10 of The Most Stunning Cycling Routes in The World
Cycling can be a peaceful and relaxing way to travel or a great, energetic way to workout and do some cardio, either way, if you love cycling, you'll know the difference a great cycle route can make.
Traveling the world and taking your bike with you can be a task, especially if you don't know what conditions you're going to meet when you get there but here we have detailed some of the most amazing cycling routes in the world for those looking to undertake the challenge.
1. The Great Ocean Road - Australia
As the name suggests, this road offers up some stunning views of the ocean as it spans over 300km of coastal views where you can whizz by stunning vistas of sandy beaches, imposing cliffs, waterfalls, rainforests, and the famous Twelve Apostles limestone formations. There are mountain bike trails that shoot off from this route for the more adventurous cyclist and the road is kept in pretty darn good condition.
Despite this, it's probably still best for the more capable cyclist or at least those who have done moderate journeys before by bike. Do-able within a long weekend if you are really committed to completing it.
2. Carretera Austral - Chile
One for the more advanced cyclist, this route is mostly abandoned and offers up some great views of rural Patagonia through mountains and past glaciers and lakes.
The problem with its remote location is that upkeep is not really a priority and so it can be tough going in parts of the 1,240km route but if you're looking for adventure then this is the way to go.
3. Udaipur to Taj Mahal — Rajasthan, India
Taking in many of the stunning sights of such a stunning, varied and colourful country, this back route is another for the more seasoned cyclist but it really is worth the hard work as you start in the city of lakes before passing through the pink city of Jaipur and marvel at the Palace of Winds and the Amber Fort. Perhaps most spectacularly, you finish your journey at the iconic Taj Mahal.
Coupled with varied terrain and sweltering heat this can be really difficult to navigate at times so always make sure when you are going to make this trip.
4. La Farola - Cuba
A sensational highway that winds through the mountains right down to the beautiful South coast of the country. Along the way of this 55km route, you will pass gorges, limestone cliffs and stretches of open sea before you plunge down towards gorgeous Carribean bays.
Steep inclines and descents mean that you have to be a hardy cyclist to try it with sharp turns seemingly quite perilous although guard rails are in place to prevent any major accidents.
5. Otago Peninsula - New Zealand
This route starts off in the university town of Dunedin before opening out into a gentle cycle even for novice riders but the second half then becomes a coastal route of winding climbs and plunges best left to the more adept cyclist.
Possible to complete within a day, if started early enough there would also be time to take detours to a penguin reserve, albatross sanctuary and nearby castle.
6. Cabot Trail - Nova Scotia, Canada
This 300km route is renowned as one of the most scenic cycles in the world as it takes in both the hills and coast line of Nova Scotia as well as the Bras d’Or inland sea and many delightfully quaint Celtic-french fishing villages. It has some challenging moments but any average cyclist should be able to make their way along and will be gifted the opportunity to see some of Canada's unique wildlife such as moose, beavers, and deer.
Well worth the effort although, being so far North, it is definitely only one for summer cycling.
7. North Sea Cycle Route - Europe
Euro Velo Route 12 goes through eight countries and various terrains as you pass into Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, and Scotland. Best done in the summer due to coastal parts becoming perilously windy and wet (especially in Scandinavia) and with different levels of road maintenance in each country (ahem, Britain), the easiest parts are through the relatively flat Belgium and Holland.
Coming in at a whopping 6,200km long, some serious planning is needed before undertaking this route.
8. Salzach Valley - Austria
150 miles of mountain passes that go through the Hohe Tauern National Park. With sights such as the Grossglockner Mountain and Europe's highest waterfall, it may be hard to keep your eyes on the road but we recommend you do since you'll be thousands of feet up in certain parts.
However, if you start in Gerlos Pass and end in Salzburg you'll be treated to an amazing descent into the city after you've passed ski slopes, pine forests, quaint Austrian villages, and wildflower meadows.
9. The San Juan Islands - Washington, USA
Off the coast of Washinton state, these islands offer a panoramic view of the Pacific ocean and also have plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife like seals, otters, sea lions, black-tailed deer, eagles, and the occasional orca.
With 27 islands in the archipelago, each is cyclable within a day but offer up different sights and sounds and going inland can provide historic sights as well as the natural
10. Karakoram Highway - China/Pakistan
Being well over 4000km in altitude, this is the highest road in the world and is definitely for the advanced cyclist as any sort of strenuous exercise at such a height has to be undertaken with great care and preparation.
If you are able to do it you will be provided with delectable views of mountains and glaciers as you cycle above the rest of the world.