14 best cycling holidays in Europe (and beyond): where to go and with who Back to top
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14 best cycling holidays in Europe (and beyond)

In this article I share our pick of the best cycling holidays - in Europe and around the world.

This article is a bit different to our usual “best of” picks that are fiercely independent. That’s because this article shares the trip I would pick from the tour operator clients we worked with in 2021.

You’ll find a mixture of big and small cycling holiday providers but they’re all businesses I’ve come to know, respect and whom I’m proud to call clients. 

They would be the people I would turn to if we were looking for help with organising a cycling trip for 2022.

See what you think; read on and find out our pick of the best cycling holidays in the world!

By Clare Dewey

Operators are listed in alphabetical order within each section. This article features our clients but none have paid to feature here. You'll find information on our relationship with our clients in our disclosure policy and website terms.


Cycling holidays in Europe

VeloGuide are included under the "Worldwide" heading below, because they operate in more than 70 countries across the world. This, of course, includes Europe, where their flexible, on demand guiding is very popular. More information below.


Multi-country cycling holidays


1. Coast2Coast Cycling

Cycling in Andalucia

Image credit: Coast2Coast Cycling

Two cyclists cycling through Antequera in Andalucia

Image credit: Coast2Coast Cycling


Coast2Coast Cycling was set up in 2020 by Fiona Towell. 

Speak with Fiona and you can’t help but find her determination, spirit of adventure and joie de vivre has rubbed off on you. 

Yes, Fiona’s enterprise is new, but she’s running it with support from experienced operator Paul Kennedy of Wild Atlantic Cycling Tours. So, if you’re an avid cyclist that is looking for their next European cycling tour and wants to embark on an interesting new point to point cycling route, it’s definitely worth checking out Fiona’s trips.


Where they run trips

Scotland, Spain, Ireland and Croatia


Cycling trip we’d choose

Seville to Granada 

There’s a special kind of joy involved with going on a cycling holiday in Andalucia and riding your bike on silky smooth tarmac in warm southern Spain. 

Experience your road cycling rite of passage with Coast2Coast’s ten day tour from Seville to Valencia. 

Available tour dates are (sensibly) in the temperate spring and autumn months, with daily distances of around 125 kilometres and 1,700 meters of stunning switchback climbs. So not for the beginner!

You’ll ride through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and through many of Spain’s National Parks, enjoying inland and coastal routes. You’ll also experience an incredible climb day in the pristine Sierra Espuña range with a glorious descent and 26 flowing switchbacks. 

This route offers the chance for an incredible cycling trip in Europe that will challenge and reward you day after day.


Find out more

Coast2Coast Cycling

Our article with Coast 2 Coast Cycling


2. Geneva Cycling (by Cyclomundo)

Cyclists relaxing after a ride around Geneva

Image credit: GenevaCycling / Cyclomundo

View across Lake Geneva Swirzerland

Image credit: GenevaCycling / Cyclomundo


Geneva Cycling is an offshoot of Cyclomundo, a business that’s been run by Bruno Toutain since 2003. 

Bruno lives near Geneva and is absolutely passionate about cycling - whether it’s commuting, sportives or enjoying the pro race scene. 

He set up Geneva Cycling in 2020 to help people discover what Geneva has to offer. It’s such a transport hub, but too often people arrive and leave straight away. Bruno wants to change that and I love his vision.


Where they run trips

Geneva and surrounds (France and Switzerland).


Cycling trip we’d choose

Rivers, Lakes, and Mountains: Geneva to Geneva via Annecy

If you like your cycle holidays in Europe to be of the self-guided kind with a taste of the stunning Alps, you’ll love this gorgeous tour from Geneva Cycling. 

Rivers, lakes, mountains and vineyards – this three-day tour begins and ends in Geneva and can be tailored to your ability with optional challenging loops as add-ons. 

Choose your daily distance from 47 to 100 kilometres and decide on day two whether to take on the classic Tour de France climb ‘Le Grand Colombier’. On day three you’ll ride the pre-alpine massif of Bornes and onto climb the Salève, rewarded with panoramic views of Geneva and its beautiful lake. 

