I think it’s fair to say that Europe is the cycling continent. Europe is where the Tour de France takes place every summer, the very highlight of the cycling season. Other major long-distance races are the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, while day races, such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix draw in hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Cycling in Europe is easy. There are well-marked bicycle routes all over the place and bike paths are often separated from roads, making them very safe. The development of long-distance bicycle routes that cross the continent, combined with scenic local routes, has helped increase the popularity of cycling holidays in Europe.
Below, I would like to share a few great regions in Europe to explore by bicycle.
Five Suggestions for Cycling Trips in Europe
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Although they’re located north of the Arctic Circle, Norway’s Lofoten Islands make for one of the most spectacular cycling destinations in Europe, if not in the world. An archipelago of rugged mountainous islands connected by pretty bridges, the islands’ main road follows the coastline and runs through surprisingly flat meadows and past unbelievably beautiful coastal villages.
Lavender, wine, stone buildings and sunshine await cyclists in Provence, southern France. The undulating landscape, dotted with old picturesque villages, covered with vineyards and carpeted with purple lavender, makes for an ideal cycling destination. And there’s nothing like kicking back with a great glass of wine after a long and active day on the bike.
The Fields of Flanders, Belgium
The flat fields of Flanders beg to be explored on two wheels. Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium, a region of fields, meadows, abbeys, medieval towns, heathlands and woodlands. There are countless bicycle trails in Flanders, all perfectly marked with arrows and information panels, making it one of the world’s best places for cycling trips.
Northumberland & Cumbria, England
England may not be an obvious choice for cycling trips in Europe, but there are, in fact, many scenic routes. The Hadrian’s Wall Cycleway, for instance, is a magnificent bike ride. Just like the Hadrian’s Wall Path, this cycling route follows the ancient Roman wall that was built by Emperor Hadrian. The route leads from coast to coast through the spectacular landscapes of Cumbria and Northumberland.
The Bulb Region, the Netherlands
Located in the western Netherlands, close to the North Sea coast, the so-called Bulb Region is one of the very best spring destinations on earth. The months of April and May are when the fields are painted in all colors imaginable by flowering bulbs, such as hyacinths, daffodils, narcissus and tulips. Millions and millions of them. The gardens of Keukenhof are an absolute highlight as well.