Three holidays for cycling enthusiasts

Stuart Watkins looks at three of the best cycling holidays in the Scottish Highlands and Europe.

848-bikes-634

The stunning landscape around the summit of Beinn Eighe, a peak near the village of Torridon in the Scottish Highlands, has "well and truly arrived on the mountain-biking map", says Roo Fowler in Mountain Bike Rider. Fowler went "old school", arriving with just a big map and a hostel booked for the night, and if you're figuring it all out for yourself, you'll be spoilt for choice: there are "so many amazing trails threading their way through the landscape it's barely believable".

If you're on a tight schedule, however, you'll be better off speaking to a tour guide. Either way, if you can "outrun the midges and dodge the rain, you'll enjoy one of the best mountain-bike experiences in the world".

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

Tour guides can be found at be found at Nineonesix.co.uk and Go-Where.co.uk.

A slow trip through Romania

If you want to get away from the bustle of modern life, try a "slow-cycling" holiday in Transylvania, Romania, "where the emphasis is on experiencing local food and culture, not madly dashing from A to B", says Will Hide in The Daily Telegraph. You pedal sedately along country roads shared only with a horse and cart, past pastures filled with an "amazing array of wild flowers", and amble along shaded woodland tracks. At each stop, you rest in hamlets unchanged for hundreds of years bar the comfortable 21st-century guest houses.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Slow Cyclist has five-night trips to Transylvania from £1,175 per person, including meals.

A challenging ride in Italy

Deep in the heart of Italy lie wild mountains, isolated roads and a 31km climb of the Gran Sasso, made famous by the Giro d'Italia, one of cycling's grand tour races, says Mark Bailey in Cyclist magazine. It makes for an unforgettable trip, but not one for the faint-hearted. The rewards for the brave, however, are considerable. The Gran Sasso national park is a "2,014 square kilometre arena of brooding limestone and dolomite peaks, slithering glaciers and seductively silent roads" in the Apennines of central Italy. The "spiritual silence and aristocratic grandeur is enough to make any cyclist stop pedalling and stare".

The rides takes you from the city of L'Aquila to chilly and primeval peaks, through the eerie emptiness and raw beauty of the mountain landscape, to atmospheric hilltop villages and historic cities, alongside gurgling rivers and rocky plateaux. It is a 38km cycling odyssey that is well worth making.

Download the route at Cyclist.co.uk/61gransasso. ABCycle.org can provide local guides. Hotel 99 Cannelle in L'Aquila is comfortable and has a good restaurant. Doubles from 60.

Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/520478/central-banks-what-really-matters-for-markets-in-2020
Stock markets

Here’s what really matters for markets in 2020

The current geopolitical turmoil is making headlines. But it isn’t particularly significant for investors, says John Stepek. What matters more is how …
10 Jan 2020
Visit/520406/mindfulness-and-wellbeing-the-relentless-creepy-rise-of-the-enforced-happiness-industry
Investments

Mindfulness and wellbeing: the relentless, creepy rise of the enforced happiness industry

The evidence suggests we’ve never been richer or healthier, yet we are always being told how stressed and discontented we are. Jonathan Compton assess…
9 Jan 2020
Visit/520422/the-state-of-irans-feeble-economy
Economy

A look at the state of Iran’s feeble economy

The Islamic Republic is a big player in regional geopolitics, but its economy is weak, its people in revolt and its enemies growing bolder. Simon Wils…
11 Jan 2020
Visit/520113/uk-property-prices-are-in-the-doldrums
Property

UK property prices are in the doldrums

House prices barely rose in 2019. Good news, says Nicole Garcia Merida.
9 Jan 2020