When it comes to staying fit, cycling is one of the best – and most fun – ways to do it. In fact, participating in this activity introduces a number of benefits. And when it comes to the best destinations for cycling, Europe is one of your best bets.
Europe’s cycling routes accommodate both beginners and veterans. Moreover, stunning natural and historic backdrops are wherever you decide to go. Check out these extraordinary cycle paths and spice up the upcoming summer:
Via Francigena, Italy
Via Francigena is Italy’s longest signposted route. It runs from the Swiss border down to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. One of the most interesting things about this track is its historic background. It was once the last part of a long pilgrimage route, stretching all the way from Britain to Rome.
Via Francigena went through a long process of mapping and marking in 2016. Thanks to this campaign, it is now resurrected as a bicycle trail. For those who’d like to avoid intense mountain biking, this trail is a perfect choice. While very scenic, this cycling route is only slightly challenging.
The cycling enthusiasts using Via Francigena agree that its sights are breathtaking. With cypress-lined roads, fields dotted with poppies, and the cloudless Tuscan sky, it offers an adventure that’s hard to forget.
Cornish Way, England
Cornwall, the southwestern peninsula of England, is one of the island’s prettiest corners. Its most famous cycling route, the Cornish Way, offers the classic Cornish sights. These include wonderful seaside towns, charming beaches, and beautiful wildlife. It’s a part of the UK’s National Cycle Network.
The Cornish Way starts at Land’s End, which is, as the name suggests, situated on the western tip of the peninsula. From there, there are various trails that one can choose from. Although they vary in length, all these options offer stunning nature areas, fishing villages, and historic towns.
Most of the route consists of quiet, flat lanes. Thus, the Cornish Way offers only a moderate challenge. Amateurs should plan for four days at least. Experienced cyclists can expect to complete the route in two days.
Passing through the picturesque coastal villages of Mevagissey, Hayle, and Penzance is recommended. Penzance is particularly interesting, allowing you to visit the Scilly Isles by ferry.
Danube Cycle Route, Central Europe
Running through seven different countries, the Danube Cycle Route offers the best way to explore Europe on your bicycle. As the name suggests, this path follows the continent’s most famous river. This means that you’ll start your journey in Germany and finish it in Romania – some 3,000 kilometers to the east!
A route of this length guarantees unforgettable sights and sounds. There’s so much to see – the thermal baths in Budapest, Vienna’s baroque palaces, the charming towns of Melk and Smederevo, the Danube Delta in Romania. You will also visit Belgrade, Bratislava, Regensburg, Linz, and Novi Sad. It’s an endless array of natural and human-made spectacles.
The best part of the year to use this route is mid-summer. To avoid crowds, make sure to start each of your cycling days early. The route is relatively flat, allowing you to cover long distances with minimal exertion.
North Zealand Route, Denmark
When it comes to bike-friendly countries, Denmark is one of the contenders for the top place. This North European country has 12,000 kilometers of cycle routes. Moreover, it’s also very flat – the only flatter country on the continent is the Netherlands. Besides that, most of the urban cycling lanes are very well-made and safe.
Situated on the northern half of the Zealand Island, the North Zealand Route starts and finishes in the nation’s capital – Copenhagen. It follows the so-called Danish Riviera and takes the cyclists on a circular route. Most of the path hugs the Baltic shores, but it also goes around lakes, through forests, and near breathtaking fjords.
Some of the attractions include Roskilde’s cathedral, the Kronborg Castle, and the Ise Fjord.
Istrian Coast Route, Croatia, Slovenia & Italy
The largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Istria, is also one of the region’s most interesting places. Those who’d like to discover its wonders should do so by cycling down the Istrian Coast. This route allows cyclists to visit Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy on a week-long ride.
Trieste is the starting point. This is an ancient port with stunning Roman and Habsburg architecture. It goes south from there, all the way to the Slovenian coast and the city of Piran. The path then crosses into Croatia, where it goes through the charming cities of Umag, Poreč, and Rovinj. The final stop is Pula, with its world-famous Roman amphitheater.
For the lovers of sea, sun, and history, the Istrian Coast Route is a perfect choice. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen lotion with you!