What Are Cycling Holidays?
Good question. Although cycling holidays mean something different to everyone, you can be sure that it involves being on a bike, on holiday. Cycling holidays are for hardcore road cyclists wanting to conquer the world’s climbs, for families wanting to explore a country’s culture and everyone in between. In short, cycling holidays are for anyone, anywhere.You can expect to see more of a country or specific area by cycling instead of driving or walking. Because a lot of countries host smooth tarmac roads, on mountains or quiet countryside, there are plenty of opportunities to travel by bike. Some countries even boast traffic-free cycle paths! Either stay in one place to delve deeper into what makes that destination unique, or do a point-to-point to discover more. To navigate your way around by bike, we at Love Velo offer our own GPX routes with descriptions and handy tips. Alternatively, you can join a guided ride or training camp.
Why Go on a Cycling Holiday?
Healthy Body and Mind
Firstly, we need to emphasise that you don’t have to be a regular cyclist to go on a cycling holiday. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the UK. One of the main reasons why you should go on a cycling holiday is that it’s just plain good for you. Exercise is fantastic for your mental health, and being in the great outdoors only makes it better. So, if you are new to cycling and want to try it on your doorstep, why not hop on a bike in the UK?
Due to cycling being a low impact sport there’s less chance of injury, especially if you’re on the flat cycle paths of Holland. It’s easy to get a good workout by cycling at a comfortable pace, whilst admiring the sights and landscapes. Also, you can control the intensity of your ride by choosing which routes you want to cycle. Areas like the Loire Valley in France offers 800km of traffic-free cycle paths, meaning you can decide the distance between stopping for the night in traditional French towns.
Incredible Diverse Landscapes
Picture this: You begin a days cycling in the luscious green countryside, expansive and quiet. Then, you emerge in a mountainous valley, with enormous snow capped mountains looming in the backdrop. A lake appears, sparkling in the sunshine and you stop to have lunch on the clear blue bank. In a few days time, you’ll be cycling along the coastline, crashing waves in earshot. New Zealand may be the other side of the world, but the diversity within its landscape is worth every mile.
As a result of being outdoors and cycling at a steady pace, you are likely to encounter a wild array of environments and picturesque landscapes. This will be the case everywhere you cycle, not just the majestic New Zealand. From Morocco’s desserts, vibrant cities and coasts, to Italy’s towering Dolomites, vineyards and landmarks, you can experience it all by bike.
Explore History and Culture
Another one of the reasons why you should go on a cycling holiday, is because you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of that country. There isn’t just opportunities to visit the famous landmarks and cities, as your routes will take you inbetween too. The inbetween is where you witness local life and a more authentic version of the culture you’re aiming to explore.
You’ve likely heard about Phnom Penh in Cambodia. But have you heard of Kampot, and the traditional fishing villages you’ll pass on your way to it? If you want to learn more about Sri Lanka’s history and religion, the best way is to cycle to the Northern and Southern points, and all the fascinating places in between. Perhaps you want to venture into more than two countries? Cycling between Vienna and Budapest will open your eyes to how the city’s famous cultures seep into the countryside and also how tradition has prevailed.
Of course, we can’t resist mentioning one of our favourite aspects about cycling; the challenge of tackling an epic climb. There are some iconic routes out there, that have been featured in the Tour de France and more. Alpe d’Huez in France, Passo Stelvio in Italy and Sa Calobra in Mallorca are just some of the greats. However there are many more lesser known climbs that aim to test your training and gives your thighs a good burn.
If you know about cycling in Tenerife, you’ll know about Mount Teide, the 3714m high volcano primed for road cycling. Likewise with the Valley of Tears in Gran Canaria, where your experience is as the name suggests! We believe the sense of achievement at conquering an incredible climb that you find difficult is reason enough to embark on a cycling holiday abroad.
Finally, what is arguably the most important reason why you should go on a cycling holiday. When you are cycling you burn no CO2, simply because you are using pedal power, not petrol or diesel. Therefore, cycling holidays help to reduce your carbon footprint. ‘What about the flight to the country?’, you ask. Belgium is a beautiful destination to cycle in, where you’ll find traffic-free cycle paths and quaint towns. Instead of flying to Belgium, the Eurostar offers trains from London to Brussles, which is much better for the environment.
What if you do need to take a flight to another country? If you want to immerse yourself into the history and culture of a country, cycling is the most environmentally friendly way to go about it. Especially if you want to visit places like Japan, over 11 hours flight away. Instead of driving from the historic Fukuoka to Beppu, which is famous for its natural hot springs, consider cycling. You’ll help save the planet, preserving incredible areas that you can cycle through into the future.
If you are interested in booking a cycling holiday, contact our cycling travel specialists to learn more about where in the world suits you. At Love Velo, we offer tailor made cycling holidays that are flexible. Either use our GPX route experiences, which include route descriptions and handy tips, or take part in a guided trip.