With bike hire including e-bike options, this is one of Europe’s best self-guided bike tours that can be made perfect for absolutely everyone.


Find out more

Geneva Cycling's website

Our article with Geneva Cycling


3. Sports Tours International

Support from Sports Tours International at a gran fondo sportive

Image credit: Sports Tours International

Cyclists on a gran fondo ride supported by Sports Tours International

Image credit: Sports Tours International

In my mind, Sports Tours International have always been the benchmark for sportive trips and spectacular cycle holidays in Europe. So getting to work with them was a bit of a dream!

There are many competitors but no one else that has been offering such a broad range of cycling tours and holidays to cycling events for the last 45 years. Whether you want to go to the Maratona dles Dolomites or the Étape du Tour, the Marmotte Alps, Srade Bianche or Amstel Gold, you can do it with Sports Tours.

They’re an official VIP tour operator of the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. That means they offer VIP access and hospitality on every stage either as a day option or as part of their fully supported multi-day tours. 

They also offer custom tours for cyclists and spectators. Basically if you’re looking for the best cycling holidays in Europe that are focused around a sportive, Sports Tours International have got your back!


Where they run trips

All the major cycling events in Europe - and lots of the less major ones too!


Cycling trip we’d choose

Stade Bianche Gran Fondo and Pro Race

For the ultimate pro race experience, as both rider and spectator, the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo and Pro Race tour is a fantastic choice. 

This event has been a mainstay of the Italian cycling calendar for the last ten years and is packed with elite talent. The 2022 edition takes place on Saturday 5th March 2022, with the Gran Fondo on Sunday 6th March 2022.

On the Saturday, before the pro race, you’ll ride the last 50km of the official course, cross the finish line and experience your own podium photo finish. Then watch the pro race from the comfort of your hospitality venue in beautiful Siena. 

On Sunday you’ll cycle to join 5,000 amateur riders in the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche, pedalling through the beautiful Crete Senesi, with panoramic views of Tuscany’s lush rolling hills and ancient villages.


Find out more

Sports Tours' website

One of our articles with Sports Tours International


4. SunVelo

Cycling in Mallorca on a cycling climb

Image credit: SunVelo

SunVelo cyclist having completed the Randa cycling climb Mallorca

Image credit: SunVelo

David Harwood was a latecomer to cycling, but has made up for it by setting up SunVelo with his co-founder, the former pro Alistair Irvine. Together they’ve built a great reputation for their popular Mallorca cycling holidays, which offer guided rides at four different group levels during spring, autumn and winter.

SunVelo’s ethos is all about getting groups off the beaten track and away from the ticklist routes. They are rigorous about their quality and training standards and have ride leaders who foster community and camaraderie on the road. That’s a big part of what keeps cyclists coming back year after year. 

And finally, I love the flexibility of what SunVelo offers - you can book anything from four nights upwards, with no fixed start dates.


Where they run trips

Mallorca - and from 2022, Switzerland and Sierra Nevada


Cycling trip we’d choose

Spring Season in Mallorca

If you’re looking for the best places to enjoy cycling in Europe you really can’t miss Mallorca. 

Sun Velo’s Mallorca Cycling Spring Season runs from 12 March 2022 to 31 May 2022, with four varying level guided groups each day depending on what you fancy. Stay for a minimum of four nights in a four-star superior hotel with half board accommodation. 

It’s a trip for the endurance style road riders looking for iconic climbs, neverending switchbacks and stunning mountain scenery. Arrive in a group or travel solo and meet new friends, with daily distances from 70 to 145 kilometres – but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the family too, as non-cyclists are also welcome with discounted rates. 

Maybe they should bring a bike just in case though, when they see you experiencing your ultimate cycling holiday in Europe, the FOMO will be fierce.


