From the ancient spiritual pilgrimage of the Camino De Santiago and the Lakes District of Patagonia, to the storybook landscapes of Bavaria and the undiscovered beauty of Corsica, here are 10 of our best guided bike tours. We chose this list from an eclectic blend of our most popular tours, tour leader favorites, and some of our most celebrated tours that have garnered international press and awards. Each tour has an exceptional nature and reflects our company’s strong commitment to designing tours that are culturally immersive, highly-sustainable, and deeply connected to the local culture and people of each region. And while we believe that all of the tours we design are very special and offer unique experiences only available in those places, we know people love to know what “the greatest hits” are. So here they are: our Top Ten Tours.
1. Bike Across Italy – From Venice to Pisa
Cycle into the heart and soul of Italian history, art, culture and cuisine
This is it – the bicycle tour that we first created back in 1972; the “big bang” of our family business. If you love “everything Italy”: Roman and Renaissance history, the landscape, the great artworks, the architecture and the famed cities, and the wonderful culture, food and wine, then you’ll love our most beloved tour across Italy from Venice to Pisa. Beginning in romantic Venice, you’ll cycle through the heart and soul of Italy, following routes we’ve ridden for decades. You’ll enjoy gourmet meals and wines from Italy’s most renowned culinary regions, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany and you’ll have time to wander through the great art cities of Ferrara, Ravenna & Florence, ending your journey by exploring Lucca and pedaling to Pisa. Along the way, you’ll take in local markets and discover a side of Italy seldom seen by tourists.
Highlights: Gourmet meals and wines. Venice. Ravenna. Florence. Lucca. Pisa. The gorgeous countryside of Tuscany. The farms, orchards and food of Emilia-Romagna.
“The trip of a lifetime. The tour guides were amazing and worked tirelessly to provide everything we needed. The routes were incredible, the food fantastic, the hotels spot on”
– Jacqueline M., Brooklyn, NY
2. Cycling the Camino de Santiago
An ancient Spanish spiritual pilgrimage and the “tour of a lifetime”
Selected by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of “50 Tours of a Lifetime,” this is more than a beautiful bicycle tour, it’s an ancient pilgrimage, spiritual journey, and an experience not to miss. “A pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is the finest journey in Spain,” wrote James Michener, and if you join this singular tour across northern Spain, from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic, you too will discover the magic of the Camino de Santiago. From Gothic cathedrals, to medieval monasteries, you’ll pedal through one of Spain’s premier wine growing regions – the Rioja – and encounter pilgrims and adventurous travelers from around the world.
Highlights: Follows the route of the Codex Calixtinus. 1000 years of history along the Camino de Santiago. Coordination to obtain your Pilgrim’s Passport. Guided tour of León and Burgos
“This tour has just enough of everything you could possibly want in a bicycle tour: history, food, great routes and interesting people. There are few routes in the world where you bicycle or walk by 20 people speaking 5 different languages! Throughout history the Camino was a corridor that connected Europe. More recently it has become a path shared by thousands of people every year—exploring as they travel towards Santiago. You’ll find extraordinary cuisine, history, landscapes and great bicycling on many of our tours—but this particular one has just the right amount of all of these elements to make it extra special!”
Dana S., Fairport, New York
3. Bicycling Patagonia’s Lake District Plus the Islands Of Chiloé
Cross the Andes from Argentina to Chile
Escape south and spend two weeks in the South American summer cycling through the Andes and crossing the continental divide from Argentina to Chile. You’ll pedal from the high plateau of San Carlos de Bariloche, coast alongside shimmering Andean lakes, and wind down through the valleys of the border region into Chile’s Lake District. Shimmering bodies of water will be a constant theme as you descend from the Andean lakes to the ocean, passing through scenery and a landscape so diverse you’ll feel as if every day you are visiting a new country.
