There’s so much more to experiencing spring on two wheels than just cycling in Mallorca in April. How about somewhere else in Spain for example? What about Calpe or the Costa Daurada?
Or head south to Cyprus for some of the finest road cycling holidays in Europe or over to Belgium’s cobblestones as your next challenge?
Below you’ll find our pick of six of the best cycling trips in the world to experience during March and April.
1. Isle of Wight, UK
Best for easy cycling and bucolic English countryside
Taking cycling holidays in the UK makes life on two wheels as simple as it can possibly be. Get away from the mainland to the Isle of Wight and you’ll be experiencing one of our favourite places to cycle in the UK.
In fact Lonely Planet also recommends the Isle of Wight for cycling enthusiasts. Why? There are over 200 miles of cycling routes, for starters. Add to that the Heritage Coast, the fact that much of the island is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, traffic-free cycle paths and some big hills and you have the formula for epic solo, group or family cycling holidays in the UK.
Should you need even more reasons to go, how about the fact that the Isle of Wight Randonnee ride takes place in May? Do book your slot early if you want to take part in this round-the-island loop.
We’ve found that roads are quieter during spring and you’re well catered for here in terms of accommodation and cycling shops.
Discover our guide to cycling on the Isle of Wight here.
2. Flanders, Belgium
Best for testing yourself against the cobbles
Cobbles, climbs and quite possibly some pretty cold weather: cycling in this part of Belgium is ideal for those who relish a challenge. Flanders is the northern part of Belgium, where Flemish is the local lingo.
If you want to push yourself beyond those typical, fair-weather, easy cycling holidays in Europe, riding over cobblestones might just give you what you’re looking for. While parts of the region are as flat as Norfolk, there are short, sharp hills (known as bergs) dotted here and there that will also stretch the keen road cyclist.
Don’t expect slow and steady when you’re riding over cobblestones. Prepare for a bumpy ride instead, where your wheels don’t necessarily take you in the direction you expect them to.
Cycling in Belgium is a well organised sport and all the key routes from Oudenaarde are clearly signposted.
Find out more about the red, yellow and blue routes in our guide to cycling in Flanders.
3. Calpe, Spain
Best for cycling-friendly hotels and quiet inland riding
If you want somewhere that’s well set-up for cyclists and offers plenty of opportunities for some beautiful riding, then we suggest Calpe in Spain. The views from the mountain passes here are unparalleled – and unobstructed as there are few forests in the way.
While this area offers some of the best cycling in Spain, it’s not for those seeking flat terrain. There are some more level roads close to the sea, but inland there are lots of hills!
Spring is the best time to visit the Calpe area as the weather is generally fine and sunny but not yet too hot. There’s also plenty of good-value accommodation in the area stretching between Dénia and Benidorm, and the national parks and mountains here offer a range of scenic cycling routes.
The Calpe area is one of the best road cycling destinations in Europe and the stunning loops and accents certainly won’t leave any road cyclist disappointed.
Explore all a cyclist needs to know about Calpe and the Costa Blanca here.
4. Costa Daurada, Spain
Best for low traffic riding inland
Another great option for those seeking road cycling holidays in Spain is to head to the Costa Daurada. Though not as well known as spots like Calpe and Girona, pro cycling teams are already in on the secret and many train in this region.
Again you’ll need to head away from the coast to find some of the best cycling tour routes. Once you do you’ll find olive groves, rolling vineyards, the Prades mountains, deserted villages and even a 12th century monastery. It’s not only a cyclist’s dream: it’s pretty attractive to arty types too.
Salou and Cambrils make great bases for cyclists – and general tourists. If the family wants to take a seaside break while you head for the hills, some of the best bike rides in Europe await while they enjoy the sunshine and the laid-back Spanish lifestyle.
While there are some epic climbs which can take you more than 1,500 metres above sea level, the 18 kilometre Cambrils-Salou bike path is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed family ride.
Take a look at this post on cycling in the Costa Daurada area for further inspiration.
Best for early season training camps
Slick tarmac, historic settlements and lofty peaks plus sun-drenched beaches make Cyprus a dream destination for road cyclists. Cycling holidays in Cyprus have so much going for them – and the existence of L’Étape Cyprus shows that those at the competitive end of the cycling spectrum have cottoned on too.
So what should the keen amateur expect from Cyprus cycling holidays? Well first-off, there are some great routes from a range of destinations including Paphos, Poli, Limassol and Nicosia. All of which wind their way towards the central Troodos mountains and Mount Olympus.
In our experience, road cycling in Cyprus offers road conditions that can easily rival some of the best cycling in Mallorca. Just don’t tell everyone until you’ve experienced the uncrowded tarmac for yourself!
For those seeking a challenge, the 3,000 kilometre-plus climb to Mount Olympus should satisfy. Our other favourite routes include the ascents found among the Paphos Forest and a coastal route via the Rock of Aphrodite towards Pissouri Bay.
Check out our guide to road cycling in Cyprus for a more comprehensive overview.
6. Melbourne, Australia
Best for warm weather riding
If you don’t mind the long-haul flight, Melbourne and Victoria down under offer a wealth of opportunities for road cycling fans. The cooler, southern state is our top tip for those who want to take Australian cycling holidays.
In fact the European spring is autumn in Australia, and some of the cheapest flights to the other side of the world can be had between April and June. There are some glorious regions to explore on two wheels, including some very close to the city. Melbourne has a fabulous cycling culture by the way; it’s not only about coffee.
Other areas to head for include the Surf Coast – not least the dramatic Great Ocean Road and the pretty Bellarine Peninsula. The Grampians, Gippsland, the Yarra Ranges and the High Country Alpine region are also very scenic, and the latter includes some challenging climbs.
There are more than 50 cycling clubs in the state of Victoria. Add to that a great tourist infrastructure, the familiar language and the fact that Australians drive on the left and you have the recipe for the perfect cycling spring break.
Where’s your favourite place to cycle in Spring?
From family breaks on the Spanish Costas or in Cyprus to couples and singles’ cycling holidays in the UK, there are plenty of great places to cycle in Spring. Add Australia and Belgian Flanders into the mix and the world really is your oyster.
If you’ve enjoyed cycling in these destinations or elsewhere during spring, do let us know in the comments!
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