In just over three weeks the world-famous Tour de France begins. With nearly 200 cyclists racing over 2,000 miles in just 23 days we take a look at some of the best cycling routes Europe has to offer.
Put your cycling skills to the test as you embark on an adventure that challenges the toughest of Ironmen. The dramatic and enjoyable scenery of the French Alps sees some of the world’s best cyclists meet to compete in the Tour de France. Head East and follow in the footsteps of the Romans as you cycle along Via Claudia Augusta the Roman trade route dating back to 15BC. The modern cycling trail sits at a comfortable altitude of 1600m and brings you ever-changing landscapes with rolling orchids and vineyards.
Via Francigena, Italy
Italy’s longest signposted cycle route runs from Great St Bernard Pass on the Swiss border to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This once pilgrimage route is over 1,000 years old and takes riders through Tuscan landscapes and medieval towns such as San Gimignano.
Danube Cycle Path
Europe’s most popular and one of its first cycle paths will find you winding along the Danube River from Germany all the way to the Black Sea. This family-friendly and relatively easy route takes you on an amazing journey through ten countries. Depending on which trail you take you can expect to be rewarded with breathtaking sights from the Danube loop, natural wonders of Austria, Baroque Palaces of Vienna as well as remarkable castles, churches, stunning villages, and historic monuments. Explore downstream to Budapest and see the stark contrasts of the developed Western Europe to the ever exotic and adventurous side of Eastern Europe - one not to be missed!
Pssstt…. Whilst in Budapest make sure you visit one of the infamous Budapest thermal baths. What better way to ease those aching muscles?
Cornish Coastal Way, England
With a higher risk of getting soaked, the Cornish Coastal Way is just as stunning as the routes across Europe. Two of the most popular cycle routes will give you the best Britain has to offer. What to expect? Little Seaside Villages and plenty of Fish and Chip shops (yum) before you head to the most westerly point of England, Lands’ End. Trails range between 30-100miles and pass through glorious scenery of dramatic cliffs protecting our shorelines, sandy covers, and clear waters. Don’t forget to reward all your hard work with a well-deserved 99 cone.
Let’s hope the sun has got its hat on as you embark on this expedition.
Camino de Santiago, Camino Frances
The whopping 490-mile-long El Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage route that ventures through major cities such as Pamplona and Leon. Santiago Road was made world-famous by Paulo Coelho’s novel, The Alchemist, and cycling along this route guarantees views of the mountainous landscapes of the Pyrenees and vineyards of Rioja. This route is perfect for a full spiritual experience to discover yourself, as well as tasting traditional tapas, sampling fine wines, and exploring an array of museums.
Tauern Cycle Trail, Austria
This cycle trail is not for the faint-hearted. Starting at Gerlos Pass and ending in Salzburg, it covers several thousand feet in altitude and 150 miles. Spurring you along this tough challenge are the magnificent views of Grossglockner Mountain, the Hohe Tauern National Park, Lake Zell reflecting the surrounding landscape, and last but not least, the dramatic and mesmerising Krimml Waterfall – one of Europe’s highest.
Baltic Sea Cycle
With over 4,350 miles of coastline to choose from, kick-start your next adventure from anywhere in the Northern regions of Sweden and Germany as you follow the shore line. The Eurovelo 10 loops around the Baltic seashore countries such as Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. This route boasts sandy beaches, national parks, and picturesque coastal towns as well as historic capital cities. Looking for that once-in-a-lifetime experience? Head to the Finnish side of the Russian border and try fat biking on frozen lakes and snow.
Adige Cycle Path, Italy
Start your expedition with the dramatic backdrop of the Alps in Italy’s Northern Region of Trentino Alto-Adige. The cycle route is relatively flat and mostly downhill as you cruise your way through the characteristic Alpine city of Bolzano before continuing onto the breathtaking Lake Garda and finally finishing in the romantic city of Verona.