Discover our predictions for the best cycling holidays in Europe in 2023 that are sure to get your wheels rolling. Share where is at the top of your list in the comment section below.
1. Ancient Venetian Empire by Bike | Italy, Slovenia & Croatia
Explore three countries by bike in one week, cycling between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. The history of the Republic of Venice provides the background to the entire trip. From the canal city of Venice, pass beaches, simple fishing villages and grand palaces as you make your way along the coastline and to the plain of Friuli.
Ancient Roman towns and numerous castles are dotted on the route to the lively harbour city of Trieste. With two border crossings to cycle through, the journey ends on the beautiful Croatian coastline in the town of Porec. Staying in specially chosen hotels in the historic centres or along the coastline, this cycle journey offers a perfect combination of historic towns and seaside landscapes.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Ancient Venetian Empire by Bike Tour
"My husband and I rode on a self-guided bicycle trip on a tandem bike. We have done a lot of touring by bicycle on our own but this trip was very special for us.
The route was very beautiful and easy. The app for the route worked well. The accommodations were very nice, even with rain it felt safe on mostly cycle paths that had good surfaces. The food at all the breakfasts was scrumptious, varied and plenty to fuel your day's ride!
We had very good and professional communications from the staff, especially Ed who helped us solve a small problem. I would recommend this to anyone. Thanks for the great ride!"
2. Highlights of the Rioja by Bike | Spain
Bordered by mountains with the Ebro River running through the middle, the Rioja region in northern Spain has a micro climate ideal for viticulture. For more than two centuries its wine industry has developed to become world renowned, principally for its classic bold reds. In tandem, the development of gourmet cuisine has resulted in award winning restaurants housed in countryside estates and medieval villages dotted throughout the region.
This exceptional journey by bike is ideally suited to lovers of wine and Spanish cuisine, with opportunities to sample regional produce at cellar doors and at the evening meal. During the cycle day explore charming villages and small castles, view religious art in monasteries and churches and cycle the quiet country roads along the banks of the Ebro and on the Camino de Santiago. Evenings are spent in specially handpicked hotels brimming with character.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Highlights of the Rioja by Bike Tour
"This holiday was almost everything I expected - charming villages, lovely hotels, beautiful scenery, friendly helpful people. The helpful local organiser was understanding and rearranged the itinerary to make it an enjoyable week in the Rioja."
3. French Way of St James by Bike | France
Cycle the full length of the Way of St James in France from the Haute Loire to the rugged mountains of the Pyrenees. The pilgrimage route to Santiago has been travelled for over 1000 years by foot, donkey and more recently by bike. Offering an incredible diversity of scenery and passing through some of the prettiest villages in France, this is an epic cycling route with a spiritual theme.
This journey, along the Via Podensis, the French Way of St James, takes pilgrims from Le Puy en Velay to the Pyrenees at St Jean Pied de Port, passing a multitude of churches and monasteries, resembling a travelling museum of Romanesque art. With some steep climbs, followed by fast descents, this trip is ideally suited to fit cyclists keen to extend their experience to an iconic route. At night your hosts in the guesthouses and small hotels will ensure that you are well-fed and immersed in their particular region with its culinary specialties.
4. Beer Lover's Cycling | Belgium & Germany
For beer lovers around the world, Europe is a must-visit pilgrimage destination to pay respects to the golden ale. From Germany to the UK, the Netherlands to the Czech Republic, there are many distinct varieties of beers to sample and breweries to explore and a bike trip is a fantastic way to experience them.
Discover the best of Bavaria and Belgium's beer scene with two dedicated bike tours for beer lovers.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Bavarian Beer Trail Cycle Tour
"This self-guided cycle holiday in Bavaria was exactly what I hoped for. An experience in Europe which felt unique to myself, but had all the hallmarks of a well thought out and executed holiday. I left feeling as though it was me exploring the country and experiences.
The pre-trip and trip notes made me feel comfortable in my journey and with the freedom of the self-guided tour meant that I could really "let go" and just enjoy myself. The hotels all knew about the trip I was on and that made it easier when it came to checking in and providing them with my bags for the luggage transfer, again, great that it was something else I didn't need to worry about. Highly recommended!"
5. Cycling the Coast to Coast | England
Unlike the iconic walking trail, this route is called the “C2C,” literally “Sea to Sea,” to differentiate it from the “Coast to Coast” walk, which covers an altogether different route and embraces different scenery.
The ‘C2C’ stretches from the harbour at Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to the Abbey and castle at Tynemouth on the shores of the North Sea. The original route ended in Sunderland, but the alternative Tynemouth ending is somewhat more satisfying. The ride is 142 miles long. It is a great way to see northern England and how the landscape changes sometimes abruptly, and then more gently as you cycle along.
There is so much to see, the Cumbrian Lakes and Fells, the bleak Pennines, beautiful Dales, towns and villages of all sizes. Along the way you should find plenty of time to visit tea shops, pubs and interesting historical and industrial sites. There are some quite big hills as well, but nothing that could be classed as Alpine! the weather of course can do anything, but you will generally be pedalling with the wind at your back.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Coast to Coast Cyclist's Tour
"Having all the planning details for this trip worked out for by UTracks was well worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed the route, the choice of places we stayed at, and having our bags seamlessly transported from one place to the next."
