Have you figured out your late spring or summer travel plans yet? If not, maybe you want to do something more adventurous than a road trip to a crowded national park here in the United States?
Maybe you even have a taste for something a little more exotic? Well, one of these 6 long-distance cycling trips in Europe mentioned in Lonely Planet’s The Bikepackers’ Guide to the World might just be the right one for you.
An Active European Vacation
While visiting Europe is a fun adventure to experience different places, cultures, food, and famed historical sites, this is the type of trip most people do. They see things from the cushy seat of a tour bus or train where safety is guaranteed and their experiences are sanitized with tour guides and expensive hotels.
Without question, safety is an important thing, but if that becomes the theme around a trip, the excitement in a European adventure is largely removed. An active vacation, on the other hand, like by bicycle, allows for more intimacy for these reasons.
- Interface with locals on a personal level
- Find small and charming European towns
- Restaurants and hotels most tourists don’t get to experience
- Up close views of scenery from roads and trails most people don’t see.
- Plus, you’ll get to cycle places unlike you’ll see at home, especially if you’re from the United States.
All these things were true for me when I did a cycling trip through pieces of northern Italy. That trip is what inspired this blog, and it also made me realize that this is the type of trip I’d love to do again. It was a truly unique experience.
Lonely Planet’s 6 Long-Distance Bike Trips
The Bikepackers Guide to the World selects 75 cycling routes from around the world. They are rated from easy to challenging. A lot of these routes are off-road trails but there are also some rail-to-trail rides mixed in. Important Note: Keep in mind that many of these routes (if you want to ride the full route) will be multi-day trips.
Here are the 6 routes that Lonely Planet highlights in this article about long-distance cycling routes. They all look great, but if you’re not into off-road riding, they may not be for you, although there are rails to trails-type rides included here. Notice I didn’t say just for mountain biking, especially with the rising popularity of gravel riding among the roadie set.
- Trans Dinarica Trail: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, 758 miles, challenging.
- Ronde van Nederland: Netherlands, 860 Miles, easy
- Iron Curtain Trail: Germany, distances vary, moderate
- Tour du Mont Blanc: France, Switzerland, and Italy, 105 Miles, challenging
- Torino-Nice Rally: Italy and France, 435 Miles, challenging
- Great North Trail: U.K., 825 Miles, challenging
Active travel through Europe by bicycle is wonderful and fun. You not only will get to experience the wonder and excitement of a new place, but you’ll get to do it via cycling. This is something many people are even afraid to do in their own country let alone one that is unfamiliar to them.
So, pick one of these routes (or one from The Bikepackers’ Guide of the World) and go! You won’t regret your choice to experience something beyond the average tourist.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!