5 Of the Best new cycling holidays in Europe

1. Fruitful seasons for riding the Algarve

The summer heat would make southern Portugal particularly challenging for cycling, but spring and autumn – with cooler temperatures and coastal breezes – are perfect for it. This new cycle holiday from Chapters Holidays is a week-long trip around the lesser-known eastern Algarve based in Monte Gordo and starting this autumn.

Cyclists will ride around 25km a day on coastal paths, finding secret beaches and small islands, while also snaking inland to cobbled hill towns. There’s also a day-long jaunt across the Guadiana river into Spain. Each day will end with a spread of local food and wine; expect fresh seafood and red wine from the vineyards of Tavira.

2. Balkan beauty: Dubrovnik circular

For those after a more challenging trip, this eight-day Balkan Trilogy tour offers a decent workout, with about 80km covered each day. Starting and finishing in Dubrovnik, the tour encompasses some of the region’s best road rides. It takes in villages, vineyards and the Dinaric Alps, crossing into Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, with a ride around the Bay of Kotor and the Lovćen national park. It’s an incredibly varied route with the chance to clock up some beach time on the Dalmatian coast including a trip out to the island of Korčula.

3. Andalucían meander: Granada to Seville

New for 2017 from cycle-travel specialist Skedaddle is this guided tour taking in three of Andalucía’s most exciting cities. The nine-day trip ties together Córdoba, the birthplace of flamenco; Granada, a city known for its fine architecture; and Seville, a buzzing destination with a rich culture and great tapas bars.

The tour is at a “leisurely” pace – expect to travel between 21km and 59km each day – on a route that “meanders through craggy sierras, passing castle-topped villages”. Departs 9 October, avoiding the intense summer heat.

4. Dally by the Danube: Passau to Belgrade

A two-week jaunt cycling (and travelling by boat) from Passau, Germany, along the Danube and through some of central Europe’s finest cities, this is bound to be a memorable bike adventure. The itinerary takes in Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade, from Austria’s Wachau region with its vineyards and castles and the majestic Danube Bend at Schlögen.

Other highlights include the canyon of the Iron Gates national park and the Esztergom basilica, the biggest church in Hungary. Accommodation takes the form of the MV Theodor Körner, a spacious art-deco boat that follows cyclists along the river. Each day expect to cycle around 40 to 50km (though those who want to put their feet up can opt to drift along by boat instead).

5. Breeze through Bavaria: Regensburg circular trip 

This eight-night self guided trip in south-east Germany, against the backdrop of the Jura mountains, rivers and pine forests and hilltop castles, covering around 45km each day. The tour starts and finishes in Regensburg, a medieval town on the banks of the Danube.

Three other rivers will feature during the trip, the Altmuhl, the Sulz and the Schwarze Laber; there will also be the opportunity to cool off at a popular wild swimming spot. Accommodation will be a mix of three and four star hotels, as well as a converted brewery. Expect plenty of bratwurst, lederhosen and beer.

source: theguardian.com

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