The Old Continent is Mecca for cyclists. It is full of numerous spectacular cycling tours and there is plenty of sightseeing along the way which will ensure an unforgettable experience. Whether you opt for journeying on Ireland’s lakes, speeding through Switzerland’s hills, exploring the Balkan’s side of the Adriatic coastline or taking a brief pause to rest in the Belgian countryside, there are so many pedal-powered tour options to choose from in Europe. Thousands of bicycle riders are drawn to the continent each year and with its cheap flights, easily accessible train routes, bus coaches that offer special bike holders and no-hassle border crossings, you can roll around with ease. On top of that, there are beautiful camping spots, which will ensure you can have a proper rest without spending too much of your budget, of course, if that is your thing.
Certain routes demand a high level of engagement as well as good physical condition. On the other hand, some of them are well accommodated for general cycling enthusiasts and give plenty of stopping points and places to stay along the journey. However, choosing the best route in the continent is really down to your personal taste.
Whichever route you choose, get ready to commence a journey that will allow you to see Europe’s finest cycling destinations in person. Start planning to climb in your saddle and pedal the fascinating old continent’s cycling paths, gathered here for you.
Unique Eurovélo 6 in France
Many best cycling routes in Europe are found in France. With a little ambition and stamina, you can follow the Eurovélo 6. It follows three of the largest European rivers, the Loire, Rhine and Danube, and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea on nearly 3,600 km. It is one of the simplest, most enjoyable cycle routes across France.
The goal of this route is to show visitors that they have within the wheel’s reach an exceptional environment to discover but also to preserve. Traveling along this route allows you to cross unique landscapes as well as an architectural and cultural heritage like no other.
Rural Roads of Peloponnese Peninsula
An ideal route for many levels of a cyclist is the eight-day tour through mainland Greece – the Peloponnese Peninsula. Most of the route resides on rural back roads. This is a fascinating bicycle journey for those who admire Greek archaeology and cultural experiences. You start cycling high in the mountains, pass by the small picturesque fish village of Paralio Astros, and end up riding next to the sea.
This route is a wonderful tour of diversity. Aside from its enchanting seaside scenery of the Argolic Gulf, you will pedal through ancient culture and history. Among others, you will pedal to the renowned historic sites such as the Epidaurus, Mycenae, Mantinea, Lerna with the lake of the same name, where Hercules killed the Nemean Lion.
The Second Largest European River Tour
The Danube Cycle Path is the mainstream cycling route in all of Europe. It attracts serious cyclists and recreational cyclists alike as well as families and seniors. Its most attractive part is from Passau in Germany to Vienna in Austria, 340 kilometres long and can be conquered in a week’s time. In order to get the most of cycling on this route, you need to know which direction to choose.
Usually, cyclists pick to pedal from west to east (Passau-Vienna) due to the favourable wind that is on your back and its downhill slopes. In addition, the Austrian capital is a rather impressive finish as it is known for its cycling routes network. Where you can rent a bike at every corner, but these are generally awful. Therefore, it is better to have one of your own and you always have the option to opt for affordable hybrid bikes and pack it on the plain with you. More the reason to do this is that you need to be familiar with your equipment on your journey.
The Cradle of the Renaissance
Cycling in Italy offers incredible cycling routes and unforeseen surprises. With an extremely varied territory such as mountain picturesque countryside in the Alpine valleys, rice fields along the Po’s river bank, startling roads through Apennine pastures, beaches and rocky seashores, historical and architectural heritage, Italy is an ideal destination for cycling enthusiasts.
From Lake Garda to the Adriatic Sea, over to Venice-Turin path with Veneto included, then to the Ciclovia dei Borbni down south, and many more cycling routes you will enjoy the Cradle of the Renaissance to the fullest on your bicycle while eating pizza voraciously and lavishing in good domestic wine.
If this is your first cycling itinerary, inform yourself about the selected destination long before you climb into the saddle and begin your Europe Edition adventure.
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).