Best cycling holidays in Europe, from France to Lanzarote

Best cycling holidays in Europe, from France to Lanzarote

Some of the prettiest parts of Europe are best accessed by bike path.

That’s not to mention the social aspects of riding in a group on a cycling holiday, the fitness benefits, calorie expenditure and the chance to explore hundreds of miles of a countryside in just a few days.

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist yearning for legendary climbs or a leisure rider seeking scenic escapes and delicious post-ride meals with local wine, there are plenty of companies offering cycling holidays in Europe so you can find a trip for all paces and interests.

Some holidays are done exclusively on e-bikes, so that you don’t need to break a sweat if you’d rather save your energy for the post-ride socialising.

Here is a selection of routes across the continent, from the iconic climbs of the French Alps to the gentle rolling hills of Tuscany and the flat paths next to the crystal-clear lakes near Salzburg in Austria. A couple of the routes start and finish in the UK, promising to show you parts of the country that you might not have experienced before.

Best cycling holidays in Europe

Experience scenic Tuscany

The rolling Tuscan hills are a stop gap between two stunning beaches (Sportive Breaks)

Starting on the beach in Cattolica on the Adriatic, Sportive Break’s four-night coast to coast tour rides into the heart of Emilia Romagna, taking in some of the climbs of the Nove Colli before heading to Tuscany with some gravel roads, rolling hills and sleepy hilltop villages. It finishes on the Tuscan coast before sunset on the final day.

Led by expert guides and a support vehicle that will carry all your lugggage, you’ll be shown all of the best places so that you never need to read a map or feel weighed down by clothes and gear. Cyclists tend to ride together on the flats and go at their own pace on the climbs. Afternoons are spent relaxing with a couple of beers and some local food.

Prices from £699 for four nights including accommodation, airport transfers, cycle hire, guided rides and daily luggage transport. Starting 1 September 2024.

Experience thigh-burning climbs

Reaching the top of Mount Ventoux requires battling 10 per cent inclines (Unsplash)

Mount Ventoux is widely regarded as one of the toughest climbs in the Tour De France. Its slopes have featured as a battleground for legends like Tom Simpson, Lance Armstrong and Chris Froome. Now Love Velo will help you to climb it with a tour split into three sections. After two days of warming up in the Provence area, day three will be a three-parter to help maximise your chances of getting to the summit after 1,912m of continual gradient.

The first section starts of gently at 4.5 per cent incline, before you’ll find your thighs start to burn when the second section moves up to 10 per cent. Once that’s done, the third part is out of the forest and into the barren lunar-like landscape. At the top, you’ll get sweeping views over the hills of Provence.

Prices from £395 for three nights, including bike hire, accommodation, all meals, airport transfer and emergency assistance. Starting on the date of your choice.

Tour a pretty part of Poland

Lush forests and extinct volacnoes can be explored in Lower Silesia (The Slow Cyclist)

If you prefer to go off the beaten track, the Slow Cyclist specialises in small group tours in destinations like Transylvania, Armenia and Lower Silesia, which is an area of Poland that borders Germany. On a five-day tour in a group of 12 cyclists, you’ll discover lush forests, gently rolling hills, extinct volcanoes, beautiful castles and life in the slow lane in this charming corner of the country. The region is dotted with an eclectic mix of arcitecture styles, from Gothic to Neoclasscial, that you’ll see from the saddle.

At the end of a long day of riding, there’s the chance to enjoy local cuisine in boutique guesthouses and some Polish wine, which is becoming more popular around the world. Each day will involve 20-45km of cycling.

Prices from £2,690 for four nights accommopdation including e-bike hire, two guides per day, support vehicle, daily luggage transfer, all meals and drinks and airport transfers. Starting 9 June 2025.

Cover up to 500km in seven days in Lanzarote

Push your body to its limits in Club La Santa’s cycling training camp (Club La Santa)

Lanzarote’s diverse landscape offers a variety of terrain with some fantastic mountain climbs that are a key part of the International Bike week at sports training camp Club La Santa.

