Tourism cycling has become a very popular leisure activity in the UK, with £650 million a year generated via the National Cycle Network. Taking a cycling holiday can be an excellent way to see more of the world – and with a variety of cycle routes around the world, there’s no end to the sights you can see
Tourism cycling has become a very popular leisure activity in the UK, with £650 million a year generated via the National Cycle Network. Taking a cycling holiday can be an excellent way to see more of the world – and with a variety of cycle routes around the world, there’s no end to the sights you can see along the way. Here are top of the world’s best cycling routes, and what makes them so.
North Sea Cycle Route (Six Countries)
The North Sea Cycle Route, otherwise known as EuroVelo 12, is a breath-taking journey across over 7,500 kilometres, six countries and 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites. The route begins at the edge of Norway’s North-Western coast, following the coastline through Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France until it crosses the Channel to track up Britain’s Eastern coastline, ending in Shetland at the very tip of the UK.
The Shimanami Kaido (Japan)
A far smaller route by scope, but no less beautiful – the Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometre route crossing the Seto Inland Sea, with majestic views of six small islands as you leave Honshu for Shikoku via an array of contemporary bridges.
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (North America)
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, or GDMBR, is a definitive riding experience for bikers around the world. The trail spans the length of North America, a 4,300 kilometre trip from Banff National Park in Canada to the U.S.-Mexico border – taking in the splendour of the Rocky Mountains the whole way down.
Munda Biddi Trail (Australia)
Munda Biddi means “path through the forest” in Noongar, an aboriginal language local to Western Australia. The bike trail that shares this phrase is a 1000 kilometre route, through a “natural corridor” near to the coast. The route offers unique and exotic plants and wildlife all the way between Perth and Albany.
The South Downs Way (England)
The South Downs way is an utterly unique ride, comprising 160 kilometres of South Downs National Park and a trail along the South Downs’ bespoke chalk cliffs and ridges. The trail also takes in historic chalk rivers, protected wildlife and ancient woodlands alike.
La Ruta de los Conquistadores (Costa Rica)
This Costa Rican route started out as a race, established in 1993 as a way to put Costa Rica’s conservation efforts on the map. The trail roughly follows the same route Spanish conquistadors took in the 14th century, covering 3 days and 400 kilometres. With high elevation and varied terrain, the trail is now a destination spot for cyclists as well as an annual competition for the sport’s elite.
The Friendship Highway (China)
The Friendship Highway is a bicycle route that precedes itself; an 800 kilometre route from the Tibetan capital Lhasa, via the Shanghai-Zhangmu Highway to the border between China and Nepal. The highway is so named for the Friendship Bridge connecting China and Nepal. The trail takes in a number of ancient rivers, including the Kyi Chu and Arun rivers – and such lofty peaks as Cho Oyu and even Mount Everest can be seen from the route.