Tropical Islands: unusual (but spectacular) cycling destinations

Tropical islands don’t often find themselves on lists of the world’s best cycling destinations. The reasons are obvious: they’re small, there aren’t many roads and the quality of asphalt is often variable.

So if your trip is all about getting the best cycling you can, you should probably stop reading now (and go and check our other destination guides instead!).

But, in the real world, we’re often balancing competing priorities where cycling is not the only factor. Perhaps our partner, family or (heaven forbid) we ourselves, want a warm beach holiday when it’s cold at home. Perhaps we’re trying to mix honeymoon and cycling. Perhaps we’re visiting family.

Who knows – but sometimes you find yourselves wondering whether there are any tropical beach destinations where cycling is possible.

Cycling in Bali, Barbados, Seychelles – and others!

This Q&A on cycling in Bali gives an introduction to road cycling on this glorious island.

Meanwhile, in the guides below, we share our experience of cycling Barbados, the Seychelles and Borneo:

  • Barbados – We were surprised by the number of roads on this island and, while we found the road surfaces weren’t great, the views and scenery more than made up for that, particularly in the north and west of the island. Read our detailed guide to cycling Barbados to find out more.
  • Seychelles – Friendly members of Velo Club de L’Ouest showed us around this stunning island. If you love steep climbs and technical descents, you’ll be in heaven – for the rest of us the flatter coast road offers some great riding. Read our detailed guide to cycling Seychelles to find out more.
  • Borneo – the coastline of Borneo is thousands of kilometres long and with its decidedly tropical climate, Borneo is in many ways a tropical island cycling paradise. However unlike the other islands mentioned here, we wouldn’t describe Borneo as small, which is why you’ll find its main home on our Malaysia page. Read our detailed guide to cycling Borneo’s Sarawak region to find out more.


A final word on cycling in the Caribbean

While we’ve only visited Barbados, we understand there’s a strong road cycling scene on a handful of Caribbean islands in addition to Barbados. Guadeloupe deserves particular mention. It’s still a Department of France and has over 600 miles of paved roads. The international Tour de la Guadeloupe is the island’s best-known event and has a long history, being founded in 1948.

If you’ve cycled in the Caribbean, get in touch. We’d love to know how it was for you!


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