There are more cyclists on the road now than ever and there are literally thousands of destinations (and kilometers) to enjoy by way of two wheels and a sense of adventure. Here are 6 cyclist havens for your next bucket list trip!
Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho)
The PNW (as locals call it) is full of scenic rides for both mountain and urban cycling. Washington offers the amazing views of Mt Rainer, San Juan Islands, Olympic National Park & Discovery Trail, Leavenworth (The American Alps) and the Cascade Mountains. Oregon is home to amazing locations like Crater Lake, Hells Canyon, Columbia Gorge and Bend (Oregon’s cosmopolitan mountain town boasting 300 days of sun per year). Idaho is not to be outdone with its amazing forest landscape as well as the Selkirk Loop, spectacular Lake Coeur d’Alene, Priest Lake and Lake Pend Oreille.
The Danube (Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary)
This iconic river spans 10 countries, 3000 km, and has incredible cycle paths that hug the river through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Other than the 38,000 cyclists who ride the Austrian section alone every year, there is no traffic to contend with. Good starting points include Regensburg or Passau in Germany, finishing in Vienna or Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. Alternatively you can start in Vienna and cycle 370 km to Budapest, where there are thermal baths to reward you!
North Zealand (Denmark)
Denmark is the mecca of all things cycling. The country boasts 12,000 km of cycle routes, safe cycling lanes in cities and largely flat terrain. Cyclists can spend a week following a circular route around North Zealand, known as the Danish Riviera, starting and finishing in Copenhagen. The path hugs the shores of the Baltic Sea, sometimes turning inland through forests, nature reserves, lakes and fjords. Distances average around 50 km, and there are lots of beaches and coastal vistas to stop at. Attractions include Kronborg Castle, Roskilde’s cathedral and a Viking Ship Museum.
Kettle Valley Railway (British Columbia)
The Kettle Valley Railway is an abandoned railroad track that winds across the Okanagan and Similkameen region in southern BC. It offers over 800 km of mountain biking trails as opposed to road cycling. The section from Myra Canyon near Kelowna through to Penticton is 80 km and one of the most popular. However, there are many sections that can be strung together to form an amazing multi-day trip. This area is full of amazing scenery, quaint hamlets and is smack in the middle of wine country!
Morocco is a fascinating travel destination that provides some of the most beautiful rides in the world. The most popular option for cyclists is to take a nine-day scenic road biking tour of Toubkal. Covering about 680 km this mountainous trek is a challenge so be sure to get in plenty of training before attempting this route. You’ll see Morocco’s stunning mountains and desert regions while pedaling through Toubkal. This is a great cycling trip for travelers who want to get off the beaten track. Other coastal rides in Morocco are the route between Marrakech through the Draa Valley to the Sahara Desert and the route between Essaouira and Agadir.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
Vietnam has many amazing cycling opportunities and is an economic destination that’s a favorite among adventure travellers. To experience the local culture bike the route from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, which are the largest urban areas in Vietnam. The full route is over 1000 km and you’ll often encounter uneven road surfaces so this is a route best suited for experienced cyclists. On the route, you’ll encounter the Hai Van Pass, which divides North and South Vietnam and offers up stunning beaches where you can rest and enjoy the scenery.