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Breaking boundaries with our guide to multi-country cycling holidays

Multi-country cycling holidays

Fancy making a break for the border? Experience true freedom of movement on a bike with our wide array of self-guided cycling holidays where you can stick a passport in your pannier and just start pedalling. Whether you want to push boundaries and cross the Alps, or just keep your frontiers flat in the Baltics or the Benelux countries, we can show you the way. Many of our cycling holidays also now offer the option to rent an e-bike, so that you can cycle across borders without any muscular barriers. Here are our top multi-country cycling holidays, some of which cover three countries and others sticking to a duo of delights. 

The Balkans by bike: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and North Macedonia

If you really want to immerse yourself in Balkan beauty and also get your head around the peninsula’s complex and fascinating cultural heritage, crossing Balkan borders by bike is the way to go. The Ciro Trail, for example, follows a former railway line between Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Dubrovnik in Croatia. In contrast, our cycling holiday through North Macedonia and Albania starts in the magical lakeside town of Ohrid in North Macedonia, famous for its UNESCO waterside monasteries. In between, cycling trails take you to tranquil worlds of medieval villages, Lake Prespa, and across the natural border of Mount Galičica. 

Heading further south, you can also spend 13 days cycling the mountains of North and Greek Macedonia. This tour also starts on the shores Lake Ohrid and heads through Galichitza National Park into northern Greece. Here you can explore Pelister National Park, the luscious lakelands of Kastoria and Vegoritas and the elevated wonders of the Pinios Valley. 

The Ciro Cycling Trail: Sarajevo to Dubrovnik
The Ciro Cycling Trail from Mostar to Dubrovnik is one of the most fun ways to cross frontiers in the Balkans.

Øresund Strait, Denmark and Sweden

The Øresund or Öresund Strait is a body of water that separates Denmark and Sweden, adjoined by the Øresund (road and rail) Bridge, made famous by the worldwide TV series hit, The Bridge. Cycling around the Øresund Strait is far from a world of Scandi noir, however, as you will discover on this seven day tour around both countries. Ride alongside sandy beaches, waterfront villages or the Jaegersborg Dyrehave deer park, all in Denmark, as well as harbour villages like Barsebäckshamn and the island of Van in Sweden. And yes, you do get to go on ‘The Bridge’, putting your bike on board the train that crosses one of the longest bridges in Europe. 

Cycling from Salzburg to Lake Bled: Austria and Slovenia 

Spend a week cycling between Salzburg and Slovenia’s Lake Bled for a double delight of the Austrian and the Slovenian Alps, with rewards such as Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj en route. This is, surprisingly, categorised as easy to moderate, cycling along car-free paths and quiet country roads, through the magnificent Salzach, Gastein, and Molltal Valleys. You even get to pop into Italy en route at the border town of Tarviso, where you pick up a former railway line that crosses the border into Slovenia. 

Always pack a swimsuit in your pannier when you go cycling from Austria to Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled in Slovenia.

Cycling across the Alps: Germany, Austria and Italy

Turn a triathlon of three countries into a fun-athon, using either a traditional touring bike or an e-bike to carry you on this wonderfully crafted itinerary through Germany, Austria and Italy. Starting in Munich and finishing in Venice, both accessible by rail, spend nine days cycling through Bavaria, along the River Isar into Austria as far as the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. This is the only point where you use a train to ease the pain, which cuts through the Brennero Pass, the border between Austria and Italy. After this, you gain entrance to the Dolomites’ Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks), following an old railway line. Power through to Venice, cycling on cloud nine via its Adriatic coast at Mestre. You can also start and finish this tri-trail by train. 

Adige Valley Cycle Path: Austria and Italy

Yodel and pedal your way around Austria’s alpine scenery following the Adige Valley Cycle Path between Innsbruck and Bolzano in Italy. We can thank the Romans for their long straight roads, even across the Alps. This one follows the Adige River, enveloped by the Alps, which takes you through chocolate box villages, vineyards and Tyrolean tradition. Starting in Innsbruck and ending in Bolzano, Italy, top spots along the way include a tiny ‘up’ to Reschenpass followed by a glorious downhill to Reschensee, as well as the South Tyrolean Wine Road. This holiday is also reachable by rail. 

It’s all downhill from the Plamort Plateau near Reschensee at the Italian-Austrian border.

Lake Constance Cycle Path, Austria, Switzerland and Germany

Riding around Lake Constance Cycle Path is a wonderful experience and one of our most popular easy rider holidays, taking you through Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Pedal through medieval towns such as Konstanz, Stein am Rhein, Meersburg and Lindau, or pootle at your own pace through alpine panoramas and meadows, with plenty of swimming spots along the way. This holiday is actually categorised as easy to moderate, rather than just easy, because the daily distances can go as high as 60km, but with few ascents. If you are concerned, you can also do it the ‘e-Bodensee’ way. Starting and ending in the town of Constance, or Konstanz, rail travel is a relatively easy option to start this holiday. 

