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Central and Eastern Europe: the new kids from the eastern bloc are undeniably amongst the coolest travel destinations on the planet right now.
After many years of isolation, these countries have arrived fashionably late to the party and are making up for lost time – chic trendy cities with ruined underground bars, fantastically quiet backroads leading through scenery few tourists get to see, and some of the finest up-and-coming vineyards out there.
Cycle tours in eastern Europe are without a doubt growing in popularity every day. We fear it’s only a matter of time before they lose their off the beaten track status. Saddle up and get there before the inevitable.
Cycling in Eastern Europe
Prague to Budapest
This iconic route through central Europe is best undertaken by bike. From the cobbled streets and C14th bridges of Prague, affectionately called the City of a Hundred Spires, freewheel your way through four countries on your way to Budapest, famous for its quirky ruin bars and soothing thermal baths.
On the way, you’ll pass world-class architectural masterpieces, UNESCO World Heritage gardens and sleepy hamlets where life has remained almost unchanged for generations.
On your bike: Prague to Budapest Ride
It’s all about the ride in rural Romania. Away from the cities, the pace of life is steady, and in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, it’s no exaggeration to say you’re more likely to share the quiet backroads with horse and cart than automobiles.
You’ll daily see small villages surrounded by orchards, where people brew their own schnapps and are ready to share a thimbleful over a wide gap-toothed grin. This is a landscape of rolling hills where shepherds tend their flocks and bikes can pass peacefully through the bucolic beauty without disturbing the peace.
On your bike: Cycle Romania
Cycling in Albania
“Barely a car in sight” seems to be the phrase used most by cyclists returning from Albania, where the route winds through countryside so far from the beaten track the mere sight of a lycra-clad cyclist is enough to send bemused and curious ripples through a village.
An unexpected highlight for many is the food. Cut off from the outside world for so long, Albania existed as a true subsistence culture for so long the people learned to be self-sufficient through necessity. That spirit lives on in the rural areas, where dinner will consist of food sourced just a few metres from your plate – from yoghurts and cheeses to lamb or freshly caught trout.
On your bike: Cycling in Albania
Cycle the Baltics
Fantastically flat, and covering three seriously underrated countries, this biking route is a tour de force of experienced traveller kudos. Not many venture to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – which is half the appeal of these pleasingly quiet countries.
Winding backroads reward relatively little effort with fantastically varied countryside, from wide windswept beaches to hushed pine forests, glistening lakes to picturesque castles perched atop hills. And you’ll hardly have to share it with a soul.
On your bike: Cycling the Baltics
Cycling the Dalmatian Coast
101 islands fill the Dalmatian Coast, and although spotty dogs are in short supply, there’s an abundance of jewel-like landmasses poking up through the Adriatic.
Biking along this sunny coastline is a real joy, hopping on local ferries to head out to the islands themselves and wandering the charming cobbled streets of UNESCO world heritage site of Dubrovnik Old Town. Don’t believe us? Watch the video and get a taste for Croatia by bike.
On your bike: Cycling the Dalmation Coast
Discover more wonderful sights on these cycle tours of eastern Europe below.