In this article I share our pick of the best cycling holidays – in Europe and around the world.

This article is a bit different to our usual “best of” picks that are fiercely independent. That’s because this article shares the trip I would pick from the cycling tour operator clients we worked with in 2022.

You’ll find a mixture of big and small cycling holiday providers but they’re all businesses I’ve come to know, respect and whom I’m proud to call clients.

They would be the people I would turn to if we were looking for help with organising a cycling trip in Europe (or beyond) for 2023.

See what you think; read on and find out our pick of the best cycling holidays in the world!

This article features our clients but none have paid to feature here. You’ll find information on our relationship with our clients in our disclosure policy and website terms. Operators are listed in alphabetical order within each section.

Cycling holidays in Europe

Multi-country cycling holidays

1. Wild Atlantic Cycling Tours

Cycling in AndaluciaImage credit: Coast2Coast Cycling
Two cyclists cycling through Antequera in AndaluciaImage credit: Coast2Coast Cycling

Wild Atlantic Cycling Tours is run by energetic duo Fiona Towell and Paul Kennedy.

Speak with either of them and you can’t help but find their determination, spirit of adventure and joie de vivre has rubbed off on you.

So, if you’re an avid cyclist that is looking for their next European cycling tour and want to embark on an interesting new point to point cycling route, it’s definitely worth checking out their trips.

Where they run trips

Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Scotland, Portugal and the Balkans.

Cycling trip we’d choose

Seville to Valencia

There’s a special kind of joy involved with going on a cycling holiday in Andalucia and riding your bike on silky smooth tarmac in warm southern Spain.

Experience your road cycling rite of passage with Wild Atlantic’s ten day tour from Seville to Valencia.

Available tour dates are (sensibly) in the temperate spring and autumn months, with daily distances of around 125 kilometres and 1,700 meters of stunning switchback climbs. So not for the beginner!

You’ll ride through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and through many of Spain’s National Parks, enjoying inland and coastal routes. You’ll also experience an incredible climb day in the pristine Sierra Espuña range with a glorious descent and 26 flowing switchbacks.

This route offers the chance for an incredible cycling trip in Europe that will challenge and reward you day after day.

Find out more

Wild Atlantic Cycling Tours

Or read our articles with Wild Atlantic Cycling Tours

Cycling Andalucia

Cycling MizMal

Cycling Croatia on a boat bike tour

2. Sports Tours International

Support from Sports Tours International at a gran fondo sportiveImage credit: Sports Tours International
Cyclists on a gran fondo ride supported by Sports Tours InternationalImage credit: Sports Tours International

In my mind, Sports Tours International have always been the benchmark for sportive trips and spectacular cycle holidays in Europe. So getting to work with them was a bit of a dream!

Sports Tours have many competitors but there’s no one else that has been offering such a broad range of Europe cycling tours and holidays to cycling events for the last 45 years. Whether you want to go to the Maratona dles Dolomites or the Étape du Tour, the Marmotte Alps, Srade Bianche or Amstel Gold, you can do it with Sports Tours.

They’re official VIP tour operator to the Tour de France and five monuments of cycling. That means they offer VIP access and hospitality on every stage either as a day option or as part of their fully supported multi-day tours.

They also offer custom tours for cyclists and spectators. Basically if you’re looking for the best cycling holidays in Europe that are focused around a sportive, Sports Tours International have got your back!

Where they run trips

All the major cycling events in Europe – and many of the less major ones too!

Cycling trip we’d choose

A VIP trip to the Tour de France

Having spoken at length with Clément Cicuto, Sports Tours International’s General Manager for Europe, I’m confident we’d have an awesome time on whichever of their Tour de France trips we went for.

Perhaps though, one of the big mountain top spectacles would be my first choice. The opportunity to ride the closed roads just ahead of the event and mingle with the movers and shakers of the cycling world in the VIP tent, would be pretty out of this world!

Find out more

Sports Tours’ website

Interview with Sports Tours about their Tour de France trips

Interview with Sports Tours about their Classics trips

3. SunVelo

Cycling in Mallorca on a cycling climbImage credit: SunVelo
SunVelo cyclist having completed the Randa cycling climb MallorcaImage credit: SunVelo

David Harwood was a latecomer to cycling, but has made up for it by setting up SunVelo with his co-founder, the former pro Alistair Irvine. Together they’ve built a great reputation for their popular Mallorca cycling holidays, which offer guided rides at four different group levels during spring, autumn and winter.

