17 April 2013
There is no greater way to see the world than by road. And there is no greater way to travel the road than by cycling. We explore some of the greatest cycle routes around the world and take you across the Alps, through deepest Africa and around the Far East. Join us.
The breadth of Britain
Through the narrowest point, admittedly but it does comprise 200 glorious miles, of which almost half are completely traffic free, travelling from Whitehaven to Newcastle. The route is a popular challenging cycle and passes through the northern Lake District before climbing the Pennines and descending down the railway paths of County Durham. Incorporating Black Hill, the highest point in the UK National Cycle Network, this one isn't for the faint-hearted, but the effort is certainly worth it for the views from the top.
La Farola, Cuba
The spectacular 15 mile descent along the La Farlo highway is certainly something you'll never forget. Starting at the Baracoa Mountains and travelling down the south coast, the route encompasses breath taking sea views combined with tropical forest paths. The route isn't strenuous but there are areas where only a guard rail protects you from plummeting through the gorges across the sweeping limestone edges. Not for those with vertigo!
Les Gets to Mont Blanc
One of the greatest areas of outstanding beauty can be enjoyed by mountain biking from Les Gets and Morzine through Chamonix under Mont Blanc, the dream destination for many mountain bikers. The area between, known as the 'Green Diamond' is a little know jewel that is untouched and unspoilt, waiting to be explored. A great ride for the off road thrill-seekers.
New Zealand's Ghost Ride
The New Zealand Cycle Trial Project, also known as Nga Haerenga, has been created to improve and extend the network of cycle routes across New Zealand. The most historical of these is the Old Ghost Ride which, in its own words, 'resurrects a long forgotten 19th century gold miner's road'. Riding past mining relic of a bygone era, ascending through picturesque native forests and breaking out onto alpine tops with breath taking views, this is certainly one for those who fancy something a little different.
Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi
Seeing Vietnam by bicycle is likely to be one of the friendliest experiences you will have. The locals are welcoming, the scenery is stunning and the ride is gentle. Start off by crossing the Halong Bay with its fjord-like misty emerald beacons and cross Hai Van Pass with its outstanding views of the South China Sea continuing along to Tam Quan. The route comprises off road tracks, mountain passes and country roads, it's easy to see why this has been voted one of National Geographic's favourite cycle routes.
Uyuni Salt Flats
For a slightly easier ride (the clue is in the title) head over to Bolivia to explore the vast open spaces that are the Uyuni Salt Flats. The expanse of space is immense and the stark contrast at where white, baked salt meets ferocious blue sky at every horizon will blow you away. The journey is achievable in a day; which is advisable as the temperature drops to -20 (degrees centigrade) at night time.
The Tulip Fields of Keukenhof
Take a word of advice from the locals, almost everyone in Holland does, has, or will own a bicycle. There is a network of cycling routes that connect the towns and villages but we particularly love the cycle through the tulip fields. Hold your hats, we aren't going all Mills and Boon on you, but it really is something spectacular to see. An afternoon treat for those who seldom cycle.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of outstanding cycle routes across the world but we've listed just a few of our favourites that really are stunning. Try them for yourself and see if you agree.
This was posted by Christopher, a keen cycler who enjoys cycling holidays in the Alps every summer.