6. Island Hopping | Croatia & Greece
If you like cycling in a warm climate, eating delicious cuisine and admiring sparkling sea views, then your next bike holiday should be on a Mediterranean island. There is a range of stunning Mediterranean islands to explore by bike, including Sardinia, Corsica, Rhodes and the many islands of Croatia and Greece.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Croatia Bike & Sail Tour
"The Croatian Cycle and Sail was the highlight of our European vacation. The team on Romantica were amazing, friendly and so inclusive. The other guests have become life long friends and the islands we visited were magical. We were so happy with the size of the cabin, the meals provided and the amazing places we visited."
7. Basel to Ticino Cycle | Switzerland
Switzerland's north to south cycle route connects two of the most beautiful cities of Switzerland. From the French border city of Basel the route crosses the Jura mountains to the charming lakeside city of Lucerne. The next stage takes you through central Switzerland and into the alps.
A highlight of the cycle is the massive 2155 vertical metre descent from the historic Gotthard pass with its series of switchbacks making for a quick descent. Passing by the castles of Bellinzona you reach the sparkling waters of Lake Lugano nestled between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como on the Italian border. Lugano is a fitting end to the trip where you can dip your toes in the cool lake and marvel at the dramatic scenery surrounding the city. There is so much to love about this expansive route showcasing Switzerland's finest treasures.
8. France by Bike & Barge | France
From the romantic, world-famous city of Paris you can cycle and cruise to Bruges or to the Champagne region, with plenty of local sights and flavours along the way. Take in the grandeur of Burgundy's waterways, which are packed with incredible food, handsome architecture and some of rural France’s prettiest scenery. Or cycle down quiet country lanes in Provence and the Seine Valley, stopping to visit intriguing relics and sample the beautiful wines and cuisine of the region.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Provence Bike & Barge Tour
"We really enjoyed our trip on the L'Estello. The crew (Christian, Stephi and Rosa) were fantastic and looked after all our needs. The meals on board were outstanding, with a different theme each evening. With all meals provided, we didn't have to worry about anything but riding and sleeping!
Our outstanding guides, Wiro and Marco, lead us through some beautiful and historic locations in the Provence region, including the Camargue, Les Baux (with the amazing Cathedrale des Images) and the Pont du Gard. They also knew all the best stops for coffee and beer! They ensured we stayed together as a group by asking different riders to act as sweepers and as point guards on corners so that no one was left behind or missed a turn. They even turned on a fireworks display on our first night (well, it was Bastille Day!).
We had a great group of fellow travellers, from many different countries and with varying levels of cycling experience and ability, but no-one was out of place. We struck up friendships with many of them, sharing stories of other adventures. We plan to take another bike and boat trip on our next visit to Europe."
Denmark is well known for its cutting edge design, stylish locals and gorgeous capital city, but perhaps lesser-known to foreigners is Denmark’s natural beauty. With its idyllic scenery, gentle terrain and serious bike culture, this is one country perfectly suited to a cycling holiday. Join one of our exciting Berlin to Copenhagen by Bike self-guided departures and get a taste of beautiful Denmark, at your own pace.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Berlin to Copenhagen Cycling Tour
"An excellent experience and holiday with good bikes. The scenery was magnificent, the towns were varied and interesting and the accommodation better than expected. The grading was correct and the cycling not too arduous."
10. Treasures of the Baltics | Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia
While Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia share the same Baltic coastline, the contrasting unique characters of these three countries will become evident as you follow this incredibly scenic cycling route from Vilnius to Tallinn.
From the three capitals - Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn - to the many small villages that have changed little over time, this guided cycling experience along low traffic roads and dedicated cycle paths will showcase the diverse cultures, World Heritage sites and mainly flat landscapes that make travelling in this region so different to anywhere else in Europe.
Discover the island castle at Trakai, enter the previously off-limits Curonian Spit, a wild pre-historic sand dune peninsula, and marvel at the pilgrimage sight of thousands of crosses of every size and design imaginable at the Hill of Crosses in northern Lithuania. Crossing into Latvia, dip your toes in the Baltic Sea at the white sandy beaches of Jurmula and on the island of Saaremaa, visit Latvia's oldest Church and pay homage at a bicycle museum before heading into Estonia. We'll stop at Saaremaa, famous for its Bishop's Castle, before reaching the Estonian capital of Tallinn, where the trip concludes.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review of the Treasures of the Baltics Guided Cycle Tour
"We had a lovely time on the Treasures of the Baltic trip! Our guide (Romas) was extremely knowledgeable about the history of all 3 countries as well as facts and information on many subjects! He and our driver (Valdas) were excellent and very professional!
The cities (Vilnius, Riga & Tallin are each lovely and different so this added to the enjoyment of our travels! The landscape in between the cities is similar but there was variety in the places we stopped as we travelled. This is a unique part of Europe with its poignant and long history of being conquered by many countries! We very much enjoyed learning about the history and visiting a part of Europe we hadn’t seen before!"
Which cycling trip is your #1 for 2023? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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