The Best Cycling Tours in Europe for 2024

Craig Charley
Planning a cycling tour in 2024 but unsure of your destination? Discover the best bike tours that Europe has to offer with our top picks for 2024.

With over 150 cycling tours in 27 European countries in our programme, choosing a tour is not always easy, and it certainly wasn't easy to narrow down our top 10 tours for 2024! Based on customer feedback, our team's personal experience and up-and-coming destinations, these tours are the best of the best and guarantee a special experience that leaves lasting memories.

For recommendations from our team based on our own personal experience and feedback from our customers, enquire online or call us on (+44) 1273 224066.

Best for Cycle Paths

Cycle the Danube from Passau to Vienna

Danube Cycle Path © Oberösterreich Tourismus / Ralf Hochhauser
The famously flat Danube Cycle Path © Oberösterreich Tourismus / Ralf Hochhauser

The Danube Cycle Path is one of the world's best, following the course of Europe's second-longest river from its source in Germany all the way to Romania. For most cyclists, their first taste of the path is from Passau to Vienna, a section which is flat, traffic-free and extremely well-maintained - ideal for less-confident cyclists and those who prefer a slower pace. The scenery is beautiful throughout, as you follow the river you’ll pass wooded slopes, riverside cities and traditional towns. The famous Schlögener Schlinge (Great Loop) is a highlight on your first day of cycling, and it's worth extending your stay in Vienna at the end for more time to explore the museums, palaces and coffee shops.

"This was our second cycle trip with Freedom Treks and both holidays will remain among the best ever. This trip from Passau to Vienna along the Danube was spectacularly beautiful with a blend of city, village, farmland and vineyards plus historic castles along the route - always something to enjoy. The trail itself was extremely well-marked and in great condition, and the cycling is easy for the most part. We travelled with another couple and we all agreed we would do another trip with Freedom Treks again; their communication, customer service and personal attention were wonderful."Anne McCaw, Canada

View tour: Danube - Passau to Vienna Bike Tour

Best for a Short Break

Escape to Umbria's unspoilt countryside

Assisi, Italy
Stunning Assisi in Umbria, Italy

Can't commit to a full week of cycling? Spend four days in the green heart of Italy on our Umbrian Escape Bike Tour, touring through the unspoiled countryside with rolling landscapes and hilltop towns. The pilgrimage town of Assisi is a stunning place to start and end the tour, with time to explore the town’s pink marble buildings and relax on a sunny terrace with a glass of local wine, some homemade gelato or a bowl of fresh pasta.

"Perfect - a few sunny days spent in peaceful and beautiful rural Italy cycling between some amazing hilltop medieval walled towns. Assisi was buzzing (there was a festival it was a Saturday) but the other towns and villages were so quiet - it was like stepping back in time. The hotels in Spoleto and Bevagna were charming and perfectly situated in the old town with their narrow cobbled alleys and pretty squares. Everything well organised, bikes were good and routes easy enough to follow." - Vicki Nunn, UK

View tour: Umbrian Escape Bike Tour

Best for Culture

Puglia's Rich Greek & Roman Cultural Heritage

Alberobello’s Trulli Houses
Your first night will be spent in one of Alberobello’s charming trulli houses

For fans of architecture, history and food, Puglia has it all. Italy's 'heel' is a melting pot of culture, influenced by the Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Bourbons and especially the Greeks. Each town you stay in is a highlight in its own right, from Alberobello's 'trulli' houses to the rocky outcrop of Gallipoli to Lecce's Baroque churches and ancient amphitheatres. Much of the cycling follows the peninsula's coastline (known as the 'Caribbean of Italy'!) with scenic views and deliciously fresh seafood at every stop.

"Had a fantastic time in Puglia, we started with an overnight stay in Matera, which is stunning and highly recommended. The tour itself started in Alberobello with a stay in the beautiful UNESCO site in a Trulli hut. The routes were simple to follow as we headed into the countryside amongst endless olive groves with virtually no traffic at all. The first two days were rural cycling before we hit the coast and followed the stunning coastal road before ending in Lecce. Each day felt different, each evening spent exploring and dining in a new place, was excellent. If you like to explore historic towns, stay fit, eat good food, drink good wine and swim in clear waters then I would highly recommend this holiday." - John Tiffen, UK

View tour: Puglia Bike Tour

Best for Coastal Cycling

See more of Croatia's enchanting Dalmatian coast

Mljet, Croatia © Kevin Charit
Mljet, one of many stunning islands of the Croatian coast © Kevin Charit

This tour has it all, starting and finishing in historic UNESCO cities with amazing islands along the way, including the beautiful Mljet Island, the vineyards of Lastovo and Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo. As well as incredible natural beauty, you'll also take in the captivating culture of the region, with interesting spots to admire as you ride and guided walking tours in the cities included. We'd recommend booking extra nights before or after your tour to explore the UNESCO world heritage sites in Dubrovnik and Split.

