The world is made up of seven continents, 196 countries and approximately 4416 cities. That’s a lot of land to cover by bike. And with only 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day – how on earth do you manage to see all the places that you would love to and in fact, where do you even start?

With so many cycling routes of varying degrees of difficulty and diverse terrain, how do you narrow it down? It can be an extremely overwhelming job, so to assist you with this, we have gone the distance and done the legwork for you. Here are five of our top picks of destinations you shouldn’t miss while cycling the world:

North Shore (Canada)

When you are narrowing down the best places in the world to visit while cycling the world, you need to make sure that Canada is on your list. Vancouver’s North shore, where free-riding was practically invented, has hugely impacted the mountain biking world. If you are interested in making your way here, the best time would be during one of their bike-centred events such as the North Shore Bike Festival. Popular trails are the Pipeline, Old Buck and CBC, the trails span over 253 km. This is well worth it for those seeking a beautiful place and an exceptional mountain biking culture.

Iron Bike (Italy)

One of the most beautiful places to go when cycling the world is undoubtedly Italy. However, this route is not for someone wanting a leisurely ride admiring the countryside. In fact, the name ‘Iron Bike’ basically says it all – this is definitely one for the masochists amongst you. This multi-stage cross country race is the most difficult mountain bike stage race in the world. It spans over seven days, is approximately 630 km in length and reaches an elevation of an incredible 27,000 m – any takers? Of course you will be wonderfully rewarded with the most magnificent views, but this doesn’t come without a little (or a lot) of hard work. The combination of long days on the bike and high altitudes means that recovery is a challenge. If you don’t know for sure that you are ready for this, perhaps try some of the easier routes first.

Trans-Provence (Austria)

The perfect ride for the real adventurists amongst you cycling the world, this multi-stage cross country trail was started in 2009 and sees cyclists pedalling from the high Alps to the sea in six days over 24 stages. This event is considered a ‘rally-style event’ which is why the focus is not on the time but the adventure of it. For those that love the numbers, it spans 270 km and the elevation gain is a total of 8,840 m.

Park City (USA)

Park City makes for an incredible stop for those cycling the world and looking for all sorts of different routes. Situated along the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, the views here are nothing short of phenomenal. Here you can take your pick of any stretch of the 600 km worth of trails that span over three ski resorts. But other popular trails include Mid-Mountain (which explores the backcountry) and the epic-like tours called the Wasatch Crest. If you would love to get a taste of some desert scenery, trails like the Whole Enchilada in Moab (approximately three hours drive from Park City) will give you the opportunity to take in some breathtaking scenery.

Megavalanche (France)

This slightly different kind of route is probably one for the crazier cyclists cycling the world. Literally deemed a ‘downhill kamikaze’, this downhill mountain biking marathon is an adrenaline-fuelled frenzy. The first stage is through the snow and the final stages in contrast take part amongst gorgeously green meadows. If this kind of chaos doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, it’s certainly well worth a watch.

If you are looking for more wonderful places on earth to tick of your cycling the world bucket list, then download our ebook The Ultimate Mountain Biking Bucket List. Alternatively, get in touch with us about visiting the cycling Mecca that is Calpe and staying at one of our cyclist-friendly Costa Blanca hotels.