Cycling is one of the best ways to explore Europe. Quiet roads lead through beautiful landscapes, reaching a forgotten hamlet where a great family-run restaurant awaits you for lunch. Then there are the wineries, art galleries, castles and historic homes, hospitable people, pretty villages and towns, farms and forests, river valleys and beaches...
Here is our list of 12 of our favourite cycling adventure holidays in Europe.
1) Holland & Belgium
Amsterdam to Bruges Bike & Barge Cycling along dikes, bike paths and small roads through the pretty countryside of the Netherlands and Belgium, encounter rivers, farms, small villages and hamlets, windmills and cafés. Take time to stop in some of the cities Holland and Flanders are famous for - relaxed Amsterdam, old Ghent (Gent) and pretty Bruges (Brugge) - and meet the locals who are always ready for a story and a chat.
2) France - Self-guided Culinary Cycling in the Loire Valley
Ride through pretty countryside, stop at a vineyard and indulge in terrific dinners. If you enjoy food and wine, culture and relaxed cycling, this trip is for you. Cycling days are short and there is plenty of time for lazy lunches and visits to the chateaux France's Loire Valley is so famous for.
3) France - Burgundy Self-guided cycling for Foodies In some countries in Europe "Living like a god in France" means living the good life. And this is your chance to do just that. This is one of France's finest wine regions and you get to enjoy some easy-going cycling along rural tracks, quiet backroads and old tow paths. Each day you get to sample fresh produce at local vineyards and farms or stop for lunch in one of the beautiful villages you will encounter. We include four gastronomic evening meals, allowing you to get taste the best of the region.
4) Portugal - Cycle the coast of Portugal
Blessed with sun-kissed beaches, colourful and vibrant fishing villages and scenic routes, the Atlantic Coast of Portugal offers some fantastic cycling holiday opportunities. This tour starts in Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage city awarded best European City Destination in 2013, 2014, and again in 2017. The itinerary follows relatively easy flat or undulating cycling trails along the stunning coastline, with stops in different villages and towns for a full immersion in the relaxed Portuguese way of life. Highlights include a scenic ride through the dunes of the Sao Jacinto Natural Reserve and an overnight in the picture-perfect fortified village of Obidos. After a week of cycling and plenty of free time to enjoy some of the best beaches and restaurants of Portugal, a full day is dedicated to the visit of Lisbon, one of the most charming capital cities in the world.
5) Central Europe - Cycle Central Europe Cycle quiet country lanes and bike paths and discover the castles, forgotten villages, river valleys, lakes and historic capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire of old. From gorgeous Prague we cycle to pretty Český Krumlov on the Vltava River with its narrow, crooked streets and beautiful old architecture.
Via the mediaeval spa town of Trebon we follow sections of the Greenways Trail, to arrive at the UNESCO Cultural Heritage listed Renaissance town of Telc.
Past the vineyards and wine cellars of Moravia, we ride to Mikulov with its pretty castle and town square, and onto Vienna. After a free day soaking up the vibes in its famous cafés for coffee and cake and admiring the imperial heritage, we follow the Danube Cycle Path to to Slovakia's capital Bratislava. Next we cross the border into Hungary and stay at the pretty town of Esztergom before arriving in the capital Budapest, where our cycling adventure of Central Europe ends.
Cycle the beautiful Danube river as it wends its way through a pretty valley, deep woods and past historic towns, castles and abbeys to Vienna, the capital of Austria and once the seat of an imperial dynasty.
7) Italy - Cycling Southern Italy - Puglia and Matera
Deep in southern Italy, in the "heel of the boot", lie the unique regions of Puglia and Basilicata. It is an area of limestone ridges, fertile valleys, vineyards, ancient olive groves and pretty towns. We explore the rock-cut dwellings in UNESCO-protected Matera, the dry-stone houses of Alberobello and the dramatic coastline, while enjoying the great regional cuisine and wines.
8) Italy - Cycle the coasts of Amalfi and Cilento Sun-bleached towns, craggy mountains dropping down to a spectacular coastline, fhishing villages and hamlets and spectacular beaches and the evocative ruined temples of Paestum - the Amalfi and its lesser-known neighbour to the south, Cilento, have a lot going for them. On this one-week holiday you get to ride the best stretches of this wonderful piece of Italy.
9) Italy - Cycling in Tuscany
Tuscany is possibly the most famous of Italy's regions - and for good reason. Hilltop towns, cypress-lined roads, great food and wines and of course the splendid Reniassance cities of Siena and Florence. On this one-week cycling trip through the region you will discover all of this, along with the quaint town of San Gimignano, the hills of Chianti and the beautiful countryside around Montepulciano. This is Italy at it's finest.
10) Croatia - Ride the Croatian Coast The southern coast of Croatia, the Dalmatian Coast, is known for its beautiful clear waters, plenty of historical towns, myriad islands and great food. This tour lets you discover all of this and more on a ride from Split to Dubrovnik.
11) Spain - Self-guided cycling in Catalonia This gentle self-guided cycling trip in Spain's Catalonia region will have you discover a beautiful coastline lined with pretty fishing ports, while inland, olive groves, peach orchards and lovely villages abound. Each cycling day has two rides to choose from and every other day you have a day to relax or choose an optional ride. The accommodations have been specially selected for their location and atmosphere, allowing you enjoy a spot of luxury at the end of your cycling days. Imagine waking up in a restored 14th Century castle!
12) The Baltics - Cycle Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Historic towns, forgotten villages and hamlets, a beautiful coastline and deep forests are all around you on this cycling trip through the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Enjoy cities such as Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, each with an atmosphere all their own, discover crusader castles and experience a region steeped in history.