Top 10 European cycling destinations (and the tours to take!) for 2019

There will always be the typical perennial tour favorites: travelers take Tuscany and the Danube River by storm every year.

But if you’re the kind of person who loves to travel by bike, you’re anything but typical. Keep Tuscany and the Danube on your bucket list, but add a few more special spots that have all the beauty, but don’t always get the glory.

Check out BikeTours.com top ten picks for European cycling destinations in 2019 (and some tours to take for each!)

1. Scandinavia

Easy cycle routes and a slew of varied countries makes Scandinavia the perfect spot for a bike tour. With each country offering its own unique charm, travelers can enjoy local villages, gothic cathedrals, historical sites, and stunning natural beauty. Cycling Scandinavia is perfect for late-summer travel: while the rest of Europe can be hot and humid, this region provides more comfortably-cool temperatures.

Recommended tours: 

Stockholm Round Trip Across Swedish History
Royal Zealand and Copenhagen
Oslo Fjord Tour: Hidden Charm of Norway

 

2. Lake Constance

Lake Constance is one of the most popular regions for cycling, and has been a top BikeTours.com client favorite for years. The lake passes through three countries–Austria, Germany, and Switzerland–giving cyclists a bevy of breathtaking views (including the stunning Alps!). What’s more, in 2019 BikeTours.com will begin offering an Upscale Lodging option, allowing travelers to encounter the beauty of the region during the day, and then retreating back to centrally-located 4- and 5-star hotels to relax for the next day!

Recommended tours: 

Lake Constance Classic (11-nights)
Lake Constance (Upscale Lodging)

3. Croatia

Though technically eastern Europe, you’ll get a strong Mediterranean vibe when visiting Croatia. Miles of beaches and seafood make for the unbeatable combo to partner with the country’s diverse Roman and Byzantine history. As a whole, Croatia has enough going for it to be on this list, but when you add in the beauty of Istria, you’ll want to book today. This heart-shaped (yes– heart-shaped!) peninsula shared by Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia is known for its mix of beautiful blue coastlines (Blue Istria) and rural inlands (Green Istria). The villages of Istria are full of charming shops, wineries, and olive groves.

Recommended tour:
Cycling Istria Wine Roads
Cycling the West Balkan Triangle
Split to Dubrovnik: the Islands and Coastline of Croatia

4. Ireland

Capture the luck of the Irish on a bike tour through green vistas and a country full of charm. Countryside castles, local pubs, and breathtaking views make an Irish excursion by bike a dream. Cyclists can pedal along quiet back roads, coming upon historic villages, sprawling farmlands, and medieval ruins. Though the region does come with some rolling hills, e-bikes are available on most tours.

Recommended tours:  

Dublin and West Ireland E-bike Tour
Wild Atlantic Way Cycling
Highlights of the Highlands

5. England

English charm awaits with tours full of history and tradition. Ancient villages, medieval castles, and must-see museums partner with coastal areas, rolling hills, and seaside villages to offer something for everyone on a bicycle tour in England. Another plus? The yearlong mild climate of the region makes for comfortable riding.

Recommended tours:  

Oxford and Royal Palaces along the Thames River
Avenue Verte: Paris to London
London to Amsterdam (and reverse)

6. Venice, Italy

Beautiful sights, storied history, and some of the best food in the world? Venice is a consistent top destination for travelers. Add in the charm of the locals and tours to and through Venice are a crowd-favorite. Keep in mind that many BikeTours.com tours start or end on the mainland in Mestre, so adding a night pre/post-tour to explore Venice is well worth it!

Recommended tours:
Bolzano – Verona – Venice
Venice to Mantua by Bike and Boat (and reverse)
Venice to Trieste and Istria

7. Loire Valley, France

The Loire Valley’s popularity is already on the rise, thanks to its “Loire a Velo” bike route. The 500-mile route (which is part of the Eurovelo 6, connecting 10 countries: France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania ) is well-marked, much of it on dedicated bike paths and quiet back roads. The high concentration of towns means plenty of hotels and restaurants – and most have rail stations should riders wish to shorten a day’s riding.

Recommended tours:
Loire a Velo: Orleans to the Atlantic
Loire Valley Chateaux and Gardens Tour

8. Portugal

528 miles of blue waters, sandy beaches, and the ideal temps of the Mediterranean might just be the dream for most cyclists. Luckily, that dream comes to life in Portugal. The southwestern Europe country is full of bike paths and side roads of the countryside with little traffic and ample opportunity for travelers by bike to explore. Add to it the rolling hills and charming villages, the Park of Nations in Lisbon, and Porto’s castles (and Port wine!), and that dream turned reality makes for an unmatched bike adventure.

Recommended tours:
Castles and Wines of Portugal
Algarve Coastal Route: From the Spanish Border West Along the Sea
Douro Wine Country: Terraced Vineyards and Picturesque Villages

9. Spain

As the third most toured country in the world (behind France and the United States), Spain offers travelers historical, metropolis locations like Madrid and Barcelona, along with the beaches and coastlines of the Mediterranean and Atlantic. with countless monuments, ruins, castles, and cathedrals, cycling is the perfect way to experience Spain, which happens to be the host to second most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Cycling conditions are optimal for bike touring, with warm, sunny weather and easily understood signage. Spain is also home to the famous Camino de Santiago walking path, perfect for cycle touring.

Recommended tours:

Beautiful Mallorca: Coast to Coast on the Balearic Island
Best of Catalonia Cycle Touring
Northern Spain: Cantabrian and Asturian coasts

10. Switzerland

Swiss chocolate. Swiss Alps. Swiss cheese. So much to love about the central European country, including its spectacular setting for bike tours. The stunning lakes of Thun, Sarnen, Lucerne, and Zug provide the unparalleled backdrop and setting to experience the region’s chalets, snow-topped mountains, cable cars. Switzerland’s storybook towns are full of history, art, and culture that you won’t want to miss.

Recommended tours:
Swiss Lakes by Ebike: Lake Geneva to Lake Zurich
Three Lakes Tour: From Geneva to Annecy

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