There’s no better time than now to have a cycling holiday. Social distancing will stay for a while and the global pandemic has cut down the vacation choices significantly. Riding a bicycle through nature may be just what you need to recharge and escape the cities for a while.
If this has piqued your interest, we recommend these top cycling destinations that will take you on an eco-friendly journey and away from stress.
Green trails of Ireland
If there is one thing you can count on in Ireland it’s that you will feast your eyes on green hills and valleys. Galway is not a trail but a city in western Ireland where people from all over the world come to take a breather from chaotic urban life and cycle. It’s located on the spot where River Corrib merges with the Atlantic Ocean offering quite the view from the cliffs.
Rainy days are part of Irish charm, even during the summer when it’s best to come and cycle around Galway. With an impressive network of rural roads, you will be able to cycle on your own or join some of the many guided tours. This may be a great vacation opportunity for those who want to stay near a populated area while still being able to immerse themselves in isolation in nature.
Navigating the backroads of Cambodia
If you are a fan of the rural countryside then you must go cycling through Cambodia. The trail goes from Angkor Wat, one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world, to the Cardamom Mountains in the southwest. Cycling in Cambodia will take you over different landscapes that you can’t see one after another often anywhere in the world.
Sandy beaches, national parks, Buddhist temples, rice paddies, and waterfalls are only some of the sights you may pass by during your bike ride. Paddling through the ancient ruins and stopping by royal palaces is just the type of adventure you need to escape the pandemic for a while.
Great American cycling route from Canada to Mexico
The Great Divide is one of the most ambitious cycling routes, going from Canada to the Mexican border. It starts in Banff, a town in Alberta, and goes all the way to Antelope Wells in New Mexico. The name of the route is taken from the Continental Divide which takes cyclists through the USA states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The terrain is rough, full of dirt-roads and mountainous regions so prepare for ups and downs, as well as cold weather. This trip can last up to three months if you want to travel the whole 4,500 km of the Great Divide. Some of the sights not to miss to see are the Grand Teton National Park, Boreas Pass, and the Gila Wilderness.
Pilgrimage ride in Spain
Camino de Santiago is a famous pilgrimage road in Spain that spans over 250 km of the Galician countryside. It will take you at least eight days to finish, but the landscapes may inspire you to cycle longer. Make sure to visit the Monastery of Irache and its wine fountain to try the free red intended for tired travelers.
The route goes through the wine region of El Bierzo, over Castillan plains, and by numerous rural hostels, a fine example of sustainable tourism. The ride ends at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, one of the World Heritage Sites, dating back to 1211.
A path through the forest in Australia
Australia is full of national parks that are ideal for bushwalking, camping, and any other eco-friendly type of holiday. However, Munda Biddi Trail is the best choice if you are looking for cycling your way through this country. Located in Western Australia, this off-road trail stands for ‘path through the forest’ in Aboriginal language and stretches from Mundaring to Albany.
Since Munda Biddi is nature-based, a quality mountain bike and previous preparation are the best way to cycle this trail. The ride will take you through the eucalyptus forest and by wildlife habitats, so keep your eyes open for kangaroos and wallabies. It will take you approximately 3–4 weeks to complete the trail, but you should take your time and marvel at the natural beauties along the way.
Cycling around Iceland
Ring Road is the route that encircles Iceland, taking cyclists to all four sides of the country. The journey can last around two weeks over 1,332 km, so working on your fitness may be wise before the trip. It starts from Reykjavík and goes to the majestic East Fjords before it takes you through the Vatnajökull National Park and geothermal terrains of the North.
This is a paved and well-maintained road that goes through some of Iceland’s biggest towns, like Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Borgarnes. The weather may be harsh and occasionally close some parts of the Ring Road, but you can easily find information on the conditions online. Iceland has fairytale scenery with lakes, waterfalls, rock formations, and fjords you will get to visit while cycling.
Looping around Lake Constance in Central Europe
Lake Constance in September turns into one of the top cycling destinations in Europe, covering three countries and over 270 km of road. The area is full of vineyards and orchards, with local farmers selling apples, grapes, and pears to the cyclists. Riding around the lake will take you to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland — all famous for picturesque and mountainous sights.
This area is free of traffic and completely eco-friendly, offering an ideal getaway to clear the head and relax. Gothic cathedrals and medieval castles are common landmarks so take a break to do some sightseeing and enjoy the fresh air. You can also camp along the way, but make sure to leave no garbage behind since and respect the natural ecosystem.
All in all
The COVID-19 may spoil a lot of plans for the past year, but you can still take control of some parts of your life. Bike riding is one of the best activities to social distance from others and still see remarkable sights, as shown by these top cycling destinations. Nothing can help you take a break from reality like active eco-friendly travel and an open road.