Highlights: Chile’s Lake District, the Argentinian and Chilean Andes, Views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, Waterfalls on the Petrohué River, Thermal Pools, San Carlos de Bariloche
“I have described this as the best vacation of my life.” Toni H., Steamboat Springs, Colorado
4. Cycling Corsica Plus! Beaches and Bonifacio
A Tour Leader and Staff Favorite And Possibly Our Most Beautiful Bike Tour
“Pure cycling pleasure.” Corsica is one of the most spectacular bicycle rides in the Mediterranean basin, and for some, the world. As one of our tour leaders says, “Corsica has phenomenal roads that lead to endless pleasures: beaches, mountains, the wonderful and exotic aroma of the maquis (local wild shrubland), fiadone (delicious Corsican cheesecake), Pietra (chestnut beer), and rides that are challenging without being exhausting.” From the sea, Corsica appears as a large piece of Alpine Europe floating on a bed of cobalt blue. Geologically, Corsica is more closely related to the Alps than it is to its larger neighbor to the south, the Italian island of Sardinia. But culturally and linguistically this birthplace of Napoleon is all Mediterranean. Inlets and harbors are filled with bright blue and white fishing boats and palm-lined streets bustle with colorful marketplaces and a a wide variety of cultural blends and exotic dialects brought from northern Africa, mainland Italy, and the rest of the Mediterranean basin. An island of stunning natural beauty, Corsica is also an island of delightful surprises and cultural treasures for the touring cyclist.
Highlights: Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Extraordinary coastal and mountain scenery. French and Mediterranean food. Picturesque villages. Beautiful Pisan and Genoese churches. Fabulous beaches. Impressive watchtowers along the coast.
“Corsica was really magical. It has everything, lush forests, desert, beaches, mountains. I would love to go back .” Susan A., Colorado Springs, CO
5. Bike Across Portugal
Our best selling tour in Portugal – a journey back in time
Cycle peaceful roads and explore ancient Roman cities as you ride across Portugal’s south-central lands and rugged West Coast. You’ll ride through an ever-changing tableau of undulating wheat fields, ancient cork and eucalyptus groves, and extensive olive orchards, vineyards, and farms. As you pedal through the western outpost of continental Europe, amidst a landscape delicately framed by stunning beaches and endless blue sky, you’ll be immersed in a historically rich and uniquely Portuguese landscape. The ride takes you through towns and cities whose architecture blends and harmonizes its centuries of ancient Roman, Arabic, Medieval and Renaissance influences. Along the way, you’ll visit an active marble quarry, see the ceramics of São Pedro do Corval, explore the celebrated Medieval town of Evora and enjoy wonderful wine tastings, excellent, earthy cuisine and a stay in a variety of historic hotels and Pousadas.
Highlights: Rural roads. Serene historic hotels. Roman ruins. Medieval cities. Alqueva reservoir. One of the world’s best places for stargazing. Artisanal pottery. Winemaking and marble works. The rugged coastline and the furthest southwestern point of the Continent and the Vicentina National Park.
“How would you describe this tour to a friend? In a word… Peaceful. The countryside is gorgeous, the people are friendly, the food/wine are YUM, the shoreline is breathtaking, and traffic is minimal and courteous. Make it last forever :)”
Jarmila G., Idledale, CO
6. Bicycling the Danube and the Czech Republic
Listed in Outside Magazine’s ” The 6 Best Cycling Tours in Europe” and National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime”
Pedal off the beaten track past gently rolling countryside, lakes, and through tiny towns as you bicycle from Passau, Germany through Austria and the Czech Republic ending in Prague. Every day is an opportunity to explore the colorful towns and impressive historical sites including a stop in the town of Melk to visit the Benedictine Melk Abbey, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river. You’ll get a flavor for the local food and landscape while pedaling past vineyards (and stopping to taste some fantastic wine!), through forbidden forests along the Austrian/Czech border, and into late Renaissance towns unchanged since the 17th century. Gently rolling cycling, bicycle-friendly paths and roads in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic make this region enormously popular for cyclists of all stripes.
Highlights: Cycling bike paths, Boat ride on the famous Danube river, Crossing three borders, Wine tastings, Historic abbeys and castles.
