Romancing the Bike in Europe

For some, cycling in Europe conjures up images of lycra clad lads competing on the fastest road bikes possible in the iconic Tour de France. For others, it’s the romantic vision of riding along with a basket laden with fresh produce from the local markets.

For us, cycling in Europe is a whole other kind of adventurous touring that we think is absolutely the best way to see Europe!

There are so many wonderful destinations that are accessible on two wheels, including unique cycling and cruising combinations in southern Italy and along the Danube. So here we share s few of our favourites.

Cycle Tour 1: Southern Italy by Bike and Boat

Southern Italy is famed for its colours, smells, delectable cuisine, amazing history and fabulous seaside cliffs. Of course when cycling, those cliffs translate into hills… so touring this region is probably not for the faint of heart or children. But we promise it’s worth every sore muscle for the spectacular views (and extra culinary delights!) as you cycle through the narrow streets of Capri, Pompeii, Procida, Ischia, Sorrento and up to Positano on to Amalfi.

Imagine your days spent exploring the magnificent Amalfi Coast, with its rugged shoreline dotted with pristine beaches and colourful fishing villages, then your nights spent onboard a traditional Greek wooden boat (with all the luxuries, of course).

Over the course of eight days of cycling and sailing, you would see marvellous archaeological sites, picturesque villages, spectacular views and inspirational architecture, all complemented by delicious Italian cuisine and a local drop.
The route we suggest starts in Naples, with Pompeii the first cycling destination. After a gentle ride, explore the Villa dei Misteri (Villa of the Mysteries) which is thought to depict the initiation of a young woman. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pompeii, the entire precinct was covered in ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Next, visit the Sorrento coast, overlooking the sea to Positano while cycling (what a view to keep you inspired!) then continue on to the Amalfi coast and its colourful houses and picturesque villages of Minori, Vietri and Cetara.

The cycling is complemented by walking tours through Capri, Procida and the colourful and energetic Naples. Marvel in Naples frescos and soul-stirring art, its two millennia of history and archaeological treasures, and end the day by enjoying one of Italy’s richest cuisines.

Are the scents, flavours and scenes of the Mediterranean calling? Then call our team on 1 800 242 373 to let them build your perfect Italian dream cycling tour.

Cycle Tour 2: The Danube

The majestic Danube river plays backdrop for wonderful adventure-packed bike and boat tours on some of the most cycling-friendly terrain along the dedicated Eurovelo 6 cycle path.

Imagine cycling and cruising your way through six countries with widely differing cultures, cuisines and landscapes, taking in the vast expanses of the Pannonian plains, the breadbaskets of Croatia and Serbia and the history and charms of historic and thriving cities like Belgrade, Budapest and Vienna.

We’d suggest you start the tour from the German city of three rivers, Passau, onboard a ship like the renovated art deco styled MV Theodor Koerner.

Day by day, your adventures await, from one day discovering the breathtaking natural scenery of one of the most spectacular gorges in Europe – the Iron Gates through the Romanian Carpathian Mountains to the next cycling through the ruggedly romantic Danube Bend at Schlögen, one of the most beautiful sections of the river lined with sleepy farming villages. The sights range from the beautiful to the sublime; orchards, vineyards and idyllic villages, steep wooded hills, delightful little towns and colourful hand painted homes, endless canola fields and untouched nature in wild national parks.

Architectural highlights along this route include Engelhartszell, Austria’s only Trappist monastery, castle ruins in Devin, the splendid Schloss Hof palace (and its magnificent baroque gardens), the fortress overlooking the vibrant city of Bratislava, flood protection dykes on the Gememc floodplains, and the imposing Petrovaradin fortress perched high above Vojvodina.

Not all is countryside: visit Belgrade, the “white city”, fall in love with bewitching Budapest, the “Paris of the East”, marvel at the baroque palaces in the picturesque Old Town of Bratislava and let yourself be carried away by the elegant charm of Vienna, the city of the waltz.

The cycling usually ranges from 35-50 kilometres a day (with several days off), allowing you to build up an appetite for the diverse local cuisines and delicacies in each country and optional wine tastings along the way. Topped off with a spa on board as you’re cruising to your next starting point… If this isn’t your idea of heaven on wheels, we’re not sure what is!

Where it All Started: Cycling in France

Cycling in France is world renowned, made all the more so every year as we sit glued to the spectacular Tour de France coverage as they speed along cobblestoned roads through quaint villages, over rolling hills, past magnificent castles and up frighteningly steep ascents and before racing back down the other side at breakneck speeds.

A great number of routes that have been mapped out across France to help amateur cyclists decide the best route for them – whether it’s the Mediterranean Eurovelo 8, the Canal des 2 mers (which links the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea) or the Loire Valley that takes your fancy.

Perhaps you’d prefer the 1200 kilometres of varied landscapes along either side of the English Channel that includes part of the Eurovelo 4 route, or the Eurovelo 15 that links the Rhine’s source in Switzerland through to its North Sea estuary in Holland.

Too many choices? Let us help you sort out the hills from the hillocks and plan the best route for you!

Give us a call on 1800 242 353 to discuss your European cycle touring today.