning maquis-covered hills, olive groves, vineyards and pine forests to admire. The food and wine are incredible too, with only the freshest of ingredients used at the top restaurants in the area.
Bordeaux is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in Europe. You can easily pedal between stunning architecture, impressive historical landmarks and delightful wine bars at your own pace. Some of the historical highlights are the Grosse Cloche, Palais Rohan and Bordeaux National Opera. It is also worth visiting the unique modern masterpiece, the Cité du Vin museum, an art installation that mirrors a swirling wine.
The area is known for its amazing choice of fine wines. There are an impressive 7,000 wineries with 90% producing a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend. You can also head to the beachside and cycle along Arcachon’s bay. This is where 26 oyster farms produce 10,000 tonnes of delicious oysters each year. On top of this, there are lovely morning markets to visit in Place Abel Surchamp and Rue Montesquieu.
Champagne is one of the best places for cycling holidays. Located in the North East of France, Champagne has a wealth of landmarks and activities to see and do. The area is rich in history and has many historical sites you can visit along the cycle routes during the tours. During your ride, you can admire grand cathedral cities, lovely canal-side towns and of course, amazing vineyards producing the most famous win in France.
In addition, there are many Champagne houses to visit, the most famous being Ruinart in Reims. One of the best historical landmarks you can visit in the area is the Basilica of Notre Dame de l'Epine. Located near Châlons-en-Champagne, this is where you can learn about the famous local folktales and the architecture itself. All this is why Champagne is considered one of the best cycling destinations in Europe.
Located in central Italy, Tuscany has some of the best views you’ll see from your saddle. There are stunning rolling green hills, delightful vineyards, lovely olive groves and charming sun-baked stone villages. You can take an easy cycle route along Tuscany’s Via Flaminia, which was once a road over the Apennine to Rome. Along the way, you can visit the local vineyards of Chianti and admire the beautiful Lake Trasimeno.
The Tuscan food and wine are a lovely experience in themselves. Expect rich olive oil dressed salads, vegetables and meats. You can also try cuisine from the surrounding area such as Florentine T-bone steak, Umbrian trout, wild boar, cured meats and dishes made with Norcia black truffles. The medium-to-full-bodied red Chianti wine was made over 2,000 years ago and still has an incredible taste today.
If you’re intrigued by moments in history, Normandy has many landmarks to visit. You can delve into the medieval and Second World War points of history along your cycle ride. The stunning coastline provides stunning views along the easy cycle routes in the area. You will also experience the quaint French countryside where there are many apple and pear trees.
Visiting the D-Day landing beaches is a sombre experience but gives context to such a significant moment in time. The historical Bayeux and the port of Honfleur all have interesting landmarks and architecture to admire. You can also taste the famous brandy in the calvados farms in the area. The food is delightful here too, try local cider, crème fraiche, molluscs, crustaceans and fish in a creamy stew.
For the iconic views of the stunning Dolomites mountains alone, the South Tyrol is one of the best cycling destinations in Europe. In addition, you can visit the tranquil location of Lake Garda, with its beautiful natural landscape. Experience a touch of romance in the delightful city of Verona. All of these touchpoints combined make it a wonderful place to pick a cycle tour.
South Tyrolean cuisine has both Italian and Austrian influences due to its location. Taste delicious meat stews, risottos, gnocchi and tortellini. For dessert, you can order apple strudel or the Veronese cake or Pandoro, all of which are magic to your mouth. Must-visits during your stay are the magnificent Roman amphitheatre and the impressive Verona Arena.
The best way to see the delightful Italian island of Sardinia is definitely by bike. Off the west shores of mainland Italy, it is home to some of the best white sandy beaches. A perfect place to truly unwind and enjoy the sun. The stunning coastal routes are fantastic to ride and you can easily access historical landmarks and restaurants. A lot of the routes are car-fee and with an E-bike it'll make your trip a breeze.
A must-visit is the UNESCO heritage site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini, a 3,000-year-old village, which is one of the most important monuments in Sardinia. If you take a ferry up north to the La Maddalena Islands, you can visit the fascinating Garibaldi museum. A trip to Sardinia isn’t complete without trying delightful Vermentino wines. As for the food expect tasty meats and cheeses from the more central parts of the area. Along the coast, you will get to taste some of the best freshly caught seafood dishes.