The routes during the camp vary both in length and difficulty, taking you to the far south, through the fascinating Fire Mountains and up to the north with the view over the island La Graciosa. Cyclists are divided into groups, which go at different speeds (from 21 km/h to 30+ km/h). All the groups are led by a host and a guide and during the long rides, there are stops for refreshments.

This is not for the faint-hearted as it is not unusual for the participants to cover about 500-600 km throughout the week. In the evening there will be different social events, including a pool tournament on one night.

Prices from €280 (£237) for seven days cycling with guides (not including accommodation or food). Starting 25 October 2024.

Experience glorious Girona and the Costa Brava

With a self-guided tour, you’re free to get on and off as much as you like (Sierra Sports & Tours)

Paul d’Andrea runs Sierra Sports & Tour and is originally from Australia but has lived in Spain for many years. He offers fully-guided, self-guided, partially-guided and private trips throughout Spain with one of the most beautiful being a tour of Girona and the Costa Brava. This cycling trip takes you to Girona and through the beautiful regions surrounding it. You can choose between six, nine and 12-night packages that include classic climbs and coastal regions as well as inland lakes and mountains.

Sierra will take care of all the hotel bookings and luggage transfers so all you need to do is ride. You can choose any start date between 1 March and 31 October and there’s a 24-hour contact number in case of emergencies.

Price from €1,400 (£1,185) for six nights including accommodation, transfers and luggage transportation. Starting on the date of your choice before October 2024.

Pedal through the Sound of Music country in Salzburg

Much of the Inn Travel tour follows designated bike paths right by picturesque lakes (Inn Travel)

Situated to the east of Salzburg, the Austrian Lake District is perfect for exploration on two wheels. The majestic mountain scenery is reflected in the crystal-clear waters of the deep lakes and, as you cycle along the lakeside roads and designated cycle paths, you can stop to explore the many welcoming villages.

This wonderful route takes in dramatic Alpine scenery, running past several of Austria’s most spectacular lakes, and finishes with a visit to Hallstatt, the jewel of the region, and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Wherever possible, the routes follow designated cycle tracks so you can enjoy the fabulous countryside while marvelling at the grandeur of the mountains and the truly outstanding views.

Price from £1,365 for seven nights including hotels, all breakfasts, two dinners, bicycle hire and daily luggage transportation. Starting any date of your choice from May to October 2024.

Best cycling holidays in the UK

Ride Land’s End to John O Groats in three weeks

Enjoying spectacular scenery from Cheddar Gorge to the Cairngorms in this 22-day tour (Skedaddle)

Is LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats) on your bucket list? Skedaddle offers a way to tick it off from the saddle of an e-bike. As you can use electric power whenever you need it, the route is accessible to all levels of cyclist.

Leaving the Cornish coast, the 1,000 mile route passes through the wilds of Dartmoor, before crossing the River Severn into Wales. Riding further north, you’ll skim the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, over the border into the dramatic scenery of Scotland, through Edinburgh and then up past Inverness to finally arrive at John O’Groats. Skedaddle will carry your bags and feed you along the way, so all you have to do is focus on conquering the miles each day.

Price £4,845 for 22 nights including accommodation, e-bike hire, luggage transfers, train station pick-up, support vehicle and meals. Starting 19 April 2025.

Travel between Sussex vineyards

A cold glass of English wine will be waiting for you after a day in the saddle (Cycling For Softies)

If you like excellent food and drink just as much as you like getting out and about in the fresh air, Cycling for Softies make life in the saddle more luxurious. Their sparkling Sussex tour includes five nights and two vineyards with plenty of time in between to relax in luxury spa hotels. Expect peaceful lanes through charming countryside, easy riding along riverside and coastal paths and some spectacular scenery around the South Downs National Park.

Price £1,620 for five nights accommodation, breakfasts and three-course dinners. Starting 2 August 2024.

Read more: Everything you need to plan your first cycling holiday