Bike vacations mean you earn every meal guilt-free. Plus, there’s no more rewarding way to explore the world than from a bike saddle. From the French Alps to the Danube River, these 10 dream cycling vacations offer you an experience you won’t soon forget.
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Beginning in Calistoga before heading to Healdsburg in Sonoma County, California, this guided cycling tour from USA Bike Tours is perfect for the enthusiast who also loves wine. For three days you’ll cruise to some of the best wineries in the U.S. on quiet country roads with amazing views of the vineyards and rolling hills that have made this area famous. You’ll ride 12–25 miles each day dine on delicious local cuisine and stay in deluxe hotel accommodations each night. All meals and lodging are included in the guided tour package.
While Europe has plenty of history when it comes to cycling, the truth is there are some really-beautiful spots in the U.S. every bit as good as what you’ll find in Europe. If you’re looking for a fall getaway that isn’t too far from home, this Vermont cycling tour from Stowe to Woodstock features trademark New England scenery. Picturesque rivers, craft beer tours, gourmet cuisine and five nights in one-of-a-kind country inns are included in the six-day cycling tour. Choose from daily ride routes ranging from 14–58 miles, depending on your fitness level. Road bikes are included with all Backroads bike tour packages.
If you’re looking to do some serious cycling, this week-long bike tour from Ottawa through Montreal to Quebec City is a great way to see Canada. Though the pace is casual, a moderate fitness level is recommended, as the five-day cycling itinerary totals 345 miles, averaging about 68 miles per day. Highlights include a legendary route along the Ottawa River, a trip to the prime minister’s residence and epic views of the Canadian countryside. Included in the guided cycling tour are accommodations for six nights and most meals.
For fans of pro cycling, this is your chance to ride the most legendary climbs of the Tour de France. For nine days, you’ll conquer the Aubisque, Galibier, Mount Ventoux and the legendary Alpe d’Huez, among others. While there are short-, medium- and long-options each day, you’ll need to be in great shape before signing up, as the climbing is extensive and the gradients regularly reach 12%. When you’re not tackling France’s toughest climbs, you’ll visit quaint villages in Lourdes, Grenoble and other locales, where you’ll be well fed with some of the tastiest cuisine France has to offer.
While the Italian Dolomites undoubtedly feature some of the toughest climbs in the world, this relaxing bike tour sends you down instead of up so you enjoy the scenery. Over 10 days you’ll lose more than 4,200 feet in elevation as you cruise along bike paths to medieval towns, vineyards and plenty of beautiful villas on the way to Venice and the Adriatic Sea. Included in the tour is a guided hike in Cortina, a tour of Venice, wine tasting in Valdobbiadene and a train trip from Lienz to San Candido.
From the epic seaside of Chania to ancient old world villages, this six-day trip to Greece is one you won’t likely forget. Rides range from 18–41 miles, depending on your fitness level, and are mostly on quiet roads along the coast from Kolympari to Kritsa. There will be plenty of fresh seafood, sunny skies and diverse natural beauty to enjoy. Along with a guided tour, breakfast and most lunches and dinners are included along with hotel accommodations in Greece’s most luxurious resorts.
Following the Danube River, you’ll have the unique opportunity to experience the less-traveled side of Europe. Beginning in Germany, you’ll head through Vienna and on to Budapest during this 14-day tour, which requires moderate fitness for rides ranging from 36–60 miles daily. Highlights include a beer stop in “Hungarian Tuscany,” historic cathedrals in Passau, vineyard tours in Wachau, stops at some of Austria’s most beautiful castles and a dinner cruise in Budapest.
Seeing Switzerland by bike is as close to a cycling fairytale as you can get. From the mysterious Black Forest to Basel and Strasbourg, you’ll spend seven days cycling along the scenic Rhine-Rhone canal as you take in an off-the-beaten path part of the world. That doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of time to relax and take it all in. Included in this tour package are visits to Roman spas, vineyards and four-star hotels. All daily rides are suitable for beginners to experienced cyclists, with options for longer rides if you’re up for it.
This seven-day guided bike tour through Ireland’s rural west region is one of the best European values on this list. For seven days, you’ll ride winding country roads with minimal traffic and take in mist-covered mountains and the ancient ruins that make Ireland a truly special place. Two ride options are available each day depending on your fitness level and the cost includes use of a bike along with a guided tour of Burren and a ferry to Aran Islands.
If cruising along the Mediterranean coastline sounds like your kind of thing, it won’t get much better than this six-day tour. During the day you’ll be treated to guided tours along one of the most beautiful coasts in the world, mixing in a few vineyards and castles along the way. When you’re not on the bike, you’ll taste the best Catalan cuisine in the area and be pampered at luxury hotels. As far as fitness goes, you can choose between daily routes of 18-, 30- or 56-mile options with minimal climbing — which should suit just about everyone.