SunVelo’s ethos is all about getting groups off the beaten track and away from the ticklist routes. They are rigorous about their quality and training standards and have ride leaders who foster community and camaraderie on the road. That’s a big part of what keeps cyclists coming back year after year.

And finally, I love the flexibility of what SunVelo offers – you can book anything from four nights upwards, with no fixed start dates.

Where they run trips

Mallorca and Switzerland

Cycling trip we’d choose

Spring Season in Mallorca

If you’re looking for the best places to enjoy cycling in Europe you really can’t miss Mallorca.

Sun Velo’s Mallorca Cycling Spring Season runs from 24 March 2023 to 12 June 2023, with four varying level guided groups each day depending on what you fancy. Stay for a minimum of four nights in a four-star superior hotel with half board accommodation.

It’s a trip for the endurance style road riders looking for iconic climbs, never-ending switchbacks and stunning mountain scenery. Arrive in a group or travel solo and meet new friends, with daily distances from 70 to 145 kilometres – but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the family too, as non-cyclists are also welcome with discounted rates.

Maybe they should bring a bike just in case though, when they see you experiencing your ultimate cycling holiday in Europe, the FOMO will be fierce.

Find out more

SunVelo

Our articles with SunVelo

Best cycling climbs in Mallorca

Best cycling routes in Mallorca

Northern Europe cycling holidays

4. Austria: Roadbike Holidays

Cyclists cycling by a lake in AustriaImage credit: ©Foto WOM Medien GMBH Andreas Meyer
Cyclists on Grossglockner Austria bike climb(credit: Pinzgau_Heiko Mandl)Image credit: Pinzgau_Heiko Mandl

I love the simple concept behind Roadbike Holidays: provide cyclists a platform where they can find hotels that are truly road cyclist friendly.

Being listed on roadbikeholidays.com really goes deep. This is no flimsy, easy to pass test. Roadbike Holidays check in person that the hotel complies with the comprehensive list of services they expect each one of their hotels to provide (and when we turned up at two in Slovenia without any warning, we really did find these things).

The idea is that the hotel will do it all. So they’ll provide everything from your routes, to guiding, to bike hire if you need it. So it’s a road cycling holiday that’s entirely centred on the hotel providing everything you need.

Simple.

Where they operate

Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Slovenia.

Cycling trip we’d choose

A stay in Austria’s Salzburger region

For a relaxing break with bikes, we’d choose to come to Roadbike Holidays’ hotel near Salzburg.

The region has got a distinctive mixture of sparkling lakes, impressive mountains and culture that promise a road bike experience you won’t forget. There are lakes, and small hills with some really nice rolling cycling tours. You can mix it up with some harder riding too; not so far from here is the famous Grossglockner Alpine Road.

Roadbike and Triathlon Hotel Mohrenwirt is a four star hotel that’s completely targeted to cyclists.

The hotel owner is a passionate athlete who competed in the Ironman Hawaii. They offer guided tours, have great Canyon bike rental and offer great healthy (but substantial) meals too.

Just 300 metres from the hotels is a private swimming beach at Lake Fuschl with a heated 25 metre outdoor pool (free entry for hotel guests). It’s a great place for a holiday.

Find out more

Roadbike Holidays’ website

Our article on Austria with Roadbike Holidays.

5. Finland: Saimaa Cycle Tour

Cyclist cycling through Lake Saimaa, FinlandKuva / image credit: Juho Kuva / Visit Finland
Esker road through finnish lakeland on the Saimaa Cycle TourKuva / image credit: Saimaa Cycle Tour

“Wow” was the first word that came to mind when I first saw the photos and videos that Juho Suikkari and Lieven de Rycke sent me of their new event in Finland.

Once they started talking about cycling through a continuous sunset on silent roads, past pure, freshwater lakes that are home to incredible wildlife, I was sold.

Admittedly this is not a cycling holiday as such (it’s a 295 kilometre cycling event). But if you’re coming all this way, chances are you’re going to stay a few days and turn this into a holiday.

Where they run trips

Finland

Cycling trip we’d choose

Saimaa Cycle Tour

The Saimaa Cycle Tour has to be one of the best and unforgettable cycling challenges you’ll ever experience,

Can you imagine riding on silent roads into a continuous midnight sunset, alongside the world’s most beautiful lake landscapes?

