5 of the best cycling destinations in Europe
If you are thinking about a long-distance cycling tour in Europe, where should you go? Cyclist Bryan Davis has chosen some of his favourites.
Long-distance cycling is not just a sport or a way of holidaying but also offers a chance to improve your mental well-being. Many cyclists find that cycling longer distances is meditative, especially if it is through beautiful and peaceful scenery.
Europe has a network of ideal cycling routes with breathtaking backdrops and plenty of fabulous views. Accommodation is also readily available.
If you are dreaming of getting away from it all on a great cycling holiday in Europe, here are some long-distance routes to choose from.
Via Francigena: England to Italy
A famous pilgrim’s walking route, there is also a signposted cycling route that offers about 20 days of cycling. You can start in the south of England at Canterbury, where the Catholic Archbishop Sigeric once started his pilgrimage walk to Rome. Via Francigena is scenic and involves crossing the Alps and the Apennines.
The route also heads along the beautiful banks of the River Po, through off-road tracks in Tuscan hills, and via a disused railway from Colle val d’Elsa to Poggibonsi.
The River Loire, France
The River Loire cycling route offers many hundreds of kilometres of peaceful pedalling. The Loire is the longest river in France and runs from its source in the Massif Central to the Atlantic.
The 1052km (654 mile) route incorporates a section of EuroVélo 6 and the waymarked Loire à Vélo, which passes attractions such as vineyards, castles and even an extinct volcano. A long stretch of the river is also UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Romantic Road, Southern Germany
Acclaimed as one of Europe’s best cycle routes, there are 440km of pedalling to enjoy through incredible scenery.
The route passes through the stunning Tauber Valley and you’ll see the impressive Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria. The Alps will be a an almost constant backdrop as you cycle.
The Baltic Coast Cycle Path
The Baltic coast in Germany is a great destination for cyclists. There are various routes such as a 13-day, 750km tour or an 825km route taking in two islands islands, Fehmarn and Rügen.
By bike, you’l enjoy great landscapes, including gorgeous white sands, deep blue seas, cliffs, which for the adrenaline lovers, and charming towns.
The Danube Bike Path
The Austrian Danube is one of the most famous – and popular – cycle routes in Europe. Most people cycle downstream, starting in Passau and finishing in Vienna. You can also cycle on to Bratislava (Slovakia) as it is only 35 miles away down the river.
Did you know that the River Danube represents the natural border between Germany and Austria?
5 more great cycle tour destinations:
- The Elbe Cycle path
- The Andalucian Meander: Granada to Seville
- Italian Romance: Mantua to Verona
- The Cornish Coastal Way, England
- Sea 2 Sea cycle route, England.
Cycle touring is for all kinds of people, from those who are retired to students, who are planning to get away on a trip once they have had some help with law essay or similar. Trips are usually self-guided and can be organised to suit a range of budgets, depending in where you choose to stay each night. You could even do a bike packing trip and camp out overnight.
Now all you need to do is plan where you will go – and when.
- Bryan Davis has been a cyclist for a little more than a decade now. He has toured most of the renowned cycling routes, and actively takes part in training cyclists.