1. The Backroads of Croatia
Cycling culture runs deep in Europe. Beautiful Croatia is one of Europe’s hidden gems, known for its unspoilt coastlines bordered by azure ocean and groves of lavender and olive, interspersed with towns and cities featuring a brilliant medley of Slavic, French, Ottoman, Roman and Byzantine architecture. Do a leisurely 6-day tour from island to island with a grand finale at the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik. Or try a 7-night cycling holiday in Istria, positioned at the crossroads of Europe’s major arteries. Regardless of level and length of tour, there are many to choose from.
Breathtaking Balkan coastlines await in Croatia
2. North Eastern Oregon, USA (Scenic Bikeway)
Oregon is a cyclist’s dream, with miles of open roads winding through mountains, gorges, forests and coastlines. You’ll soak up the sights and inhale the freshest air you’ve ever smelt, tinged with hints of sage and cedar. Good for all levels of cycling skills, this particular route is a little over 200 kilometres long, covering parts of the same route that the pioneers travelled in the days of the Oregon trail. Your path will take you through picture perfect small towns with as much history as America can muster.
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Oregon’s dramatic northeast includes rolling rivers and high desert
3. The Island of Tasmania
Tasmania has plenty of routes to choose from that are appropriate for all cyclist levels. It is also quickly gaining a reputation as a top spot for touring among the international cycling community. Solo travellers can select escorted group tours to join, and customisable options are also available. West coast, east coast or even central – every corner of the island gives you a chance to see and feel flat, empty beaches, the rolling green hills or majestic old growth forests. The diverse landscape and temperate climate makes it a very photogenic and memorable experience not to be missed!
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Tasmania is gaining an international reputation for its gorgeous cycling routes
4. Along the Mekong River Delta
At the end of its 4,900 km journey, the mighty Mekong spills into the sea, bringing its alluvial bounty to the farmers of the Delta. This is a flat but extremely fertile zone of bounteous villages and stunning biodiversity, where intrepid travellers can cycle through paddies, orchards and myriads of canals. Go from charming village to village, boarding boats, sampling seasonal tropical fruit and tasting the delightful cuisine of the region. Tranquil canals, dirt roads, bridges, local farms – this tour is the perfect all-around introduction to Vietnam and its warm and welcoming people.
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The Mekong Delta is a tranquil haven in burgeoning southeast Asia
This fully-guided 8-day tour takes you through some of the most enchanting parts of mainland Greece. You can opt for the long (576 km) or the short (381 km) option, which includes a specialised 27-gear road bike, entrance fees and private tours of several sites. To sweeten the pot, all dinners are served with wine. Stops include the Olympic grounds, Mycenae and Epidavros, and other sites of immense antiquity.
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Feel like an Olympian on a Greek cycling tour
6. Shiraz to Yazd in Iran
If a gorgeous tour of some of the finest archaeological sites of the entire Middle East sounds appealing, this is the route for you. It’ll take you about a week to cover the 500 km distance, allowing you to experience 2,000 year old Persepolis, and the stark but stunning Abarkuh desert near Yazd, whose Zoroastrian culture and fine persian carpets make it a popular local destination where you can cool down your body with a glass of pomegranate juice. Camping is possible almost anywhere, but budget hotels and other accommodation are abundant too.
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A stunning tour of one of the cradles of civilisation
Pro tips from the expert:
We interviewed Mr. Tony Tan of Coast Cycles to get some professional tips on travelling by bicycle.
- Travelling by bicycle is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, but it does take a little preparation. He recommends checking out the weather before embarking on a journey like this. “Proper clothing: Bring clothes depending on the weather and season.” Remember that your trip through Vietnam will require different clothes than your trip through Tasmania.
- Mr. Tan also recommends paying close attention to the condition of your bicycle, whether it’s rented or your own personal ride. “If you are bringing your own, make sure that it was serviced recently.” You shouldn’t ignore your own condition either; he adds: “while there are tours which are more leisurely, you still need to be fairly fit to enjoy the experience.”
- How about safety? Mr. Tan says that many tour companies will arrange insurance and other safeguards for all possible contingencies, but, he adds, “just to be safe, you should note down the contact details of the Singapore embassy/consulate of the country you are in, as well as the local emergency telephone numbers (police and hospital), and also purchase the necessary travel and personal accident insurance plans.”
- In addition to the great tour possibilities mentioned here, Mr. Tan also recommends some of his personal favourites: Jacqtours and The Hero.
- For locals who want to get more involved in the cycling community, Mr. Tan advises checking out cycling support groups that are available here in Singapore: “The group I would recommend is Love Cycling SG. They are very well organised and comprise riders of all ages and who ride a wide variety of bicycles.”
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