Find out more

SunVelo

Our article with SunVelo



Northern Europe cycling holidays


5. Austria: Roadbike Holidays

Cyclists cycling by a lake in Austria

Image credit: ©Foto WOM Medien GMBH Andreas Meyer

Cyclists on Grossglockner Austria bike climb(credit: Pinzgau_Heiko Mandl)

Image credit: Pinzgau_Heiko Mandl

I love the simple concept behind Roadbike Holidays: provide cyclists a platform where they can find hotels that are truly road cyclist friendly.

Being listed on roadbikeholidays.com really goes deep. This is no flimsy, easy to pass test. Roadbike Holidays check in person that the hotel complies with the comprehensive list of services they expect each one of their hotels to provide (and when we turned up at two in Slovenia without any warning, we really did find these things). 

The idea is that the hotel will do it all. So they’ll provide everything from your routes, to guiding, to bike hire if you need it. So it’s a cycling holiday that’s entirely centred on the hotel providing everything you need. 

Simple.


Where they operate 

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, northern Italy


Cycling trip we’d choose

A stay in Austria’s Salzburger region

For a relaxing break with bikes, we’d choose to come to Roadbike Holidays’ hotel near Salzburg. 

The region has got a distinctive mixture of sparkling lakes, impressive mountains and culture that promise a road bike experience you won’t forget. There are lakes, and small hills with some really nice rolling cycling tours. You can mix it up with some harder riding too; not so far from here is the famous Grossglockner Alpine Road.

Roadbike and Triathlon Hotel Mohrenwirt is a four star hotel that’s completely targeted to cyclists.

The hotel owner is a passionate athlete who competed in the Ironman Hawaii. They offer guided tours, have great Canyon bike rental and offer great healthy (but substantial) meals too.

Just 300 metres from the hotels is a private swimming beach at Lake Fuschl with a heated 25 metre outdoor pool (free entry for hotel guests). It’s a great place for a holiday.


Find out more

Roadbike Holidays' website

Our article on Austria with Roadbike Holidays.



6. Finland: Saimaa Cycle Tour

Cyclist cycling through Lake Saimaa, Finland

Kuva / image credit: Juho Kuva / Visit Finland

Esker road through finnish lakeland on the Saimaa Cycle Tour

Kuva / image credit: Saimaa Cycle Tour

“Wow” was the first word that came to mind when I first saw the photos and videos that Juho Suikkari and Lieven de Rycke sent me of their new event in Finland.

Once they started talking about cycling through a continuous sunset on silent roads, past pure, freshwater lakes that are home to incredible wildlife, I was sold.

Admittedly this is not a cycling holiday as such (it’s a 295 kilometre cycling event). But if you’re coming all this way, chances are you’re going to stay a few days and turn this into a holiday.


Where they run trips 

Finland


Cycling trip we’d choose

Saimaa Cycle Tour

The Saimaa Cycle Tour has to be one of the best and unforgettable cycling challenges you’ll ever experience, 

Can you imagine riding on silent roads into a continuous midnight sunset, alongside the world’s most beautiful lake landscapes?

Finland doesn’t have mountains but it makes up for that with a magical natural landscape of interconnected freshwater lakes. 

Last year 1,200 cyclists took part and with a new route for 2022 over three different distances, (290, 85 or 38 kilometres), this once in a lifetime experience is accessible to everyone. 

Oh, and at the finish line area you get a meal ticket to have fresh smoked salmon from one of the nearby lakes. Just saying.


Find out more

Saimaa Cycle Tour's website

Our article with The Saimaa Cycle Tour



7. France: France Bike Trips (by Vélorizons)

Col de Galibier, France

Image credit: Vélorizons

Col d'Izoard French Alps cycling trip

Image credit: Vélorizons

These guys know cycling holidays in France inside out. It’s what they live and breathe.

France Bike Trips are a small outfit, run by a French team that are based in France and have excellent English. They know France like the back of their hand - whether you’re on a road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike, touring bike, or have kids in tow...

I came across them because I used them twice in 2020 for self-guided family cycling holidays when all the other tour operators I contacted were shut; only after that did they become a client. 

Words that come to mind: flexible, reliable, knowledgeable.


