Here's our list of some of the European destinations we think every cyclist should ride. We hope our list also inspires you to start planning your own cycling holiday.
You may also be interested in:
Belgium has been on TV a lot recently thanks to the Spring Classics that are hosted there. There’s plenty of flat cycling to be done in Belgium, but the best of riding can be found on the cobbled climbs in Flanders and the steep roads of the southern Ardennes region. So, if you’ve been watching the Spring Classics and are wondering what all the fuss is about, make sure to get across to Belgium when travel returns. Thanks to the Eurotunnel and the short distance between Calais and the Flanders heartland, this is the most accessible destination on our list.
The French Alps include some of the toughest and longest climbs you are ever likely to face on a bike. Of course, the Alps are synonymous with skiing and snowboarding, but in summer there is no better place to be on two wheels. This is because the many chalets, hotels and restaurants repurpose themselves and serve the same purpose for cyclists as they do for skiers. With epic climbs like the Col de la Madeleine and Alpe d’Huez, you will truly be following in the wheel tracks of legends.
Mallorca is arguably the most popular cycling destination in Europe. The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca packs in a lot of cycling opportunities in a relatively small square mileage. This is because the north and west of the island are mountainous while the south and east are windy and relatively flat. The demanding climbs of Sa Calobra, Puig Major and Coll de Soller are all on the north side of the island and all provide some of the most spectacular climbing you can find in Europe. In fact, if you travel out of season, you’re very likely to bump into a professional team on a training camp. The seafood and sangria is pretty good too.
When it comes to Mallorca and Girona, we truly didn’t know what we had until it was taken away. They are both incredibly popular cycling resorts and for good reason. On the doorstep of some of the best riding in Spain, Girona is the perfect base for a cycling holiday thanks to its climate, quality roads and proximity to fantastic cycle routes. Not only that, but the quality cafés and coffee houses that can be found in the picturesque old town make it a cycling haven.
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places to ride a bike, not only in Europe but the entire world. Fans of the professional race Strade Bianche will be well accustomed to this beauty as well as the type of riding the region offers. The rough terrain of the iconic white roads, rolling hills, miles of vineyards and ranks of cypress trees are what makes this area so beautiful and the riding so tough. Time off the bike can be equally well spent in the many historic towns where you can enjoy the local cuisine and of course the wine.
The Dolomites is one of the most magical places to ride in Europe, a 300km square area inside the Alps which is a fusion of Italian and Austro-German culture. If you are champing at the bit to get out of your pain cave and take on the toughest climbs in Europe, then the Dolomites should certainly be at the top of your list. Rocky crags and super steep roads are what characterises the range so make sure you have your climbing legs well tuned before travelling.
The Danube is a great cycling destination as it ticks off tons of European countries in just one holiday. The Danube Cycle Path is one of the most popular routes in Europe and includes a whopping eight countries. Starting at the river’s source in southern Germany, the path winds its way through almost every country in south east Europe before ending in Romania on the shores of the expansive Black Sea. One of the most popular portions of the route is the opening 190 miles that criss-cross the German-Austrian border. This section is ridden on the valley floor and is almost entirely flat and car free.
Before you get excited and pre book tickets to all these destinations, it might be worth reading more of our holiday-based guides: Ultimate Road Cycling Holiday Checklist and How Much Does It Cost To Take Your Bike Abroad?
Ensuring that your bike is covered will be absolutely essential when we can begin to travel abroad again. That’s where we come in. The fact is, you won’t find many of the things we cover in your typical travel and home insurance policies. Taking out a policy with us means that your bike is protected in cases of bike theft and damage.
Pedalsure can also protect you, your bike and your accessories in mass participation events and races, in cases of personal injury, personal liability and when you are travelling abroad. Getting yourself set up with a Pedalsure policy is something you only have to do once a year, but you benefit from on every ride.