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Forget feeling lethargic on your travels – cycling is one of the easiest ways to blend cultural and active exploration.
These cultural cycling holidays get you to the heart of the action in some of the world’s most spectacular locations and give you brilliant insight into local life and beautiful scenery as you travel between places of cultural significance, rich heritage and iconic status.
These routes are designed to follow the backroads and trails that get you away from the main drag to see things from an unusual perspective – and they still let you immerse yourself in the culture along the way.
The Best Cycling Trips for Culture Vultures
If you’ve never tried a cycling holiday before, and don’t want to give up the cultural side of things, this is the perfect excuse. Here are our five favourite cultural rides you’ll love…
Pedalling Pilgrims on The Camino de Santiago
Think the Camino is just for walkers? Think again. This iconic pilgrimage route is no less incredible when tackled on two wheels, and going by bike allows you to see more of the famous trail in the same space of time.
The cycle route either runs parallel or is the same as the one used by walkers, and you’ll pass the same wealth of incredible mountaintop monasteries, gorgeous churches and sample Spanish cuisine and wine along the way. Cycling means you’ll move at a different pace to walkers, so you’ll be able to time your visits to the famous monuments just right to have a little more privacy, too.
Find out more: Camino de Santiago trips
Central Europe on Two Wheels
Covering off some of Europe’s finest capitals, historic palaces and passing through no fewer than four European nations, this is a ride you’ll never forget. This route leads you through ancient forests bejewelled with medieval monasteries, through tempting vineyards, rural communities and exquisite palace gardens, and of course riverside riding along the mighty Danube Cycle Path.
Explore the cities by bike, or if you’re saddle sore, take it all in at your own pace in some of the most vibrant, exquisite cities Europe has to offer.
Find out more: Prague to Budapest Ride
See Sri Lanka from the Saddle
Your bike is your passport to rural Sri Lanka. The teardrop isle is small enough that you can enjoy many of the highlights on an almost continuous ride along the quieter backroads.
You’ll see the famous tea plantations from the saddle, ride through the spice growing regions and rice fields, and enjoy a cycle tour of the ruins of Polonnaruwa. You’ll need to dismount for the climb to the top of Sigiriya, but most of your journey you’ll be able to stay on the bike.
Find out more: Sri Lanka trips
The Baltics by Bike
The flat, good quality roads linking Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the relaxed cyclist’s dream. Short distances free up oodles of time for getting under the skin of this trio of fascinating countries, with a wealth of fascinating history and timeless traditions.
Allow yourself to be charmed by the whimsical spires of Tallinn and the fairytale castles and forests of the countryside, get outside and see the tiny villages along the Baltic coast, and the beautiful sculpture par which depicts wooden carvings of Lithuania’s rich folklore and storytelling culture.
Find out more: Cycle the Baltics
Take a look at the tour itineraries in more detail below.