The freedom of travelling by bicycle makes this mode of travel perfect for people who enjoy independent holidays. It's an inexpensive way to travel, its excellent exercise, and cycling is unique in that you can cover plenty of ground in a few days or a week, but at a pace that allows you to enjoy your surroundings. This list of bicycle holiday destinations was compiled with this in mind: four scenic places where travelling by bike really helps you get the most out of your destination.
Get Ready for the Trip of a Lifetime
Wherever you go in the world, there are a few things that cyclists need to be aware of before setting out, especially if you're new to this kind of trip. Essentials like researching local customs and emergency services are a given for any kind of holiday, but when you're cycling there are plenty of others: for example, the art of travelling light, while still ensuring that you have every essential item you're likely to need while on the road. Another important consideration is how to protect your assets: not just your bike and related equipment, but any other items of value you take with you, such as GPS, smart phone, camera, or tablet. Although travelling light is of the essence when you're cycling, these are all items that are fairly essential for many people these days, and chances are you're planning to bring at least one or two of them along. So it definitely pays to make sure they're covered by any insurance that you purchase for the trip.
With some of the world's most beautiful coastline scenery, Northern Island is definitely one of the best places to enjoy a cycling holiday. The Antrim Coast, for example, is widely considered one of the most stunning coastal routes in the world, with spectacular scenery over the entire route. There are plenty of scenic routes inland, too, including short routes such as the gorgeous Derrytrasna Loop near Armagh, which includes some of the region's lakeside trails. There's a great range of routes of all lengths and difficulty levels, so even beginner cyclists can enjoy a cycling holiday here.
Fabulous food, incredible wine, and mile after mile of blissfully beautiful scenery. There's nowhere else in the world quite like Tuscany, and few places are more ideally suited to a cycling holiday. Most roads in the region are well-tended yet lightly-traveled, and there are routes to suit cyclists of all fitness levels, from beginner to professional. Picture yourself cycling down quiet country lanes, through vineyards and farms, old Italian villages, and over gently sloping hills. Tuscany is a particularly enjoyable place for a cycling tour because it's a highly popular destination for this kind of holiday, so there's lots of opportunity for meeting like-minded people while on the road.
Starting in the 1980s thanks to world-famous bungee-jumper AJ Hackett, New Zealand has become well-known as a fantastic destination for adventure tourism. It's an incredible place for a cycling holiday too, with scenic roadways, mountains, and national park areas that provide perfect terrain for both road trips and mountain biking trails. There are fantastic cycling routes and destinations all over the country, from the scenic north and the Bay of Islands to the rugged mountains and central farming country in the south, and a whole host of locations in between. There's a well-mapped network of roads and trails throughout the islands, collectively known as The New Zealand Cycle Trail, and with 22 separate legs of varying difficulties, there's something for everyone, from novice to expert.
Belize is the perfect Central American location for experienced travellers, with stunning sights and scenery in every direction. Ancient ruins, vast jungles, tiny towns and villages, and bustling cities, the craggy Maya Mountains, there's an amazing variety of things to see and do in this fascinating country. And then there's the incredible beauty of the Hummingbird Highway, a 55-mile road that bisects the deep green jungles and softly perfumed citrus plantations of central Belize. It should be noted that many of the country's roads are challenging for cyclists, and as such it's a destination that's more suitable for experienced cyclists travelling as a pair or group.