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Cycling is a brilliant way to get around. And with cycling on the increase across the UK, many people are now choosing to take their bikes away on holiday. Travelling on two wheels allows you to go at a slower pace and really take in the scenery. Just make sure you know the dos and don’ts of travelling with a bike, so you don’t have any surprises at the airport.
Most airlines now take bikes, but you will likely need to bag or box your bike before you go through check in. Make sure you check with your airline before you fly, and take note of the weight and dimensions restrictions so you don’t incur extra costs. Be sure to pack your bike well (with bubble wrap if need be) and remove any delicate parts which could get damaged in transit. Fix your handlebars sideways, and remove the pedals so they don’t stick out. It’s also sensible to partially deflate your tyres. But don’t forget your tool kit so you can put everything back together again once you’ve reached your destination.
So now that’s out of the way, where to? We’ve put together some of the top destinations for cycling. And don’t forget you can hire a bike whilst you’re away too, which may be an easier option for novices.
Spain is a great place to cycle if you’re looking to get away in the spring. The terrain is perfect for two-wheeled adventures. With plenty of long climbs, as well as perfectly flat land for more leisurely rides. Plus, flights to the vast majority of popular destinations take little over 2 hours.
Popular locations include Girona, about 60 miles north-east of Barcelona and home to a high number of professional cyclists – and it’s easy to see why. Plus Mallorca, and mainland areas Calpe and Denia. When off the bike, there are long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches to explore.
If you’re looking to stay in Girona, 4-star Hotel Nord 1901 is a family-run hotel, just a 5 minute walk from Girona Cathedral, restaurants and cafés. It has a garden terrace and a small swimming pool, flat-screen TV’s and free WIFI. Apartments also have a kitchenette.
A flight to Cape Town will take almost 12 hours, but the stunning roads and coastal scenery, set in the shadow of Table Mountain, make it well worthwhile. Explore Chapmans Peak Drive, Simon’s Town, Boulder’s Beach, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and Cape Point. There are plenty of cycle tours available if you don’t want to go it alone, and bike hire is included in the price. You’ll even get to see an African Penguin Colony up close at Boulders Beach.
Located in Cape Town City Centre, 4-star Townhouse Hotel is a 10 minute walk to the South African National Gallery and Greenmarket Square. The hotel has a gourmet restaurant and a 24-hour room service menu. All rooms include satellite TV and free WiFi. Table Mountain is just 1.9 miles away and Robben Island is just a boat ride from the V&A Waterfront, which is 30 minutes’ walk away.
Home to some of the most high profile bike races in the world – Belgium had to be on the list. And with a flight of around an hour, it’s easy to go for the weekend. Terrain varies greatly, there’s plenty of flat stretches in the north whilst you’ll find the hills in the south. The famous cobbles will present their own challenge, and climbs to look out for include the Koppenberg and Oude Kwaremont.
The 4-star Leopold Oudenaarde is located in the city of Oudenaarde, close to the Market Square and Oudenaarde Train Station. There’s WIFI, bicycle rental services and an on-site à la carte restaurant. Golf & Country Club Oudenaarde is also 2.8 miles from the hotel.
Tuscany is very much the heartland of Italian cycling. Graced by the presence of the best riders in the world when Strada Bianche takes place in the spring, Tuscany is also home to L’Eroica sportive, an event which pays tribute to the cycling culture of days gone by, with riders covering the route on bikes built before 1987 – wearing kit to match.
You can’t visit Italy without cycling The Dolomites. A stunning mountain range in northern Italy, within the Alps. The area itself is over 300km squared – so it’s unlikely you could explore it all, you’re more likely to pick one area. The ski resort of Alta Badia has plenty of bike-ready accommodation and hire shops.
Located 100 yards from the centre of Badia, Hotel Serena offers rustic-style rooms and a free wellness and fitness centre. The hotel also provides free guided excursions 3 times a week. Some rooms feature a balcony with mountain view.
