Bike tours let you watch the world go by at a perfect pace—fast enough to cover dozens of miles a day, yet slow enough to engage and respond to the surrounding landscape. Be it a pedal through the hills of Tuscany, stopping sporadically for tastes of oil olive or sips of wine, or navigating Canyonlands National Park’s famous Maze section on the back of your mountain bike, Travel + Leisure’s writers and editors are on the lookout for the very best in cycling tours.
Self-Guided vs. Group Tour
Riders looking to plan a cycling holiday have two options: a self-directed journey or a guided tour, and each have their pros and cons. On bike tours you plan yourself, you can set the route and the pace–a good option for cyclists interested in striking out solo. Pre-arranged tours grant access to expert guides and a support team that ensures riders get where they want to go when, and are more preferable for those who want a more social experience. Independent travelers have the greatest flexibility when it comes to budget. Group tourists, on the other hand, usually pay several thousand dollars per trip, but the cost is often all-inclusive, covering lodging, meals, equipment rental, and additional activities. Plus, guided tours provide support vehicles to follow behind and carry your luggage for you.
There’s no shortage of bike tours available for any level of rider. Speed demons might choose to race down the Dolomite’s otherworldly mountain bike trails or join a cast of thousands on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Long-distance riders may better enjoy the 135 miles of Alaska’s remote Denali Highway, or cycling through Tasmanian wine country. One could even spend a night on a houseboat while pedaling up India’s Malabar coast.
Whether you opt for a guided or unguided tour, a remote or densely populated route, a leisurely or challenging pace, T+L can help plan the bike tour of your dreams. Check back often for the latest news, opportunities, and guides.