Milan

Europe’s Most Epic Cycling Routes

01 Jun 2022
In need of a free-as-air bike adventure? We all do. And, if that’s so, you’re going to love cycling thousands of kilometres across Europe’s most epic routes. Obviously, there are many ways to discover Europe, but if you want to enjoy the views up close and personal, there’s no better way to travel than by bike. And while you might feel spoiled for choice given the wealth of countries and cities to explore on two wheels, Europe truly is a playground for cyclists.

1. The Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites are without doubt one of the best cycling areas in the Alps. Jaw-dropping valleys and spectacular mountain passes create dramatic ascents and descents that make for unforgettable bicycling and sightseeing alike.

In Italy’s most popular mountain region, you will find a dreamland of demanding bike routes and surreal paths. We’re talking here about tours on memorable mountain heights and crystal-clear lochs with efforts that are shortly rewarded with panoramic views. Get a taste of the Alps by cycling the most wonderful routes, through valleys, up to the summits, and over gentle pastures.

Take your loved ones or your favourite group to paddle on the most legendary routes, such as the Toblach-Cortina Cycle Path and the Pustertal Cycle Path. When you’re done, there will be trains, buses, and private bike shuttles that will bring you back to the starting point.

If you have the nerve to indulge in freeriding, get that sweet rush of adrenaline on the many freeride or downhill trails. But don’t forget you can also join popular cycling events, such as the Maratona dles Dolomites, the South Tyrol Dolomiti Superbike, or the Sellaronda Bike Day. Cycling in Dolomite is fun, no matter what you say!

2. Northern Scotland, UK

Perhaps you don’t have to look that far to find the perfect cycling holiday. One of Europe’s best places to tour is, in fact, Scotland. The reason? Scotland has a bit of everything. So, whether you’re cycling through rolling hills, stunning coastal paths, or a mysterious woodland – there’s something for every adventurous cyclist to enjoy.

You have routes along the Coast and Castles North (Edinburgh to Aberdeen) that begin in Edinburgh that cross the Firth of Forth into Fife, letting you sample a wealth of stunning countryside views. Then, you have the Assynt Achiltibuie Circular - Highlands, a route you shouldn’t indulge yourself in if you're faint-hearted. This route is ideal for intermediate or advanced cyclists who seek a challenging ride with heavy coastal scenery on various single track and A-class roads.

3. Julian Alps, Slovenia

Experience the Julian Alps on two wheels, swim in the most famous lakes or embark on the Lake Bled Bike Tour. If you’re ready to give paddle to the metal, make sure you start with a tour through the pastures, forests, and villages near Bled. The waterfalls and rocky walkways of the famous Vintgar Gorge are just 2.5 miles from town, and there are opportunities for plenty of pit stops. An alternative to Lake Bled Tour is more off the beaten track routes, making Slovenia a great destination for keen touring cyclists worldwide. Indulge yourself in the landscape, the food and the culture and learn about a country that not long ago you may well ignore in your guest for the most spectacular cycling routes in Europe.

4. Algarve, Portugal

In search of an active holiday? Look no further than Algarve. This southern region is rapidly becoming a top-of-mind choice for cyclists with a number of world-renowned on-and-off-road events. Of course, you can join a number of races but if you are looking for a fabulous place to enjoy a leisurely cycling holiday, Algarve is the place where you will relish over 3000 days of glorious sunshine a year.

If you know how to look past the most popular tourist spots, you will notice an almost unexplored world of rural landscapes and weathered hilltop villages linked by dirt tracks and quiet roads; perfect for mountain biking and cycling and allowing you the chance to explore the “real Algarve” at your own pace.

In the last few years, local councils have joined forces to develop a route along the marvellous stunning coastline, of which Algarve is already famous. Don’t fret, the risks of road traffic accidents on this coastline are minimal since the local authorities are constantly working to remove road hazards to ensure local and international bikers are nothing but safe on these epic routes.

5. Girona, Spain

Cycling in Girona would likely feel like wandering into the home of the professional peloton. It’s one of the best cycling destinations that offers both the adrenaline of the race and the scenery of leisure cycling. Girona will offer you everything you want: great bike rentals/repair/coaching, top restaurants, and a good range of decent accommodations. The best of all? You will find all these in a mediaeval old town which is a joy to discover: narrow lanes, thick stone walls, and restaurants whose tables spill over hidden streets. When you join all these things together, it makes cycling holidays to Girona a unique experience for road cyclists and a must for those looking to sneak some cycling into a city break.

6. Morzine, France

Get a taste of the Alpes in Morzine, the heart of Europe’s most epic cycling routes. Many enthusiast cyclists make Morzine their home during hot summer months as the landscape and terrain are so good. This location has plenty of MTB shops that can provide mechanic services, top-of-the-range equipment and bike hire, and coaching schools and guides.

Morzine splits over the sides of the valley: a much rockier side that’s ideal for single-track riding and one that’s also perfect for single-track riding through the trees. This region offers some stunning scenery and views as far as Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva. Because of its range in altitudes, there’s some spectacular tree-banded cycling at lower levels and exposed rocky and technical trails up high. Morzine has a lot to offer in terms of biking experience, rentals, landscapes and coaching, which means you don’t have to worry much about transporting your equipment here and there.

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