Europe is a vast continent specked with countries that have so much to offer to cyclists worldwide. It’s so diverse and loaded with culturally rich peoples that whichever trip you decide on will leave a fond memory. The few things that you should consider are your level of skill, the length of time you want to spend, and how adventurous you feel. In this article, we offer our choice of seven fascinating cycling routes that will leave you wanting more.
Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
The Adriatic coast is a-must ride-through, with stunning views in summer. It combines the beach-going element with a summer getaway, and provides a sun-drenched route roughly 200 miles long. Enjoy beautiful beaches, gaze at fields of lavender, and wonder the streets of ancient villages and cities. A trip to the coast wouldn’t be complete with a visit to Split, either. Financed by Roman Emperor Diocletian, the city dates to 300 A.D. With its rich history and architectural diversity, you’ll get the most breathtaking cycling getaway.
La Loire à Vélo, France
Also known as Valley of the Kings, this route, whether organized by yourself or by an agency, has plenty to offer. La Loire à Vélo is aimed at those who consider European cycling a chance for a holiday getaway rather than a challenge. The route goes on for some 500 miles, along which you can experience the full potential of the region. The government invested quite a bit into turning the route into a tourist destination. You can see châteaus, wineries, restaurants, and charming hotels in quaint, natural settings.
The Devil’s Staircase, Scotland
For those who like a little more of a challenge, Scotland actually has a lot at your disposal. One of the riskier, adrenaline-rushing routes is the Devil’s Staircase in Glencoe. Although the ride is only two miles long, and takes about an hour and a half to complete, it’s very steep. The wet ground also makes the ride even riskier. On top of that, the area is home to the single venomous snake species in Britain, the adder. Not for the faint of heart, what the Devil’s Staircase lacks in sightseeing perks, makes up for with speed and a sense of adventure.
The Danube River Ride – Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia
Beloved by many cyclists, the Danube River route takes you on a trip through four European countries and cities: Passau, Germany, Vienna, Austria, Budapest, Hungary, and Belgrade, Serbia. The route is mainly paved, so it’s relatively easy for all cyclists, regardless of skill level. The cityscapes themselves are different enough, but so alike. The trail also gives you the opportunity to try out different foods and experience four wholly different, yet mutually influenced cultures.
The Alps need no introduction. Even for hikers, the mountain range is a challenge enough, let alone for cyclists. However, those who want to challenge themselves and push their boundaries, this route is perfect. The Alps demand cyclists of greater skill, as it’s also a popular training ground for Tour de France cyclists. Despite the harsh conditions, the mountains will reward you with some of the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll want to cross of your bucket list.
The Peloponnese route stretches for 360 miles, and has something for all skill levels, for both beginners and veterans alike. Going through plenty of historical sights and landscapes, you can actually cycle by the first Olympic grounds of ancient times. But don’t be fooled by the postcard stereotype of Greece’s beaches. This route also features mountainsides and forests, so it’s advisable to browse through several detailed bike reviews for more demanding routes, as the trail can get tricky very quickly.
Glentress Forest, Scotland
Another somewhat “acrobatic” route on our list is the Glentress Forest in Scotland. It features several trails instead of just one going through the forest, with varying levels of difficulty. For those of you that feel more courageous and are looking for an adventure, this just might be perfect for you. There are routes such as “Spooky Woods,” and “Red Route,” and most of them feature steep pathways, jumps and climbs. All covered in a thin layer of mist amid hundreds-of-year-old trees; it’s bound to send a chill down your spine and get your heart pounding.
When it comes to choosing your cycling trail, consider the type of experience you want. Simply going for the challenge, or just the scenery, or only level of difficulty doesn’t cut it. If, as a beginner, you only opt for the trails that accommodate your level, you might not be rewarded with better sights. If you switch up to an intermediate difficulty could prove much more rewarding and life-changing. And if you want to push your body to the limits, it doesn’t mean you can’t stop for an afternoon and enjoy a meal in stunning nature. Treat cycling for what it is: a rare opportunity to combine health, travel, and life-changing experiences into one.
— Uncharted101.com (@Uncharted1o1) February 17, 2018