Alpe-Adria Trail: Austria and Italy 

The Alpe-Adria Trail is an adventurous artery covering 750km of the Austrian Alps, Slovenia’s Triglav National Park and Italy’s Alpine foothills, and then finally the Adriatic. We have two cycling holidays on the trail. One that covers the section between Villach in Austria and Trieste in northern Italy, and another that goes between Salzburg in Austria and Grado on an Adriatic island and peninsula in Italy. Villach is the point where the borders of Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet and on that tour, you can see how the various cultures intermingle on this route. Both tours are eight days long and, depending on the section, cycling routes take you through the foothills of Hohe Tauern National Park, the wine-producing region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the Roman town of Aquileia, the elegant Venetian town of Udine and along e-bikes. Villach – the point where the borders of Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet.

Elbe Cycle Path, Czech Republic and Germany 

As well as covering two countries linked by the River Elbe, this eight day cycling holiday starts and finishes with two historic and handsome cities of Prague and Dresden. You spend the first five days cycling through the Czech Republic, on flat dedicated cycling paths. After taking time to enjoy its capital, with an extra day built into the itinerary to do so, you hit the River Vltava, which then leads you through the Bohemian Wine Region and onto the confluence with the River Elbe. Ancient riverside towns en route include Melnik, Litomerice and Decin. Once you cross the border, it’s the sandstone mountains and impressive rock formations that take centre stage along the Elbe, in a region known as Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland. 

Cycling from Venice to Istria: Croatia, Italy and Slovenia

Take on a tri-partite spectacle cycling from Venice to the Istrian Peninsula over eight days. This is one for littoral lovers, as you follow the Adriatic Coast for much of the holiday. Starting this velodyssey in Venice sets the bar high. You then head inland through the vineyards of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, past ancient Roman ruins and then back to the coast at the Bay of Trieste. This is where you cross over into Slovenia’s coastal resort of Piran which has, not surprisingly Venetian influences in its architecture. It’s quite some finale taking the 70km between Piran and Poreč in Croatia, where you’ll have earned a cold glass or two of its famous Malvazija wine. Other fine alternatives to this trip include one starting in Trieste and finishing in Pula, cycling from Slovenia’s Lake Bled to Venice

Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula  The Natural Adventure Company 30
Cycling from Trieste in Italy to Pula in Croatia is more than borderline beautiful. It’s exquisite.

Inn Cycle Path: Austria and Switzerland 

If you want to be enveloped by the Alps but not be exhausted by them, the Inn Cycle Path is spot on. Following the River Inn for 520km, this section is one of the most spectacular between St. Moritz in Switzerland and Innsbruck in Austria, spend a week on an easy to moderate trail, staying at three and four-star hotels en route. As well as taking in trails in and around St. Moritz, you get to explore the Upper Engadine Valley, which then leads you into the Swiss National Park. Both St. Moritz and Innsbruck have national and international train stations, so if you want to avoid flying, get Inn!

Tour d’Europe Circuit: Benelux, France and Germany 

Starting and ending in Maastricht in the Netherlands, this colossal circuit takes ten days, and although its title sounds a bit like a competitive event, it’s far from it. Categorised as easy to moderate, you can leave your Lycra at home if you like. You actually cycle through five countries on this self-guided holiday: the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany, following river trails, the Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes Trail, former railway lines and the Ardennes-Eiffel Nature Park. No big cities, no big climbs, this is Europe with no hard borders. 

Cycling in the Engadine Valley en route between St. Moritz in Switzerland and Innsbruck in Austria.

Cycling from Amsterdam to Paris: The Netherlands and France

This cycling holiday is like some of the old Grand Tours of Europe, taking you between two of its finest capitals, with a sprinkling of Benelux beauty en route. Spend 12 days following the famous canals of the Netherlands, cycling through some of Belgium’s medieval towns and cultural hubs such as Antwerp and Ghent cities and then crossing the finish line in Paris. The French capital has rapidly become one of the best cycling cities in Europe thanks to a huge transformation during the pandemic, and cycling down the Seine is an experience that has to be had just once. There is a shorter version of this holiday that takes you between Amsterdam and Bruges, over eight days. Both are accessible by rail. 

Cycling the Baltics: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

You can tri-cycle through three Baltic beauties in one pretty passage on this Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia holiday, on a nine day journey which also takes in three national parks: Lahemaa National Park in Estonia, Gauja National Park in Latvia and Curonian Spit National Park in Lithuania. This trip takes nine days to complete and, if you have more time, we highly recommend our 11-day cycling itinerary, which gives you some more time in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, a city that has St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers on its coat of arms. And you will certainly be well travelled by the time you get there.

The wonders of Curonian Spit National Park in Lithuania. Just one of three Baltic national parks to explore by bike.

The Danube Cycle Path: Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary

The Danube Cycle Path follows the iconic river through eight countries and, for the most part, people take it on in sections. One of our most popular easy sections is that between Passau, on the German-Austrian border, and Vienna, around 250km in length. It’s a perfect path to waltz along on wheels, with the Danube’s dramatic Schlögener Loop, vineyards and ancient monasteries along the way. Cycle it in eight days, or take the more relaxed itinerary over ten days. And, if you would like to add a boat into the mix, check out our Danube Cycle Path holidays, where you cycle along riverfront by day, and sleep on a riverboat by night.  

It’s a big beautiful world out there for biking enthusiasts, and we hope that this blog has got your travel wheels turning. If so, you may also enjoy reading Our most popular easy cycling holidays, and E-bike holidays that aim high. For any other enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us.