When it comes to travel, bicycles are an underrated form of transportation. With no scheduled stops, as you'd experience on trains or buses, you can pause whenever something interesting catches your eye or change your destination on a whim. You won’t get stuck in traffic, which is often associated with car travel, and you can make your way around a city at a much faster pace than if you were to walk. On top of that all, you’re exercising! So of course it is a no brainer to combine travel and cycling into a vacation experience. As cycling trips have become more popular over the years they have become more unique as well, catering to all experience levels, trip lengths, and location preferences. Whether you’re looking for a road tour through modern cities, a trek through the trails of ancient civilizations, or a means to get to vineyards and breweries, here are nine of the best cycling trip options around the globe.
For the View Seeker: Tasmania, Australia
If you’re already making a trip across the globe to the continent of Australia, why not take it one step further and head south to Tasmania. With a low population density and miles of amazing scenery ranging from mountains to beaches, Tasmania is ideal for an extended cycling trip. If you book a tour with Experience Plus, you can ride through national parks and coastal villages on a nine day trek across Tasmania’s west coast. The journey ranges from 250 to 400 miles, depending on your endurance, making it ideal for intermediate to experienced riders.
Check out our reviews and photos of 17 hotels in Tasmania.
For the Beer Lover: Belgium
Belgium brews over 1,100 beers ranging from Trappist offerings to the well-known Stella Artois, so cyclists who spend their free time searching for the next great craft beer definitely want to check out this cycling-friendly country. If you're looking for an organized journey, consider Ciclismo Classico's nine-day trip across the nation. Starting in Luxembourg, this tour covers 326 miles of flatlands and rolling hills with a stop at the De Halve Maan brewery, Trappist beer and cheese tastings, visits to photography and cycling museums, and a tour of Bruges. With an average of 41 miles per day on bike, this is ideal for the intermediate rider who finds a cold brew refreshing after a hard workout. If you’d prefer to plan the trip yourself, there are some hotels specifically geared toward cyclists, such as Velotel Brugge, which offers rental bikes to explore the nearby countryside.
For the Wino: South Africa
If you’re looking for a destination with dramatic scenery, unique wildlife and tantalizing wineries, South Africa has all you need. On a journey, cyclists can sample local fish cakes and beers, travel through a semi-arid desert, and even visit a penguin colony. The route along South Africa’s whale coast is perfect for sightings of sharks, whales, and birds. Exodus Travels' 12-day tour, which starts and ends in Cape Town, is excellent for winos, as it includes a route through vineyards and an afternoon wine tasting. This tour is best for the moderately fit adventure seeker, averaging 34 miles per day on classic roads with a few challenging climbs.
Check out our reviews and photos of 74 hotels in South Africa.
For the Expert Who Wants to Go Off the Beaten Path: Vietnam
Ha Giang, a remote region of Vietnam, is relatively sheltered from tourists, making it ideal for those who want to have a more authentic experience devoid of the effects of mass tourism. Located adjacent to the Yunnan region of China, there are plenty of hills and cliffs provide amazing views. It might be helpful to book a tour for this remote route, and Ride And Seek has a great journey that brings riders off the beaten track, through rice paddies, forests, and through the lands of the 22 ethnic minority tribes in the region. This trip is best for cyclists who are up for whatever is put in front of them, with days averaging 60 to 100 miles.
Check out our hotel reviews and photos of 306 hotels in Vietnam.
For the Rider Inspired by Lewis and Clark: The United States
The United States has nearly every type of terrain imaginable, so for a cycling aficionado, a cross-country route is the challenge of a lifetime. A popular path is from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine -- a direct journey of more than 3,000 miles. But sightseeing is as much of this route as the peddling is, and riders often want to stop at some of the best sights across the country, including multiple national parks. If planning such a massive trip seems daunting, you can always book an organized one. Trek Travel offers a bucket-list itinerary for those who want to visit 15 states over a 47-day period. Reserved for the avid rider, this trek covers 3,815 miles from coast to coast. This is the trip of a lifetime, and therefore comes with an appropriate fee, making this ideal for expert cyclists who have the patience to plan and save for this epic adventure.
For the Solo Adventurer: Scotland
There are few landscapes as majestic as Scotland's, and riders will be able to experience everything from whiskey tastings to the ruins of historic castles. Scotland is also a popular destination for solo travelers -- it's a very safe destination with very friendly locals. If you're a solo cycler, you can follow the 200-mile self-guided trip from Fort William to Montrose organized by Mac's Adventure. This itinerary takes riders across a variety of terrains on both man-made trails and natural ones. Overnight stays at B&Bs, inns, and guesthouses will give riders a local experience. This seven-day trip is ideal for the experienced mountain biker looking to spend quality time alone for inward reflection, with most days averaging between 25 and 40 miles on the bike.
Check out our reviews and photos of 288 hotels in Scotland.
For Sea Lovers: Croatia
To view some of the most beautiful seaside villages, head to Croatia. With over 1,000 miles of coastline on the mainland (not to mention more than 1,000 islands, too), the vistas of the sea are seemingly endless. Cyclists can ride through medieval towns, dining on fresh seafood. VBT offers a tour that brings riders around two Adriatic Islands, Hvar and Brac. Besides cycling, activities include learning Croatian cooking techniques and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. The rolling terrains and somewhat challenging hills make this tour best for middle to experienced cyclists. Expect an average daily ride of 13 to 35 miles per day.
Check out our reviews and photos of 174 hotels in Croatia.
For the Foodie: Tuscany
If your idea of a vacation involves consuming mass amounts of the amazing cuisine a locale has to offer, Tuscany is for you. Riders can enjoy Pecorino in Pienza, wine in Montepulciano, and fresh pasta in Mulino Val d’Orcia -- and these are just a few of the delicious delicacies in the region. For an amazing itinerary, look into BikeTours.com's six-day trek. Riders will work up an appetite while biking through the towns of Tuscany, leaving them eager the cooking classes, tastings, and meals at local trattorias each night has to offer. With an average of 30 miles per day through rolling hills, this tour is ideal for intermediate riders with an appreciation for homemade pasta, fresh olive oil, fine cheeses, and local Italian wines.
Check out our reviews and photos of 509 hotels in Tuscany.
For the Multi-Sport Cyclist: Chile
The landscape of Chile varies drastically by region. In one trip, you can ride alongside freshwater lakes, past geothermal hot springs, and through temperate rainforests, all with stunning views of the snowcapped mountains and volcanoes in the distance. With such a diverse landscape, cyclists can enjoy other sports, too, like kayaking and horseback riding. Duvine has put together an amazing trek: Some highlights include a picnic lunch by Lake Panguipulli, a day of kayaking around Lake Pirihueico (work the arms instead of the legs!), a route along Lake Llanquihue, and the chance to soak in natural hot springs near Pucón. This tour is best for intermediate riders who are comfortable with cycling an average of 30 miles a day, as well as kayaking; advanced riders can take advantage of the longer daily options.
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