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The Top 8 Cycling Holiday Destinations in Europe<br><h3>According to Strava</h3>

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The Top 8 Cycling Holiday Destinations in Europe

According to Strava

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March 25th, 2016

With a little help from Strava’s 2015 insights and heat-maps, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 cycling holiday destinations in Europe. Between them these places have something to appeal to every kind of cyclist, from the club rider looking to ride a century in every country they visit, to the casual cyclist who wants to trundle around and see some sights.

Hopefully there’s a good mixture of places you’re already aware of and raring to ride in, and places you may not have heard of that will trigger your wanderlust. Either way, inspiration for a cycling holiday is in here somewhere.

Here they are:

#1 – London


The home of Boris Bikes, the Lee Valley VeloPark, and recording a whopping 7 million rides in 2015, it’s no surprise to see London at the top of the list.

Years of investment in cycling in the capital have seen new routes built and better safety measures put in place, both contributing to a gradual increase in the amount of cyclists. Commuters can beat the public transport and get to work more quickly, tourists can cycle along routes that take them past some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, and Lyrca warriors can use the city as a base for rides around the south of the UK.


#2 – Amsterdam

Cycle parking in Amsterdam

Another no-brainer in the list is the capital of the most famous cycling-friendly country in the world. There are two things most people know about the Netherlands: first is how well treated cyclists are there, and second is the brownies. Apparently they’re quite good.

An incredibly flat landscape combined with a society that treats cycling as equally important to driving, where almost every road has a dedicated and well-maintained cycle lane means that it’s a pleasure to ride there.

#3 – Barcelona

Barcelona cycling

Head a bit further south, just over the Pyrenees, and you’ll arrive in Barcelona – one of Spain’s gems and another fantastic place for getting on the bike.

The city and the surrounding area offer a real range of rides, from sweaty hilly slogs through to urban sightseeing tours and, a bit further afield, some of eastern Spain’s finest beaches. Excellent motivation to put on the Lycra and head out!

#4 Milan

Ride25 Milan

The starting point of Ride25’s fourth leg, Milan has a special place in our hearts. Where else can you meet at one of the most grand buildings in Europe, in the middle of a beautiful and refined city, and then be in stunningly beautiful Italian countryside just a few miles later?

In short, it’s a treat to ride there.

#5 Paris

Ride25 Paris

As the end of Ride25’s first leg, and the ending point of all London to Paris rides, the sights and sensations of France’s most famous city have motivated tired cyclists for many years. There’s nothing quite like arriving under the Eiffel Tower after several days (and several hundred miles) of cycling.

Not only that but the Champs-Élysées marks the end of the Tour de France, arguably the world’s most iconic and well respected cycling event.

#6 Berlin

Bikes in Berlin

A city steeped in history is best explored by bike and the Berliner Mauerweg, a cycle path following the route of the Berlin Wall, is a perfect opportunity.

Cycling around the city is relatively flat too, so an inviting prospect for beginners. Head out a few miles and the terrain gets hillier, meaning that those looking for a bit more of a challenge are sure to find it.

#7 Palma

Hilly Majorca

Cycling in Majorca is an increasingly popular activity for the discerning cyclist. The island – slightly more than a stone’s throw from Barcelona – has a number of routes that will test the resolve of even the most hardcore. Fancy climbing 4000m in 167km, for example?

Palma itself is a wonderful city – located on the the Mediterranean and offering stunning beach views and a unique blend of architectural styles, it’s a great destination on or off the saddle.

#8 Lisbon

cycling in Lisbon

Portugal’s capital is located just a short distance away from Sintra and Arrábida, two beautiful natural parks which make perfect stops on a cycling tour of the region.

In few other places will you find coast and forest riding in such alluring proximity.


How we made the list

Strava recently released an in-depth analysis of all the route data they collected in 2015. 6 of the 12 pins are in Europe, and those 6 locations are the top 6 in the list:

Cycling destinations in Europe

Through the insights you can also compare cities and see who wins on various metrics. The 6 locations that were above were ranked on the highest amount of total activities: you can see London smashes every other location.

Which is the most active cycling city in Europe?

The other 2 locations were chosen a bit more subjectively by taking a look at the brightest spots on Strava’s 2015 heat-map of Europe, which you can see below. The brighter a spot, the more riders were recorded there:

Strava heat-map

Do you have any good stories of riding in and around the cities in the list? Or did we miss out your favourite cycling holiday destination? Let us know!

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