“We had a fantastic, once in a lifetime, experience. Our tour leaders were the best. They were very professional and had great positive attitudes, even with a novice cyclist like me. The whole trip was very organized and we never encountered any problems. Our trip down the Danube was first class and we had a blast!!” Howard B., Austin, TX
7. Cycling Italy’s Dolomites Plus the Sella Ronda
Italy’s most famous and dramatic mountains with world class cycling routes and a staff favorite
If you love the idea of experiencing a blend of Italian, Austrian and German culture amidst the tremendous backdrop of Italy’s most famous mountain range while cycling one of the most challenging routes in cycling history, then this is the bicycle tour for you. You’ll pedal through the heart of this region’s stunning valleys and over world famous passes and discover why UNESCO honored the Dolomites with World Heritage status for its “exceptional natural beauty”. Imagine 8 days of breathtaking mountain roads, winding through ancient forests and Alpine trials, all the while enjoying traditional Tyrolean meals and top quality local wines. You’ll visit Cortina d’ampezzo ( Italy’s “Aspen”), Corvara and Trentino Alto Adige, home of the Gruppo Sella Massif (which hosts thousands of cyclists each year to ride the Sella Ronda.) After the Sella Ronda you’ll whiz downward to the Alto Adige region, where Italian is the second language to German (and even a third language – Ladino, is spoken). When you arrive you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Austria, where it’s time to relax, and enjoy a well-deserved beer, some delicious Wurstel and of course, a Strudel!
Highlights: The Dolomites! Stunning scenery. Multiple two night stays. Incredible Cycling Roads. WWI Historic Sites. Unique part of German speaking Italy. Well-maintained long distance bike paths. Cortina.
“Wonderful, riding the Dolomites was the experience of my life.” Virgina S., Oakland
8. Cycling the Dordogne Plus! the Vineyards of Bordeaux
One of France’s most stunning river valley’s takes you along the scenic route to taste world-famous wine and food.
We think the Dordogne is one of Europe’s most underappreciated rivers. The Dordogne River Valley is part of the historical region of Aquitaine, which for centuries was vaster and richer than the territory held by the kings of France. It passes through deep gorges, steep cliffs, fertile farmland to its mouth in the Bay of Biscay near Bordeaux. That is why we love sharing the experience of cycling along the river from Brive-la-Gaillarde to St. Émilion by way of some of the nicest cycling routes and most hospitable hosts in Europe. Along the way you will visit cave sculptures at Cap Blanc, explore St. Émilion for two nights and sample some of France’s finest wine and food on one of our all-time favorite bicycle tours.
Highlights: beautiful landscapes, Gouffres of Padirac, 3 nights in Sarlat, Rocamadour, medieval castles.
“This was one of the best cycling vacations I have taken in Europe. (I have taken 13) I LOVED France. Our guides were great. Also, I really, really love the EP format with the arrows allowing me to be more free on my own. The people, the scenery, the culture, the history. The food (and wine of course)! I loved it all.” Helen Z., Las Cruces, NM
9. Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia Plus! Ljubljana
Three countries, three cultures, and a lifetime worth of views on this tour of a lifetime.
How often is it that you can say you’ve cycled across the borders of Austria, Slovenia and Italy? While Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia you will pedal through the intersection of Slavic, German and Italian culture as you cycle scenic roads with stunning backdrops of alpine landscape – you’ll even experience a hint of Italy’s Mediterranean coast along the way. This tour includes everything you can dream of from quiet roads, picturesque villages, Mediterranean views and rides along gently rolling rivers.
Highlights: Lake Ossiach, Drava river path , Tarvisio, Klagenfurt, Villach, Lake Faak, Lake Bled, Border hopping between Austria, Slovenia and Italy, Julian Alps.
“What was your favorite experience on this trip? It is a toss up between the soup cooked in the outdoor caldron and schnapps tasting in Podkoren and the carriage ride around Lake Bled. The tour had everything from casual fun to sophisticated splendor! It was an excellent trip!”
Kathy V., Roseburg, OR
10. Bicycling the Islands of Dalmatia Plus! the South Coast
Invigorating riding backed by stunning scenery
There’s no mistaking the dramatic limestone formations of Croatia’s Dinaric Alps as they plunge right into the sea, fracturing into a series of islands that stretch the length of the Dalmatian Coast. From coast to island, this tour embraces the beauty of the seasons as soft light sparkles off the blue Adriatic and the sea warms into the edge of summer.