Where they run trips

France


Cycling trip we’d choose

Route des Grandes Alpes

I think we may have found the best cycling holiday in France… It’s every road cyclist’s dream to follow in the footsteps (or pedal strokes) of the Tour de France, and with the Route des Grandes Alpes tour, you can!

This unforgettable eight day bike tour in France takes in the very best “cols” of the iconic French multi-stage race. Cross the French Alps by pedal power from Lake Geneva to the Côte d’Azur, experiencing some of the most mythical and world famous mountain passes in road cycling. 

You’ll feel like a pro with the support vehicle nearby, and have all of your kit carried for you apart from what you need for the day’s ride. Choose from two different routes each day depending on your fitness, weather and preferences.


Find out more

France Bike Trip's website

Our article with France Bike Trips


8. Spain: Girona Cycling 

Hotel and cycling camps area of Spain

Image credit: Girona Cycling SL

Two cyclists training in the cycling camps area

Image credit: Girona Cycling SL

Strictly speaking, Girona Cycling SL are not a cycling tour operator at all. They run a cycling hotel and training base near Lake Banyoles, just north of Girona. However, I think they're at home in this list because they offer such a comprehensive service that staying with them will allow you to have a cycling holiday, assuming that's what you're looking for!

Girona Cycling SL is run by Gareth and Fiona and I'm a big fan of the energy and passion they put into what they do. Just speak with them and you'll immediately get a feel for their dedication. As Fiona says, "When other training camp companies plan a camp in this area, they ask for our help and guidance. We are here to help. This is a vocation not a job for us.”     

Between them, this dynamic team offer everything from sports massage to yoga, cycle coaching and bike fitting. They are also passionate about sustainability and run their whole outfit at a fraction of the carbon footprint most hotels run at. Importantly, most guests don't even notice!


Where they run trips

Girona province, Spain


Cycling trip we’d choose

A week in June, staying at their countryside idyll. If we were looking for a holiday, we'd keep things leisurely: pick their brains over breakfast about the best route for the day and then head off into the Catalan countryside, ensuring we were back to cool off in the pool before temperatures got too feisty.

If we were after a more hardcore cycling camp, we'd make sure we got organised and liaise with them before arriving to match our training plan with rides they could suggest: we'd get them to pick rides to match our training goals (from their catalogue of 150 GPS routes!) and then ensure the post ride routine included some deep stretching and breathing work on top of the all-important pool time!


Find out more

Girona Cycling's website

Our article with Girona Cycling



9. Switzerland: Kudos Cycling

Cyclists climb the Sanetsch Pass, Switzerland

Image credit: Kudos Cycling

On the Derborence cycling route in Switzerland

Image credit: Kudos Cycling

Anthony is a Brit who’s lived in Verbier since 2014. Switzerland is home and speaking to him, you can tell he absolutely loves it.

Anthony gets what cyclists want from their precious holidays and also knows how to provide it. 

I’ve always felt Switzerland is a bit of black hole when it comes to knowing where to go and where to ride. Anthony’s knowledge and passion for Switzerland will help you right out of that hole in double-quick time!


Where they run trips

Switzerland


Cycling trip we’d choose

Introduction to the Swiss Alps

If you’ve never ridden the Swiss Alps before, Kudos Cycling’s Intro to the Alps tour is – not surprisingly –  the perfect introduction! 

This six day tour is thoughtfully designed to build confidence and skill on alpine roads, with tailored training rides and routes on quiet roads and through undulating vineyards before building up to bigger challenging climbs. 

With the help of professional coaches you’ll become an expert in managing the weather and terrain, to explore the beauty of the region in a safe and friendly group environment. 

You’ll get a branded Katusha cycling jersey in your Kudos Cycling welcome pack too, as a permanent memento of your cycling holiday in the Swiss Alps.


Find out more

Kudos Cycling

Our article with Kudos Cycling


10. UK: Pedal Britain

Cyclists in Cornwall

Image credit: Pedal Britain

Cyclists on climb to Bettyhill Hotel

Image credit: Pedal Britain

Darren Ball set up Pedal Britain to fill a particular gap - he wants to help cyclists do point to point tours in a way he would like to do them himself if he was on a cycling holiday.

