“Europe’s Most Fascinating Cycling Routes” was written by Chloe Smith, a business consultant with Media Gurus, who has a passion for cycling, writing, and Europe.
Everyone who is into cycling knows that riding your bike is far more than just an exercise. It can be a way of discovering the world. When you’re on your bike you’re constantly in contact with your surroundings, sun on your face, wind in your hair and beautiful scenery in your eyes. If you’re looking for a real ‛dream sequence’, then Europe’s organized bike paths are just the thing you’re looking for. Getting there has never been easier with numerous ferry crossings and cheap flights, and beautiful camping spots will make sure you can rest properly without spending too much of your budget.
Europe is full of various beautiful cycling tours, but if this is your first time or your time is limited by your summer break, there are challenges which can be completed within two weeks. Don’t worry – even if it seems like a short time, there is plenty sightseeing along the way which will guarantee an unforgettable experience. So, climb your bikes and come with us.
A Meditative Challenge
If you’re looking for a route where you can become one with nature you will definitely end up in Yorkshire Dales in England. Yes, we know. This aisle is one of the most crowded with tourists and it seems impossible that anyone could find some peace and quiet on it. But take our word when we say that the cycling roads are blissfully quiet and that they will make your journey seem like a meditation.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any challenges. This Hobbit-like aisle is certainly not the Alps, but getting from the bottom of the valley to the top of the moor won’t be easy as it seems. These lovely roads are full of very intense and steep pitches and the flats are actually not that flat. That’s why the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect place to rest your mind and tighten your leg muscles. And if you’re looking for the bigger challenge you should come in May when Etape du Dales will certainly fulfill your expectations.
If you’re in England and you want to get away even more from the crowd, then South Downs Way is the road you should take. It is not such a popular cycling route, and it will enchant you with about one hundred miles of road without a single car passing by. Although it is off-road cycling its path is not difficult if you ride along the ridge. If you’re not there for a beautiful view just plunge down the steep scarp faces that will take you to adrenaline paradise.
Raise Your Cup Among The Veterans
If you want to take the road of a great cycling heritage you should visit the Republic of Ireland and step into the time machine that will take you to the ride in 1950s shoulder to shoulder (or bike to bike) with a legend such as Shay Elliot.
You can also get in the fast lane and travel to 1980s to take on his successors Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche. When you get tired of history classes you can rest your eyes on the beautiful landscapes of Beara, Iveragh, and Dingle peninsulas. Be warned – Ireland is full of challenging terrain. But the refreshing taste of a famous Guinness will be enough to gain your strength again, so raise your cup among the veterans and prepare for the race.
The Homage To Heroes
The French Alps are probably the dream of every professional cyclist. In order to experience that famous spirit of Tour de France, you don’t have to be the part of the race. You can go on your own private cycling pilgrimage and pay homage to your heroes. But that doesn’t mean you need to face all the dangers they did. The Col de Galibier, the Col d’Izoard, and the Alpe d’Huez are well-known names in Tour de France, but the Alps are full of alternative roads that can be equally interesting without having to battle the harsh terrain all the time.
You can also head to the Pyrenees that have a similar attraction but require less strain. The climbs are lower, but they are still steep, so adventure will be there, don’t worry. Although you’re in a country whose capital is called ‛the City of Light’, the dark can creep on you in the mountains, so don’t forget to equip yourself with the right bike lights. We understand you’re searching for the ultimate experience, but your safety should be a part of it.
The Sweet Punishment
Although Belgium has a very limited topography, every inch of its landscape is covered with cycling challenges. In other words, it is a country with the greatest number of cycling ‛lunatics’. Their races such as Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège last only one day, but they certainly get the most of it. If you prefer adventure and breaking the sweat, Ireland’s cobbled hills will be your sweet punishment. Lastly, if you still have some strength for the sightseeing in the end, just head out into the Ardennes. After the climb of about four miles, you will be rewarded a with magnificent view.
Cover photo courtesy of David Kusserow.