Last year, the Radio Times reported that cycling has overtaken golf as the UK’s favourite pastime. Figures from 2016 suggest that around 12% of the population ride their bike at least once a week and that figure could easily have increased over the last two years.
And the great thing about cycling is that you can do it all over the world. Whether you take your bike with you or rent one in your destination, it is easy to plan your travels around your love for life on two-wheels and experience some of the best landscapes in the world.
Here are a few cycling itineraries that should definitely be on your list.
Best For Foodies: Dordogne Valley, France
We start with a relatively easy, short route through the Dordogne Valley. Well known for its excellent food and wine offerings, this is definitely a great route for anyone who likes to stop-off for an enjoyable lunch along the way.
The 50-mile stretch starts in the village of Domme and takes you all the way to Turnac via a route that twists and turns past beautiful chateaux, rolling vineyards and through charming French villages. There are a few climbs involved but nothing higher than 200 metres and the final descent into Turnac almost allows you to free-wheel over the finish line.
One of the best places to take a break and sample the cuisine is Sarlat-la-Canéda. This medieval town boasts delicious foie gras and truffles that adorn dishes in the restaurants and can be bought separately at the indoor market.
Best For Wildlife Lovers: Capital To The Coast, Madagascar
Madagascar is a wildlife haven that’s home to many species you won’t find anywhere else in the world, including many different types of lemur and various tropical birds.
This particular route takes around eight days at a steady pace, stopping at hotels along the way. You will start in the capital of Antananarivo and head towards the coast at Mahavelona, covering a distance of around 235 miles through a range of different terrains that include rainforest, rural roads and rice paddies.
Stops at the Indri Special Reserve and Mantasoa Lake will give you the chance to see some of the beautiful wildlife that lives on the island.
Best For Those Looking For A Challenge: The Friendship Highway, China
This stunning stretch of road is not for the faint-hearted and is therefore aimed at experienced riders who are happy to test themselves with demanding ascents in order to be rewarded by breathtaking views.
The Friendship Highway connects the Tibetan city of Lhasa to Nepal. There are various different ways to complete the journey, including round-trips from Kathmandu. In total, it’s around 500 miles long and is the highest cycling route in the world, with three passes that exceed 16,400 feet.
So what makes the arduous journey worth it? Well, the mountain views are stunning, you’ll experience many peaceful moments amidst your high-altitude surroundings and you’ll get the chance to learn more about the fascinating culture in this part of the world.
Best For Those Looking To Take It Easy: Lofoten Islands, Norway
Not every section of this 110-mile ride is easy but this is definitely the perfect option for anyone who likes their cycling to be at a leisurely pace. Also, due to the Lofoten Archipelago’s remoteness, it will be a serene journey along roads that only ever see small amounts of traffic.
A popular route runs between Svolvær and Ä, allowing you to pedal through picturesque fishing villages and close to coastal cliff edges where puffins fill the air with their mating calls.
The nature of the landscapes means that you will constantly be surrounded by towering peaks and vast lakes, and the endless hours of sunshine that wash over Norway during the summer months mean you’ll have plenty of riding time to enjoy them.
Best For History Buffs: Dead Sea to Red Sea, Jordan
If you are the kind of cyclist who winces at the sight of a steep uphill climb, cycling along the lowest lying road in the world may be right up your street.
This route from just outside of Syagha takes you along the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, until you reach the Red Sea and the border with Saudi Arabia. You may struggle to keep your eyes on the road ahead, though, as jaw-dropping views greet you on all sides.
History buffs will be very interested in the journey between the two bodies of water as it offers the chance to see some of Jordan’s most revered sights. These include Al Karak Castle and the ancient city of Petra.
If you would like to ride any of these routes, the TravelQuest team can help you plan your cycling holiday. Call us on 0800 021 3237 or click here and submit your enquiry via the website.