Finland doesn’t have mountains but it makes up for that with a magical natural landscape of interconnected freshwater lakes.

Last year 1,700 cyclists took part and with three different distances, (300, 85 or 38 kilometres), this once in a lifetime experience is accessible to everyone.

Oh, and at the finish line area you get a meal ticket to have fresh smoked salmon from one of the nearby lakes. Just saying.

Find out more

Saimaa Cycle Tour’s website

Our article with The Saimaa Cycle Tour

6. France: Alpine Cols

Alpine Cols are based in the French Alps and Marvin and the team have  been running coaching camps in the French Alps for the last ten years. Their focus is providing camps that offer top quality coaching on top of a really great cycling holiday.

They have two level of camp – an introduction to the Alps and a Gran Fondo performance camp. Both offer active coaching that share the skills cyclists need to ride quickly and safely in the mountains. Usually the rider to coach ration is less than 1:5, so you know you’ll get great attention. Accommodation is in comfortable 3 or 4 star hotels which are well known to the team. In the evenings they offer technical training sessions.

Where they run trips

France (plus an early season camp in Tenerife)

Cycling trip we’d choose

Gran Fondo performance camp

Alpine Col’s Gran Fondo performance camp is intended to help cyclists with previous experience in the mountains to get ready for their next event. There’s not many companies out there that offer this quality, focused kind service and we love the look of what Alpine Cols offer here.

Find out more

Alpine Cols’ website

Our article with Alpine Cols

7. France: France Bike Trips (by Vélorizons)

Col de Galibier, FranceImage credit: Vélorizons
Col d'Izoard French Alps cycling tripImage credit: Vélorizons

These guys know cycling holidays in France inside out. It’s what they live and breathe.

France Bike Trips are a small outfit, run by a French team that are based in France and have excellent English. They know France like the back of their hand – whether you’re on a road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike, touring bike, or have kids in tow…

I came across them because I used them twice in 2020 for self-guided family cycling holidays when all the other tour operators I contacted were shut; only after that did they become a client.

Words that come to mind: flexible, reliable, knowledgeable.

Where they run trips

France

Cycling trip we’d choose

Route des Grandes Alpes

I think we may have found the best cycling holiday in France… It’s every road cyclist’s dream to follow in the footsteps (or pedal strokes) of the Tour de France, and with the Route des Grandes Alpes tour, you can!

This unforgettable eight day bike tour in France takes in the very best “cols” of the iconic French multi-stage race. Cross the French Alps by pedal power from Lake Geneva to the Côte d’Azur, experiencing some of the most mythical and world famous mountain passes in road cycling.

You’ll feel like a pro with the support vehicle nearby, and having all of your kit carried for you apart from what you need for the day’s ride. Choose from two different routes each day depending on your fitness, weather and preferences.

Find out more

France Bike Trip’s website

Our article with France Bike Trips

8. Spain: Girona Cycling

Hotel and cycling camps area of SpainImage credit: Girona Cycling SL
Two cyclists training in the cycling camps areaImage credit: Girona Cycling SL

Strictly speaking, Girona Cycling SL are not a cycling tour operator at all. They run a cycling hotel and training base near Lake Banyoles, just north of Girona. However, I think they’re at home in this list because they offer such a comprehensive service that staying with them will allow you to have a cycling holiday, assuming that’s what you’re looking for!

Girona Cycling SL is run by Gareth and Fiona and I’m a big fan of the energy and passion they put into what they do. Just speak with them and you’ll immediately get a feel for their dedication. As Fiona says, “When other training camp companies plan a camp in this area, they ask for our help and guidance. We are here to help. This is a vocation not a job for us.”

Between them, this dynamic team offer everything from sports massage to yoga, cycle coaching and bike fitting. They are also passionate about sustainability and run their whole outfit at a fraction of the carbon footprint most hotels run at. Importantly, most guests don’t even notice!

Where they run trips

Girona province, Spain

Cycling trip we’d choose

A week in June, staying at their countryside idyll. If we were looking for a holiday, we’d keep things leisurely: pick their brains over breakfast about the best route for the day and then head off into the Catalan countryside, ensuring we were back to cool off in the pool before temperatures got too feisty.

If we were after a more hardcore cycling camp, we’d make sure we got organised and liaise with them before arriving to match our training plan with rides they could suggest: we’d get them to pick rides to match our training goals (from their catalogue of 150 GPS routes!) and then ensure the post ride routine included some deep stretching and breathing work on top of the all-important pool time!

