5 invigorating bike tours that will motivate you to start cycling
Bike tours are an exciting way to globe-trot, whether you're an avid cyclist or a beginner.
Biking is a great way to see the world. A bike allows you to move at your own speed, navigate interesting trails and stop whenever you see something exciting. On a bike, you can explore new terrain in a way that you just can’t in cars and buses. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or you just want to try a new kind of vacation, bike tours combine travel with cardiovascular exercise so you don’t have to feel so guilty about that dessert or extra glass of wine at the end of the day: you earned it!
Thinking of a bike tour for your next vacation? Here are a few to consider:
1. Tuscany and Umbria
Biking tour of old Tuscany in Italy. (Photo: leoks/Shuttershock)
Just because you’re biking doesn’t mean you can’t stop for a taste of tremendous food or a splash of wine. Italy boasts many local varietals like Sagrantino, Montefalco Rosso and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. And what’s a taste of Italian wine without local cuisine pairings like the famous Tuscan soup classic ribollita along with fresh pastas, cheeses and pastries? When you’re not noshing on delicious local eats, you’ll be soaking in the scenery, cruising past olive groves, sunflower fields and ancient hilltop towns.
Length: 6 days
Accommodations: Luxury villas, country houses and medieval castles
Approximate Price: $4,198
2. Israel Backroads
Biking along the Mediterranean coast in Israel. (Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shuttershock)
Explore the archeological treasures in Beit She’an and the Judean Hills. You’ll explore the old city of Jerusalem on a private walking tour and visit the communal artist colony of Ein Hod, which overlooks the Mediterranean coast. Spin past the mountains of Jordan and wander the cobblestone roads of Safed, the highest city in Israel. And then coast through downhill terrain on your way to the Sea of Galilee.
Length: 8 days
Accommodations: Resorts, boutique hotels and inns
Approximate Price: $5,398
3. Cambodia-Vietnam Mekong River Bike and Boat Tour
Watching the sunset along the Mekong River. (Photo: Don Mammoser/Shuttershock)
Who could pass up an opportunity to bike the main artery of Asia – the mighty Mekong River – in a part of the world formerly known as Indochina that combines the cultures of Cambodia and Vietnam? Check out the lush rainforests of Cambodia and visit the largest religious monument in the world, the famous Angkor Wat. The tour contrasts the fast pace of modern Asia, including a stop in bustling Phnom Penh, with the quiet, traditional villages that thrive just a few minutes from the city. This 13-day tour even includes a stay in cabins aboard the boat Toum Tiou.
Length: 13 days
Accommodations: Cabins aboard the Toum Tiou river boat
Approximate Price: $3,999
Website: Bike Beyond Boundaries
4. Annapurna Fun Ride
Two bikes on the background of the Himalayan mountains. (Photo: My Good Images/Shuttershock)
Though biking through the Himalayas might seem intimidating, this fun ride is an opportunity to recharge as you spin your way through the giant mountains. The tour starts in Jomsom, along the Kali Gandaki Valley, the deepest valley on Earth. The off-road mountain route leaves from busy Kathmandu, taking you through hidden Buddhist villages and past Annapurna and Dhaulagirl, mountains that seem to touch the sky.
Length: 10 days
Accommodations: Rustic mountain lodges
Approximate Price: $2,200
Website: Cycle Tours Global
5. The Pacific Coast
The Pacific Coast biking tour stops in San Francisco. (Photo: Local Favorite Photography/Shuttershock)
The Pacific Coast is one of the most iconic biking routes in the United States, with oceanfront riding all the way from the start in Bellingham, Wash., to the end in San Diego, Calif. Enjoy the lush forests of western Washington state and stunning coastlines dotted with state parks along the way. The tour includes a view of the famous “Avenue of the Giants” where massive redwoods line the roadway. After visiting San Francisco, the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur and Santa Barbara, the trip ends in gorgeous San Diego.
Length: 44 days
Approximate Price: $3,399
Website: Adventure Cycling
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