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Tours and Destinations / March 16, 2018

Best cure for spring fever: a bike tour in Southern Europe.

If you just can’t take the chilly local weather anymore, why not consider a trip to a warmer locale? Southern Europe is full of destinations perfect for early spring bike tours.

There’s no need wait out the weather. Take to sunnier skies with these ten tours running through late April (and beyond).

1. Medieval Villages of Catalonia

With just 25 miles of riding a day, over mostly flat terrain, this trip will give travelers plenty of time to explore the history of Catalonia. Explore the region via its many coastal routes, paying extra attention to the pine and cork tree-lined forests on your way to Llafranc. Relax in the beautiful bays of Tamariu, and stroll through the medieval village of Baix Emporda. Then, make your way to the castle built by Salvador Dali, for his wife (not too shabby of a gift!).

2. Sardinia: A Mine of Memories

Winter will be a distant memory as you start this trip on the Sinis wetlands, traveling through droves of pink flamingos. Those sites are just the appetizer to the main course of the first leg of the trip: the beautiful white sand Is Arutas beach. Visit the lush green meadows (they turn to golden yellow in the summer) of Sulcis, and look out over Capes Malfatano and Spartivento.

3. Apulia: Cycling the Heel of Italy’s Boot

Making your way through small villages and historic towns, you’ll tour Alberobello, home to a UNESCO’s world heritage site. After spending the night in an authentic Italian farmhouse, you’ll make your way to Ostuni, with white walls and architecture as far as the eye can see, and aptly named “the White Town.” From there, it’s a tour of castles and cathedrals, topped off by a treat of some of the region’s best breads and pastries. This early spring bike tour is sure to please.

4. Venice to Mantua by Bike and Boat (and reverse)

For those springtime travelers looking for a bit of everything, this tour is the trip to take. With Northern Italy as the backdrop, this 7-night bike and boat tour will take you through cities, villages, natural wonders. Starting in Venice, the City of Canals, you’ll head to Lido, home to the International Venice Film Festival. The tour combines moderate rides and relaxing cruises by boat to put you right in the thick of all the Italian hits: historical sites (the oldest clock tower in the world), breathtaking views (the Adriatic! wetlands!), and delicious food (yes, we’re talking about gelato!).

5. Bolzano – Verona – Venice

This trip starts in the Dolomite Mountains, and ends at Lake Garda. And in between? Verona, Vicenza, and Padua. It’s safe to say this 7-night tour is the perfect Italian experience, offering the sites, the sounds, and oh boy the food of the region. A vineyard-lined route through Ora, Egna, and Salorno leads you to Juliet’s home (yes, that Juliet), before making your way to Monti Berici. With so much to see, you’ll have the option of reducing your bike time and taking a train on days two and five of the trip.

6. Castles and Wines of Portugal

You’ll do more than just peruse castles on this trip of Portugal– you’ll live like royalty! Each overnight is spent in a castle, palace, or historic farmhouse! Refreshed from your nightly-noble stays, you’ll ride through vineyards and olive groves, with each day’s mileage averaging around 27. This gives you ample time to explore the ancient Roman settlement of Evora, the S. Pedro do Corval pottery village, and, of course, sip the tasty Alentejo wine.

7. Catalonia Road Bike Tour: Girona to the Sea

Channel your inner professional road-rider on this famous training route in Girona. You’ll pedal by the beautiful coast, up a few challenging climbs, and then down a couple hills taking you into the stunning Costa Brava. The trip takes you along the Tossa de Mar coastal road, part of the 2009 Tour de France, and the pathway between Girona and Barcelona. You’ll experience the beauty of Mediterranean Sea, as you travel to the medieval village of Baix Emporda. This early spring bike tour is perfect for pre-season training.

8. Albania’s UNESCO Sites with Rivers, Valleys, and Gorges

To experience Albania is to experience a trip back in time. Largely untouched by the commotion of mass-tourism, the region provides the perfect opportunity to explore rich history and beauty without fighting the crowds. You’ll see snow-capped mountains and enticing beaches, both paling in comparison to the beauty of the hospitable locals, eager to welcome you to their home. The 9-night, level 4 ride travels through Macedonia and Sotire, riding alongside farmlands and wildflowers. You’ll visit the beaches of Himare, and forests of Llogara, leaving you in appropriate awe of Albania.

9. Provence by Bike and Boat

Take in Provence on land and on sea, taking in the castles, culture, and canals of the region. The trip will cycle to the medieval Aigues Mortes fortress, the Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet, and Saint Remy de Provence, the birthplace of Nostradamus. This tour averages around 30 miles per day, ensuring you’ll cover the beautiful landscapes and communities of Provence during your eight days.

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Tags from the story:

Top tours, Catalonia, Apulia, Albania, France, Italy, Portugal

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