Bike holidays in Europe are perfect for cycling enthusiasts, couples, solo travellers, and families – you just need to ensure that you choose the right destination for you!
Not only do bike holidays give you the opportunity to explore where you are staying and the surrounding areas, but they are also great fun, good for your health, and help you to find hidden spots and places of interest that you might not discover on foot.
Here, we share our tips for bike holidays in Europe so that you can start planning your active holiday today.
Choose your route wisely
As previously mentioned, you can enjoy a bike holiday no matter who you are travelling with, you just need to make sure that you choose somewhere with cycle routes that are suitable for you.
When you create a shortlist of possible destinations, research the length of the cycle routes there, and whether they include a lot of hills or terrain that might be difficult to manage if you do not cycle very often or are travelling with children.
The trick is to choose an option that is not going to be so challenging that it stops being fun, as that defeats the object of a cycling holiday. If you are worried about being able to cycle, try doing 30 minutes of cardio around three times a week leading up to your break as this will help to increase your stamina.
The Netherlands is a great place to start if you are new to bike holidays, as the country is mostly flat and very cyclist-friendly. Head to Amsterdam forest for a particularly scenic and easy ride, as this is known as being one of the best parks for cycling in the world due to its 30 miles of smooth cycle paths.
For a wonderfully picturesque bike holiday, take a look at the Loire Valley. With plenty of cycle routes dotted around, some of which are more challenging than others, you are sure to have an amazing time riding past castles and vineyards along quiet country roads, and there are plenty of other great places for cycling in France too.
Pack comfortable clothing
Unless you are choosing to go on an intense cycling holiday, you really don’t need to worry about stocking up on Lycra before your trip. Comfortable clothing is all that you will need in order to have an enjoyable time.
We would suggest investing in a pair of padded shorts if you don’t already own some, as these will definitely make your bike rides more comfortable, and then simply wear clothing that is loose fitting and breathable.
You will also benefit from packing a lightweight waterproof jacket, especially if you are travelling somewhere where the weather can be unpredictable, and sunglasses which will not only protect your eyes from glare but can also defend them from bugs or dust!
While you are packing for bike holidays in Europe, don’t forget a small backpack which you can use to carry your essentials, sun cream, a first aid kit, and a camera for all of those great photo opportunities.
Take your own bike or hire one?
When you travel by ferry you are welcome to bring your bike with you, and this way you know that it is a bike you feel happy riding, have chosen yourself, and is of a standard that you can trust. It can also be cheaper to take your own bike than hiring one when you reach your destination, especially if you want a high quality model.
However, if you don’t own a bike, or would prefer to leave yours at home, you will find that plenty of destinations have a number of bike hire options that you can take advantage of. Try booking your bike in advance so that you can be confident that it will be waiting for you when you get there.
Different bike holidays in Europe
Once you have decided where you would like to visit, you need to choose which type of bike holiday you would like to go on. For your first bike holiday, you might like to do a guided tour with a group so that you have the support of a leader and can be confident that there is help available should anything go wrong during your ride.
Alternatively, self-guided bike holidays give you the freedom to explore at your own pace but on routes that have been mapped out for you. This can be ideal as it means you won’t get lost but can have as many photo stops and breaks as you like.
Confident cyclists might prefer an independent bike holiday where you simply go out and have your own adventure without any guidance, just make sure that you have a map or GPS available should you wander off the beaten path.
If these tips for bike holidays in Europe have inspired you to cycle around the destination of your choice, book your ferry crossing today and start planning your trip!