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Five of the best cycling tours in Europe

1.Land’s End to John O’Groats. Starting in Cornwall in the southwest of England and going to the northeastern tip of Scotland, this trip will take you all across the UK. At 1000 miles (some 2000km) and two weeks it’s an ambitious jaunt through what the Anglo-Saxons called ‘Middle Earth’ (and, yes, where Tolkien got the name for his fantasy world). Not only will you have a great, sporty holiday, you’ll also be able to see the various cultures of the UK and how they change over the course of the journey.

2. Dalmation Coast. Croatia is very well-known for its seaside beauty and since Game of Thrones became one of the most popular TV shows all over, Dubrovnik has turned into a top tourist destination. There’s more to Croatia than just Dubrovnik though. Consider starting in the Italian city of Trieste, the one-time maritime hub of Austria-Hungary, and pedalling down the cost through Slovenia and Croatia, where you’ll see beautiful beach, castles and glorious islands along the way. 

3. Berlin to Vienna. At round 600 kilometres this trip takes round a week to complete, but very easily could take a month. Start in the capital of Germany, pass through the capital of the Czech Republic and end in the capital of Austria. In addition to passing through three capitals you’ll also get to see mountains of Bohemia and the wine regions of Moravia and Lower Austria, in addition to the rolling hills of Saxony and the meandering rivers of the Spreewald. With so much to see along the way it’s probably best to plan for two weeks so that you can have a chance to rest and explore the cultures of Central Europe.

4. The Danube. Quite possibly the most exciting of the bike journey’s through Europe, this will take about six weeks and 2500km and take you from the quite woodlands of the Black Forest through the Bavarian plains and hills, into the vineyard- and castle-studded valleys of Austria and Slovakia before you get to Hungary’s wide-open plains, Serbia and Bulgaria’s Carpathian mountains and finally end in the Romania’s Danube Delta, the only place in Europe to see pelicans. Cycling through four capitals and countless towns and cities, you’ll have an amazing experience and eat some of the best food Europe has to offer along the way.

5. Paris to Moscow. This is one of the most ambitious bike journey and is ideal for history buffs. It will take you along the route Napoleon’s armies took when invading Russia. You’ll need nearly two months to complete it, but it will be the journey of a lifetime.