The most beautiful bicycle tours in Europe
Belgium’s finest tour: from Bruges to Brussels
A cycling trip from the historic city of Bruges to the bustling metropolis of Brussels will show you the best that Belgium has to offer. This journey will take you through the gently rolling landscape of Flanders. There are scenic tow paths almost all the way and you can even take a rest by taking your bicycle on a boat trip for some sections of the route. The trail goes through Antwerp and Ghent where you can enjoy restaurants and sample the traditional light Belgian beer. Finally you will arrive in Brussels, where some of the local delicacies include special sausages and the classic dish of mussels with French fries. Waffles are another tasty treat for hungry cyclists along the way. You will be astonished to see the grandeur of Belgium from the perspective of the cyclist.
France’s Loire valley:
From the scenic forests of Amboise to the charming town of Blois there is a wonderful cycle route past several of France’s most eye-catching chateaux. Chenanceau offers a view of the River Cher while Cheverny has a unique bell tower which used to warn citizens of impending danger in medieval times. At Beauregard you can visit world famous artworks in the gallery or take a well-earned rest in the cafe which welcomes visitors throughout the year. This is a green and luscious region, and all along the route you will be amazed at the tranquil scenery of river, mountain and forest in blissful harmony. Each castle has its own delightful combination of defensive architecture and luxurious gardens. In summer there is a chance to see horticultural design in classic French style, combining artful geometric shapes with the planting of herbs and flowers that aristocratic owners have relied upon for centuries.
Trip through the Trossachs: Scottish delight
For energetic cycling holidaymakers the Trossachs hills in Central Scotland provide a moderate challenge. You will start in the historic town of Stirling, once the capital of this proud land before Edinburgh took its place. The road leads north towards Callander, Loch Lubnaig and Loch Earn. Shorter trips to Loch Katrine, Loch Ard and Aberfoyle are also available. The region offers some of the best food in Scotland, ranging from freshly caught salmon to venison, Aberdeen Angus beef and traditional porridge or oatcakes. This wonderful landscape is sparsely populated and truly gives you an impression of the wild Scottish heritage of clans and tartans. Autumn is the best time of year to take this trip because in September the trees display a stunning array of colours before the winter season arrives.
Lake Constance: three countries in one round trip
A cycling trip around the shores of Lake Constance will take you through Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This is an easy tour, with breathtaking views across the lake at every turn. Each country has its own charm, from the austere and orderly culture of Switzerland to the jolly atmosphere of Southern Germany. You can even take a short detour to visit the monastery in the ancient town of St Gallen. This is a place where ancient manuscripts were prepared and sent out across the whole of Europe in the Dark Ages.
Tulips and Amsterdam: Holland’s finest colours in Springtime
This tour begins in Amsterdam where there is ample opportunity to enjoy the city’s shops and restaurants before setting off for a tour of the surrounding countryside. Amsterdam has a great many cyclists and there are parking facilities for bicycles on every street corner. Fields of tulips spread over vast and very flat areas of the country make for an easy and yet spectacular cycling experience. The small town of Keukenhof has a range of facilities geared to the needs of cyclists, and access to wide tulip fields is easy from here. The university town of Leiden is also on this route and you will be able to experience the places where Rembrandt lived as a child. There is nothing on earth quite so impressive as miles and miles of tulips awaiting transport to the flower shops of the world. If you choose this trip in springtime, be sure to take your camera with you.