Best Cycling Tour Series 2019
- 1 Best Cycling Destinations
- 2 When is the most appropriate time to go on a cycling tour?
- 3 Which one is better: independent or guided tour?
- 4 The philosophical conundrum: to hire a bike or to take your own bike?
- 5 Cycling holidays in Spain
- 6 The best cycling holiday locations
Best Cycling Destinations
If you are a cyclist you are aware that spring is the best season for cycling. Pedaling for miles and enjoying the sunlight before the warm weather comes in summer. Through biking, you will experience some excitement and the adrenaline rushes through your veins. Besides while on tour, you can build relationships with the club or teammates.
Usually, European roads are flat and smooth and while you are pedaling on the road you can feel the miles pass away so quick, despite the fact that some substantial climbs might be on your way. However, you can cycle through Asia, if you want more adventure.
Through this article, we try to give you some information about the best cycling tracks throughout the world.
The tracks might be rather long so you should have good stamina in order to challenge these routes. It is a great opportunity for you to push yourself to the limits. In addition, the descents and ascents will help you to gather more strength, so you could use it in further cycling holidays or upcoming events.
When is the most appropriate time to go on a cycling tour?
Well, I say between February and April is the best time to start your journey. Of course, this depends on the climate of the locations that you are willing to go to. But this period often is an ideal time to pedal since some events start in the summer.
Which one is better: independent or guided tour?
You have two choices when it comes to biking abroad. You can go independently – booking your own flights, accommodation, and transfers, hire bikes and arrange your own trip.
This often requires a decent knowledge of the area, map reading, bike ride planning, and spending a lot of time on google.
This option might be cheaper if you are going with large groups. Since you can divide the cost of accommodation, or get a mini-van to cut the expenses.
You can also go to a cycling tour provider. Depending on the agency or the operator the services might be different. But generally, they provide accommodation, food, mechanic services, a tour guide who leads the bikers and even a car that follows the group and carries the provisions and offers a lift to those that have lost their energy and cannot pedal until their energy is restored. There may also be groups that ride at different speeds.
This option is often more expensive and makes you feel like a pro for a few days.
The philosophical conundrum: to hire a bike or to take your own bike?
Popular airlines usually charge you about €60 to carry your bike to the determined destination. In order to do so, you’ll need a big bike box or bag which approximately costs between €100 and €700.
Our associates have experimented it with a cardboard box instead of a bike box; in order that baggage handlers are more careful with the bike since they would assume that it might be a fragile object. But we believe it’s not worth it to put our beloved carbon-framed bike inside the underbelly of a ruthless plane.
Hiring bike costs may vary dramatically- in Mallorca, you can spend about €20 a day and rent a carbon model with Shimano Ultegra.
Well taking your own bike could mean that the height of the saddle, reach and offset are exactly as they could be. But it also means that you might have to dissemble and reassemble your bike on each end. In addition, even if you provide the best bike box there is always the possibility that your ride becomes damaged on the path.
To hire a bike means you have to make some adjustments to fit right in and that you should get the hang of your new ride.
Cycling holidays in Spain
Spain is a popular destination among the bikers to go to on holidays.
To ascend the mountains, the temperature in the winter is often too cold and in mid-summer, it is often too hot. But it can be ideal during the peak training camp, between February and April.
The terrain actually lends itself to such holidays – with a lot of climbs and also flat-land riding and flights to the major and popular locations that would not take so long to arrive at your desired destination.
Actually, you will have a variety of choices, added that there are also several small islands. The popular locations are Mallorca plus the trending Girona and the areas in Denia and Calpe.
The best cycling holiday locations
You can cycle in many areas throughout the world but there are some popular spots. These spots are the most important ones that are mentioned and explained below.
As you may already know, Belgium hosts some of the major bike racing competitions in the world. But we recommend that you wait until the spring classics has passed, and heading overcome summer due to the unpredictable weather.
There is also diverse terrain, as you encounter hills in the southern region and also see plenty of flat routes in the north.
You will be challenged by the famous cobbles as well as the climbs that you should look out for. These include the Koppenberg (600 meters, 11.6 percent average, 22 percent max) and Oude Kwaremont (2.2km, average 4.2 percent average, 11 percent max).