Find out more

Girona Cycling’s website

Our article with Girona Cycling

9. Spain: Sierra Sports & Tours

Paul d’Andrea runs Sierra Sports & Tour and is originally from Australia but has lived in Spain for many years. What I think is great about Paul is that he is at the heart of his business and is a meticulous kind of a guy, the sort of person you can trust to do what he says he’s going to do.

Sierra’s trips are definitely worth considering if you are looking for flexibility with your trip as they offer many different kinds of trip within Spain. Sierra are also great for small groups (four or more) wanting a bespoke experience without a big premium. Paul is extremely open about his pricing – you can read more about their fully-guided, self-guided, partially-guided and private trips here.

Where they run trips

Spain

Cycling trip we’d choose

Self-guided tour of Girona and the Costa Brava

This cycling trip takes you to Girona and through the beautiful regions surrounding it. You can choose between 6, 9 and 12 night packages that take in classic climbs and coastal regions as well as inland lakes and mountains.

Sierra will take care of all the hotel bookings and luggage transfer so all you need to do is ride. You can choose any start date between 1 March and 31 October and there’s a 24 hour contact number in case of emergencies.

Find out more

Sierra Sports & Tours website

Our article with Sierra Sports & Tours

10. Switzerland: Kudos Cycling

Cyclists climb the Sanetsch Pass, SwitzerlandImage credit: Kudos Cycling
On the Derborence cycling route in SwitzerlandImage credit: Kudos Cycling

Anthony is a Brit who’s lived in Verbier since 2014. Switzerland is home and speaking to him, you can tell he absolutely loves it.

Anthony gets what cyclists want from their precious holidays and also knows how to provide it.

I’ve always felt Switzerland is a bit of black hole when it comes to knowing where to go and where to ride. Anthony’s knowledge and passion for Switzerland will help you right out of that hole in double-quick time!

Where they run trips

Switzerland

Cycling trip we’d choose

Introduction to the Swiss Alps

If you’ve never ridden the Swiss Alps before, Kudos Cycling’s Intro to the Alps tour is – not surprisingly –  the perfect introduction!

This six day tour is thoughtfully designed to build confidence and skill on alpine roads, with tailored training rides and routes on quiet roads and through undulating vineyards before building up to bigger challenging climbs.

With the help of professional coaches you’ll become an expert in managing the weather and terrain, to explore the beauty of the region in a safe and friendly group environment.

You’ll get a branded Katusha cycling jersey in your Kudos Cycling welcome pack too, as a permanent memento of your cycling holiday in the Swiss Alps.

Find out more

Kudos Cycling

Our article with Kudos Cycling

11. UK: Pedal Britain

Cyclists in CornwallImage credit: Pedal Britain
Cyclists on climb to Bettyhill HotelImage credit: Pedal Britain

Darren Ball set up Pedal Britain to fill a particular gap – he wants to help cyclists do point to point tours in a way he would like to do them himself if he was on a cycling holiday.

In practical terms, that means things like not being forced to ride at a particular pace and it means guides that really care (and aren’t just having a holiday themselves!).

I love the fact he places such importance and recognition on the fact that these are routes and challenges people plan and aim for for months (if not years) and he wants to do them “right”. For example he knows someone probably won’t do a Land’s End to John O’Groats more than once in their life and so he wants to ensure he gives his clients a fantastic experience.

Where they run trips

UK including Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Cycling trip we’d choose

Land’s End to John O’Groats

As far as bucket list cycling holidays in the UK go, Land’s End to John O’Groats has to be it. Pedal Britain’s fully guided and supported 16 day tour has 14 days of cycling across the UK’s most spectacular landscapes.

You’ll cover an average daily distance of 116 kilometres with a total of 10,568 metres of climbing, making unforgettable memories along the way.

Ride from Cornwall onto Dartmoor and over the Severn Bridge into Wales, before heading north into the Lake District and crossing the border to Scotland. The higher you ride the more wild and rugged it gets.

Don’t worry about carrying your stuff, as Pedal Britain will do that for you. All you really have to do: ride, sleep, eat repeat!

Find out more

Pedal Britain

Our article with Pedal Britain

Cycling holidays worldwide

12. Bike Tour Japan

Bikes by a beach in JapanImage credit: Bike Tour Japan
Mountain road in JapanImage credit: Bike Tour Japan

When I first started talking to Rob from Bike Tour Japan, my first thought was “this guy really knows Japan”.

