From mountain biking through national parks and mountain ranges, to gentle cycles around magical lakes and past the seven wonders, there are so many beautiful bike trails around the world that it can be impossible to decide which one to try out next.
To help you narrow down your choices, we decided to share with you our ten all time favourite picturesque routes.
1. The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Stretching from Torquay to Allansford, The Great Ocean Road is 277km of dramatic coastline perfect for exploring by bike. Take in the famous twelve apostles, discover beautiful waterfalls and stop off occasionally for a swim or to check out the surf.
For those looking for something a bit more extreme, there are mountain biking trails hidden off of the main road too. Tour companies such as Global Adventure Guide organises six day cycling trips along The Great Ocean Road starting and ending in Melbourne for anyone who would prefer a guided ride.
2. Salzach Valley, Austria
A family friendly 150 mile bike ride, this cycle through the Salzach Valley delights riders with views of Grossglockner Mountain, the Hohe Tauern National Park and Europe’s highest waterfall.
Starting at Gerlos Pass cyclists can easily spend a week pedalling down from Krimml at 5,340 feet to Salzburg at 1,450 feet stopping off on the way to have a go at summer skiing, tobogganing, rafting or take a trip on a cable car. Along route you will pass between pine forests, quaint villages and meadows bursting with brightly coloured flowers. Arrange your own trip or tag along with a Free Wheel Holiday to have someone do all the planning for you.
3. Around the Perimeter of Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island may be expensive to get to, but once there you will be able to cycle the entire perimeter of the world’s most remote inhabited island. Hire a bike in Hanga Roa and explore the island at your leisure, cycling around its entirety in just a day or spreading the sights out over a week.
Trails and roads encompass the island making it easy to navigate around but some paths can be steep with sharp turns so be sure to opt for a mountain bike.
Discover Moai statues that other visitors will rarely stumble upon in their car journeys, arrive at the volcano crater Rano Kau before any of the tour groups have even left the centre and race ahead to catch the sunset over Ahu Tahai for a view you will never forget.
4. The San Juan Islands, Washington, USA
Island hopping with a difference, Washington’s San Juan Islands each offer a different level of difficulty and their own unique beauty for cyclists to explore. Each island is hilly and has its fair share of narrow, winding, shoulderless roads.
Lopez Island is the least technical and can easily be cycled in a day. For something slightly more challenging, San Juan island offers 43 miles of picturesque trails which can also be completed in a day or spread out over two if you factor in some beach time too.
Orcas Island is for the most experienced mountain bikers. For those daring enough, a ride to the top of Mount Constitution at 2,409 feet will reward you with a stunning panorama of the islands.
5. Great Divide Mountain Route, Canada - USA
Mountain bike along the the longest off-pavement cycling trail in the world whilst completing the Great Divide Mountain Route.
Criss-crossing the Canada/USA border several times, riders will cycle through ghost towns, past deserted mines, through the Colorado Rockies, down dirt roads and unused railway beds, and through mountain passes.
Take a slight detour to Yellow Stone National Park or stop off at one of the natural, untouched hot springs for a relaxing dip to soothe those aching muscles. Expect steep climbs, a possible run in with a herd of antelope, complete remoteness and the most mesmerising views.
6. The Karakoram Highway, China - Pakistan
For a challenging yet extremely picturesque ride, seasoned cyclists can pedal their way from Kashgar in China to Islamabad in Pakistan. The route is just shy of 750 miles and takes in the Khunjerab Pass, the world’s highest paved border crossing at 4,693m.
Snow-capped peaks, tiny villages nestled away in mountain valleys, beautiful cathedrals and ancient forts make the entire ride a mesmerising trip but the true highlight for nature lovers has to be the Batura Glacier which you get to cycle right past.
To enjoy the trail in complete tranquillity you can go it alone, but for those that would prefer the comfort of having an experienced guide with them, companies such as Red Spokes Cycling Adventure Holidays organise expeditions along the highway.
7. Dordogne Valley, France
Offering stunning scenery, rich food and fine wines, the Dordogne Valley is an idyllic area to spend a week cycling through.
Take advantage of one of the self-guided cycling holiday packages available to have the freedom of choosing your own daily itinerary, but enjoy the comfort of having your luggage transported between hotels and a hire bike waiting for you on arrival to France at the same time. Companies offering this package include Inntravel and Cycle the Dordogne.
It is also possible to cycle through the valley with your own bike stopping off at hotels and chateaux as you go, cycling on to the next village if nothing takes your fancy at the first.
8. Around the Sun Moon Lake, Taichung, Taiwan
Arrive at the hypnotically beautiful Sun Moon Lake, pick up a bike from the visitor centre and choose between a gentle 19 mile ride around the lake or a slightly longer 33 mile route around the lake and continuing on to Checheng for an authentic dinner.
Along the route cyclists have the pleasure of seeing Taiwanese architectural delights such as Wenwu Temple and Xuanzang Temple, Taiwan’s only Kongming Temple and passing by Orchid World, Yuchi. The route can be completed as a unique day trip or can be incorporated into a longer Taiwanese cycling itinerary.
9. Udaipur to the Taj Mahal, India
Explore the colourful wonders of India by bike setting off from the City of Lakes, Udaipur and wheeling to a halt at the incredibly beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra. Cyclists can choose to set off on the trip alone or join an organised tour such as the ten day trip led by KE Adventure Travel.
Along the route you will pass through traditional villages with the chance to meet local people and see how they go about their daily lives, as well as glimpsing views over the Pink City of Jaipur’s Palace of the Winds and the Amber Fort.
The route passes along backroads and across the Aravalli hills away from the traffic making for a tranquil and picturesque ride.
10. Tulip Fields, Netherlands
In a country known for its millions of bicycles, there’s no better way to explore the Netherland’s famous flower fields than on a bike. Starting in the historic town of Leiden a gentle days cycling down the Bloembollenroute (flower bulb route) will see you finishing in Haarlem 39 miles later having passed through swarms of blooming crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.
Stop for lunch half way at the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse to meander through the flower displays they are famous for. The flowers are in bloom from late March to mid-May.
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