Note: it is possible to ride the famous climbs at any time of the year but it will be sunnier during the summer. If you want to ride in a group and interact with others then we suggest combining cycling with some tourism and watch some pro racing. You could enter the Tour of Flanders Sportive in March and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge in April.
Cape Town, South Africa
The stunning roads near the coastal areas that are below the shade of Table Mountain in South Africa are appealing to everyone.
This area tries to advocate a healthy lifestyle. An example is the Bicycle Cape Town organization which provides services, facilities and routes for those who go there for biking. Between March 3 to 12 the’ Life Cycle Week’ pays tribute to everything that is related to bikes; such as MTB events, sportives, and competitive races.
We recommend exploring the Cape Point Nature Reserve, Misty Cliffs, Smitswinkel Climb, and Chapman’s Peak or Suikerbossie double ascent.
Note: There are two important events you can attend. One is a one day ride, the Cape Town Cycle Tour Sportive on March 11 which is accompanied by the most beautiful sights of the local area. Alternatively, you can go and check out running between 4 to 8 of March. This tour includes the Cape Winelands, and separates riders up into three groups; this provides the opportunity to compete with time segments.
Note: March to November is the best time to visit Cape Town.
Denia (or Calpe), Spain
Both Denia and Calpe are located in the coastal area of mainland Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. These places are on Costa Blanca stretch in Alicante and the distance between them is approximately 35 km.
Similar to Mallorca, these areas are amazingly set for bikers. These spots provide almost everything you need, whether you need servicing or replacement.
You will encounter a range of terrains consisting of notable climbs and also flat lands. While you are off the bike, you can explore long stretches of sandy beaches too.
Note: Denia is a popular destination for pro cyclists and teams. We can mention teams such as BMC Racing, Astana, and Sunweb that have all spent their pre-season training at this area. If you are in the area, don’t forget to go to Cafe Cicilista. This place offers all types of refreshments that you need, plus three weekly rides where you could gain a little route planning inspiration.
Located within the Alps and northern Italy is the Dolomites mountain range. Expanding over 300 square kilometers, you should know that you cannot explore all of the areas and you might just be able to choose one area.
Our associates have tested the Alta Badia ski resort, where you can find out many bike-ready accommodations and hire shops to attend your needs. We should say that the roads are rarely flat as you face going up and down. Climbs include Valparola, Falzarego, Sella, Passo Pordoi, and Campolongo.
The alternative area to this region is the region around Bormio which is also within the Dolomites. Where you’ll find the touring Umbrail Pass and Stelvio; and the 24 k Mortirolo and Gavia which include inclines as steep as 18 percent and over 12 km expansion.
Note: These areas tend to promote biking as they conduct the Sella Ronda Bike day and Dolomites Bike Day which are now popular annual events. During this period the roads are closed, the cars are not allowed to enter and the bikers are free to enjoy the route. Both events are welcoming to all. Those who want to challenge their abilities might fancy the Maratona Gran Fondo which takes place on July 1st; it covers about 138 km and has 4230 meters of climbing.
This Catalonian city is home to many pro cyclists and you can understand why!
The region is full of climbs such as 10km Sant Hilari, 11km Els Angels, 10km Rocacorba.
Girona is famous for its dynamic social view with plenty of cafes for refueling and with the bars for enjoying the nightlife
Note: The Service Course bike shop is located in Girona. But it is more than just a bike shop. It offers guided tours on the roads which are only known by the locals, training camp services, airport transfers, and massage treatment.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
This special Spanish island is the most eastern among the Canary Islands. It means that it is just 125 km away from the African coast. This means that the weather is so hot and there is not a risk of any chance of snow as it is in other places like Mallorca.
In Lanza, your challenge is the wind since the average wind speed is about 11mp/h or 18km/h throughout the year. Suited for learning how to use the bunch!
You can watch the volcanic landscape as you pedal. These roads have some major climbs among them we can mention Monte Corona which is about 10km at 4 percent, and Femes featuring three different ascent options around 5 to 6 percent.
Note: Sorry if you don’t want a ride preceded by swimming and followed by running. This island is the home to one the most established triathlon races inside Europe, meaning Ironman Lanzarote. The bike course is 182 km long and includes 2,551 meters of climbing and it could be followed by a run or swim at any time.
This region is popular among both amateurs and pros and is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands. Cyclists mostly stay in Alcudia or Port de Pollença.
Many companies, as well as accommodation, exist in order to provide services for cyclists and there is also many bike hire shops and facilities.
