Whatever your ability, cycling is a great way to explore when travelling. Even if you haven't taken to two-wheels since childhood, the adage is true - you never forget how to ride a bike. With many resorts now offering guests bikes to transport themselves around, see our top spots for a cycling holiday for all levels of ability, and find the perfect place to go to cruise, climb or crunch gears on your next getaway.
Our Top Spots For A Cycling Holiday
You don't have to have clocked up an impressive mileage to enjoy cycling while on holiday. In fact, cycling can be one of the best ways to explore a destination and enjoy scenic views. Bike hire is easy to find in most destinations, and you don't need all the gear to have an idea - just two wheels, a helmet and a picnic lunch is all you need for an afternoon cruising the coast!
For an Iconic ride in the United States, head to the Golden Gate in California. Starting at Fisherman's Wharf, you may have to start early to avoid the crowds, but being powered by pedals will save you a lot of time, while still allowing you the opportunity to appreciate the most stunning structure of the city. Once you reach the far side you will be gifted with the charming waterfront town of Sausalito, where you can rest over fantastic seafood, hangout with a coffee or simply potter around the pretty harbour houses. For more of a bike adventure, you can carry along the bike lanes of the beautiful Marin Headlands, through Muir Woods and down to Muir Beach.
For a laid-back cycling holiday in Europe, the Algarve also has a great route. The protected coastline of Quinta Do Lago is beautiful for a leisurely bike ride, tracing the beach of Praia Quinta Do Lago along Ria Formosa Natural Park. A bird-watcher's paradise, you can spot pink flamingos among over 20,000 other birds who reside or migrate across the area. Perfect for blowing off some steam after spending the day at the beach, at the end of your route you will find the cheerful beach house bar named The Shack. Spot on for a sunset cocktail, the feel-good food and laid-back vibe make a perfect end to the day. Find out more about the Algarve.
Academies For All
Level: All Abilities
For those looking to take their cycling holiday a little more seriously, there are plenty of cycling academies across Europe which offer expert tuition and guided tours to help you on your bike adventure.
Cyprus has ample terrain for all levels and types of bike rides. Columbia Beach Resort really makes the most of this gear-worthy destination with the only championship professional cycling centre, BikeCyprus, offering an array of mountain and road bike tours under the direction of Thomas Wegmüller, the two-time Swiss cycling champion. Beginners and families can tour Turtle Beach for a short and easy bike trip, while those who want to hit the road can explore the mountain villages, farmlands, olive groves and valleys, with top-of-the-range bicycles available for hire.
Level: All Abilities
In Costa Navarino, the unspoiled landscape of the Peloponnese in Greece is also a must-do for anyone looking for a cycling holiday in Europe. The fantastic Navarino Outdoors offers a great range of organised bike tours and a dedicated bike station with a top-brand mountain, trekking or E-bikes available for hire, plus maps, GPS devices and downloadable tracks to help you on your way. All abilities can enjoy what's on offer as you explore the landscape, journeying through the protected wetlands of Gialova Lagoon, into picturesque villages, around ancient ruins, along winding wine routes and much more. Of course, you can also always find time to stop and rest over a few mezes at a taverna on your way!
If mountain biking is your game, then you need to go Montana for some adventure cycling. At The Ranch at Rock Creek, which happens to be the world's only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ranch, the all-inclusive offering includes a year-round activity plan which is perfect for outdoorsy types. All guests receive a mountain bike for transporting themselves around the resort, though you will also have twenty-miles of trails at your disposal with higher elevations. The Rod & Gun Club has an Activities Concierge to help you get by with trail maps and can get you fitted with a suspension bike and helmet.
For thrill-seekers, The Resort at Paws Up, also in Montana, boasts the formidable-sounding Bone Rattler Bike Park. The resort's latest wilderness adventure, this mile-long track features a challenging range of obstacles to conquer including berms, switchbacks, table tops, whoops and jumps. Alternatively, make the climb to Garnet Ghost Town, where you can explore the deserted shacks before rolling back downhill through the conifer forests to the Wilderness outpost. Set on 37,00 acres with 100 miles of trails and 10 miles of the Blackfoot River traversing through its heart, The Resort at Paws Up will truly inspire you to make the most of the great outdoors.
For serious road cyclists, nothing is more exciting than the sight of a smooth gradient of rolling tarmac. For anyone looking for a dedicated road cycling holiday to put their capabilities to the test, Mallorca is essential. Staying at Castell Son Claret, resident coach and former professional cyclist, Guido Eickelbeck, will be on hand to offer his expert knowledge on the best routes and trails on the island. The UNESCO-protected Tramuntana Mountains attracts professionals from all over the world, who flock to this Balearic terrain to train in teams, with flat roads, high peaks and little traffic.
In the USA, Aspen may be known as one of the world's best winter ski destinations, but during the summer, cyclists and lovers of the wilderness will be in their element. The Little Nell offers all guests a complimentary cruiser bike for those who want to glide along the tarmac and appreciate the stunning mountain views. From the 19th to 23rd August 2018, you can also join in with the Clip-In With Christian cycling camp, giving you the opportunity to cycle some of Aspen's best roads with former pros, Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie and Craig Lewis.
For even more of a challenge, take on the Independence Pass; this steep, 18-mile climb has an average of 6% grade before ramping up to 7.8% for the final two miles, with rewarding views from the top. The best part though? Heading back to Ajax Tavern for some decadent truffle fries and a toast to your achievement!