Ultimate Bike Vacation?

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Anonymous's picture

I am in one of those pockets of life where I have about a month to take a long bike vacation and I'm trying to decide where to go.

I'm looking for suggestions for the ultimate bicycle vacation. If you have ideas on destinations and/or specific tours that you consider the greatest trip you could imagine (or have already taken), please let me know.

So far, I'm bouncing around the South African coast or Southeast Asia (since the trip will be relatively long, I am willing to take a long flight to get there).

All ideas for destinations/tours with great cycling, nice weather in late March - April, and nice towns/cities/food&drink are greatly appreciated.

Anonymous's picture
papafrog (not verified)
I've never been but

I've heard that Mallorca is amazing for cycling vacations. You can check out the following website:

Good luck.

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
New Zealand

You could easily spend a month cycling New Zealand. The scenery is gorgeous, the natives are very friendly (and speak a version of your language), the food is excellent at many of the restaurants and you can get in plenty of climbing. March/April would be the equivalent of autumn so it would be cool but should still be pleasant. And the exchange rate is somewhat favorable at the moment. Besides, how can you pass up a chance to go bungy-jumping while on a cycling vacation!

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)
This one looks good

2005 will be it's second run.


Some of the highlights include: major, 4-lane highways for 98% of the trip, including a 20 mile stretch on I-84. To hell with the little winding coutry roads that bee-line along the plateau on top of the gourge. You get to ride along the river with the 18-wheelers blasting by at 70 mph, . The disturbingly flipant attitude of the ride-coordinator for his total negligence scouting the route and his phenomenally poor judgement only augment the wonderful experience. The last day is a gratuitous, out and back ride across a 2-mile bridge, suspended 1,000 feet above the river and buffeted by 50 mph winds. These highlights are only out-done by the ride's spectaularly hideous scenery. You will certainly get a taste of the landscape of modern America's strip-mall, suburban-sprawl wilderness.

Or if you want to save some money and recreate the entire experience, you could just ride a loop starting at the Manhattan Bridge heading west on canal street, hang a right on 7th ave riding against traffic. Another right on 14th st. Then right on 1st. Repeat 125 times. the scenery and lunch stops are far better and camping is only a subway-ride back to your apartment.

Actually, it looks like they did change the route a bit. And you still only get to pay $759

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

If you are a true fan of cycling, nothing beats the experience of cycling in France during Le Tour. Since you have a month, you could be there for the whole tour!

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Bike vacation or vacation with bike

There's a difference between a bike vacation, which is mostly riding, and a vacation with a bike, which is ride only some PART of the vacation time.

For a bike vacation, the better the cycling infrastructure, the better. To bike for nearly a month, you can cover (and NEED) a lot of nice roads. Developed countries generally are better at roads and hotels. So my guess is southern part of Spain, Italy and such... plus, Australia and New Zealand! BTW, that's where *I* would go.

For a vacation of a lifetime in exotic countries that still allow some biking, and you don't mind dealing with different language, culture and unfamiliar food, China and Vietnam are known as biking destinations. This time of year, the weather is warm but could be rainy in southern China.

California is good cycling destination and there're more rides than you can do for a month. Still, it's so ... familiar... yawn...

For biking, I would go to New Zealand. For vacation, India, China, and maybe Epgyt.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

"France (Provance)...

I stayed in a tiny town called Die (""dee"") near Gap and Grenoble. Lots of places to stay. Great food of course. Everyone cycles. And you can easily go from town to town to town...

I didn't have a bike on my trip though. I'd love to go back someday and do the famous climbs which are everywhere.

Just look at the pictures on this website of the general area:

or Italy. That would be a whole nuther amazing ride. North by Lake Como. The Adriatic coast. Sicily.... Got your choice of climates...

I'll be lucky if I get to ride around the park these days. Have fun!"

Anonymous's picture
Christian (not verified)

The Alps and Dolomites will be totally impassable in late March and early April.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

Good thing I didn't quit my job and buy plane tickets like I was just fantising about.

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

"Well Bill, it is only impassable on a bike.

