As the birthplace of the bicycle, Europe is the place to be for bike aficionados. Lots of well-maintained on and off road paths connect each country, which make cycling one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to discover the old continent. We have compiled a list of some of the best long-distance bike routes in Europe for both amateur and experienced cyclists. Take a look!
Number Nine: Loire Valley, France
The Loire Valley offers a very easy, mostly flat trail, spanning 170 miles among Renaissance palaces, castles and vineyards for the casual cyclist. Just a hop from Paris, visitors can bring their own bikes or rent them there. Guided tours are offered to discover the secret spots of the breathtaking French gardens.
Number Eight: Algarve, Portugal
The Portuguese coast is the perfect holiday destination: endless beaches, 300 days of sunshine, year-round warm weather, quality hotels and great food. The Algarve, the southernmost region of the country, counts with a few biking routes that run alongside cliffs, beaches and beautiful shores. If you’re in the mood, you can even try to cycle all the way to Lisbon!
Number Seven: Windermere, UK
Windermere is both the largest lake in the U.K. and a small town located very close to it, in the Lake District. This family-friendly, 28-mile loop offers nice views of the waterfront and the possibility to step into the woods. The trail is easily accessible by car, bus or train.
Number Six: The Pirinexus, Spain
The Pirinexus is a 217-mile long loop on the Pyrenees—173 miles on the Spanish side, 44 on the French side. Nominated as one of the best European cycleroutes in 2014, The Pirinexus stars with mostly flat land along Catalonia’s Costa Brava, only to end up climbing up almost 5,000 feet once you hit the mountain range. This is the perfect choice for those who can’t decide between beach or mountain!
Number Five: The Mediterranean Route
EuroVelo is an ambitious network of (currently) 14 long-distance biking trails (more than 27,000 mi) which criss-cross Europe north to south, east to west. EuroVelo 8, also known as the Mediterranean Route, follows the Mediterranean coastline from Cádiz (Spain) to Cyprus. Barcelona, Nice, Monaco, Venice, Dubrovnik and Athens are some of the cities you will come across on your seaside journey. This is, by far, the most popular route on the EuroVelo project.
Number Four: The Vennbahn, Belgium
The Vennbahn Cycle Route follows the path of an old, abandoned railway line, which spans some 77 miles and takes visitors through three different countries: Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. The path is fairly easy to follow and it runs mostly through green areas—it’s the perfect weekend getaway for the whole family.
Number Three: The Danube
The Danube is one of the most popular bike routes in Europe. The 1,800-mile long trail follows the Danube river from Germany to the Black Sea, across Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. The path overlaps with the EuroVelo 6 (The Rivers Route) trail, which sets out in France.
Number Two: The Napoleon Bike Tour
This might be the ultimate cross-European bike tour, as it covers the distance between Paris and Moscow! Brought to you by the cycling tour company Bike & Seek, this 2,736-mile long route is set across seven countries: France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia. The standard tour lasts 45 days, although participants can choose not to complete all stages beforehand.
Number One: The Atlantic Coast Route
This 5,087 mi long route connects North Cape, in Norway, to Sagres, in Portugal, along the Atlantic Ocean coastline of the European continent. The EuroVelo path runs through six countries, including the U.K., Ireland, France and Spain. With an excellent infrastructure and lots of camping possibilities along the journey, the EV1 Atlantic Coast Route is the best choice for experienced cyclists looking to get a taste of Europe’s culture and history in just one trip. We hope you enjoyed reading through our list!