If you’re a keen cyclist, exploring some of the world’s magnificent landscapes on two wheels is the perfect way to cover more ground and pass through communities and landscapes you might otherwise miss. Cycling holidays can mean challenging yourself to steep inclines, rewarding yourself with exhilarating descents and seeing wide-open panoramic views from the top of mountains that less active types can only enjoy from photographs.
We’ve released our departure dates for our 2023 adventures with limited spaces available, so make sure you book before your favourite trip fills up. If 2023 calls for a cycling challenge, perhaps you’ll celebrate passing through Hell’s Heights with a glass of Franschoek’s best red in the South African Winelands? Or maybe you’re ready for an adventure reserved for the toughest cyclists in the company of a world-famous adventurer and Exodus brand ambassador, Aldo Kane, as together you embark on the mountainous challenges of Morocco. Perhaps 2023 has a South American quest in store, cycling over salt flats and through rainforests in Chile and Argentina? Keep scrolling for our top five inclines and descents for 2023.
1. The Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
Describing the Hai Van Pass as dramatic doesn’t quite cut it. This is one of the most Instagrammed roads for good reason. Between Vietnam’s Danang and Hue, with jungled mountains on one side and sheer cliffs on the other, the hairpin bends and precarious stretches of the Hai Van Pass make this a true cycle challenge that is incredibly well-rewarded with goosebump-inducing views.
Cycling the Hai Van Pass will be one of many memorable moments on our Cycling Vietnam trip, where you’ll enjoy other Vietnamese must-dos among nine days of cycling along a mostly gently undulating route. Spend a night aboard a sleeper train and a boat trip through the sensational landscape of Ha Long Bay. Many of your meals are included, allowing you to compare the southern dishes with northern variations as you make your way up the eastern coastline.
2. The Atlas Descent, Morocco
From fast and narrow tracks flanked by palms to ancient hair-pinned muleteer routes and remote, rocky jeep tracks, you’ll pass through remote areas of Morocco on our Atlas Descent trip. You’ll have the chance to meet local people and witness the culture of the indigenous Berber people. It’s an eight-day adventure with a particularly exhilarating finale – a 40km mountain descent.
Join a one-off departure with Aldo Kane, a world-record-setting explorer, on 6 March 2023, where six days of cycling in a small group will prove to be an epic adventure, with three-quarters of cycling on off-road routes and across Morocco’s mountainous terrain. This trip departs on other dates in 2023, too.
3. Hell’s Heights, South Africa
At the centre of South Africa’s Winelands, Hellshoogte Pass – or Hell’s Heights – winds through vineyards between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. It’s a steep climb, but a safe one thanks to the 2010 upgrade. Hardy cyclists are rewarded with views from the top and then have the thrill of the downhill ride look forward to – along with the promise of one of the vineyard’s excellent tipples.
The Hellshoogte Pass is just one of the highlights to experience on our Cycling the Cape & Winelands trip, where 12 days of cycling will have you pedalling through semi-arid deserts, mountains, and the Whale Coast. You’ll also pass the region’s famous penguin colony. Off the saddle, you’ll have the chance to take the cable car up the side of Table Mountain or visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandala was incarcerated.
4. The Humahuaca Gorge, Argentina
The fast descent of the Humahuaca Gorge in Argentina is thrilling, wind-in-your-hair moment, allowing your bike to whizz you downhill as you see the incredible rock formation that this fascinating part of Argentina is known for, including the Hill of Seven Colours. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether this moment is the pinnacle of our Cycle Chile & Argentina trip, an adventure of almost two weeks across the varied and otherworldly landscapes that epitomise this region of the world, cycling across salt flats, rainforests, and beside rivers.
As well as ten days of incredible cycling, you’ll have the opportunity to spend a day in Salta on a non-cycle day. Choose whether to visit the high mountain archaeological museum or take a bird-watching trip to Finco Cielo Verde. But make sure you rest those legs, too, as a 53-mile cycle follows the next day, an epic ride that ends in the wine-making town of Cafayate.
5. Mount Nebo, Jordan
At a mere seven kilometres, the ascent of Mount Nebo seems pretty straight forwards. Stop at the top for valley views before the thrilling part – descending through steep sections to the shores of the Dead Sea. Your grit and determination are rewarded with a refreshing float in these famous waters.
You can experience the buzz of the Mount Nebo descent on a nine-day cycling adventure in Jordan, Petra & Wadi Rum by Bike. Over nine unforgettable days, you’ll ride through the foothills of the Jordan Rift Valley, cycle from Petra to Little Petra, and pedal over incredible desert terrains to the Red Sea. A trip to Jordan is never complete without staying in the Wadi Rum Desert, and you’ll sleep under the stars in a traditional Bedouin camp.
If this has inspired you to plan ahead for an epic cycling adventure in 2023, take a look at our collection of trips here.