Top 10 Cycle Rides
Below we list our Top 10 Cycle Rides: ten of the very best days on two wheels.
These are the highlights from our wonderful selection of cycling holidays, from a castle-filled ride through the Loire Valley, to a coastal cycle on Sardinia.
From dazzling Azay-le-Rideau to romantic Ussé
Living up to the holiday's name, this ride gives you the opportunity to visit two of the Loire region's most beautiful châteaux
: romantic, turreted Azay-le-Rideau, surrounded by a moat, and Villandry, the highlight of which is undoubtedly its astonishing ornamental gardens. You then follow the River Loire west on a picturesque country road to Ussé, whose own magnificent château inspired Perrault’s original tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Through Moravia’s UNESCO-protected scenery, from Mikulov to Lednice
As you would expect of a cycle ride that leads through a UNESCO-protected landscape, the scenery on this route is sublime – the unique, composed landscapes of the Lednice-Valtice
area comprise a patchwork of neat meadows, fishponds and managed woodland, dotted with intriguing architectural follies, grand classical temples and tranquil nature reserves. It’s not all about the natural beauty, however – take time to visit the spectacular Summer Palace before the final leg to medieval Lednice.
Along the Dordogne from Loubressac to Gluges
This ride features in our Top 10 because it offers a delightful mixture of beautiful stone villages and riverside scenery. The route passes through Carennac, one of the most idyllic villages in the Dordogne
, its turreted, brown-tiled manor houses clustered round the ancient priory, and then follows a quiet road alongside the river and under the cliffs, taking in numerous wonderful viewpoints.
Through Mallorca from Sineu to Sos Ferres
Quiet lanes meander across Es Pla, Mallorca’s delightful agricultural heart, revealing the island's true soul
. You pass sleepy villages and silent hamlets, and ride through countryside of vineyards, orchards, and olive and almond groves. Travel in February or early March and you will see the almond blossom in all its glory.
Follow the mighty Danube from Melk to Dürnstein
You see the very best of the Danube Valley on this picturesque riverside route
. Passing peach and apricot orchards as well as seas of vines, you catch glimpses of the onion-domed castle of Schönbühel and, as the valley continues to narrow, you pass the impressive ruins and famous rose gardens of the castle at Aggstein. If that were not enough, you can also pause at the wine-producing village of Spitz and charming Weissenkirchen, complete with a fortress-like church.
To Menorca's dramatic Cap de Cavalleriá
The unspoiled island of Menorca is synonymous with quiet winding lanes that lead to small deserted coves of golden sands and azure seas. On this leisurely circuit
, you pass through gentle landscapes, reminiscent of southern England, perhaps stopping for a delicious lunch of freshly caught seafood in the delightful fishing village of Fornells, before reaching the rugged and remote northernmost tip of the island, Cap de Cavalleriá.
From quintessential Provence into the Camargue
Amid landscapes coloured many hues of green and blue (it’s hard to tell where the water ends and the sky begins), you’re soon likely to spot black bulls, white horses and flocks of flamingos as you cross the Camargue’s wetlands
. The lagoons and salt flats that stretch as far as the eye can see are home to more than just flamingos, so bring your binoculars with you.
Sardinia's southern coast from Sant Anna’Arresi to Chia
We recommend that you pack a towel and swimming costume in your pannier, as the beaches on this route around the southern tip of Sardinia
are hard to resist. Imposing white cliffs frame pristine expanses of white sand washed by turquoise waters.
Past fairy-tale castles near Füssen in Bavaria
The first cycle ride on our Bavarian holiday
is the perfect introduction to this captivating corner of southern Germany. Designated trails lead around the picturesque shores of Füssen’s lake, affording beautiful views of the Alps. Allow plenty of time for the return leg, so that you can visit the two magnificent castles that you pass: Gothic Hohenschwangau, and dramatically sited Neuschwanstein, with its fairy-tale turrets and opulent interiors.
Through a quiet corner of Tuscany to Massa Marittima
On one of our most inspiring routes, you cycle across glorious, open countryside typical of the Maremma
. This is the quiet side of Tuscany and virtually the only sounds are the calling of birds and the rustling of leaves in the breeze. Thanks to its commanding hill-top location, your destination, Massa Marittima, is visible long before you reach it. Once the second city of the Sienese republic, it is now the finest historic town of the Maremma, complete with an exquisite cathedral.
If our Top 10 cycle rides has inspired you to get in the saddle for your next holiday, why not browse our wide range of cycling holidays