World’s best long-distance bike routes
Italy has announced that it has plans to create a new 422-mile cycle path linking Venice with Turin. The VenTo route will follow the course of the Po river, passing through Valenza, Pavia, Cremona, Boretto and Ferrara en route to the Adriatic. Like many long-distance cycle trails, the VenTo is likely to make it on to a bucket list of the world’s must-do routes. Whatever your chosen hobby, whether it’s cycling, walking or Loom bands, there will always be a bucket list. It’s those, 10 rides, walks, designs etc, to see/do before you die type lists. These lists are created through hearsay and by experts and amateurs alike.
They will be talked about and word will get out. No one person will compile a list, but these lists exist for many others to enjoy. Long-distance cycling is one of those hobbies that attracts lists. This particular bucket list is for people who want to travel the world on two wheels. You could choose to set off to ride the entire route or pick and choose sections of each route for a weekend, week or two-week or more cycling trip. Here we reveal our international bucket list of long-distance cycle tours.
World’s top long distance bike rides
North Sea Cycle Route, Europe This route is the longest signposted cycling trail in the world. It offers 6,000km of waymarked cycling along the coastline of the North Sea and travels through seven countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Most of the route is on dedicated bike paths or small roads, which means it’s perfect for all kinds of cyclists.
Danube Cycle Path, Europe The River Danube flows for 1800 miles through the heart of Europe. The delightful Danube Cycle Path follows the Danube for much of its length through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. It’s a fantastic route for families and those new to cycling, with much of the route being on flat, paved paths. See a range of Macs Adventure trips on the Danube Cycle Path.
Munda Biddi Trail, Australia This is a 600-mile off-road trail through Western Australia, from Mundaring to Albany. It claims to be the longest of its kind anywhere in the world and is a true belter of a ride. See Munda Biddi
C2C (Sea to Sea), England The C2C cycle route heads from the Irish Sea to the North Sea across northern England. It’s a hilly but rewarding cycle that can be completed over one to four days (or more). The entire route is 140 miles and travels through the Lake District, including the towns of Keswick and Penrith, and over the Pennines to Stanhope and the North Sea. See Macs Adventure Sea to Sea
Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand The 100-mile Otago Rail Trail extends from Clyde to Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island. The route follows the former Otago Central Railway Expect and boasts views of mountains, gorges and old gold mining towns. See www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz
Pacific Coast, United States Known also as Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway is America’s dream drive, yet it’s also hugely popular as a long-distance cycling tour. The views are amazing with stunning coastal views along almost the entire twisting 1,000-mile route from California’s northern border with Oregon to its southern boundary with Mexico.
The Silk Road The trans-Asia Silk Road is the stuff of travelling legends and takes a bit of planning, whether you plan to cycle a small segment or journey all the way from Istanbul to Beijing. Spanning around 8,000km, the Silk Road isn’t even one distinct road but rather a network of tributaries once used by ancient traders to get their goods to and from the Orient. This will be one big one to tick off the bucket list but a trip that will hold memories forever.
Carretera Austral, Chile This is a mountain biking tour on more than 1,000 kms of mostly unpaved road. The fabulous route passes through the region of Patagonia and takes in some of Chile’s most amazing terrain, including mountains, lakes and glaciers.
Land’s End to John o’ Groats, UK This is a popular route but still a hugely attractive challenge and easily finds its place on a cycling bucket list. Start from the most southerly point on the UK mainland and head to the most northerly, or vice versa, and travel between around 850 miles and more than 1,000 miles depending on your route. The route is known as the LEJog or the JoGLE. See our blog Joys of the JoGLE.
Great Divide Route, North America A route that is perfect for mountain bikes, it traces the Continental Divide from Banff in Canada south to the Mexican border. Most riders would need around thee months to complete it, although you could choose to cycle shorter sections.
Karakoram Highway Another classic route, this time between China and Pakistan. It’s a hard ride but one that is highly rated by those who have completed it. The scenery is said to be awesome, from mighty high-rise mountains to tiny villages wedged into valleys. The people are welcoming and the cycling is both challenging yet hugely rewarding.
Tell us about your bucket list cycle tours.
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