Throughout our various conversations I really liked the fact his emphasis is on creating holidays that show cyclists the best that Japan has to offer – not necessarily just the most famous parts.

His flexible attitude towards creating holidays that fit in with his clients’ schedules and budgets is also impressive. After all, if you’re going to travel across the world for what might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, you want to make sure you’re in the right hands.

Where they run trips

Japan

Cycling trip we’d choose

Tour of the Japanese Alps

With a name like ‘Japanese Alps Tour – Epic Volcanoes & Ancient Roads’ and 3,200 metres climbing over 160 kilometres, you know it’s going to be up there with the best cycling routes in the world.

This eight day tour is Bike Tour Japan’s “most challenging and ambitious cycling adventure” taking in the breathtaking mountains of central Japan.

Get through the gruelling climbs (including Mt Norikura, the highest road in the country), and you can enjoy the ridiculous descents (60 kilometres on the way back down from Mt Norikura!) before recharging your tired legs in the ancient outdoor hot-spring baths

There’s a reason it’s been given a 5/5 difficulty rating… and a reason we 5/5 want to ride it.

Find out more

Bike Tour Japan’s website

Our articles with Bike Tour Japan:

Guide to cycling Japan

Article on cycling the Shimanami Kaido cycling route

13. Rat Race

Rat Race sent me a press release about their new Trans Andean trip in early 2021, right in the middle of UK Covid lockdowns and restrictions.

I immediately loved the fact they had the confidence to plan such an impressive crossing of South America and promote it at this kind of a time; that takes courage and conviction in your product.

The trip was also immediately inspiring too: 1,500 kilometres done in a way that should be achievable by many cyclists and all within a two week holiday.

In 2022, Rat Race held their inaugural Trans Andes trip and heralded it a big success. It’s nearly fully booked already for 2023, so they must be doing something right.

Count us in!

Where they run trips

South America

Cycling trip we’d choose

Trans Andean cycling challenge

A 12 day and 11 night holiday to traverse the entire continent of South America by bike, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Could it be one of the best cycling trips in the world?

The Trans Andean takes you from Valparaiso in Chile to Buenos Aires in Argentina.

It’s a serious start – from the UNESCO World Heritage Valparaiso you’ll climb a lung-busting 3,832 metres over the first two days of riding. But don’t worry, what goes up, must come down, with a two day, 164 kilometre descent into Mendoza, the heart of Argentinian Malbec-producing region.

This fully supported tour takes care of bag transfers, food and support vehicles, with a GPS tracker provided for every rider too.

Find out more

Rat Race’s website

Our article with Rat Race

14. Bici Bucerias

I love what Bici Bucerias offers; the chance to get shown around a beautiful corner of Mexico by local cyclists that know the best roads, beauty spots and places for coffee.

Bici Bucerias is run by Joel and Gillian who have lived here for many years. With them you can do anything from a food tour by e-bike to a challenging, multi-day ride through Mexico.

Where they run trips

Mexico

Cycling trip we’d choose

One of Bici Bucerias’ many day rides from Bucerias. Depending on how we were feeling, we’d select between a moderate 2.5 hours to a 10+ hour gruelling ride over gravel, asphalt and cobbles to Las Palmas and the infamous La Bufa climb.

Find out more

Bici Bucerias’s website

Cycling Puerto Vallarta

Special mention

And finally, they’re not exactly a cycling holiday provider, but I do just want to finish by mentioning our friends at Bike Van. Their gorgeous camper vans are custom fitted with fantastic bike storage and allow cyclists the opportunity to have a cycling holiday almost anywhere they fancy! You can read more about what they do in our article with them here.

 

It’s been a lot of fun putting this list together and it reminds me how grateful I am to have worked with such a range of fantastic businesses this year.

There are some amazingly passionate people out there ready to show you the best of their region – I hope this article inspires you to book your next cycling holiday in Europe and beyond!

What has been your favourite cycling tour or holiday?

Tell us about the best cycling tour in Europe or elsewhere that you’ve been on! We always love to hear who’s doing a great job for their clients.

What’s next?

Want more tips for picking a cycling tour operator? Read this guide.

Want to know how a guide cycling tour is different to a self-guided one? This article is for you.

Want general inspiration for the best cycling places in Europe? Head to our destinations hub page.

 

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

Last Reviewed: 14 December 2022

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