"Our trip from Split to Dubrovnik was extraordinary, we were able to cycle through all of the beautiful coastal green hills, visit small fishing villages, meet locals and still have plenty of time to enjoy the cruising aboard the Harmonia. My husband and I loved hearing about the local history, taking evening tours through the small towns, cycling all around the lovely Dalmatian coast islands and feeling like we were able to see beyond the usual tourist spots." - Kirstin Menne, USA

View tour: Dubrovnik to Split Deluxe Boat & Bike Tour

Best for Families

Daily visits to parks and attractions in Lake Constance

Andy and his family in Lindau on Lake Constance
Andy and his family in Lindau on Lake Constance

If you're looking for an easy-going tour to give your kids their first cycle touring experience, Family Lake Constance should be your first port of call. The daily rides are short with a rest day in the middle and the chance to further shorten time on the saddle with ferry rides. Children of all ages are catered to by a wide range of bike hire options including child bikes, child seats, trailers, tandems and e-cargo bikes. You'll cycle around the whole of Lake Constance, riding through Germany, Austria and Switzerland with interesting attractions to visit in each town along the way - many of which are included in the tour price! Highlights include the stilt houses at the Lake Dwelling Museum in Unteruhldingen, the family-focussed Ravensburger Spieleland theme park in Friedrichshafen and the petting zoo at the top of the cable car on Mount Pfander.

"What a truly fantastic family holiday. The organisation was spot on from the moment we arrived at the first hotel until the day we left. We are a family of 5 with 3 boys (13,11 & 9) and had never done anything like this before. In no way are we cyclists but we loved every minute. It was great to head out each morning on a new mini adventure knowing we were going somewhere we'd never been. Everywhere we went was perfectly set up for cycling with dedicated cycle tracks over the vast majority of the trip and exceptionally well signed paths. Even though the trip is self-guided we barely took a wrong turn. This meant we felt really safe which is a huge thing when you have children. Overall, I couldn't recommend this holiday more for a family adventure!" - David Rollin, UK

View tour: Family Lake Constance Bike Tour

Best for Variety

Slovenia's mountains, lakes, coastlines and cities

Lake Bled © Neven Krcmarek
Lake Bled with its majestic alpine backdrop © Neven Krcmarek

This is a tour that has it all - cycling southwards from Bled on the edge of the Julian Alps near the Austrian border to the pretty Venetian harbour of Piran near the Croatian border, the scenery is ever-changing. Rugged mountain backdrops and glistening lakes give way to karst landscapes with underground caves and waterfalls before you reach the pretty beaches of the Adriatic coast. As well as enjoying beautiful natural sights, you'll also visit the country's capital city, Ljubljana. Crowned European Best Destination 2022, you'll have time to explore the pretty bridges, the imposing hilltop castle and the expansive Tivoli Park.

"We really enjoyed this cycling holiday as it had a variety of scenery and experiences. We booked this route as we wanted to cover as many of the main sights in Slovenia that could be covered on a cycling route on our first visit to this lovely country. The local people are friendly and each day was different - from exploring the capital Ljubljana, mountains and lakes, caves, to the coast. A great way to explore a new part of the world!" - Justine Patterson, UK

View tour: Best of Slovenia Bike Tour - Lakes to the Coast

Best for Bragging Rights

Up-and-coming Albania is still an undiscovered gem

Taking a scenic break from the cycling in Albania
Taking a scenic break from the cycling in Albania

Awarded "Best in Travel 2023" by Lonely Planet, we don't expect Albania to retain its 'hidden gem' status for long. So if you're the type of traveller who likes to say they've seen the sights before everyone else, our Highlights of Albania tour is a great way to see as much of this amazing country as possible. Starting and finishing in the buzzing capital city of Tirana, you'll cycle south past picturesque mountains and sparkling rivers down the eastern border of the country before following the coastline back up in the west. It's a tour of cultural hot spots and unique wildlife, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a national park that's home to wolves, eagles and more. The cycling is more challenging than our average tour but the climbs and distances are more than worth it and you'll have a support vehicle on hand if you need it.