If you were dreaming of a Hägglunds BV206 vacation, why it would be perfect.

- Christian


Anonymous's picture
el jefe (not verified)
More adventurous

Hey Rob,

Of course most people will give you the easy answer of France, Italy and New Zealand, but I know you're more adventurous than that.

By far and away the number one cycling destination is Cuba. I've got over 3,000 miles of road riding experience there to back that up. You can even go legally but not on short notice in April. The downside -- Cuba fails miserably in the food category.

Number 2 is certainly Laos, although I have much less experience there (a few weeks in January). You could easily spend a month in touristy areas on well paved roads if you do bike - trek - bike - kayak - bike - sightsee - bike -spelunk - bike. Otherwise to get to remote parts of the country you'd need a mountain bike.

If you really want a Iranian-style adventure, you should go to Myanmar. I've been a few times, as recently as last week. You could spend a month doing the tourist circuit. Or, if you're willing to ride on the rutted ox-cart tracks and narrow, steep footpaths, you could easily get to the places that the government doesn't allow foreigners to visit. Just watch out for guys in uniform carrying assault rifles.

I just got back from the group ride up Soi Duthep in Chaing Mai earlier today. Of course you could easily spend a month just wandering around here in northern Thailand, but I doubt that's enough of an adventure for you.

The weather in any of theses places should be fine -- very warm in the afternoons, but not unbearable, pleasant at night, and dry. One of the other advantages, certainly compared to France, is that no one minds if you only speak English.

If you don't get to any of these places, I'm putting together a trip for a small group of yet to be determined friends for Laos and another for northern Thailand for January/February. Feel free to join us.


Anonymous's picture
Michael Binder (not verified)
northern California

The wine country region around Napa and Sanoma valleys is supposed to be beautiful and hilly. I don't know if you could squeeze a month of good riding out of a trip there, but I'd bet that you could. There are tours there, but I don't have any links.

Anonymous's picture
Joe Kubera (not verified)
northern California

"I rented a nice bike in Santa Rosa and did a little riding in Sonoma a few years back, encouraged by an article in a bike mag. I tacked it onto a business trip. Peaceful, beautiful riding...hilly if you want it, but the article said you can get any terrain you want there. Redwoods, ocean views, orchards, mountain vistas, old farms, wineries, laid-back towns. A lot to like. It helps if you can get into the NorCal mindset. Your NYC stress level will go down several notches!

P.S. I hear Napa has been overrun with tourists since the popular film ""Sideways"" was filmed there. Maybe good to avoid Napa?

Joe Kubera"

Anonymous's picture
Christian (not verified)

"Californian checking in! ""Sideways"" was filmed in the Santa Ynez Valley, which is about 275 miles south of Napa. That said, Napa is always overrun with tourists.

My recommendation is to stay in the US, since the dollar is so desparately weak. The California Milly seems like a delightful little trip, though it's probably more like 2 weeks than 4-5.

Otherwise, Chennai to Goa via Kanyakumari might be fun, though it'll be getting hot as heck in April.

New Zealand does come highly recommended from almost everyone that's been there.

Perhaps Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas or something like that. That'd be mine, if the season cooperates.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)

India in April is NOT for cycling.

In December and January, however, it would be beautiful. Take your own bike, and watch out for buses. . . .

Anonymous's picture
Michael (not verified)
Northern California is a good suggestion but

"I'd go for some of the more exotic destinations mentioned in this thread.

And ""Sideways"" was filmed in Santa Barbara County as noted above.


Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
one month cycling trip

Having cycled in 40+ countries incl S Africa and SE Asia, I have lots of info & recommendations but would need to know parameters--do you want third world countries or places with better biking infrastructure--is warm weather important?--do you want any culture or other activities? Is $$ a factor? etc etc

Also give me a better means of communicating with you--the e mail addr in the posting did not work

Anonymous's picture
david (not verified)
bike trip

March-April is the perfect time of year to go to New Zealand; it's the equivalent of our September-October. Both islands are worth your time, but the south island is particularly scenic and rugged. As noted by others, the natives are friendly and helpful, and the cost of things is not excessive.

cycling trips