Gliding along a traffic-free towpath with the rippling water glistening beside you is the epitome of relaxed cycling.
Meandering along with the sun on your back, through the world famous vineyards of Burgundy with plenty of tasting opportunities has to be the perfect way to spend a vacation. We’ve also got several routes that travel along some of Europe’s most tranquil waterways including Comacchio, also known as ‘Little Venice’ for its amazing network of canals criss-crossed with mini-brick bridges and Aveiro in central Portugal, blessed with bizarre site of unique gondola’s cruising along a patchwork of canals!
And with all this talk of canals, it would be amiss not to mention Amsterdam, this year marks the 400th anniversary of its world-famous canal ring and the city is hosting lots of activities and events throughout 2013. To find out more details visit our Cycling in Holland page.
400 Years of Canals!
They say that God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland. This is especially true of North Holland, a province of wild sand dunes, pristine coastline and picture postcard countryside, more than half of which has been reclaimed from the North Sea. This year, besides marking the 400th anniversary of Amsterdam’s canals, many iconic institutions will also commemorate special jubilees too!
Highlights of Holland Cycling 6 nights from $2,579
It’s a mystery how so lovely a region can be kept quite so secret, yet Portugal’s Aveiro lagoon, and the coastline south of Porto, offers some of the most spectacular stretches of seaside cycling we have ever seen – it’s almost perfectly flat too, making it ideal for families and first timers! On your trip you’ll stay in Aveiro for two nights in a waterside mansion. Known as ‘Portugal’s Venice’, colourful moliceiros boats cruise canals beneath tall palm trees, and alleyways are filled with tempting restaurants.
Porto to Coimbra Cycling 7 nights from $2,899
Connoisseur’s guide to Burgundy
The cycling is relaxed and undemanding, often along canal towpaths or riverside trails, and taking you through quiet rolling countryside, with vineyards and cherry orchards to the north, and flower-filled meadows and woods to the south. The cycling days have been specially designed to allow for lazy riverside lunches, and there’s lots of scope to potter around the pretty canal ports and their tiny villages.
Classic Burgundy Cycling 8 nights $2,939
Italy’s “Little Venice”
Best known as the gastronomic capital of Italy, Emilia Romagna also offers some of the most gentle cycling in the country. With pancake-flat country lanes linking huge swathes of vineyards and orchards, and offering ancient towns, formidable villas and revered shrines. You’ll also spend two nights in gorgeous Comacchio, a lagoon town criss-crossed by a series of canals and bridges rising out of 13 different islands and islets, and known affectionately as ‘Little Venice’.
Cycling in Emilia Romagna
8 nights from $3,086
If you have 10 days to spare, then this new cycling holiday explores the ‘golden triangle’ of Franche-Comté and offers a real in-depth voyage of discovery for connoisseurs of hidden France. This is France profonde, unchanged over the years, with charming village squares decked with pavement cafés, geranium-filled balconies and traffic-free country lanes. Your route also takes in the pretty Loue and Doubs rivers and a network of navigable canals.
Vines and Villages Jura Cycling
10 nights from $3,139