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Shift Gears

It’s Time to Shift Gears with These 5 Epic Cycling Adventures

Those weekly YouTube HIIT classes and cycling jaunts in your local park may have tided you over for the last couple of months, but now things are slowly starting to open up again, it’s time to shift gears with a change of scenery. And we don’t just mean a weekend trip to the English coast, we’re talking about serene rides past dewy rice terraces in Vietnam, heart-racing cycles across Portugal’s rugged Seera d’Arga mountains, and an epic journey from the tip of the Cape Peninsula towards penguin colonies at Boulders Beach in South Africa.

We’ve all missed the wind in our hair, thigh-burning climbs and adrenaline-fueled descents that transport us back to our 10-year-old selves, hurtling down near-vertical hills. So, if you’re itching to get back on two wheels abroad, take a look at our 5 top cycling adventures for some inspiration for your next trip.

Ride past rice terraces and temple-filled villages in Vietnam

Biking Vietnam

You could say our action-packed Bun Cha & Biking in Vietnam trip is like a crash course introduction to Vietnam, that awakens all your senses at once. After you’ve demolished a couple of egg coffees and massive bowls of bun cha in the labyrinth streets of Hanoi’s captivating Old Quarter, you’ll transfer to Halong Bay to explore hidden coves inaccessible for boats by kayaking and swimming.

Once you’ve sufficiently stretched your legs in Halong Bay’s emerald waters, it’s time to grab your bike to discover the more remote areas of Ninh Binh and Trang An. Passing glistening rice terraces and ancient golden pagodas you’ll embark on a 43km ride alongside the Day River, one of the four longest rivers in North Vietnam.

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll put your legs to the test once more on an epic 52-mile ride from Hue after you’ve explored their fascinating Forbidden Purple City. One of the most memorable moments of the ride will be conquering the Ocean Cloud Pass. And trust us, it’s as majestic as it sounds. Winding through the Truong Son Mountain range, your challenging ascent will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views stretching right across the Bay of Da Nang to the south before you reach the beautiful lantern-lined streets of Hoi An. Who needs basic e-scooters tours when can enjoy off-road biking in the verdant landscapes of Vietnam?

Discover Croatia’s ancient walled cities, national parks, and vineyards by bike

Mljet National Park

After you get acquainted with the gorgeous marble-lined streets of Dubrovnik on our Cycles & Scenery in Croatia trip, you’ll get the opportunity to cycle sections of the Peljesac Peninsula towards the picture-perfect towns of Ston, Mali Ston, and Loviste. No trip to Croatia is complete without exploring the saltwater lakes around Mljet National Park, a place so tranquil that it allegedly captivated Odysseus for 7 years, so you can also tick that off your epic things to do in Croatia list.

If wine tasting is more your thing, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered there too. After transferring to Konavle, situated between the Bosnian and Montenegrin borders, you’ll enjoy an idyllic cycle through the malvazija vineyards, where your efforts will be rewarded with delicious local cuisine and an intimate wine tasting experience – Uzdravlje (cheers!).

Cycle through ancient cedar forests in Turkey

Kas, Turkey

Not to toot our own horns or anything but our Sports & Sundowners in Turkey trip literally has it all. Sea kayaking? Check. Abseiling? Check. Sailing? Check. Canyoning? Check. Cycling?… you bet it does. Let’s just say this adrenaline-pumping trip in Turkey isn’t for the faint-hearted. But what better way is there to explore this lush Lycian scenery than to delve right in, whether that’s kayaking to discover the lost, sunken city on Kekova island, canyoning into the milky blue waters of Kibris Canyon, or booking that optional SCUBA lesson you’ve always been meaning to take.

If you can tear yourself away from Turkey’s tempting waters, you’ll find there’s a paradise to explore above ground as well. Embrace the welcoming breeze and hop on your bike for an exhilarating ride in the mountains. With challenging climbs and serene rides through cedar forests, you’ll also be able to bask in the beautiful panoramas of Kibris Gorge, before tucking into a homemade lunch in a local mountain village.

Mix yoga, surfing, and cycling on a digital detox in Portugal

Paddle boarding in Portugal

If you’re looking for a way to truly disconnect after months glued to every tech device imaginable under lockdown, then our Digital Detox in Portugal trip may be just the ticket. So, unplug your work laptop, forget to pack your iPad, and switch your phone on permanent *night mode* on this 5-day adventure to give your mind a chance to unwind. Your beach-meets-forest retreat for the week, Feelviana, located on Portugal’s rugged Costa Verda is the ultimate playground to test your surfing, paddle boarding, and kitesurfing skills, or simply chill by the beach with a couple of cold bottles of Sagres – we’re not here to judge when it comes to relaxation.

It’s not all about the beach though. After you’ve had time to settle into your dreamy, new surroundings, it's time to take in some incredible Portuguese landscapes, with an epic 70km bike ride up Monte de Santa Luzia and through Serra d’Arga – a paradise peppered with waterfalls and lagoons. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot a band of wild horses on the journey.

 

Pedal towards adorable penguin colonies by the beach in South Africa

Boulders Capetown

It comes as no surprise that the rugged coastlines stretching across Cape Town remain one of the most revered places to explore on two wheels, with thousands riding the famous 200km Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth each year. But what if you don’t want to miss out on all of the cultural stuff Cape Town has to offer? In steps our Cabernet & Capers in South Africa trip…

With us, you don’t have to sacrifice climbing Table Mountain, sandboarding the Atlantis Dunes, tasting the region’s blockbuster wine, or spotting eclectic wildlife in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve if you want to get on a bike. No siree! You can have your cake and eat it too. On day 3, we’ll head to the iconic Cape Point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans collide, before embarking on an epic two-hour cycle that hugs the coastline towards Boulders Beach – arguably one of the cutest beaches on the planet thanks to its 3000-strong penguin colony.

 

If these trips have sparked an urge for you to get back on the bike abroad, why not check out our Shifting Gears collection that’s packed full of adventures perfect for cycling enthusiasts.

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