Six Of The Best Cycling Holidays Europe

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Best Cycling Holidays Europe

Best Cycling Holidays Europe

A guide to six of the best cycling holidays Europe to help you choose your next… or first, experience cycling some of the most exciting, famous and spectacular the destinations of Europe.

Venice To Pisa – The Classic Italian Coast To Coast

When cycling in Italy there are a few things you must know… Firstly, the bike – Italian, if not then make sure it’s in damn good order, maybe even adorned with Italian components but whatever you do, DO NOT cross brand – that is a big no no! Secondly, your apparel, Italian pro team accepted [rule#17 applicable] but make sure you’re worthy when it comes to those climbs otherwise full colour coordination from helmet to shoes (socks included) is crucial – keep it in the pallet! Lastly, your sunnies, colour coordinated [obvs] and strict adherence to rule#36 and rule#37 must be observed. Any breach of the above may result in mass indignation and likely extradition! [rules indexed from the code of the Velominati].

Okay so we’ve got that cleared up and now you’re ready to ride in this glorious cycling nation and in particular ride the Classic Italian Coast To Coast from Venice to Pisa. Even before you step foot in Italy this itinerary will have you frothing with excitement as your incoming flight descends to bank around for the landing in to Marco Polo Airport [VCE] you catch a full panoramic birds eye view of the venetian lagoon and the spectacular ‘floating city’ itself. Once on the ground and bike in hand you begin immediately your venetian experience on this incredible Italian trip with a short walk from the terminal to the ferry taxi that will transport you across the lagoon visiting smaller islands stops as a kind of starters to the renaissance full menu before you that is Venice city itself. Our hotel base is on the Venice Lido island directly opposite the main island city. From here we are treated to spectacular panoramic views of the main island and the unmistakable silhouette of St Mark’s Square as the evening draws in and the city lights up across the water as we take dinner on the terrace – and we haven’t even started riding yet!

Looking across Venice lagoon to St Mark's Square while on the Italy coast to coast bike
Venice Island Pano

First morning is easy riding down the full length of the Lido, island hopping along the way using the local ferry service before we hit the mainland at the fishing port Chioggia. After coffee we begin the ride of the flatlands of the Adige and Po basin. These mighty rivers, two of only a handful that drain the Alps right up there with the Rhone and Danube course into the Adriatic just a few miles south of us but it’s not long before we’re riding alongside the Adige for several miles before crossing over and within an hour we’re alongside Italy’s grandest and longest river, the mighty Po. We cycle the quiet cycleways and small roads with the river in the corner of our eye for most of the afternoon before we then enter our destination for the day, the small but perfectly formed fortified city of Ferrara. The whole day over 115km we didn’t go over 14m altitude, our total elevation climb for the day 297m… a very nice start indeed.

Day two we continue over the flatlands heading towards the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy – Bologna. We take lunch in the park after navigating our way through the city and our first taste of Italian renaissance city centre cycling, narrow streets, cobbles and people, cars and trams all trying to take you out – hold tight! After lunch we wave goodbye to the flat stuff and we begin spending a lot more time in the ‘small ring’, it came as no surprise as Bologna is the gateway city to the Apennines, and the looming shadow of hills could be seen quite clearly behind Bologna as we rode up closer to the city through the morning. Time to call on the legs. We start off gently but a couple of hrs in we hit the main climb of the day, it’s not too bad to start and after a steady trundle we’re up but not over – a false summit! The day has a sting in the tail and after a regroup and a breather we continue into the final 3km section of the climb with an average of 6% and ramps to 10% you’re pushing hard but it’s soon over and the views at the top I can tell you are worth it! From 50m (Bologna) to 950m altitude in a few hrs, the maths are easy and the views are spectacular – now time for some fun, the down hill. We drop over 600m down to our destination town and the welcome sight of the hotel. The views on the descent are some of the best you’ll see anywhere in the Apennine/Toscana mountains and all the effort of the climb has vanished without a trace. All around your view for miles are beautiful rolling hills and pastures that this part of the world is famous for and boy it has not disappointed! The town of Firenzuola nestled in the valley is charming and the hotel bar beckons for a little rehydration.

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Best Cycling Holidays Europe

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