If you’re the type of cycling enthusiast who also loves to travel, someone who can think of nothing better than setting out on a long ride on smooth tarmac, a road cycling holiday is the perfect option. timeoutdoors’ Travel Editor Tom Le Bas looks at what’s available.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Most road cycling itineraries involve guided group riding between hotels, with your luggage transported by road. All will entail some demanding rides, but there are grades of difficulty within this and some time is kept free for cultural pursuits, such as wandering the streets of a picturesque old town or stopping for a leisurely lunch.
For those wanting to get away for just a few days, there are various options on the market, while people wanting a longer holiday will find an even wider range of holidays on offer, typically lasting from one to two weeks. Reliable, good-quality bikes are generally provided, although some people will want to bring their own bikes.
Favoured by competition cyclists and triathletes, training camps take things a stage further, with intensive routines and disciplines monitored by a fitness coach to get you into tip-top condition. This type of trip will usually be for a week, and you’ll stay in comfortable on-site lodgings.
Accommodation will be comfortable, and many tours will stay in character hotels with swimming pools and well-equipped rooms. High-quality local cuisine and wine tends to be the norm, too.
WHERE TO GO
Road cycling has grown rapidly in popularity over the past few years, and there are specialist itineraries, and training camps, in a growing range of destinations. For now, however, the majority of tour operators continue to be based in Europe. The most popular destinations are in the south: as a year-round destination with a proud cycling heritage, Portugal, Spain and Italy are favoured locations but there are plenty of possibilities in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and further afield – New Zealand, USA and South Africa.
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This region offers something for all levels of cyclist, from gentle terrain to epic climbs - as well as its rich heritage and gastronomic delights.
Yorkshire can rightly herald itself as one of the top cycling destinations in Europe. Not only did the visit of the Tour de France showcase its amazing roads, climbs and scenery, it also hosts the World Road Cycling Championships in 2019.
Stunning scenery, tranquil country lanes and terrain to suit all abilities combine to make Dorset a wonderful location for cycling.
An adventure playground for cyclists, Mallorca's perfect roads and stunning scenery provide the ideal environment for all levels of rider.
If you're looking for warm-weather cycling on great roads between October and March then Lanzarote is the perfect destination.
From Garda in the East to Orta in the West, the Italian Lakes is an amazing location for road cycling, offering something for all levels of ability.
Classic climbs, grand views and a variety of stunning landscapes all add up to make the Peak District one of Britain's top cycling destinations.
Expanses of wild moorland, dramatic coastline, some epic climbs and grand views - the Moors are classic road cycling territory.
For a road cyclist the French Alps can be the pinnacle of cycling achievement, writes locally-based tour leader and bike coach Rob Hawkins.
If you would like to do a trip as a group and there are more than 15 of you, we can help you find a reputable travel company to sort everything out.
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