Mountain bikes rarely tackle anything more demanding than a muddy towpath, says Tim Moore in the Financial Times. But the Canvas Hotel, a yurt retreat in a lonely corner of Norway, is an ideal place to experience the real thing. The landscape is "a mountain biker's fantasy". On his trip, Moore flew "across chuckling streams and up heathery dales through thickets of pine and birch and with a reedy whoop and whitened knuckles, I swoop down and up a pendulous Indiana Jones rope-bridge laid over a bouldered chasm". He also "falls off quite a lot".
But it's not all hard work. On your return from a day's biking you're introduced to the dining marquee, where Desmond Ngoni, the "gregarious Zimbabwean chef", introduces his evening menu.The hotel also has just the thing to nurse scrapes and bruises. "One afternoon disappears in the sauna tent, and another is swallowed up in one of the steaming lakeside baths."
From £367 including full board See CanvasHotel.no/English
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
The Majorcan town of Pollena is a Mecca for cyclists, says Oliver Gill in City AM. The island is "glorious, with only the odd goat threatening to cause mischief for cyclists on the long descents that follow sweat-inducing climbs". Cycling tour operator Velusso will take you there and combine "a luxurious break with a darn good workout" by organising bike tours for you alongside a professional cycling coach.
After a day's riding, tailored to your ability, you return to the firm's villas, situated just outside Pollena. These have "fantastic" views of the old port town and the mountains, a masseuse is on hand to soothe aching muscles, and a "local star chef" prepares dinner. Velusso's cycling tours "strike a great balance" you get enough exercise to "justify eating well and rewarding yourself with a couple of drinks".
From £1,195 for four nights see Velusso.co.uk
"We freewheeled out of the courtyard of the Chteau de Chissay, where we'd spent the night and eaten a memorably delicious meal," says Marcel Theroux in The Daily Telegraph, who was on a four-day cycling holiday with his wife, "pootling" through the Loire Valley. "It was the chteau of a fairy tale, all echoing donjons and ancient gargoyles."
"Just beyond Chisseaux, we took a path through a deep forest to an enchanting view of the Chteau de Chenonceau (pictured above), whose two-storey bridge over the Cher is one of the emblematic images of the region." The tour finished up at L'Aubinire at St-Ouen-les-Vignes, where you are reunited with your luggage. Before dinner, try the spa it is "heavenly".
From £1,149 for the six-night Loire Gastronomic Cycling trip SeeHeadwater.com
Fatbiking at a Californian ski resort
"Fatbikes so namedbecause of theircomically thick tyres are the latest trend incycling," says MeropeMills in The Guardian. "They look like themonster trucks of thebiking world and aredesigned for riding onsurfaces you'd thinkwould be impossibleto cycle on, such assand and, in particular,snow." Tahoe Donner inCalifornia is a downhilland cross-country skiingresort that has recentlybowed to pressure inopening up some ofits trails to fatbiking.
"I found myself gentlybobbing up and down,marvelling at how it feltno more difficult thancycling on a street," saysMills. "At this point, aswe slipped betweenfreshly snow-dustedwhite pines, it allseemed beautifuland effortless", butthings got harderfurther on. TahoeDonner is stunning "plus, when you'rehopelessly out ofshape and unable toquite complete the trail on your fatbike, you can always blame it on the altitude."
$16 an hour for bikehire plus $19 a day forthe trail pass TahoeDonner.com
Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.
Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.
House prices are falling in London but how does it compare to the rest of the UK?
Advice The capital remains the most expensive part of the UK to buy a property, but it isn’t being as badly hit by the housing market slump. Where are London house prices heading?
By Marc Shoffman Published
Will a Santa Rally provide festive cheer for investors this year?
News Equities often get a seasonal boost during December - will there be a Santa Rally in 2023?
By Marc Shoffman Published