Adventure Cycling & Cycle Touring

Cycle Touring in Europe | 5 of the Best Bike Routes

A selection of the best cycle touring routes in Europe to get you started on planning you next adventure

If you’ve ridden some cycle touring routes in the UK and are feeling confident enough to take on some bigger challenges, then this guide will stoke your enthusiasm for a two wheeled European adventure. Europe is a cycle tourist’s dream, with well organised bike paths and countless camping options. Cheap flights and ferry crossings mean that a cycling holiday in Europe has never been easier.

Europe has endless possibilities for cycle touring. Photo: iStock

There are many great routes that span the length of Europe, but not everyone has the luxury of time. With this in mind, these routes can all be completed in two weeks or less – making them ideal for a short summer break. Each route also features major cities at the start and finish making it easy to get to, and providing opportunities for a city-break at either end.

If you are new to cycle touring and are in search of a new set of wheels we’ve got you covered. From affordable trail-blazers to premium work-horses – any touring bike is a solid investment.

So dig out your phrase book, load up your panniers, and prepare for a European cycling adventure.

1) The River Danube

Rivers make for easy cycle touring navigation and terrain. Photo: iStock

Start / End: Passau (accessible by train from Munich) / Budapest
Distance: 300 miles
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The river Danube is a great introduction to cycle touring on the continent. Following the largest river in Europe, the route is virtually flat and easy to navigate. Passing through Vienna and Bratislava en route to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, this is a low difficulty tour with some world class cities included.

2) Dalmatian Coast

Cool off in the Adriatic after a hot day on the bike. Photo: iStock

Start / End: Pula / Dubrovnik
Distance:370 miles
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Experience Croatia from a different perspective as you ride through the rugged Dalmatian coastline with great views of the Adriatic. Cheap flights mean this is a more affordable option for a European cycle tour, and a great way to spend a couple of weeks by the coast. Finish off with some time in the bustling city of Dubrovnik.

3) The Renaissance Route

Italy is ideal when you need some culture and history in your bike tour. Photo: iStock

Start / End: Salzburg / Rome
Distance: 570 miles
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Culture is the theme of this cycle tour, which features the stunning cities of Salzburg, Bologna, Florence, and Rome. With a stunning ride through the Alps from Austria, you can end it by riding through the rolling Italian countryside gorging yourself on pizza and wine.

4) The Eastern Bloc

Both Berlin and Prague are must see cities, why not ride a bike between the two? Photo: iStock

Start / End: Berlin / Prague
Distance: 264miles
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A great little cycle touring route which allows for some city exploring at either end. The German cycle network in particular is fantastic, and much of the countryside is served with high quality cycle paths.

5) The Loire Valley

Sunset on the Loire river at Blois. Photo: iStock

Start / End: Nantes / Basel
Distance: 490 miles
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What cycle touring in Europe list would be complete without a route through the home of the Tour de France? Throw a dart at a map of the country and you are likely to land on somewhere stunning to go cycling, but this Loire Valley route from west to east is one of the best. Starting on the Atlantic coast, and ending in the stunning Swiss city of Basel, you will pedal through the heart of France and experience the best food and wine on offer.

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