If you are one for an odyssey over an odometer, and you seek best memories over personal bests times, then our easy cycling holidays might be for you. We like to think of them as easy breezy holidays, where you have time to feel the wind in your hair and blow away the cobwebs in fresh, new places. Ideally places where Lycra isn’t the law either. So, if you prefer to start the day chilling with a Spanish cortado rather than climbing a col, choosing fika over Rapha in Sweden, or swapping pelotons for um café pingado in Portugal, we are here for you, easy riders. Here are some of our most popular easy cycling holidays.
How do we define an easy cycling holiday?
In terms of our difficulty grades, easy means around 35km of cycling a day, or easy to moderate can take you as far as 55km per day, with few gradients, unless you’re in perfectly flat terrain such as the Netherlands or Denmark. However, a reasonable level of fitness is still required and, if you’re in doubt, always consult your doctor. It is important to be realistic about your fitness levels and prepare a little in advance too, even for one of our easy holidays, especially if you haven’t had the opportunity or ability to be mobile of late. As much as we would love it to be so, it’s not always as easy as riding a bike.
Our most popular easy cycling holidays
Here are some of our easy cycling holidays where you can ride for the joy rather than the Giro. They aren’t all in flat landscapes either because, on our carefully crafted holidays, you can often transfer up to splendid elevations and ride panoramic trails without pushing yourself. Or you can use an e-bike, which are no longer seen as being the lazy option but widely recognised as a sustainable, speedy two wheel wonder.
Breeze the Adige
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, and this one follows the Adige River which is enveloped by the Alps and 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 Lake Reschensee, as well as the South Tyrolean Wine Road.
Constance is so very kind to cyclists
Austria also laps up its gift of Lake Constance, or Bodensee in German, and is just one of three countries to benefit from its beauty. Riding around it on Lake Constance Cycle Path is a wonderful experience, where a triathafun takes 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.
Cycling of Aragon
Combine the cultural wonders of Spain’s Aragon and Valencia following the country’s longest cycling greenway on a converted railway track, covering 150km of mostly flat, traffic-free and dramatic landscapes. The Vía Verde de Ojos Negros is also known as the la Vía Minera, as the railway line served the iron ore industry in the past. But now it’s clean and green as you will discover bathing in the El Salto del Brazal, an enormous waterfall more than 30m high, or in the sea at Canet d’en Berenguer.
Dawdling through Denmark
Cycling in Denmark is in its DNA – which should really stand for Denmark No Automobiles. Cyclists are everywhere here and so is a sturdy infrastructure, not only in its main cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, but along its coasts, lakes and forest paths. In addition, it’s very flat, making cycling all the more accessible for those who want to pootle rather than pant their way around this beautiful country. There are over 12,000km of designated cycling tracks in Denmark, and Sweden too of course, one of our most popular trips being around the Øresund Strait which takes you to both countries. Because it’s so flat, you can cover more kilometres in Denmark, which takes their difficulty grade up to ‘easy to moderate’. You can also rent an e-bike on these holidays.
Bliss out in Bohemia
Cycle through paradise in the aptly named Bohemian Paradise UNESCO Geopark in Czech Republic on a week of gloriously unique but undulation-free landscapes. Known locally as Cesky Raj, these are epic cycling trails through what feels like a fantasy film set. With naturally eroded sandstone rock towers peeping up over forest canopies, waterfalls tumbling into vertical cracks in the rock and trails through rock labyrinths or ancient rock ‘towns’, it feels otherworldly. It’s very much the real world, however and, by spending a week cycling here, you get a chance to explore it in depth.
Easy peasy Portugal
Spend a week on a self-guided cycling holiday following the Lima Valley from the foothills of Peneda-Gerês National Park out to the coast at Viana do Castelo, a town packed with both architectural and golden gems, as it has a tradition of goldsmiths. There are plenty of golden beaches to be found while cycling in the Algarve too, such as Barril and Isla Cristina, just two beauty spots that you cycle to on this holiday with Ria Formosa Natural Park, the Rivers Gilão and Guadiana being two others, the latter crossing over into Andalucía. Staying in small, locally-owned hotels, with your luggage transferred for you, both of these holidays also have an option for e-bikes.
Not surprisingly, cycling is pretty easy in the Netherlands. But it is also very easy on the eye, with trails that take you from one historic and handsome Dutch city to another. Our North Holland Cycle tour, where you head to Haarlem, tulip and windmill land, is a perfect introduction to the Netherlands. For a longer and more in depth holiday, cycle on a cultural circuit through the likes of Gouda and Delft, starting and ending in Amsterdam. Cycling in the Netherlands is so blissful, that it feels as if you can just keep going forever. Which you can, in fact, all the way to Bruges or Paris if you so choose, which are categorised as easy to moderate, but both are incredible journeys, and can also be done on e-bikes.
Waltz down the Danube
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. You can also tie it in with wine routes, such as on this Linz to Vienna Winery Tour or around the Wachau Wine Region. 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.
Powering up on an e-bike
The e-bike, which stands for electric but should also stand for eco and easy in our books, is a game changer when it comes to cycling holidays, and we have an ever growing number of holidays offering an option to rent one. This means that, as well as our cycling holidays that are categorised as easy, it’s worth looking at some of the more difficult grades where you can press the power button and push yourself up to heights you didn’t think you ever could. So, for example, you can take on the UK’s iconic Hadrian’s Wall Cycleway or Coast to Coast cycle on an e-bike. Or ride around Kefalonia or from summit to sea in Montenegro. On an e-bike holiday, it’s all about amping up the adventure.
If these cycling holidays have got you dusting down your saddle and delving into maps, then don’t hesitate to contact us for more details. You may also enjoy our blog on How to prepare for a cycling holiday in order to make sure that you are trip fit. Even if it’s easy, it’s best to be ready.