In practical terms, that means things like not being forced to ride at a particular pace and it means guides that really care (and aren’t just having a holiday themselves!).  

I love the fact he places such importance and recognition on the fact that these are routes and challenges people plan and aim for for months (if not years) and he wants to do them “right”. For example he knows someone probably won’t do a Land’s End to John O’Groats more than once in their life and so he wants to ensure he gives his clients a fantastic experience.


Where they run trips 

UK including Wales, Scotland and Ireland.


Cycling trip we’d choose

Land’s End to John O’Groats

As far as bucket list cycling holidays in the UK go, Land’s End to John O’Groats has to be it. Pedal Britain’s fully guided and supported 16 day tour has 14 days of cycling across the UK’s most spectacular landscapes. 

You’ll cover an average daily distance of 116 kilometres with a total of 10,568 metres of climbing, making unforgettable memories along the way. 

Ride from Cornwall onto Dartmoor and over the Severn Bridge into Wales, before heading north into the Lake District and crossing the border to Scotland. The higher you ride the more wild and rugged it gets. 

Don’t worry about carrying your stuff, as Pedal Britain will do that for you. All you really have to do: ride, sleep, eat repeat!


Find out more

Pedal Britain

Our article with Pedal Britain


Southern Europe cycling holidays


11. Cyprus: Mokapot Productions + L'Étape Cyprus

Close to Mount Olympus which will be included on the Etape cycling route in Cyprus

Image credit: Mokapot Productions

Road in Cyprus

Image credit: Mokapot Productions

Nikol and Tony are the energetic powerhouse behind Mokapot Productions and LÉtape Cyprus. They run Cyprus’ pre-eminent cycling event, training camp and bike hire.

When much of the rest of the travel industry was hibernating to try and get through Covid, Nikol and Tony were planning.

The result was the plan to bring LÉtape to Cyprus. It’s a huge undertaking but I’m confident they have the contacts and expertise to make it an unforgettable event.


Where they run trips

Cyprus


Cycling trip we’d choose

LÉtape Cyprus

Launching in December 2021, the LÉtape Cyprus is the newest addition to the official Tour de France amateur event series.

The new event promises the ultimate Tour de France experience taking in some of Cyprus’ most iconic cycling routes and climbs.

Choose your distance between 60, 90 or 130 kilometres, with spectacular views of the Mediterranean sea, Paphos forest and the iconic Mount Olympus climb. 

To get ready for the big event, join the training camp on March 21.

Find out more

L'Étape Cyprus

Article about L'Étape Cyprus


 


Cycling holidays worldwide


12. Bike Tour Japan

Bikes by a beach in Japan

Image credit: Bike Tour Japan

Mountain road in Japan

Image credit: Bike Tour Japan

When I first started talking to Rob from Bike Tour Japan, my first thought was “this guy really knows Japan”. 

Throughout our various conversations I really liked the fact his emphasis is on creating holidays that show cyclists the best that Japan has to offer - not necessarily just the most famous parts. 

His flexible attitude towards creating holidays that fit in with his clients’ schedules and budgets is also impressive. After all, if you’re going to travel across the world for what might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, you want to make sure you’re in the right hands.


Where they run trips 

Japan


Cycling trip we’d choose

Tour of the Japanese Alps

With a name like ‘Japanese Alps Tour – Epic Volcanoes & Ancient Roads’ and 3,200 metres climbing over 160 kilometres, you know it’s going to be up there with the best cycling routes in the world.

This eight day tour is Bike Tour Japan’s “most challenging and ambitious cycling adventure” taking in the breathtaking mountains of central Japan. 

Get through the gruelling climbs (including Mt Norikura, the highest road in the country), and you can enjoy the ridiculous descents (60 kilometres on the way back down from Mt Norikura!) before recharging your tired legs in the ancient outdoor hot-spring baths 

There’s a reason it’s been given a 5/5 difficulty rating… and a reason we 5/5 want to ride it.


