Tour De World: The Best Cycling Destinations
It’s the final day of National Cycling Week and as decent as the weather has been in the UK lately from experience we’re pretty sure it’s probably not going to last. That being said if you’re looking for a fresh spot to get out on your bike why not think about somewhere a bit further afield than good old Blighty. Here are some of the best cycling destinations around the world for you to get your pedal on. First to a beautiful area of Japan.
Cycle the villages of Japan’s Noto Peninsula
The Noto Peninsula on the Japan Sea coast of Ishikawa Prefecture offers some of the most beautiful and unspoiled scenery in Japan. Home to the country’s finest seafood, the peninsula is known for its breathtaking coastline and abundant nature. Cycling village-to-village makes for an alternative and memorable way to explore an often-overlooked part of Japan. On one of the days, you take a lovely coastal road to a hillside of two thousand terraced rice fields overlooking the Japan Sea.
The seven-day trip costs from £1,550 pp (two sharing) including accommodation, breakfast daily, five dinners, all excursions and the services of a local guide. International flights not included. Call TravelLocal on 0117 3257898 (www.travellocal.com).
Ride the trails of South West Portugal
Choose from one of 38 routes covering 1200 km of walking and cycling bike trails in the coastal wilderness of south-west Portugal on this seven-night holiday. The recently-expanded Rota Vicentina network offers routes for a range of abilities, from beginner to advanced, including the ‘Fisherman’s Way’, which takes in pretty seaside harbours, reddish sand dunes, lunar landscapes and white sand beaches between Zambujeira do Mar (Alentejo) and Pedralva (the Algarve).
Prices from £571 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), eight days’ car hire, four nights’ B&B and three nights’ self-catering. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
E-biking in the French mountains
La Plagne in the French Alps has established itself as a key destination for electric mountain biking (e-mountain biking). The beautiful resort has 150 km of marked trails, with nine easy and accessible routes through alpine meadows and forests suitable for all levels, ranging from 13 to 23 km and with vertical gains of 155 to 900 m. Access to trails is free and e-bikes can be rented from €45 pp / £40 pp (half day) / €65 pp / £57 pp (full day). Children’s bikes also available.
One week’s self-catering in Aime 2000 is priced from €57.50 pp / £51 pp (€230 / £202 total), based on four sharing a studio apartment. Return flights (London-Geneva) cost from £143 pp with easyJet. Call La Plagne on 33 (0)4 79 09 7979 (www.la-plagne.com).
Discover Tuscany by bike
Although one of the most popular areas in Italy, Tuscany offers plenty of cobbled streets and tucked away vineyards to explore slowly on a bike. During a Tuscany twin-centre holiday, travellers can stay and hire bikes in Lucca, which is mostly pedestrianised. The best view of this pretty medieval town is seen cycling around the top of its walls. Next head out to the Chianti countryside to the more remote Castel Monastero, near Siena, which offers guided cycling tours taking in the nearby towns and villages of the Chianti region.
Citalia (01293 831 970, www.citalia.com), the leading Italian specialist, has a 10 night holiday to Lucca & Chianti, on a B&B basis, from £1,846 per person – saving up to £773 in total. Staying at the five star Castel Monastero, in Chianti, and the four star Ilaria & Residenza Dell’Alba, in Lucca. The package includes two free nights, car hire and return flights from London Gatwick with easyJet. Based on departures 3 July 2018. Call 01293 831 970 to book.
Challenge yourself in The Algarve
Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa provides the perfect base from which to explore the cultural, historical and nature sites of the Algarve by bike. A somewhat “undiscovered” cycling destination, Monchique and its surrounding areas offer a range of trails to suit all capabilities. Avid cyclists can tackle the Fóia, the highest peak in the Algarve, for a challenging 8km ascent or head towards Silves – a delightful and traditional Portuguese town. For a more relaxed ride, travellers can visit Portimao for breath-taking coastline views.
Following a day of cycling, guests are invited to relax at Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa – the only five-star resort set in the spectacular Serra De Monchique mountain range, surrounded by unspoilt countryside and stunning mountain views. The resort’s minimalist and contemporary design lends itself to ultimate relaxation as guests indulge in the luxurious spa, high-end dining options, activities & facilities.
Love Velo offers five nights at Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa on a bed and breakfast basis from £495 per person. Offer includes airport transfers, bike hire, route maps, emergency assistance and essential bike repair equipment. To book, visit: http://lovevelo.co.uk/itinerary/road-cycling-holiday-in-monchique. Return flights with EasyJet from London Gatwick to Faro cost from £84 per person. To book, please visit: www.easyjet.com
Find cycling paradise in Mallorca
Just a few kilometres from Pollensa Old Town sits Ca’n Muscarolas, a gorgeous countryside villa ideally situated as a base to explore Mallorca by bike. With fabulous weather year-round, excellent signage and low-density traffic, the island is a great destination for cyclists of all levels to venture along the coast or inland, or even around the area’s excellent vineyards. Ca’n Muscarolas (sleeps eight) is the perfect property to retire to after a day’s peddling, with tranquil surroundings, stunning interior design, attractive country-style kitchen which opens out to a terrace and a large private pool.
A week’s stay is from £228 pp (£1,821 total). Flights extra. Call CV Villas on 020 7261 5404 (www.cvvillas.com).
Cycle the Italian Lakes & Dolomites: Lake Garda & Merano
The Italian Lakes offer some of the most stunning scenery in the country and Lake Garda offers something for everyone including many flat cycle trails around the lake. Malcesine is one of its most beautiful towns and travellers can stay at the Hotel Maximilian, which offers free bike hire to explore the ancient harbour and atmospheric cobbles streets. Next head into the imposing backdrop of the Dolomite Mountains stay in Merano and explore its medieval centre rich with history, and the surrounding mountains’ cycle paths.
Citalia (01293 831 970, www.citalia.com), the leading Italian specialist, has a 10 night holiday to Lake Garda & Merano, from £1,925 per person. Staying at the four-star Hotel Maximilian, in Malcesine on a B&B basis, and the four-star City Hotel, in Merano. The package includes car hire and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways. Based on departures July 2018.