From gorges and mountains peaks, to peaceful canals and gentle green ways, the French landscape can provide the perfect backdrop for your cycling trip. If you’re serious about cycling, Morzine in the French Alps is a perfect place to start. It’s well known for its mountain biking, although it’s an excellent place for a road bike too. The roads are varied, with plenty of flat stretches, as well as hairpin-laden climbs such as the Avoriaz, Col de Joux Plane, Col de la Ramaz and Col de la Joux Vert.
The resort towns of Morzine and Avoriaz are dotted with hotels and chalets, the vast majority of them set up for outdoor sports and as welcoming to bicycles as they are to snow boots and skis.
The 4-star Neige et Roc is located in Les Prodains Ski Resort at the foot of the cable cars in Avoriaz ski resort. This charming hotel offers ski-to-door access, a heated and covered outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub. The area is the departure point for numerous walks and mountain bike trails, so you’ll be ideally situated for your two-wheeled adventure.
Known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine, travelling around New Zealand by bike is one of the best ways to see what this amazing country has to offer. You can go it alone and go and explore the sites for yourselves, or there are lots of cycle tours available. Take a leisurely tour around Auckland, explore the many wineries or take in the sights of the beautiful lakes and lighthouses. Start with a scenic cruise across Wellington Harbour, followed by an easy bike expedition around the coast. You’ll take in historic places such as the Pencarrow and Baring Head lighthouses, The Porangarahu Lakes, Wahine memorial, World War Two bunkers and more. While also gaining fantastic views of the south coast and the Kaikoura Ranges, before finishing your adventure at Turakirae Head and the Wellington region’s largest fur seal colony.
Adjacent to Wellington’s waterfront, InterContinental Wellington is the most centrally-located global 5-star hotel in New Zealand’s capital city. It offers an exclusive club lounge, a fitness centre with a pool and spa, 2 restaurants and a bar. This luxurious hotel will make the perfect base for exploring the region’s coastline and wineries.
Cyprus and the beautiful city of Paphos has become a popular cycling destination in recent years. And for good reason too. It has a whopping 326 sunny days a year, with a very mild winter. The areas surrounding Paphos offers varied terrain with lots of gems to be discovered along each route. Akamas peninsula and nature reserve, the 2000m Troodos mountains, Polis on the Northern part of the island – are all within cycling distance of Paphos. And although gaining popularity, Paphos is still relatively undiscovered by cyclists. Making the roads quiet and waiting to be explored.
The Amphora Hotel & Suites in Paphos is a stunning beachfront property with unobstructed sea views, set amidst landscaped gardens. It features a pool, a restaurant and lounge bar. Rooms, suites and apartments are elegantly furnished and have a private balcony. The castle and harbour of Paphos are a short walk away. And the hotel offers free 2-way transfer from Paphos International Airport.
And finally let’s not forget the UK, take a look at the offerings from Forest Holidays. It could be an easy-going, family cycling expedition, picnic packed in the panniers. Or maybe it’s a long-distance expedition that takes in forest, moorland and coast. Or perhaps you are an enthusiast, looking for a high-adrenaline mountain bike challenge through the forest’s more thrilling terrains. Whatever you want from your UK cycling break, a Forest Holiday has it covered.
To give you ideas and inspiration for your cycling break, they have pulled together cycling routes and trails for all their locations, and included some of the best cycling in England, Scotland and Wales. From gentle forest trails for beginners to strenuous challenges for seasoned cyclists, there is something for everyone.
And to save you the trouble of loading up the cycles onto your car, you can pre-book your cycle hire at most of their locations, so that your bicycles await you when you arrive.
So whether you’re a keen cyclist looking for an action-packed adventure in the mountains, or maybe you want a nice relaxing holiday where you can explore somewhere new on an organised cycling tour, get inspired and browse Made4Travel for tours and hotels to suit every budget.