Five Things You Might Not Know You Can Do On a Cycling Holiday

By Ben Corke
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Cycling holidays aren’t just about miles in the saddle, our tours also feature lots to see and do along the way, with wonderful views to admire, regional cuisine to sample and local cultures to learn about. But that’s not all, we’ve selected five extra-special tours where you can experience something a little different: from pink flamingos and smoking volcanoes to the eerie castle of Count Dracula or even swapping your bike for a Viking boat! What's more, all five of these tours are featured in our January Sale, with £50 saving per adult until the end of January.

Admire the flamingos in Provence & Camargue, France

Pink flamingos

Tour through Camargue, a region rich in Roman heritage, towards Western Europe’s largest river delta, the Camargue. The region’s natural landscape is home to more than 400 species of birds, and its shimmering salt flats provide one of the few European habitats for the greater flamingo. Admire these elegant birds, alongside the roaming herds of white horses, powerful black bulls and extensive flora on the trip, before continuing towards the medieval fortress of Aigues Mortes. Don’t leave the region without marvelling at Pont du Gard – the best preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe – cycling through the vineyards towards Châteauneuf-du-Pape and riding alongside the banks of the Rhone.

Level: Easy to Moderate

View tour: Provence & Camargue

See a smoking volcano on Sicily’s Islands

Sailing to Stromboli volcano

Beginning and ending in Sicily, boat, bike and hike around the beautiful Aeolian Islands with their crystalline waters and dramatic geology, plus see a smoking volcano on Stromboli. One of three active volcanoes in Italy, it has minor eruptions and is visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, hence its nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”. Cruise towards Panarea, the smallest and most exclusive island in the Aeolian, before hiking up to the Sciara del Fuoco viewpoint to admire Stromboli’s firework-like lava explosions. Other experiences include the healing power of the volcanic mud baths and exploring the alluring island villages and pretty ports. Finish the tour with a stunning coast-to-coast bike ride on Lipari island, which has white-sand beaches and a thriving historical town. Because this tour incorporates many hikes alongside the cycling, it’s ideal for those new to the saddle, or travelling with a partner who prefers multi-sport holidays.

Level: Easy to Moderate

View tour: Sicily Boat, Bike & Hike

Sail a Viking replica boat on Denmark’s Largest Island

Copenhagen, Denmark

Following flat, well-marked cycle paths along the coast and through the countryside, pedal around Denmark’s main island of Zealand. Not only will you experience beautiful beaches, quaint fishing villages and impressive castles on this new tour, you will also have the opportunity to swap your bike for a Viking replica boat and row or sail across the fjord next to the city of Roskilde. Other highlights include sleeping in a different historic town each night: from Korsør – famous for its freshly smoked fish – to Næstved – home to Gavnø Castle and a magnificent rose garden – and Køge – a characterful medieval municipality. A visit to the incredible Trelleborg Viking fortress, which is more than 1,000 years old, offers a compelling window into the historical roots of the region too.

Level: Easy to Moderate

View tour: Denmark's Largest Island

Venture to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania

Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's castle

Pack some garlic cloves and follow Count Dracula to the ancient towns and magnificent manors of Transylvania, known as the last truly medieval landscape in Europe. Summon up the courage to visit Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, and take in the views of the spectacular Bucegi Mountains. But Transylvania is not all about vampires; its outstanding scenery is home to wolves, lynx and Europe’s largest population of brown bears. Explore the dramatic landscape by bike, passing Saxon villages, fortified churches and horse-drawn carts loaded with hay. Stop in the old region of Biertan to see one of Transylvania’s most impressive castles, look at the Gothic sculptures at Hosman Castle, and when there, keep an eye out for the custodian climbing the clock tower.

Level: Moderate

View tour: Castles of Transylvania Self Guided

Join in with a cookery class in Umbria, Italy

Italian antipasti

Head to Umbria, the green heart of Italy, for a tour that will delight cycle lovers and foodies alike. Beginning in the medieval town of Spello, pedal past rolling pastures, beautiful historic towns and sweeping vine-groomed slopes, stopping off for cookery classes with local chefs to learn how to make the region’s favourite dishes, before sampling them yourself. Learn the secrets behind whipping up antipasti, risotto and fresh pasta in Spoleto, and try many of Umbria’s delectable wines in Torgiano – a characterful historic commune. Complete the tour in the pilgrimage town of Assisi (best known for being the birthplace of St Francis, Italy’s patron saint). Relax in the spectacular mountain setting admiring the pink marble buildings and the famous Basilica of St Francis. Daily rides are shorter to allow plenty of time to enjoy the breath-taking scenery, interactive cooking classes and delicious food.

Level: Easy to Moderate

View tour: Umbria Gastronomic Tour

To find out more about these, or any of our tours, make an enquiry online or speak to one of our team by telephone on +44 (0)1273 224066 (Open during office hours)

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