Europe’s 6 Best Coastal Bike Rides
There is no better feeling than grabbing your bike and hitting the open road on a journey that could last for days – taking in the scenery, getting to know the land and its people, exploring the world in a way that is different from your day-to-day life.
Of course there is usually the question of where to begin. What better way than to look at the map and decide to follow the coast? Europe has a lot of coast to explore however, so here are some of our picks for the best coastal bike rides in Europe!
The Atlantic Road
A country that truly understands the spirit of the sea – Norway is a great place to explore life on the coast. There are a number of stunning coastal rides throughout the country, but one of our favourites is the Atlantic Road up in Northwest, Fjord Norway.
The Atlantic Road stretches 80km between Kristiansund and Bud and winds through a string of islands that are connected by 7 bridges. At times you will find yourself riding with the sea on both sides of you and you can truly feel at one with the elements. The journey isn’t considered especially challenging as there are no difficult inclines to contend with so this is a journey in which you can sit back and just enjoy the beauty around you.
The Crossroads of the Mediterranean
At the other end of the continent is another spectacular bike ride – a three island bike tour that takes you from Corsica to Sardinia and then on to Sicily. This journey takes in wildly different landscapes. In Corsica you can enjoy the contrast between its impressive mountainous north and the calm beaches and small fishing villages further south. Sardinia boasts striking cliffs and secret beach coves whilst Sicily is an island of fire and farmland – its volcanic soil making for fertile and rich landscapes.The three islands together will provide you with a real insight into the heart of the Mediterranean. Whilst they each have their own unique histories they also have a shared history which makes a Three Island Bike Tour a must, although a shorter journey can be arranged with Ride and Seek.
Staying in southern Italy, one of the most stunning bikes rides you can do in Europe is through the gorgeous region of Puglia. Following the craggy coastline you can travel to, and explore, charming villages that are each wildly different from the others. Delve into the white walls of Ostuni, venture through the trulli of Alberobello and marvel at the dwellings carved into the rock faces of Matera. Not only will you discover a tangled and rich history here, but you will be blown away by the cuisine. Because, of course, no coastal bike ride is complete without some excellent seafood to help you regain your strength. Ride and Seek have prepared a bike tour that is as relaxing as it is fascinating.
The Istrian Peninsula
Another must, if you want to explore European coastlines, is to bike through the Istrian Peninsula. You can adventure down the beautiful east and west coasts of Croatia, travelling through antique villages and postcard perfect towns, as well as down through magnificent valleys that will have you meandering alongside rivers and through leafy forest… this is a rich landscape!
The bountiful nature will also provide succour as the Istrian Peninsula is all about rich flavours, good wine from local vineyards, and full bodied olive oil from the Istrian olive groves. And the culture is as rich as the food, with a coastal tour taking you through not only medieval history but also taking you back to a time when the Roman Empire dominated the region.
EuroVelo 10 – The Baltic Sea Cycle Route
The EuroVelo 10 cycling route is a loop that takes you through nine countries and all the way around the Baltic Sea. This is a journey of a lifetime that will take you through a wealth of cultures, landscapes and adventures. You will get to experience Europe in a way that few can boast, moving from one fairy-tale setting to another. What’s ideal about the route is that you can pick any spot on it as your starting point and you can go as far as you like. It’s a journey you can always come back to and it is perfect for people that enjoy being immersed in nature, history and different cultures.
The EuroVelo routes are all signposted so this is a route that can easily be self guided as long as you’re prepared.
Marco Polo Tour – Venice to Athens
One of the most ambitious cycling projects Ride and Seek has ever created is the Marco Polo Tour – a journey that follows in the footsteps of the famous explorer taking you from Venice all the way to Beijing! And if you are interested in the best coastal bike rides in Europe then the first leg of this journey is for you.
Venice to Athens is an epic 29 day journey that winds through five countries, giving you a wonderful experience of life in the Balkan Peninsula. This journey is split into two stages: Venice to Dubrovnik – an island hopping journey down the Dalmation coast, and Dubrovnik to Athens – a challenging and charming ride through Montenegro, Albania, Corfu and Greece. It’s a ride like no other, and it takes its rightful place on our list of the 6 best coastal bike rides in Europe.
So there you have it. A mix of journeys through varied landscapes and of varied difficulty, but all of them basking the glory of the sea. If any of our bike rides took your fancy, or if you are interested in creating the perfect cycling adventure just for you then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Ride and Seek is always ready to go on the next great journey!