It’s the home to the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, the Tour de France and the training ground of the pros, so it’s little wonder that for serious and amateur cyclists alike, cycling holidays in Europe come to mind as a top destination for prime days on the saddle.
Naturally your skills and experience will determine your choice of destination as well as your schedule. Are you training or sauntering? Serious cyclists are more likely to choose the Costa Blanca than someone who’s more interested in viewing Europe’s grand tourist attractions via bike. Whether you’re a cycling pro or a cycling tourist we weigh up the pros and cons of choosing Europe over other destinations the world has to offer.
The pros of cycling holidays in Europe
- Europe offers year round options: Even in the thick of winter when Germany is snowed over, the east coast of Spain is dry and sunny. No matter the season, somewhere on the continent offers the ideal cycling temperature.
- Plenty of delicious perks: Between the fresh produce, top-quality wine, and tantalising tapas, there’s no shortage of fantastic sustenance.
- It’s easily accessible: Compared to cycling trips to China or the outback, for Brits who want to waste no time hitting the roads, Europe is a stone’s throw away.
- Charming towns: Explore the cobbled-stone streets of Italy or ride up to the old Moorish castles adorning the Costa Blanca between enjoying great stretches of natural terrain.
- Prestige: With some of the best pro teams in the world choosing Costa Blanca as their winter training ground and a few of the lucky ones opting to settle in the region more permanently, Europe steadily maintains an aura of cycling prestige.
- There are up-to-date maps and a variety of routes: Being a well-explored and well-developed continent, there is a wealth of information regarding maps and routes on tips all available via google.
- Europe’s rail network: For those wishing to ride from country to country, Europe’s efficient rail network means it’s easy to get around via bike when you need that extra support.
- The Eurovelo system: Although still in development, many of the routes have already been laid out. This system of cycle routes will eventually run across the continent, providing loads of flat stretches that are ideal for cycling tourists.
- You can select the weather that suits you. For alpine trails, head to Switzerland. For sunny skies, Spain’s always a winner.
- Europe is geared for cyclists: The best Calpe hotels for example are excellently-prepared to take care of cyclists’ needs. They’ll have storage facilities for your bikes, maintenance and cycling experts on call, as well as luxurious cycling-specific spa treatments and dining options that provide the tastiest fuel for strenuous rides along the scenic wild coast.
The cons of cycling holidays in Europe
- Those looking to get into serious shape before the season might have trouble resisting second, third, and even fourth helpings of the unbelievably delicious food. (Fortunately with the range and scope of the routes in the Costa Blanca, working it off isn’t usually a problem).
- Some tour companies and hospitality providers will try to rip you off which is why it’s essential to choose reputable, and if possible, award-winning, hotels.
- By choosing well-renowned resorts you can avoid coming across challenging language barriers.
- With world class spas on offer you might be tempted to spend all day on the massage bed instead of getting your behind onto the saddle.