10 nice long-distance cycle routes in Europe: readers’ suggestions | Travel

Winning tip: Passau, Germany, to Vienna

For a one-week first cycle tour, I’d advocate flying to Linz then catching the prepare over the German border to Passau, a phenomenal metropolis the place the rivers Inn, Danube and Ils meet. Rent bikes from Matthias Drasch at Fahrrad-Klinik and pedal off alongside traffic-free paths beside the Danube. Esterbauer publishes a information in English for this traditional route: maps are wonderful, with lodging listings and locations of curiosity alongside the best way, like Melk and the Austrian vine and fruit rising areas. Fahrrad-Klinik has an association with a resort on outskirts of Vienna the place you allow the bikes. Spend a day or so in Vienna earlier than catching the prepare again to Linz and flying home.
Philip Moore

Via Francigena: the pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome

Lake Sirio on the Via Francigena, Piedmont, Italy, Photograph: Alamy

In AD990 Archbishop Sigeric walked the 1,800km from Canterbury to Rome to gather his pallium (his “stole” of workplace) from the pope. On the return journey he helpfully recorded his in a single day stops – all 80 of them – which kind the premise of right this moment’s Via Francigena. Much much less well-known than different pilgrimages, just like the Camino de Santiago, this route continues to be taken by greater than 1,000 individuals annually. Cycling it over 20 days is completely possible – I did it in June this 12 months – however remember it entails crossing the Alps (the two,469-metre Saint Bernard Pass) and the Apennines (the Passo della Cisa at 1,041 metres). Pilgrim lodging (€10 an evening on common) is sparse in France however far more frequent in Italy. More data at

Cycling the River Loire, France

Amboise, the River Loire, the city and the castle.

Photograph: Getty Images

We did the primary part of the EuroVelo 6 route from Orleans to Nantes. We took our bikes over on the automotive and parked in Nantes utilizing the ZenPark app. We then took a prepare to Orleans – it has a particular bicycle carriage – and began our experience again to Nantes. The route is well-signposted and makes use of a mixture of devoted cycle paths and minor roads. It works its method alongside the river and the surroundings is beautiful. The route is flat however there are worthwhile diversions inland – involving average hills – to go to chateaux. There is loads of good lodging (B&Bs, small lodges) alongside the route: we pre-booked all of it on-line. Nantes is a superb place to complete because it has Les Machines de L’Île and the superb large mechanical elephant. We lined about 400km over two weeks.
Andrew Spencer

Romantic Road, southern Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, on the Romantic Road in Franconia, Germany.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, on the Romantic Road in Franconia, Germany. Photograph: Alamy

This is an excellent 440km cycle experience by way of peaceable countryside and the gorgeous walled medieval cities of Nördlingen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The route additionally passes by way of the bigger city of Augsburg. Towards the top of the experience, with the Alps within the distance, there may be the superb scene of Neuschwanstein fortress in its mountain. The Europabus coach service provides transport for cyclists and their bikes (reservations advisable), in addition to providing brief packages for biking excursions. It is, nonetheless, simple to organise your self, as most German prepare stations have bike rent locations, and it’s simple to get to the beginning and from the end by prepare.
Jennie Parsons

Beautiful (virtually) traffic-free experience to Berlin

netherlands north holland dutch tulips bulbfields flowers  bike people

Tulip fields within the Netherlands. Photograph: Peter Horree/Alamy

Get the ferry to the Hook of Holland or Rotterdam and decide up the Eurovelo 2 cycle path, additionally referred to as the Capitals Route. It takes you throughout the Netherlands and Germany to Berlin (then on to Moscow if you want). The route is so well-signposted that you simply not often have to have a look at the map (besides to discover a campsite or hostel, that are handily marked on the route ebook, which could be ordered from the web site for a donation), and it feels a bit like a treasure hunt searching for the subsequent signpost. You are taken alongside small, well-paved paths by way of forests and rambling countryside, with scrumptious meals and beer and pleasant individuals alongside the best way. It’s lengthy sufficient to be an actual problem (it took me two weeks) but additionally flat and easy sufficient to not really feel overwhelming.
Rj Hahn

The chic highway to the Croatian coast

On the D25 to Karlobag

On the D25 to Karlobag. Photograph: Alexander Lewis-Jones/Guardian Witness

The great thing about cycle touring is that you simply see superb issues if you are in movement. Watching a panorama shift as you pedal spherical it’s a improbable feeling, and infrequently you come upon a path that makes your coronary heart thump. For me, that was the D25 highway from Gospić to Karlobag, in Croatia. It takes you from the leafy inside alongside 24km of gradual climbing up by way of a mountain move. Yes, it’s gruelling however, when you persist with backside gear, put your head down and experience it out, you can be rewarded.

