Over the years there’s no doubt that the number of M.A.L.E.S. on the roads of the UK seems to have increased, and with this explosion in the popularity of cycling has come a rise in the popularity of cycling holidays.
And this is no bad thing. Whether it’s mountain biking experiences in the Brecon Beacons, road cycling holidays in the hills of Umbria or a cycling break in the idyll of the Cotswolds, when you travel by bike you can get further off the beaten track than ever before and discover places you wouldn’t reach by foot, as well as travel in an environmentally sustainable way.
With a local guide who knows the best and safest routes, and the hidden gems that lie just a little way from the road most trodden, or wheeled if you will, you can discover those quirky little attractions that really stick in the mind at the end of your cycling holiday, and make it something worth remembering.
So with all that in mind, the team here at Not In The Guidebooks has got together to bring you the top cycling holiday destinations for 2021, so strap on your helmet and squeeze into your lycra, and let’s take a look at where your next cycling break will be.
Longer Cycling Holidays
For those of you searching for an all-encompassing, deep dive into a region on two wheels, look no further than these immersive adventures and longer road cycling holidays to soothe that itch for the open road.
8 Day Cycling Exploration of the Wild Atlantic Way
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is fast becoming one of the most notoriously beautiful and inspiring road routes in Europe, and no wonder with its miles of magical tarmac stretching past rugged sea cliffs, rolling green hills, stunning mountains and vast, empty beaches.
On this 8 day cycling holiday, you’ll get a true sense for its character, as you cross the county lines of Cork, Kerry, and Mayo. You’ll also travel by foot, by boat, and a little by bus, to ensure you make the very most of some of Ireland’s star attractions such as the drama of the Cliffs of Moher, the peaks of the Kerry mountains, and of course the famous Irish hospitality at every stop along the way.
A truly Irish, truly authentic cycling holiday covering some of the most beautiful scenery on earth, this is one tour of the emerald isle you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Cuba on Two Wheels
This cycling tour of Cuba is all about slow, sustainable travel that gives back to the community. Rather than hopping from attraction to attraction, a cycling holiday allows you to see the land unfold. It means you get to see the communities and experience the rural life that many tourists miss.
And trust us, you don’t want to miss this side to Cuba. Already one of the most beguiling, confusing and addictive travel destinations on earth, By getting to know the real, local Cuba in Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and Cienfuegos, by meeting the locals, visiting the tobacco farms to learn how to roll a real Cuban cigar, staying at family-run ‘casa particulars’ and so many other unique experiences based around the people of Cuba, you are guaranteed a cycling holiday that you will never forget.
And with leisurely cycling along palm-fringed country roads, past remote mountains covered with jungle and isolated villages of endless hospitality, the views aren’t bad either.
Autumn Cycling Tour of the Cotswolds
Road cycling holidays in the UK can often be a little daunting, and regular cyclists will be all too familiar with the daily battles with cars, buses and lorries on often congested roads. There’s no such danger on this cycling holiday, a chance to tour the postcard-perfect English idyll of the Cotswolds, with its honey-coloured villages and quiet country roads.
You’ll feel transported back in time as you cruise the lanes, your guide making sure you see and experience the very best of the quintessentially English Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From discovering towers with views of 16 English counties, cosy pubs with incredible food and top-quality beer, and the birthplace of Winston Churchill, it’s the best way of combining a cycling break with a tour of the Cotswolds’ hidden gems.
You’ll stay in gorgeous country hotels, and all aspects of your cycling holiday will be organised by your local guide, so that you can rest your legs each night in total comfort and without a care in the world.
Popular Cycling Holidays
Cycling Day Experiences
Sometimes the idea of a cycling holiday that spans an entire week or long weekend can feel a bit daunting. Our cycling day experiences allow you the opportunity to dip into an exploration on two wheels, whilst enjoying the rest of your holiday as normal.
Explore Mekong Island by Bike
Escape the rush of the city in Phnom Penh on a cycling tour that sets off early, before the streets become manic with traffic and people, so that you can cruise through the sleepy morning atmosphere to the quiet, rural setting of Mekong Island.
You’ll catch a local ferry out to the island, before exploring by bike, cycling through the lush green fields and glittering waterways. Discover authentic local culture as you stop at family homes and learn about traditional Khmer silk scarf weaving, and get to know rural Cambodia culture at a ginger farm, dry rice field and kindergarten.
Of course, a day exploring Cambodia wouldn’t be complete without getting to enjoy some of the stunning local cuisine, and as you spend your afternoon lazing in a hammock watching the slow pace of life pass you by with a cold beer, you’ll be served a delicious lunch before a tuk-tuk comes to pick you up and take you back to your accommodation in Phnom Penh.
Nafplio Cycling Tour and Picnic
On this Greek cycling day experience, you’ll properly get to know the beautiful city of Nafplio as you pedal through shady streets of stunning architecture and drink in all the hidden nooks and crannies only the locals know about.
From majestic castles to white-sand beaches, the scenery on this unique cycling tour unfolds into magnificent panoramic views of distant islands and rolling hills, and thanks to your local guide, you can be certain that you won’t miss any of the most spectacular outlooks.
The private tour will be tailored to your interests and abilities, and will stop at the coast so that you can indulge in a Greek picnic made with incredibly fresh, local and seasonal produce. A unique exploration that shows off the very best of the region, it’s the perfect way to get off the beaten track in Greece.
Kayak and Bike in the Azores
The volcanic landscape of Sete Cidades is one of the most spectacular on earth, and by exploring it by bike you can really make the most of the crater lakes, the rugged mountain ridges, steaming jungle and dramatic coastline.
You will be picked up from your accommodation and taken out to Sete Cidades, where you’ll ride the incredible trail that snake past the ancient calderas and past rushing streams, panoramic views of the island stretching all around you.
Combine this cycling experience with a trip out on a kayak on the deep blue volcanic lake, and refresh yourself in the cool, crisp waters with a quick swim. After a light lunch, you will be taken to a stunning geothermally heated bathing spot, the perfect place to relax after a day of active excursions.
Highlands of Scotland Bike Tour
Castles, mountains, lochs, rivers and glens, everything you know about the Highlands is delivered on this bike tour of the Cairngorms National Park, with a few hidden gems thrown in along the way thank to the intimate knowledge your local guide has of the area.
Pass through the historic village of Killiecrankie, drink in sweeping views of rugged mountains and shimmering lochs, and stumble upon magical castles like Blair Atholl. Keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife, including red deer and golden eagles, as you sweep through deep pine forest and woodland.
You’ll stop for lunch at a quintessentially Scottish café, where you can indulge in and a range of scones, soups, sandwiches and cakes, fuelling you for the next half of your day of biking in the magnificent landscape.
Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a wide range of cycling breaks, holidays and experiences designed to get you off the beaten track and truly immersed in a local culture, landscape, or community. From discovering small rural villages in Vietnam to mountain biking in the rugged Brecon Beacons, cruising along Greek coastline to navigating mountain ridges in the Azores, we can guarantee that by choosing a cycling holiday with us, you will have an experience to remember.