Everyone has the wonderful cities of Paris, Amsterdam, and London on their travel bucket list, followed by regions like Catalonia, Provence, and Tuscany. While these destinations are more than worth that plane ticket, some travelers may delight in cycling lesser-traveled destinations, like the ones we’ve highlighted below.
Cycle in wild Connemara, Ireland
Situated on the west coast of Ireland, Connemara is best discovered by foot, boat, and bicycle, of course! The region is wild and windswept. Bordering the Atlantic, its rugged coast is peppered with islands, coves, small beaches, and cliffs. Inland, amongst the bogs and loughs (lakes), you’ll find moorlands still divided by the Neolithic field systems. The Twelve Bens mountains loom in the distance. Each town and small fishing village, while being distinctly Irish, has its own unique character and culture. You may even hear a conversation in Irish Gaelic at the local pub, as it’s one of the few regions where the language is still actively spoken.
Pedal an ancient route to Poland
Travel through Austria and the Czech Republic or Hungary and Slovakia to Poland on the Amber Road. This ancient-world trade route served to transport amber (fossilized tree resin, sometimes containing animal or plant materials) from Northern Europe to the Mediterranian region. Baltic amber made it as far as Egypt, where it was found on Tutankhamun’s breastplate. Cycling this ancient route will transport you from the past to the present as you visit modern cities and towns with ancient histories.
Discover the Balkans
While the exact definition of the Balkans is debatable, the region’s charm and beauty are clear. From the stunning coastline of the Adriatic Sea to the majestic Lake Ohrid, from the towering Dinaric Alps to the Carpathian mountain range, and from tiny, old-world towns to modern, yet still ancient, bustling cities you will discover something special while traveling in the region. When you experience genuine hospitality, delicious locally-sourced food, and homemade fruit brandy, known as Rakija, you’ll understand the magic of a bike tour in the Balkans. It’s a region still coming into its own, predominantly untouched by mass tourism, making for a unique adventure.
Umbria, Italy cycling
If you’re thinking of cycling Tuscany, consider Umbria, or both! Umbria is known as the green heart of Italy. It’s the only landlocked region in the boot, full of medieval hilltop towns, wildflower meadows, vineyards, olive groves, and green plains. As with Tuscany, you’ll be delighted with the abounding history, cuisine, and art the region has to offer, minus the crowds.