Another reason why Mallorca is a popular biking destination is the perfectly distributed terrain. There are rolling foothills, many flat lands and demanding climbs of 10 to 20 km including Puig Major, Sa Calobra and Coll de Soller.
Note: There is an annual Mallorca 312 which takes over the island. You are able to choose among 312, 225, or 167 km routes. Although the longest route used to circle around the island, it runs across the North and West and avoids Palma allows the closed road sections. Make sure to apply for this event in advanced since it quickly will become sold out.
Morzine, French Alps
Although Morzine is well-known for its mountain biking background, it is an ideal place riding a road bike.
This place is near the border of Switzerland. The latter is beautiful but much more expensive to visit or stay. However, a bicycle passing into the country is completely free.
En route to Morzine and Avoriaz, there are chalets and hotels equipped with facilities required for outdoor sports. They also welcome those who go to these places for skiing.
The roads are not homogeneous and include some stretches, as well as hairpin-laden climbs; you can cycle through the Col de Joux Plane (11 km, 9 percent), Col de la Ramaz (16 km, 6 percent), Col de la Joux Vert (15 km, 6 percent), and Avoriaz (14 km, 6 percent).
Note: There are many beautiful rental chalets in this area. You can book them yourself and enjoy your DIY trip.
As you know Portugal or the Portuguese Republic is located to the west of Spain. Although it might not be the most popular location for cycling, it is a trending location and many tour operators and agencies have recently opened a branch in this region.
The roads are very different from what you see in Spain and its islands. You can see climbs as well as a wealth of long rolling terrain that is suited for puncheurs.
Note: We particularly loved the N2 which covers about 750 km on just one road- from Chaves to Faro
Pyrenees, France (and Spain)
This mountain range stretches between Spain and France and is over 430 km long. Hogo Travel team members have enjoyed cycling in France recently. So we try to stick to this region for now.
Tour de France has hosted many of these famous climbs on various occasions. Some of the major ascents are Aubisque (30 km, 4 percent/ 16 km, 7 percent), Hautacam (17 km, 7 percent), Tourmalet (17 km, 7 percent).
The weather in the French Pyrenees in the mid-summer is much cooler than that of Spain. So it has become a desired destination during the season.
Note: If you’re up to a big challenge search for Haute Route’s Pyrenees. It takes over 7 days and covers about 770 km with 20,000 meters of climbing. Last Year, the tour took place between August 18 to24.
Tenerife is the largest island among the 7 Canary Islands of Spain. Regarding its unique weather, people have nicknamed Tenerife ‘Isla de la Eterna Primavera’ which means ‘the Island of Eternal Spring’.
It is worth mentioning that Mount Teide Volcano is located in the center of the island. On top of it is the Parador Hotel which is a popular place suited for pro cyclists who want to sleep at heights.
The climb is longer than any of the ascents in Europe with 35 km it’ll cover about 2,100 meters of ascension. However, there are many opportunities to ride on the lower roads. The road circumference is only 223 miles, so you shouldn’t worry about getting lost.
Note: many pro cyclists have stayed at the Parador Hotel. This resort is located on the plateau and up the Teide Mountain. It is suited for those who believe ‘sleep high, train low’ principle. In 2011, Bradly Wiggins stayed there first, though since the Lans Armstrong stay, not all the cyclists want to share an association.
This area is the host to the best cyclists throughout the world when Strada Bianche starts in the spring. Tuscany‘s L’Eroica sportive also takes place in this region.
We recommend that you clear your schedule to participate in the event which is held on October 7 in 2018. This event pays tribute to the time when cycling was a trend; through which the cyclists covered the route on their bikes that were built before 1987.
Although the roads in Europe would celebrate for their smoothness, Tuscany gains its fame for its white dirt roads that are laced between the tarmac. Furthermore, the area covers over 22,000 square kilometers and changes dramatically across its expanse.
Note: Hogo travel members have visited Tuscany during a fortnight-long road trip and resided at some towns along the way. We have found high-quality hire bikes with a reasonable value just outside Siena. We also pedaled through perfectly smooth and testing roads in the region. As we headed off-road we picked up some hire bikes at a bike station within the Monti Sibillini National Park. It is important to note that the lack of competition meant you should pay a high price for an outdated bike. However, the scenery was amazing.