Ten top cycling holidays

Use pedal power to get you around on a two-wheeled break


Use pedal power to tour the quiet back roads of Brittany which are, for the most part, blessedly flat. They're also scenic, with traditional Breton fishing ports, half-timbered villages and plenty of places for picnics. Take an eight-night trip, cycling hotel to hotel at a gentle pace from £1,029 (€1,297)pps with Headwater. headwater.com


Test your mettle with a Giro from the Dolomites to Lake Garda. With 250km to traverse over a week, you'll have plenty of time to experience sights such as the Monastery of Neufstift and the Saben Cloister in Klausen and soak up the culture at Bolzano. The tour-only price, staying B&B in three- and four-star hotels, is €730 per adult. adventure-holidays.ie



Take a two-wheel waltz from Prague to Vienna, with eight nights’ hotel accommodation from €960pps staying B&B – €80 more for half board. Cycle quiet back roads and dedicated cycle paths, meandering through Bohemia and Moravia and passing


world heritage sites such as Cesky Crumlov and Telc along the way.

The Andorran resort of Soldeu is better known here as a ski destination but in summer offers all sorts of activities including white-water rafting and zip wiring. For off-road cyclists, the real appeal is mountain biking through the Cortals Valley and along the 'Iron Route' in Ordino Valley. Eight days, excluding flights, costs from €795pps. exodustravels.eu

Explore Vietnam on a two-week cycling tour from Hanoi through the central highlands and along the coast to Ho Chi Minh City. Wend your way through a rural landscape of coffee plantations and national parks, finishing up with a visit to the Cu Chi tunnel tours. The tour, which includes airport transfers, bikes and guide assistance, starts from £1,390 (€1,751)pps. worldexpeditions.com

Turn Japanese on a bicycle tour from Tokyo to the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan, cycling coastal roads past sand dunes, caves and fantastic rock formations, with terraced rice paddies and ancient temples, staying in traditional lodgings and experiencing authentic onsens – hot springs - along the way. Cycling 485km over nine days, the tour-only price is $3,950 (€3,164) with bike hire $150 extra. spiceroads.com

Loire to the Cher
Take a stately two-centre family cycling holiday from the Loire to the Cher, exploring some of the region's most famous chateaux. Staying in historic Amboise and St Georges sur Cher, six nights B&B plus two dinners costs from £870 (€1,096)pps. 

Whizz through the UK's Lake District on wild mountain bike trails, winding bridleways and purpose-built single tracks, taking on infamous passes that reward the effort with spectacular views. Spend four nights in the saddle, and five nights in comfy lodgings, with baggage transfer and average daily distances of 60km. Self-guided tours start at £500 (€637)pps. trailbrakes.co.uk

Cycle the dramatic landscape of Southern Iceland on a network of country roads that takes you past black lava fields, towering glaciers and venting geysers – with welcome pit-stops in thermal baths, you won't feel an ache. Tours from £1,799 (€2,269). responsibletravel.com

Take a self-guided cycling holiday from the historic city of Valencia through its rich hinterland of orange and olive groves, stopping off at golden beaches, visiting Roman castles and, if you're up for it, taking on some serious climbs in the Sierra Espada mountains. The six-night tour, B&B, costs €720. cyclefiesta.com

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell is a contributor to The Irish Times