Cycling offers a unique perspective of the world – a slower pace to appreciate the beauty of landscapes, the thrill of winding paths, and the liberty to stop and breathe in your surroundings. Some cycle routes amplify these experiences, rewarding you with vistas so stunning they seem almost surreal. So saddle up as we explore eight of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful cycle routes.
1. Great Ocean Road, Australia Australia’s Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometer stretch of road known for its dramatic coastal scenery, wildlife spotting, and historic landmarks. The ride offers stunning views of the 12 Apostles, magnificent rock stacks that rise majestically from the Southern Ocean.
2. Route des Grand Crus, France The Route des Grand Crus in Burgundy is a feast for the senses. Cyclists pedal through lush vineyards, historic towns, and can stop to sample some of the world’s finest wines. The vivid green of the vineyards contrasting with the clear blue sky is truly a sight to behold.
3. Pacific Coast Route, USA The Pacific Coast Route in the USA is a popular choice for cyclists craving breathtaking ocean views. The route, extending from Canada’s British Columbia to the Mexican border, offers an ever-changing backdrop of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and the expansive Pacific Ocean.
4. Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand The Otago Central Rail Trail in New Zealand’s South Island is a 152-kilometer path taking you through tunnels, over viaducts, and across wide-open plains. It’s a journey into the past, with a landscape that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.
5. Ring of Kerry, Ireland Ireland’s Ring of Kerry offers a unique combination of ocean, lake, and mountain views. This 179-kilometer loop takes riders through charming villages, medieval ruins, and alongside panoramic vistas of the wild Atlantic coastline.
6. Route of the Hiawatha, USA The Route of the Hiawatha in Idaho, USA, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. Cyclists traverse trestles over rushing rivers, pedal through tunnels in the mountains, and get an intimate view of the Bitterroot Mountains’ untouched wilderness.
7. The Rhine Route, Switzerland The Rhine Route follows the mighty Rhine from its source in the Swiss Alps to the North Sea. The 1,230-kilometer route offers an array of stunning landscapes, including steep cliffs, flower-filled meadows, and the largest waterfall in Europe, the Rhine Falls.
8. The Shimanami Kaido, Japan The Shimanami Kaido is a 60-kilometer bike route that connects Japan’s main island of Honshu to Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The route offers stunning views of the blue sea, sky, and mountain ranges in the backdrop.
Q: Are these routes suitable for all levels of cyclists? A: While some routes like the Otago Central Rail Trail and Shimanami Kaido are suited to all levels, others like the Pacific Coast Route and the Great Ocean Road can be challenging due to their length and terrain. Always check the difficulty level before embarking on your journey.
Q: Do I need a specific type of bike for these routes? A: It depends on the route. A regular road bike is fine for most of them, but for routes with rougher terrain like the Otago Central Rail Trail, a mountain bike would be more suitable.
Q: What’s the best time of year to ride these routes? A: The best time varies based on the location and climate of the route. Research and plan your trip according to the optimal weather conditions of each specific location.
Whether it’s the lush vineyards of France, the rugged Pacific coastline, or the pristine lakes of New Zealand, these cycling routes offer a feast for your eyes and soul. So, don’t just dream about these places – start planning your next breathtaking bike journey today!