Active vacations like road biking are growing in popularity nowadays.  Many adventurous travellers are eager to pedal through some of the world’s most spectacular regions, explore at their own pace and engage more deeply with their surroundings.  Whether you want a challenging mountain biking adventure or along a flat but scenic path, here are the best destinations for cycling adventures.

1. Spain

From winding climbs up in the mountains to city bike paths along scenic coasts, Spain is a country you can best explore on two wheels.  It has abundant spectacular cycling spots that make deciding where to ride your bike daunting.  The island of Mallorca offers some of the best bike-friendly paths, with beautiful coastlines and fantastic architecture.  Meanwhile, the Canary Islands are also gaining popularity for having some of the most fascinating bike roads, some featuring views of the Pico de las Nives volcano.

As the cycling capital of the Mediterranean, Mallorca is the best destination to ride your bike.  It attracts professional and leisure cyclists for its stunning views and bike-friendly paths.  A popular route among cyclists is Port de Pollensa to Cap de Formentor.  You’ll love the smooth roads and breathtaking scenery in this 25-mile ride.  It takes you through El Mirador de Sa Cruenta viewpoint and into the Formentor Lighthouse.  Feel free to stop as you please and soak up the stunning scenery.

Those seeking a more thrilling bike adventure should consider cycling towards the Sierra Nevada mountains.  It’s one of Spain’s most challenging climbs, testing the endurance of avid cyclists.  The most spectacular section of the climb is La Carretera de la Cabra, a route used by mule drivers transporting fish from the coast to the markets of Granada.

2. Italy

Cycling in Italy is a dream for many avid cyclists. As one of Europe’s most popular cycling destinations, Italy is a delight for cyclists of all levels.  But with so many fantastic places to discover and hundreds of kilometres of pavement to pedal through, deciding where to begin your journey can be overwhelming.

If you only have time to explore one region, make it Tuscany.  It has some of the country’s most scenic cycling paths, suitable for all levels of cyclists.  Beginners will find flat roads to explore leisurely, leading towards small picturesque towns, such as Lucca, where cars are banned.  Expert cyclists can venture towards the Apuane Mountains, with stunning terrains marked by steep hills and lush valleys.  Meanwhile, Crete Senesi in the south offers trails for all levels in its magnificent lunar-like landscape.

Sardinia is a fantastic place to cycle for cyclists looking for a challenge.  It boasts some of the Mediterranean’s most stunning coastline with wild and mountainous interiors that avid cyclists seeking thrilling rides will love.  Whether you prefer a leisure ride along the coast or a more challenging adventure in the mountainous interior, Sardinia can offer an unforgettable cycling adventure.

3. France

There is something magical about cycling in France.  It’s a stunning country steeped in culture and heritage, with scenic cycling trails taking you to quiet country roads, rolling terrains, majestic mountain ranges, and picturesque villages.  Besides, it’s famous for hosting the Tour de France, one of the world’s most prestigious cycling events.

Nice offers some of the most exhilarating cycling adventures in France.  Your journey will take you to gorgeous coastal roads with the azure seas in the background.  Professional cyclists can test their skills in Col de la Madone, a famous mountain bike trail starting at the coast of Menton.  It slopes uphill, with the breathtaking ocean views along the way.  Another route to try in Nice is the Col d’Eze, which takes you on a 10-km cycling path that guarantees an exciting experience.

If mountain biking is your thing, test your skills at the Pyrenees Mountains.  It features steep and short climbs with stunning and quiet paths, perfect for those who prefer to ride their bike on less populated routes.  In addition, the Pyrenees is home to Col du Tourmalet, the most used mountain pass in Tour de France.

4. Portugal

Whether you’re a beginner looking for the most scenic cycling trails or a seasoned cyclist looking for new and challenging routes, Portugal will have something for you.  The country’s popularity as a cycling destination has increased significantly, as thousands of cyclists visit each year to discover its natural beauty, mouth-watering gastronomy, and rich culture.

If you want to cycle through stunning coastal roads, consider riding your bike along Rota Vicentina.  It takes you through the Atlantic Coast and into rolling hills, marshes, farms, fields, and picturesque coastal villages.  You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop, whether for a coffee break at a family-run cafe or a full meal at a fancy seafood restaurant.

The Douro Valley is another region in Portugal renowned for its spectacular landscapes, allowing for an exceptional bike riding adventure.  Consider cycling along the Douro Valley Cycling Route, one of Portugal’s most scenic bike routes.  The excellent road conditions, almost zero traffic, and stunning landscapes can make for an exciting cycling adventure.

5. Switzerland

With its incredibly picturesque scenery, Switzerland is a haven for cycling enthusiasts.  Your cycling adventure will take you to lush valleys, majestic mountains, and some of the world’s most jaw-dropping sights! For thrill-seeking cyclists and nature lovers, cycling in Switzerland offers an unforgettable vacation.

The Col du Grand St-Bernard pass is one of the most popular cycling routes in the Swiss mountains.  It’s one of Switzerland’s highest paved roads at 2,468 meters.  Expert cyclists looking for a challenge to test their skills will find this trail an absolute delight to conquer.  The iconic mountain bike ride will take you to the summit with plenty of ascents on the last 6 to 7 kilometres, so the altitude might be tough to handle.  Nevertheless, the breathtaking views at the top will make the effort well worth it.

With an elevation gain of over 2,000 metres, the Col du Sanetsch Loop is another fascinating trail for those looking for an exciting cycling adventure up in the mountains.  It starts in a majestic valley surrounded by scenic vineyards and continues through the lush forests.  On the upper part of the route, you’ll come across a typical Swiss mountain village with wooden houses surrounded by snow-capped peaks.