Cycling holidays in Europe
Cycling trips in Europe provide some of the most enjoyable cycling experiences available. Whether it’s a family vacation, a trip with ride mates, or a solo exploration of new terrain, the continent is a cyclist’s dream.
June 6th – 12th 2022 is National Bike Week. As such, bike enthusiasts will no doubt be planning summer adventures when they meet for a ride. If you have a client like this, we have a range of products suitable for cycling holidays in Europe.
What we cover
Free spirit covers cycle touring and leisure biking up to 4000 m. Given the exact altitude your client expects to reach will determine which activity pack is required. It may be the perfect option for older travellers or those with medical conditions. Travel plus also covers cycling, although mountain biking and stunting are not permitted. Racing can be included by opting for activity pack 3 for an additional premium. As you would expect Adventures Cover includes far more cycling-related activity.
An Adventures policy covers cross-continental endurance cycling. Mountain biking is included too, including downhill leisure cycling and downhill racing; as long as neither of these activities is on a BMX. Even cyclocross is an option for real extremists.
There are further advantages to an adventures policy. Equipment cover is up to £1000 per person with a single item, pair, or set limit of £600. For delayed equipment, there is a limit of up to £200 per person. Equipment hire cover is at a limit of £300 per person if anyone opts to rent a bike at their destination.
Euro Plus is a European vehicle breakdown cover, including cover for trailers. Valuable for anyone planning to drive to the continent with bikes on board.
European Cycling holidays – where to go?
The variety of different nations, cities, and regions of Europe can leave many feeling overwhelmed by options. Here are a few of our favourites to ignite some inspiration.
When it comes to European cycling destinations, Girona is the first location that comes to mind. It’s the Beverly Hills of cycling, and it’s easy to understand why. You can’t travel far without seeing a professional cyclist.
Girona is surrounded by superb cycling routes, with almost any type of riding desired over a diverse range of terrains. Access to them is simple thanks to the relatively traffic-free Catalan highways. As for Girona’s old centre: it is stunning. There are many restaurants providing excellent cuisine and coffee when the time comes to refuel.
The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomite Mountains in Italy provide some of Europe’s most spectacular mountain panoramas. The North-Eastern area, with meandering, open climbs, and unforgiving rocky crags, is a mixing pot of cultures, food, and languages, making it a truly unique cycling and travel destination.
The architecture and cuisine reflect a mix of Italian and Austro-German influences. There are also French and Italian flavours with some of Europe’s greatest pasta and pastries. No end of choice to ‘carb up’ the evening before a day of testing climbs!
Portugal has become a popular cycling destination as a result of the wide range of routes available. There are several peaks as well as a large number of undulating roads for any cyclist to challenge themselves on. As you’d expect, the topography is comparable to its Iberian neighbour. However, Portugal feels a little more off the beaten path.
The Algarve region, in particular, offers a diverse range of routes and riding opportunities. Aside from the bike, there’s plenty of local food and wines to indulge in.
Mallorca is likely Europe’s most well-known cycling destination. Especially popular with us Brits, who like to escape for the sun-drenched Balearic Island.
Mallorca offers it all, with a plethora of tour operators, hotels, biking facilities, and stores. One of the reasons for the popularity is the variety of terrain on offer. There’s no doubt that this Spanish island is a riding paradise, with flat roads, rolling hills, and challenging mountains.
Haute Alpes, France
The Alps of France always make an appearance on any cycling destination bucket list. These are among some of the most popular climbs in the world, due to two prestigious events: the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. Every 2 wheeled enthusiast has wondered at some point if they could take on the big climbs they see the pros tackle.
The region has become as synonymous with bikers as it has with skiers. It becomes a terrific spring/summer destination when the snows begin to thaw.
A more gentle landscape, what Tuscany lacks in climbs it more than makes up for with breath-taking beauty at every turn. Windswept cypress trees that border the Tuscan roads, miles of vineyards, and stunning villas are among the best sights on two wheels.
Tuscany has it all. Fantastic roads to ride, loads of history, delectable food, and, of course, the occasional tipple. So much so that many may find it difficult to leave.
Transporting a bike to Europe
Most of the previous destinations are accessible from the UK. However, transporting a bike to the continent can pose a bit of a headache. We’ve broken down the main options
If you fly, most airlines will charge a fee to take a bike. Saying that, some can include it as an element of the checked baggage allowance if it is within certain size and weight stipulations. Most airlines will insist on packing in a protective bike bag or box. Unfortunately, no airline can accept ebikes due to the lithium battery they use. The best option for these is Eurotunnel and Ferry crossing options.
As of March 2022, Eurostar suspended transport services for all bikes. Eurotunnel offers more flexibility than airlines, with fewer size and weight restrictions. However, try not to exceed the 1.85m height restriction when transporting bike(s) on a roof rack. High space bookings are available but explore if there is another way to store bike(s) to avoid the extra cost.
For only £21 each way you can travel on the Eurotunnel by bike, and leave the car at home. Perfect for tours of Northern Europe.
Ferries offer a much wider choice of crossings and destinations. A better option if you want to further afield. When booking, declare the dimensions of the vehicle with the bike(s) in place. This will affect costs in some situations, but on-board ferries there is more room to play with than on-board the Eurotunnel and should be more flexible that way.
As with Eurotunnel, the option to travel as a foot passenger is available on most ferries. As a bonus, cyclists will usually be some of the first ones on and off.
As mentioned at the start of this blog, P J Hayman products give a broad range of choice for all types of cycling holiday in Europe. For more information on the products, please click the links below: