For those who are new to the concept of cycling holidays and are unsure as to which country to pick, then we recommend Austria as a starting point; the routes here are less daunting than Azerbaijan, with less uphill pedalling than the Alps, yet still offer some beautiful sights.
The best cycling paths and roads in Europe:
The bike paths in Austria are some of the best in the world; the most impressive are located along the Danube, between Vienna and Passau. This particular pathway tends to get quite busy during the weekends, especially during the summer months. However, it’s easy to understand why, given that it is traffic free, well organised (paved and signed), flat and surrounded by some stunning scenery.
According to the cycling tour specialist Headwater, when you cycle along this path you’ll never be too far away from the amenities you need, including bike repair shops, cafes, camping sites, hotels and hostels. Whilst this is certainly one of the busiest paths in the country, there are similar ones dotted around Austria that provide a safe and easy way to explore the countryside by bike.
Even if you somehow tire of the bike paths here, there’s no need to fear a cycle on the roads, as drivers in Austrian are renowned for their awareness of cyclists. Moreover, the road surfaces are exceptionally clean and well maintained and for those who don’t find the idea of busy roads appealing, there is an abundance of quiet country roads with pretty scenery, including those by the lakes of the south and the Tyrol Mountains. Around this area, there are also a number of spa towns, wherein you can find facilities in which to rest your aching limbs, by taking a long soak in a mud bath or simply relaxing in a sauna.
Weather and cuisine:
There are, of course, many other reasons why people opt to visit Austria for their cycling tours, aside from the fact that the cycling paths are excellent. The climate is ideal for this particular activity; neither too hot nor too cold at any time of the year, you needn’t worry about getting frostbite or sunstroke when you take a trip on an Austrian cycling route.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a delicious snack or meal after a few hours spent cycling, as you really feel as if you have earned your treat; Austria, famed for its incredible cakes and aromatic coffee, is the perfect place in which to indulge. The beer here is excellent too and there’s certainly enough variety in terms of cuisine to keep anyone happy, regardless of their culinary preferences.
It’s worth noting that Austria can be quite an expensive place and so for those who are on a tight budget, camping is a great option, as there are plenty of sites that have all the facilities you could possibly need and are safe and clean. However, if you feel like splurging, Austria does have some very beautiful hotels too. There are also plenty of budget supermarkets in which to stock up on food for those lunch time picnics.
Josephine Landry writes regularly for several of the most prestigious travel websites and blogs. She loves to go on walking and cycling tours using travel companies such as Headwater and writes about her adventures upon her return.