Nothing says “I’m from Vancouver” more than owning a bike that costs more than your monthly rent. But what is there for us biking fanatics to do once we’ve memorized every route in Metro Vancouver?
Companies like G Adventures offer a variety of tours across Europe, many of which are tailor made for bikers – and what better way to explore one of the richest and most diverse continents in the world than by pedalling through its villages and landscapes?
One of the most historic locales in France, the Loire Valley was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2000. It’s well known as the Garden of France due to its spectacular gardens, vineyards and valleys. Just a short ride away from Paris, it was once the raison d’être for wealthy nobles looking to settle down in one of the many fortresses that dot the landscape. During an eight-day tour between Blois and Angers, you can cycle across the fertile countryside that divides northern and southern France, visiting castles, shopping at local markets, tasting French wine and touring museums along the way. Seasoned cyclists will more than get their fill during this week-long trip through the beautiful landscape of l‘Hexagone.
Not for the faint of heart, this week-long tour will take you along both on and off-road trails across picturesque Tuscany. Beginning in Rome and finishing off at Chianciano Terme in Siena, this bike tour includes wine tastings, traditional Italian cooking classes and many opportunities to rest your tired legs in the region’s thermal pools. Tuscany is known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and the region continues to offer some of the highest quality fine dining, art and culture anywhere in Europe. Stops include the spa town of Bagno Vignoni, charming hill town of Montepulciano and Pienza in the beautiful valley of Val d’Orcia.
If you’re looking for an authentic experience in Turkey, you’ll find no better introduction than the ancient Cappadocia region. Beginning at the ancient meeting place between Asia and Europe, this 15-day trip is focused on showcasing everything that the country has to offer. Cycle from the busy markets and awe-inspiring architecture of Istanbul, past the waterfalls and thermal springs of Pamukkale, to cozy locales like Antalya and Konya. This tour includes plenty of time by the sea, which is sure to satisfy those homesick for Vancouver’s shores. It’s also flexible, so you can choose to swap your bike for a pair of hiking boots or a sea kayak at various points if you want to explore the region from a new perspective.
Ever wanted to become a sommelier – or at least look up how to pronounce it correctly? This tour is for you. Combining walking tours, biking routes and sailing, this eight-day trip will take you through France’s wine country, specifically the famous Côte de Nuits region. After a day-long ride through the vineyards and the picturesque villages, you and your group can celebrate with a wine tasting in the quaint village of Vougeot. The itinerary also includes walking tours through gardens and along canals, and a mid-trip sailing adventure across the Saône River. This trip is perfect for beginner cyclists, as the routes are generally flat and undemanding.
Croatia isn’t always on people’s radars when they’re planning trips to Europe, but it should be: the natural beauty and deep history of this relatively tiny nation is hard to beat. During this seven-day excursion along the country’s coast, you can expect to taste lots of wine, learn about the local culture and the rich medieval roots of Croatian cities and villages, and go for an unforgettable boating trip along the scenic Adriatic Sea. Included is a half-day cycling trip around the seaside village of Lovorno, a day of swimming and sun tanning and a cooking class with Croatian farmers. This unique itinerary pairs you with a host family, so you’ll be able to get the inside scoop on the best trails and routes to explore during your stay.