Have you ever dreamt of leaving everything behind to embark on a life-changing cycling adventure? The world is full of scenic bike routes that offer not just breathtaking views, but also unique cultural experiences and challenges. Here are 15 that might just make you want to quit your job and start pedaling.
1. Route des Grandes Alpes, France Travel from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean along the Route des Grandes Alpes. This high mountain pass route is renowned for its epic climbs and unparalleled Alpine views.
2. Pacific Coast Route, USA Running from Canada to Mexico, the Pacific Coast Route offers rugged coastlines, redwood forests, and vibrant cities like San Francisco.
3. Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand Explore New Zealand’s South Island on the Otago Central Rail Trail. This car-free trail through the heart of Central Otago offers a glimpse into the region’s gold mining history.
4. Shimanami Kaido, Japan The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 km long toll road that connects Japan’s main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea.
5. Sella Ronda, Italy Enjoy panoramic views of the Dolomites as you pedal around the Sella mountain range on the Sella Ronda loop, famous for its hairpin bends and challenging ascents.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway, USA Known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the scenic Appalachian Mountains with numerous overlooks and picture-perfect vistas.
7. The Great Ocean Road, Australia Discover the beauty of Australia’s rugged southern coast. The Great Ocean Road offers breathtaking ocean views, the famous Twelve Apostles, and the chance to see koalas in their natural habitat.
8. Sun Route, Europe Spanning from Norway’s Nordkapp to Malta, the EuroVelo 7 Sun Route will take you through varied European landscapes, cultures, and climates.
9. Sea to Sky Corridor, Canada The Sea to Sky Corridor stretches from Vancouver to Whistler, offering dramatic mountain vistas, cascading waterfalls, and the chance to ride the famous Sea to Sky Gondola.
10. Patagonia, Chile and Argentina Discover the end of the world on a bike. With its wide-open spaces, towering glaciers, and turquoise lakes, Patagonia offers some of the most striking landscapes in the world.
11. The Ring of Kerry, Ireland Pedal through picturesque villages, past ancient monuments, and alongside rugged coastlines on Ireland’s famous Ring of Kerry.
12. West Coast of Taiwan Bike through the tropical beauty of Taiwan. Start in Taipei, pedal through vibrant cities, past beaches, mountains, and rice fields, and sample the country’s renowned street food.
13. Cabot Trail, Canada Winding through stunning highlands and seaside cliffs, the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island is known for its beautiful ocean vistas and Celtic heritage.
14. Munda Biddi Trail, Australia Claiming to be the longest continuous off-road cycling trail in the world, the Munda Biddi Trail meanders through an undeveloped natural corridor from Mundaring to Albany in Western Australia.
15. The Carretera Austral, Chile A journey down the Carretera Austral takes you through remote landscapes of rainforests, glaciers, fjords, and hot springs.
Q: Are these routes suitable for beginners? A: While some of these routes like the Otago Central Rail Trail and the Shimanami Kaido are suitable for beginners, others like the Route des Grandes Alpes and the Sella Ronda require a higher level of fitness and experience.
Q: Can I rent bikes on these routes? A: Yes, many of these routes have bike rental services available. It’s always recommended to check in advance.
Q: What do I need to bring on a long-distance cycling trip? A: Depending on the length of the journey and the availability of services en route, you may need to pack food, water, clothing for various weather conditions, a basic bike repair kit, and camping equipment.
These 15 scenic bike routes offer a diverse range of landscapes, challenges, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil ride through vineyards or a thrilling mountain adventure, there’s a cycling route that can make your dream a reality.