Whether you enjoy riding epic climbs in the mountains, pedalling gently along picturesque coastlines, or biking leisurely through forests with your family, cycling holidays and bike tours are a fantastic way to explore new destinations, experience new cultures and meet new people, all at your own cycling pace. They really are for anyone and anywhere. When you travel by bike in your own time, there’s a good chance you’ll discover far more about a place than you would by simply walking or driving a car, while getting lots of fresh air and exercise, too.
Cycling tours and holidays can range from one day to several weeks or months – but their length is really up to you. And it’s not all about having to be on the bike non-stop, it all depends on what you enjoy. Do you want to ride a few hours, stop for lunch and explore a location at your leisure, before staying in a hotel and continuing in the morning? Or are you more up for all-day cycling action, stopping only to camp overnight, and straight back in the saddle at the break of dawn?
1. All organized
Guided cycling holidays are group bike tours over several days. They usually include the services of an expert tour guide, as well as accommodation and meals, plus many will transfer your luggage to the next hotel.
Ideal for couples or families, these cycling holiday itineraries give you as much flexibility as possible, allowing you to set your own pace, giving you more freedom to veer off the suggested route to stop for picnics, or landmarks.
Big cycling tourism (cyclo-tourism) excursions can be as long as a few hundred kilometres, and involve cycling through multiple regions or even countries. Cyclo-tourists will usually carry bags full of supplies and camping equipment on their bikes.
4. Light bikepacking
More suited to adventurers who don’t mind roughing it, bikepackers carry
everything on their bike for their trip including food, cooking equipment, and a tent.
Some cyclists are even more stringent, carrying only basic supplies, food, and a
5. Camping or glamping?
You don’t have to be a camping enthusiast if you are planning a long cycling holiday. If you prefer a comfortable bed after a hard day’s cycling, you can think about organising hotel or bed and breakfast stays along the route, bed down in cosy chalets or log cabins, or even indulge yourself in some luxury camping ‘glamping’ options where available.
Cycling tours are super flexible – you can rent a bike to cycle alone, or book a number of bikes to travel as a couple or in a group. The type of bike you need for a trip depends on what you want to do – for speedy, long-distance road tours through the mountains, you’ll probably want a light road bike, while those looking to combine a long tour with tackling some off-road trails will opt for mountain bikes.
If you enjoy both road biking and off-roading, renting gravel bikes or cyclocross bikes is a great option. For slower-paced rides along coastal paths, rivers or through forests, touring bikes are ideal. You also don’t need to have a certain level of cycling experience to start – cycle tours are accessible for everyone. And if you want to take the strain off a little, renting electric bikes with power assist (e-bikes) are a great option for more relaxed journeys that are easier on the thighs.
Whichever type of cycling holiday you’re planning, it’s always much easier to leave your own bike at home and instead rent a bike to ride at your destination. This way you can avoid the big hassle of transporting bikes via car, plane or train.
Some of the best country destinations for long-distance road cycling tours include France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, while some of the most sought-after destinations for exciting mountain bike tours include Germany, Austria, the UK and the US.
For less strenuous rides, you could think about cycling holidays in Europe such as ambling along the beautiful waterways of Amsterdam or Rotterdam on a traditional Dutch bike, seeing the sights of Seville on a city bike, or grinding the gravel paths through the Bavarian forests outside of Munich.
Some of Europe’s most popular road cycling holidays can be found on the beautiful Spanish Canary Islands or Balearic Islands. For example, you and your friends could push yourself to the limit on a road bike in Mallorca, or meander around the stunning coastlines of Gran Canaria on e-bikes with power to spare for longer distances.
The rugged coastline of Cornwall or the challenging mountain valleys of Scotland make ideal cycling holiday destinations for mountain bikes enthusiasts, while the world-famous tourist sights of central London can all be reached by biking or e-biking at your own pace around the city.
France is the home of cycling, and there’s no better way to experience the cultural delights, stunning landscapes and beautiful beaches of Provence than on bikes. And for serious road cyclists looking to test themselves on the slopes, there are plenty of mountain destination options, such as Alpe d’Huez, Luz-Saint-Sauveur or the famous Mont Ventoux.
The US has such an incredible variety of cities and landscapes across the country that cycling tours really are the best way to take them in. You could see the sights cycling the streets of New York or Los Angeles, or take an extended bikepacking trip through the awe-inspiring national parks of California.
Family cycling tours are an excellent way to get kids active, while having fun and exploring exciting new places. But of course kids won’t want to cycle all day, or for too long. Therefore, when considering cycle travel with your family, look at all-organised or self-organised cycling tours as easier, stress-free options, especially if your family would prefer sleeping in hotel accommodation at the end of the day.
You may be wondering when planning your bike tour how many km per day you should be cycling? For most people on cycle tours, the goal is not to reach the destination in record time, but to get there in a safe, enjoyable manner. So, remember to not push yourself too hard on your first day – up to around 50km on the first day is a good way to ease into a long bike trip without overdoing it.
Depending on the difficulty of the terrain, the weather, or the type of bike you’re riding, the average people on long-distance bicycle tours will cycle can be between 60 to 100 km each day. However, distances both shorter and longer than this are quite common – it’s up to you to decide what’s a comfortable distance, as the last thing you want is to have to end your cycling holiday prematurely if you’ve completely overdone it on the first couple of days (or hours)!
For your peace of mind, ListNRide has a trustworthy and secure booking system for renting bikes at cycling holiday destinations. Furthermore, all bikes rented out in the European Economic Area are insured by Laka, which covers your bike rental for any damage or theft, should the worst happen.
Here’s how you can rent your ideal bike or e-bike for your cycling holiday, in four easy steps.
Plus, before you start your holiday, did you know you can even test ride bike brands with ListNRide?
And if you own a bike at a popular holiday destination, here’s how to rent out your bike on ListNRide.