Deciding where to go cycling is the start of your adventure, it will build your excitement and give you something to look forward to. It is worth taking your time and doing some research to ensure you have an idea of where you think you would like to go:
- Which countries would you like to visit?
- What food do you like to eat?
- What kind of scenery would you like to see?
- Mountains, cities, rivers, lakes, flat, hilly, easier terrain, mix of boats and bikes?
Speak to friends who have been on a cycling holiday or join a Facebook group and get other people’s opinions. Find out where people have been, what they enjoyed and why. I would highly recommend that you go on to the Freewheel Holiday site and see what they have to offer, read their blogs and then check it against your list. It can also be a little overwhelming if you haven’t been on a cycling holiday before and especially in a foreign country, but I can guarantee it will be the adventure of a lifetime that you want to repeat, time and time again.
Think about whether you want to go on a cycling holiday with a tour operator or to organise the tour by yourself. I would strongly suggest booking with a cycling holiday specialist, I worked in the tourism industry for over 30 years and my first tour was with a holiday company. Reason being is that someone else is responsible for all the organisational detail which leaves you to concentrate on turning the pedals and having the time of your life. Focus on the important things like enjoying all that the tour has to offer be that scenery, local culture, food and drink specialities, and so on. You don’t want to be worried about the travel details, hiring your bike, even moving your luggage. You just want to get on your bike, get your map and start exploring.
For a first tour you probably wouldn’t want to cover large mileage, keep your daily distances between 30-60 kilometres depending on your cycling experience. I would suggest choosing a tour that is on fairly flat terrain, as more energy is needed as soon as you have to cycle up hills.
Consider a route which is well known as they tend to be very well signposted and the track surfaces are better, a route that is ideal for newer cyclists is the Danube cycle route. You can travel in the direction of the flow of the river which means it is descending very slightly all the time (so no long steep climbs). Also because of its popularity it is well signposted, so you don’t waste energy and time staying on track.
Length of a tour
Consider how often you currently cycle, how fit you are, have you sat on a bike for more than 2 days in a row? You might want to consider a shorter tour for your first one however you will also find that you can ride yourself fitter and feel much stronger at the end of your tour.
Type of bike
When you are deciding where to go on a cycling tour, remember to consider the type of bike. If you are used to riding a city or a mountain bike, then go for what you are used to. You can go on a more challenging tour with an e-bike, this will take away any concerns about being able to achieve your daily mileage. There are loads of articles on riding e-bikes and their benefits, just pop over to my website at ebike-europe.com for more information. More challenging tours to consider would be St Moritz to Innsbruck if you enjoy being in the high mountains or Innsbruck to Bolzano if cities are your thing.
Wherever you decide to go, you will have a fabulous time. You will feel tired and exhilarated at the end of the day with a huge feeling of achievement.