Find out more

Bike Tour Japan's website

Our articles with Bike Tour Japan:

Guide to cycling Japan

Article on cycling the Shimanami Kaido cycling route



13. Rat Race

Cycling through the Andes of South America

Image credit: Rat Race

road from coast to coast south america

Image credit: Rat Race

Rat Race sent me a press release about their new Trans Andean trip in early 2021, right in the middle of UK Covid lockdowns and restrictions.

I immediately loved the fact they had the confidence to plan such an impressive crossing of South America and promote it at this kind of a time; that takes courage and conviction in your product.

The trip was also immediately inspiring too: 1,500 kilometres done in a way that should be achievable by many cyclists and all within a two week holiday.

Count us in!


Where they run trips

South America


Cycling trip we’d choose

Trans Andean cycling challenge

A 12 day and 11 night holiday to traverse the entire continent of South America by bike, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Could it be one of the best cycling trips in the world?

The Trans Andean takes you from Valparaiso in Chile to Buenos Aires in Argentina.

It’s a serious start – from the UNESCO World Heritage Valparaiso you’ll climb a lung-busting 3,832 metres over the first two days of riding. But don’t worry, what goes up, must come down, with a two day, 164 kilometre descent into Mendoza, the heart of Argentinian Melbec-producing region. 

This fully supported tour takes care of bag transfers, food and support vehicles, with a GPS tracker provided for every rider too.


Find out more

Rat Race's website

Our article with Rat Race


14. VeloGuide

VeloGuide cyclist in Mexico

Image credit: VeloGuide

On a road bike tour near Nice, France

Image credit: VeloGuide

I love what VeloGuide offers; the chance to get shown around a new place by a local cyclist that knows the best roads, beauty spots and places for coffee.

You get to interact with the guide directly, so you can get a great feel for the person that you’re going cycling with before you arrive. Because let’s be honest, whether your guide is any good is a pretty huge component of any cycling holiday and often you’ve got no idea what they’re like before you arrive. 

This direct relationship also means you can get exactly the right kind of ride for what you’re looking for and can also specify when you want it. To my mind, that’s quite a compelling proposition.

For those that are looking for someone to organise their accommodation, transfers and bike hire, VeloGuide also have a free concierge service that can help.


Where they run trips 

72 countries worldwide.


Cycling trip we’d choose

Braus Turini Challenge

OK, so the Braus Turini Challenge is not necessarily a cycling holiday in France, but it’s a stunning single-day bike tour that could be a great addition to a longer trip which VeloGuide could, of course, design for you.

The Challenge is billed as an eight hour ride combining two of the most challenging mountain passes near Nice. 

The Col de Braus is 1,002 metres high, connecting Sospel and L’Escarène, with an average gradient of around 6%. 

The Col de Turini is 1,602 metres high and has an average gradient of 5.2%. 

Both offer the hairpin switchbacks and panoramic mountain views that can only be found on cycling tours in Europe. 

Rest assured you’ll be well looked after by VeloGuide’s professional guides - the reviews on the website speak for themselves.


Find out more

VeloGuide's website

Our articles with VeloGuide:

Cycling tours in Nice

Cycling Puerto Vallarta


It’s been a lot of fun putting this list together and it reminds me how grateful I am to have worked with such a range of fantastic businesses this year.

There are some amazingly passionate people out there ready to show you the best of their region - I hope this article inspires you to book your next cycling holiday in Europe and beyond!

 

What has been your favourite cycling tour or holiday?

Tell us about the best cycling tour in Europe or elsewhere that you’ve been on! We always love to hear who’s doing a great job for their clients.


What’s next?

Want more tips for picking a cycling tour operator? Read this guide

Want to know how a guide cycling tour is different to a self-guided one? This article is for you.

Want general inspiration for the best cycling places in Europe? Head to our destinations hub page.


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Clare from Epic Road Rides

More About Clare

I founded epicroadrides.com in 2018 because I couldn't find the kind of information I wanted and needed to plan my trips.

There's nothing I love more than exploring the world on two wheels - except perhaps writing about it! I hope you enjoy this article!

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