Cycling is a means of getting from one place to the next, and of keeping yourself in good shape. But it’s also an enormous amount of fun. As such, it’s the basis for some of the most memorable holidays that it’s possible to have.
To get the most from your cycling holiday, however, you’ll need to pick the right location. It should come with trails that are suited to your skill level, plenty of evocative scenery, and features that will make your life as painless as possible.
What does cycling holiday mean?
The best cycling holidays centre around a simple premise. We’re looking to explore a specific part of the world, and provide ourselves with a representative experience of everything that part of the world has to offer. This doesn’t always mean covering every last trail – but you should always come away with the feeling that you’ve completed a given location.
In most cases, you won’t be spending all of your time in the saddle. You might stop off at various destinations throughout the trip, and spend your evenings dining in beautiful surroundings. The feature that defines the holiday – the actual cycling – can be thought of as the connective stuff that binds together the entire experience.
Top destinations for cycling holidays
Certain parts of the world cater for cyclists and cycling holidays extremely well. Let’s take stock of a few of them.
Starting close to home, we should note that the famous Yorkshire Dales have everything that a cyclist might want in a holiday. The quieter parts of the countryside can match with some of the most famous trails on the European mainland, and there are plenty of gruelling hill climbs to conquer, especially for those willing to tackle them in succession.
This part of Catalonia provides plenty of inspiration for cyclists. In fact, it’s considered the go-to destination for many Spanish cyclists, with a unique combination of climbs and a vibrant local culture. Expect plenty of stops at picturesque little bars and cafes.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Cycling is a way of life in Amsterdam. If you’re a new visitor to the city, then you might be fairly astonished at the sheer quantity of bikes hitched up around the centre. Everyone travels on two wheels, here – but hardly anyone wears a helmet. You can tour the local canals before sampling the local cuisine.
This part of the world is best known among cyclists for the Strade Bianche (that’s ‘White Roads’) – a local event which sees participants race down the gravel-strewn slopes into the Piazza del Campo in the middle of the city. If you’re planning a visit to Italy on two wheels, this is a place worth considering!