Cycling Holidays and Cycling Tours
Cycling holidays are a fantastic way to travel because you can escape the crowds, access remote areas, and really get under the skin of a country, as opposed to seeing it from behind the windows of a coach. There are many cycling tours to choose from in Europe, Africa and Asia. A cycling tour may take you to a tiny rural village, where your sudden arrival will fascinate the locals and offer you an opportunity to interact as well as being great exercise. Choosing a cycling holiday will allow you the time for thought and reflection, which is not often found in today’s busy world. When you complete a cycling tour you will often feel a real sense of personal development. There is no doubt you will be addicted once you have completed one cycling holiday. The only question that remains is which type of trip to choose.
Self Guided Cycling Holidays and Self Guided Cycling Tours
Self guided cycling holidays are a good option for the confident cyclist as they allow you flexibility – you can choose when you leave and how far you go. Self guided cycling tours allow you to explore iconic sites and view spectacular untouched scenery.
You may choose to take a self guided cycling tour in Europe, where you can pedal through the olive groves in Portugal, enjoy the Fairytale chateaux, world-renowned wines and majestic Loire in France or coast through the verdant wild flower valleys in Greece.
Or you can find a self guided cycling holiday further afield. Research different destinations climates and seasons and try to select a self guided cycling tour that enjoys mild, dry weather. You may find yourself on a self guided cycling holiday in Australia, where you can ride through the National Parks and Rainforests of the Byron Bay hinterland. Or you can choose to explore rural Southern India by bike, a perfect way to experience the diverse landscape.
Small Group Cycling Holidays
If you choose a small group cycling holiday you will be leaving at set departures and will go with other people. Taking small group cycling tours will mean you get to know your travel companions quite well and there is often a diverse mix of people with the love of cycling in common. There are small group cycling tours all over the world, including guided cycling holidays in once-in-a-lifetime destinations such as Japan, Cuba and Bhutan. Guided cycling holidays mean you will be accompanied by a specialist cyclist who will be able to give you a unique insight into country and area you’ll be visiting.
Mountain Biking Holidays and Mountain Biking Tours
Mountain biking involves riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain. Mountain bikes are specially adapted to enhance durability and performance in tougher environments. Mountain biking holidays require cyclists to have endurance, core strength and self-reliance and you will need to wear protective gear. There are a variety of mountain biking tours ranging from introductory to hard core. Single track mountain biking involves following a narrow biking trail which is approximately the width of the bike. Single track mountain biking can be technically challenging although you won’t meet off-road vehicle traffic so it can be a smooth ride.
Charity Cycling Holidays
If you want to have an exciting cycling adventure and do something altruistic you can choose to go on a charity cycling holiday. Charity cycle rides will help you get fit, experience new cultures, meet like-minded people and raise money for a charity of your choice. There are many charity cycle rides all over the world – you can choose to go from London to Paris or Saigon to Angkor Wat. Whatever you choose you can rest assured that the sense of reward will be well worth it!
Cycling holidays in Cambodia
A cycling holiday in Cambodia allows you to travel like a local and experience Cambodia as if you live there. The trails of cycle tours in Cambodia take you off the beaten track and into the small villages and farming communities as well as taking you to see the major attractions. A cycling holiday in Cambodia is designed to engage you with your surroundings. Your holiday is enhanced by cycling, and your appreciation of the local environment is heightened by your cycling experience. There is a wonderful range of rewarding cycle tours in Cambodia ranging from 3 days where you may find yourself cycling among a thousand years of Khmer history at Angkor Wat, to 16 days which may lead you to journey across multiple countries of Indochina, from the busy streets of Bangkok to the shimmering paddy fields of Angkor. Depending on your abilities and personal preferences, there is a bike tour in Cambodia for everyone. You may enjoy the challenge of a 500kms cycle through the heart of the lush Mekong Delta in Vietnam and the dry lands of ancient Cambodia or you may prefer a leisurely journey to sample the cultural heritage and scenic highlights. Many cycle tours in Cambodia continue the tradition of pioneering cycle routes. What better way to explore the remote corners of the country than to undertake a cycling holiday in Cambodia.
Cycling in Portugal
A cycling holiday in Portugal sends you off the beaten track to engage you with your surroundings, giving you the sense of freedom and achievement from really discovering the region. There is a wonderful range of guided or self-guided Portugal cycling tours available at all different levels. Many of the less difficult routes travel through environments suitable for walking holidays in Portugal. Here, you may find yourself cycling in Portugal passed brightly coloured fields of fig trees, orange groves, almond trees and cork oaks, stopping at typically Portuguese villages, natural mineral springs, and ancient castles. Alternatively you may decide to head towards the southern coastline with towering cliffs and vast stretches of pristine beaches. Most of these Portugal cycling routes uses quiet country roads and good tracks, leaving the main roads to when there is no other option.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, there are Portugal cycling tours that take trails of higher levels of difficulty such as mountain biking between the coast and the interior of the country. Here you may find yourself cycling in Portugal up to 50km a day through the mountains which separate the Alentejo from the Algarve: all with superb views. Essentially rural and sparsely populated, it offers a landscape that is uncommonly well preserved. Whichever type of Portugal cycling holiday you choose to take, you will find there is no better way to explore the remote corners of the country than to go cycling in Portugal.
Want to know more about cycling holidays?
Find out more about going on cycling holidays by reading these cycling articles.
At responsibletravel.com we’ve seen an incredible 86% increase in the number of people looking for cycling holidays this year. And with over 200 fantastic cycling holidays to choose from it’s easy to see why. Read the rest of this cycling article
from 2008, 'The Pedal power - the rise of the cycling holiday'.