Veneto region starts from the Dolomites through to the Adriatic Sea and is home to the iconic city of Venice. Walk along the famous canals and bridges of Venice, explore the many Prosecco hills, and visit the beautiful Renaissance city of Mantua. All of which can be easily seen by gentle cycle routes in the area.
In Venice, you can enjoy a drink or two at the traditional bàcari bars, which also serve delicious small plates of cicchetti. The Seafood is fantastic in the area, a typical local dish would be squid ink risotto, sweet-sour sardines or the creamy cod of Baccalà. In addition, you can sample the locally produced Prossecco in the small villages in the area.
The Amalfi coast is one of the best cycling destinations in Europe. Along the route, you will be able to take in Roman ruins and charming villages across a stunning coastline. There are fantastic historic and natural landmarks to visit during your stay. You can cycle past lemon orchards and ake in the neighbouring own of Positano and Pontone, both of which were part of the defence system of Amalfi.
Highlights include Cilento National Park, the Temples of Paestum and Pompeii. There’s also the Footpath of the Gods which is a picturesque scenic walk from Agerola to Nocelle, with views of the Amalfi Coast and Capri. The local cuisine is superb and the area specialises in fresh buffalo mozzarella. To end most meals you must try a shot of the famous limoncello.
The most unique region of Spain, Catalonia is known for its wonderful culture and fantastic scenery. Lying in the northeast of the country, expect sunny skies and a more temperate climate than inland. What makes this one of the best cycling destinations in Europe are the fantastic cycle routes that lace through the valleys and vineyards of Catalonia.
On our Catalonia from Mountains to Sea cycling holiday, embark on an iconic journey starting in the scenic highlands and leisurely making your way towards the shimmering coast. The Costa Brava, your final destination, offers a world of tranquillity and peace, untouched by the crowds of tourists found in the south of the country.
One of the most idyllic places in England, the Cotswolds boasts picturesque villages that lie beside gentle streams, nestled behind verdant hills. Almost everywhere you look has a charming sight to see, which is what makes it one of the best cycling destinations in Europe. Known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the minute you arrive you’ll understand why.
We believe cycling is a fantastic way to explore a region, allowing you to experience the gorgeous countryside between the vibrant towns. On our Grand Tour of the Cotswolds, enjoy an authentic rural experience, visiting all the most beautiful places in this stunning region.
Tuscany’s sister region, the two could not be more opposite. In Umbria, expect lush valleys and hidden villages which house magnificent Roman ruins. The people here use what the land gives them, with almost every piece of produce on a menu sourced from no more than a town away. As the only region of Italy without a coastline, Umbrian cuisine is unique; you’ll see very few fish options on the menu. Expect wild boar, and succulent vegetables, with home-grown herbs.
Laced with well-maintained cycle paths, Umbria is one of the best cycling destinations in Europe. Pedal on ancient Roman roads, through peaceful forests and rows of vineyards. The Grand Tour of Umbria offers you the chance to experience just how fantastic the cycling is here.
Sussex has a reputation for gorgeous beaches, bright sunshine, and picturesque views. However, it’s also becoming a rising star in the wine world. Sussex Sparkling is turning many a sommelier’s head with its fruity notes and gorgeous flavour, rivalling the prestigious wines of Champagne.
With so much to see and taste, it’s no surprise Sussex is one of the best cycling destinations in Europe. When you opt for an e-bike, you’ll barely feel the steepest of inclines, allowing you to fully enjoy the many stunning views on offer here. Our Sparkling Sussex tour is packed full of vineyard tours and tastings, coastal experiences, and countryside cycling.
The Douro Valley in Portugal has some of the most gorgeous views not just in Europe but in the world. Terraced vineyards line the valley ways that hug the winding Douro River, creating a truly magnificent sight. Cycling along the river, the gentle waters cause the valley walls to be reflected like a mirror, only adding to the spectacle.
The scenery isn’t the only beautiful part of the region, there’s also a multitude of delicious food and wine to taste, including the rich and famous Port. One of the best cycling destinations in Europe, escape to Portugal for an unforgettable adventure on our Historic Douro Valley e-bike tour.
For more recommendations on the best cycling destinations in Europe, give us a call on 020 7471 7760, or alternatively, view our bike tours here.
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