"Highlights of Albania: totally superb tour with excellent food and accommodation. Friendly and safe with a great international crowd and really experienced guides and support. This is the best Freedom Treks tour I've done (I've done about 4). If you love landscapes, go to Albania now, before everyone discovers it!" - Jeanette Martin, UK

View tour: Highlights of Albania Bike Tour

Best for Ticking Off Countries

Six countries in two weeks along the Danube

Cycling Past Bratislava Castle © Slovak Tourist Board
Cycling along the Danube past Bratislava Castle © Slovak Tourist Board

Of our many tours that follow the Danube River, our 6 Countries Boat & Bike tour is the one to do if you want to tick off as much as possible, cycling and cruising from Passau in Germany to the Iron Gates gorge on the Serbia / Romania border and back in two weeks. There are far too many highlights to mention here, but with rest days in Budapest, Belgrade, the Iron Gates National Park and Vienna, you'll have more than enough time to get a cultural fix while the cycling in between will take you to parts of the Danube lesser-visited. However, we must warn you that there are only three departure dates for this tour so book quickly to secure your spot on the sundeck!

"An excellent tour - it felt good at the time and left us with a continuing lighthearted glow. The cruise, the rides and special tours, the food and accommodation were all excellent and managed with understanding and wit by a virtuoso cruise director. The travelling along the Danube was, of course, the centrepiece and lived up to its reputation. The special rest-day tour guides were well chosen and, together with the bike routes themselves, gave glimpses of their countries beyond the usual brochure view. All in all a very good and lasting experience." - Reg Phillips, UK

View tour: Danube River - 6 Countries Boat & Bike Tour

Best for Year-Round Cycling

12 months of warm temperatures in Madeira

Funchal Bay © Dimitry B
Funchal Bay, Madeira © Dimitry B

Nobody wants their tour spoiled by rotten weather, so if you're looking to travel from late autumn to early spring, it pays to head to more southern climates. The sub-tropical Portuguese island of Madeira is ideal for an off-season adventure, with temperatures reaching up to 20ºC even in December (as Andy found out first-hand last year!). On our Madeira Bike Tour, you'll spend 7 nights exploring the best that the island has to offer, with mostly coastal cycling past historic landmarks, welcoming towns and tempting beaches. The self-guided tour involves a few long ascents, including a stunning cycle to Europe’s highest cape, so it's better suited to regular and experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness - although the steepest and longest climbs are softened with transfers.

"Lots of Madeira covered in the trip on mainly quiet roads. Beautiful scenery. Distances manageable given the hills. An interesting wonderful island to visit." - Brenda Herbert, UK

View tour: Madeira Bike Tour

Best for Getting Away from It All

Wildlife spotting in Spain’s remote Extremadura region

Monfrague National Park, Spain
Monfrague National Park, home to eagles, vultures and hawks

Spain might be the UK's favourite country to visit, but that doesn't mean there aren't still new parts to discover outside of the tourist hot spots. The Extremadura region in western Spain is one of them - an area of historic buildings and monuments left behind by Conquistadors and quiet countryside populated by unique wildlife. You'll stay in 'paradors', luxury hotels in restored palaces, castles and monasteries, as you cycle between beautiful cities that you're unlikely to have heard of. This is a tour where bringing a pair of binoculars or a zoom lens for your camera is highly recommended. Local fauna includes wild bulls, black Iberico pigs, Spanish Ibex and then a real highlight of vultures, eagles and hawks on day four in Monfrague National Park.

"This trip is a combination of luxury awesome places to stay and amazing countryside in a backwater of Spain that is much less travelled. We only met 6 English people all week! We were blown away by the national park which you ride through on day 4. Amazing landscape and if you like watching eagles, vultures, hawks its one for you. underplayed in the blurb. Take binoculars even if you are not a twitcher like me." - Gaius Jones, UK

View tour: Spain's Conquistadors & Paradors Bike Tour

Find out more

If you would like to learn more about any of the tours above, enquire online or speak to one of our team by telephone on +44 (0) 1273 224066.

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Tours featured in this post