The World’s 8 Most Amazing Cycling Trails
12 Mar 2021
From going on road trips to exploring places on foot, we are so lucky that there are so many ways to travel and unearth all the charms of this planet. Another way that many people opt to do just that is by cycling. If you are an avid cycler and traveler, you are surely always on the lookout for new a spot that you can visit on your trusty bike. Chances are that you already cycled many trails but keep on reading to potentially discover a new route that you can tackle in the upcoming months.
Pedal along the iconic Pan American Highway
A cycle tour that will take you through parts of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama is definitely something that no cycling enthusiast can skip. It doesn’t matter if you look for a guided tour or organize your own adventure with a few friends; what matters is that you get to see all the gorgeous nature along the way. For instance, crossing Lake Nicaragua and going through the lush Costa Rican countryside to reach Irazú, its highest volcano, will leave you breathless. Once you reach Panama, you can cycle its highland tracks when you’re not snorkeling in the crystal clear waters and exploring the capital.
Take on the Carretera Austral
In case you choose to continue your way south to Chile, you could also take on the Carretera Austral, i.e. the Southern Highway. This Patagonian route is full of diverse landscapes and wild, rural sights. The partially unpaved and deserted road will show you untouched forest areas, gorgeous mountains, glaciers, and vast lakes. Chile has many easy and medium trails as well, such as the coastal routes of Pan de Azúcar National Park and the trails of the Lauca National Park, but if you are up for a challenge, the Carretera Austral can be just what you are looking for.
Explore Rajasthan, India by bike
Rajasthan is probably India’s most popular destination for travelers from all over the world. This state is very affordable but has a lot to offer within a fairly small area. If you opt for the path from Udaipur to the Taj Mahal, you will get to experience all the beauty and color of this South Asian country. On your way, not only will you see the timelessness of rural India but captivating lakeside palaces, the holy town of Pushkar, the pink city of Jaipur, and the magnificence that is the Taj Mahal as well. Cycling through these places is the best way to familiarize yourself with the local culture.
Cycle around the Taronga Western Plains Zoo
If you’re looking for a spot your kids will love too, consider a cycling safari in Australia. If you go to Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales, you can encounter lions, rhinos, giraffes, and elephants. This 5.3km-long circuit can be explored on foot, by bike, or electric cart. You can hire these on the spot but to save some money, bring your own. Just make sure your little ones are safe by getting them durable kids bikes and protective gear like helmets and pads. What is more, you can even prolong this ride by jumping on the Tracker Riley Cycleway, which mostly follows the course of the Macquarie River and connects the historic Dundullimal Homestead with the Dubbo town center.
Enjoy the scenery of New Zealand’s Otago Peninsula
Maybe you’d also like to visit Australia’s neighbor to the east. Seeing as how New Zealand is full of stunning bike trails, such as the Hauraki Rail Trail or the Waikato River Trails, you will not go wrong regardless of your choice. However, you should consider exploring the Otago Peninsula. Begin with the university town of Dunedin and explore the recognized mountain bike rides like Buskin Road or Paradise Road. If you want to go further, you’ll be glad to hear that there is a loop trail long 22.4km that goes all around the peninsula, meaning that you can see beautiful nature and wildlife while riding your trusty two-wheeler. If you are a beginner, it’s important to know how to shift gears on a mountain bike in order to stay safe.
Visit many countries of Europe via North Sea Cycle Route
If diversity is what you are looking for, you will be blown away by the North Sea Cycle Route. This popular bicycle route is around 7,050km long and spans eight countries that all border the North Sea, so it cannot be completed in one go, normally. Seeing as how you will be going through Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the UK, you need to be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions. Norwegian mountains and cliffs that are over 1,000 meters in height and below-sea levels of the Netherlands each come with its unique challenges. To conquer this trail, it’s probably best to time your trip for the summer. Moreover, you will have to rely on ferries to get you across the sea at some points, so don’t forget to check the timetables for a smoother experience.
Experience the Tauern Cycle Trail
Another unique bike trail you should explore when in Europe is located in Austria. It stretches for 270 kilometers if you opt for the Tauern Cycle Trail circuit or 310 kilometers if your choice is to go from Krimml to Passau. In the former, the height difference is 600m while in the latter, it’s 750 meters. If you prefer, you can tackle this trail in stages, seeing as how there are many accommodation options along the road. This is also a great choice if you want to bring kids with you as there is plenty of variety when it comes to the landscape so they will not be bored. The impressive panorama of the Hohe Tauern that includes lakes, mountain peaks, ice caves, and a fortress will seem almost unbelievable, so make sure to have your camera at the ready to capture all of this extraordinary beauty.
Reward yourself by going to the Cabot Trail, Canada
Are you looking for a trail that will reward you with magnificent valley and coastal views along the way? Well, there is no need to look further than Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail. Located on Cape Breton Island, this 298-kilometer long loop is best explored during a couple of days. While the trail is suitable for the average cyclist, there are some challenging spots that might give you a run for your money. At its most northern point, the trail will take you through Cape Breton Highlands National Park while you will catch gorgeous vistas of rocky shores, high peaks, and rolling hills along the way. Furthermore, you can stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants that offer world-class shellfish. There are plenty of festivals during the year so you might catch one if you time your visit right.
While you are probably focused on conquering local cycling trails first, it’s good to have in mind the variety of spots that are out there, just waiting for you. As you can see, the world is full of amazing tracks that you should spend some time on, not only to see breathtaking scenery but have your life changed forever.