After a number of hours of stable uphill, the enclosed move all of the sudden opens out and also you take pleasure in a calf stretch as you free wheel by way of the village of Baške Oštarije. You are on the prime of the mountain ridge. The highway goes right into a tunnel and on the opposite aspect is a wholly new world. I may see a dozen rocky islands within the glistening Adriatic Sea – the primary sea I had seen for 60 days of biking. To see thus far and so unexpectedly, I believed I had jumped into Google Earth.

The the rest of the journey was a 1,000-metre descent, filled with hairpin bends you solely see on automotive adverts. The predominant hazard was keeping track of the highway whereas such an unimaginable view was in entrance of me. This journey saved me buzzing for days and is one of the best afternoon of biking I have ever had.
Alexander Lewis-Jones

Ride the Amalfi coast

Vietri sul Mare, Amalfi Coast

Photograph: Alamy

Our household biking holiday across the Amalfi coast was a good way to benefit from the superb surroundings and gave us the flexibleness to cease and see a great deal of lovely spots each on the coast and within the hills and forests. In truth, most vacationers had been caught in vehicles in visitors jams as we rode previous them. For €30 a day we rented wonderful bikes from – they have a alternative of trekkers or e-bikes together with locks, helmets, kits and panniers and provides recommendation on routes, too.

The Giro d’Italia

The Sanremo to Imperia cycle path in western Liguria, Italy.

The Sanremo to Imperia cycle path in western Liguria, Italy. Photograph: Alamy

At the age of 50, I realised my dream of finishing a leg of the well-known Giro d’Italia cycle race final spring after I biked from Milan to Sanremo. I employed a motorcycle from Bici Rossignoli in Milan. The 200-mile journey did take me 4 days at 70 miles a day, stopping off at wonderful youth hostels in Genoa then in Finale Ligure on the coast. Coming again, I took benefit of Trenitalia’s take your bike onboard service from €three.50 a day.

Through French countryside to Paris

the ‘Avenue Verte’ from Paris to London.

Photograph: Hackwood/Guardian Witness

It will not be a protracted distance for some however the 127 miles from Dieppe to Paris present a phenomenal few days’ biking. The most well-known route is the Avenue Verte, however one of the best route has been pioneered by Donald Hirsch .

The early miles of the route meander by way of little French villages, over rolling downs and previous fields of wheat and corn. The roads are quiet, and there are simply sufficient hills to maintain it fascinating however not exhausting. Donald’s web site comprises hyperlinks to cycle-friendly lodging.

As you close to Paris, in contrast to the Avenue Verte, this route takes you thru a sequence of royal searching forests to keep away from the visitors. After 120 miles of villages, fields, and searching forests, you enter Parc St Cloud. It’s an space of woodland simply after Versailles, traffic-free, lengthy and straight, and bordered by tall timber. Then, you see that the highway opens out to a paved space, fountains, and one thing past.

Donald’s route takes you to the left, so that you by no means see what’s on the finish of the highway. But it’s price biking on to research. You end up on a cliff, with all of Paris stretched out in entrance of you. It will go away you breathless from the view, not the exertion.

Baie de Somme, Picardie, France

Cycling in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, France

Photograph: Alamy

If you’re in search of an introduction to cycle touring (or your associate isn’t as eager as you) the 100-mile Baie de Somme route is the right technique to discover this underrated area. The biking is simple all through and a self-guided route with Belle France (£895pp half-board) is simple to observe with complete maps and notes. We took our personal bikes, although bike rent (and even e-bikes) could be included.
Rob Fearn

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