1. French Alps
The Tour de France is one of the most famous cycling events worldwide and a true test of human endurance; fans annually flock to the French Alps to watch their gruelling challenge, and it is here where many others get out their bikes and cycle similar routes. Efforts will be rewarded by breathtaking scenery and quintessential French villages along the way.
The network of countless leafy lanes and rural coastal roads, almost completely free of traffic, will take you through some of Ireland’s most unspoiled countryside. The Emerald Isle’s rugged landscape offers more rugged scenic beauty and as you cycle through friendly villages laced with history, you’ll experience the generous Irish hospitality.
3. Yorkshire, England
The dramatic, heathen landscape of the Dales has been attracting cyclists for years and this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also a training ground for the Tour de France elite. There are many cycling opportunities from gentle valley routes to challenging climbs over wild moorlands.
4. Italian Dolomites
Home of the Giro D’Italia, this mountain range is renowned among Giro winners as well as cycle tourists. The possibilities are endless with mountain passes, alpine terrain, rolling valleys and village roads steeped in culture. There is also the opportunity to visit the region’s capital and a style haven, Cortina D’Ampezzo.
5. South Island, New Zealand
The west coast of New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the world’s finest scenery. It is mountainous but glorious and different cycle routes will take you through the Nelson Lakes National Park, over Haast Pass and through Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.
6. Peloponnese, Greece
This area of Greece has so much to offer from history to archaeology to mythology; you can visit the home of the Olympic Games, the Spartans in their home city and explore Athens. Local restaurants offer excellent food. Just be warned about the road conditions; cycle tracks are sometimes precarious and the Greek people are not renowned for their careful driving!
Suiting its cycling fanatics, Belgium hosts regular cycling contests which span its limited geography. Flanders is a cyclist’s dream with hundreds of well signposted routes, a glorious heartland and plenty of cobbled ascents.
8. South Africa
The cape and winelands can offer the perfect introduction to cycle touring with its lightly trafficked roads and staggering scenery.
9. South Downs, England
With over 100 miles of off-road cycling, the South Downs bridleway is inviting for more extreme mountain bikers who prefer steep descents down rugged faces. However if this is not for you, you can still enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the tracks along the ridge.
10. Pacific Coast, United States
Cycling in this area is tremendously diverse, with opportunities to see sea lions, the craggy coastal pines of Oregon, the massive redwoods of California and herds of elk, before biking over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco.d drinking lightly and regularly. Little and often is best; drink before you’re thirsty and eat before you’re hungry. Sports drinks are good for replacing important electrolytes lost through sweat and high energy snacks will feed working muscles.