|Photo by Freeimages.com/Arto Myllys|
by Hannah Grant, The Daily Telegraph, July 1, 2016
For most cyclists, food is as important as training. Nutrition is key to surviving the miles in the saddle as well as to enjoying the ride itself.
You might not be a professional rider, but there’s good news for you: since you aren’t carrying the weight of winning the Tour de France on your shoulders, you can truly explore great cycling and culinary destinations with real gusto.
Below I’ve selected wonderful destinations where you can eat well and get around by bicycle – all with mountain views, beautiful farmlands and best of all, treats along the way.
- See also 10 great foodie holidays for 2016
1. Truffles in Piedmont, Italy
This trip will take you through some of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, past crumbling castles, hilltop hamlets and dense woods. Staying at family-owned farms and hotels, you’ll have the chance to imbibe the true Italian family spirit. Piedmont is renowned for truffles, Gianduia chocolates, cheese and fruit, so you will get to sample traditional dishes created from locally-grown produce.
An eight-day Piemonte Vineyards and Views tour from Saddle Skedaddle (0191 265 1110; skedaddle.co.uk ) departs September 17, from £1,090 including most meals but excluding flights and bicycle hire.
2. Vin jaune and Alpine cheese, France
Have you ever dreamt of following in the footsteps of legendary cyclists? Here is your chance. Climbing the epic passes of Col du Télégraphe, Glandon, Chaussy and Croix de Fer, you’ll work up an appetite. Which is just as well, as you’ll tuck into meals after full days in the saddle. Explore restaurants in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and sample goat’s cheese and a glass of vin jaune from Jura.
Exodus (020 3130 6868; exodus.co.uk ) offers a new eight-day Classic Climbs of the Alps with departures between September 2016 and September 2017, from £1,099 b&b including flights; excludes bicycle hire.
3. Picnic on the beach, Denmark
Flat and gorgeous, this country is made for relaxed rides. Zealand, Denmark’s largest island is perfect for a holiday on two wheels. Cycle along fine white-sand beaches and through small villages lined with castles. Linger over a picnic of Danish smørrebrød (open sandwiches) – finished off with local beer.
A six-day self-guided Danish Riviera cycling tour from Inntravel (01653 617003; inntravel.co.uk ) has departures between June and September, from £1,095 including some meals, bicycle hire, maps and luggage transfers. Excludes flights.
4. Seafood in Asturias, Spain
Asturias offers coast-hugging paths, clear blue skies and hill villages where time stands still. Start at Villanueva, in the foothills of the Picos de Europa mountains before cycling part of the Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ trail, cruising the Jurassic coast. You’ll stay in lovely hotels, including a seaside resort with a chocolateria – reputed to serve the best churros y chocolate (doughnuts) in the region.
Headwater (01606 369409; headwater.com ) runs a 10-day self-guided Coves and Harbours of Northern Spain cycling trip with departures between July and September, from £899 including some meals, luggage transfers and bicycle hire. Excludes flights.
5. Suckling pig in Sardinia, Italy
Pedal along the coast and call in at wineries, farms, bakeries and fisheries. Sardinia prides itself on its fresh produce: cheeses, wines, bread, meats and fruits. The suckling pig is an absolute must-try. If you’re thinking of carbo-loading for your bike rides, then do tuck into a big bowl of malloreddus, Sardinian saffron pasta.
An eight-day Cycling Sardinia guided tour from HFH Cycling (0333 123 9559; hfhcycling.co.uk ) departs on September 24, from £1,010 including most meals, guides and bicycle hire. Excludes flights. If you are unable to make this date, the company also offers a self-guided tour, departing any time.
6. Edam and waffles, Netherlands
If waffles, chocolate and cheese sound enticing, then this is the trip for you. Staying on board a Dutch barge, you’ll set out from Amsterdam, taking in windmills, waterways and gabled farmhouses. Then you’re on your bike, exploring Alkmaar, Den Helder and Texel before stopping at Edam.
An eight-day Double Dutch tour from Cycle Breaks (01449 721555; cyclebreaks.com ) has departures between July and October, from £507 half-board including bicycle hire. Excludes flights.
7. Kanpai and kaiseki, Japan
Kyoto is nice and flat, making it easy to explore on two wheels. Pedal along quiet backstreets and pathways along the Kamo River and cycle through the Imperial palace, past traditional shops, tea houses and to Nishiki food market. End the day with a kaiseki (multi-course) feast.
Inside Japan (0117 370 9751; insidejapantours.com ) is offering a six-day Kansai Nights tour, departing any time from £876 b&b including private guided cycling tours in Kyoto and a tea ceremony experience. Excludes flights.
8. California dreaming, United States
Embark on an all-American road trip by bike. Ride through Napa Valley and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow the road that trails the Pacific Coast and watch crashing waves below. Reward your hard work with fine Californian cuisine with the US’s best wines.
A 12-day guided Cycling California and the Pacific Coast tour from Grand American Adventures (0333 220 1336; grandamericanadventures.com ) departs on September 11 and October 9, from £2,299 including some meals and bicycle hire. Excludes flights.
9. Tacos and tortillas, Mexico
Trailing Yucatan’s back roads, cycle through Mayan pyramids, with time to visit Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Head to Mercado Lucas De Galvez – Mérida’s main market – to refuel at a taqueria (taco stall).
A 10-day guided Cycling Mexico tour from Imaginative Traveller (01728 862230; i maginative-traveller.com ) has departures between October 2016 and April 2017, from £2,069 b&b including flights and bicycle hire.
10. Rum and black beans, Cuba
Cycling is the ideal way to see Cuba. Starting in Havana, explore tropical forests before pedalling past Viñales into Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve and along the Caribbean coast. Set aside time too to enjoy Cuba’s cuisine, from moros y cristianos (black beans and rice) and arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) to the infamous Cuban sandwich. On a night on the town, order a daiquiri or a mojito.
Explore (01252 883 757; explore.co.uk ) is offering a 15-day Cycle Cuba tour with departures between October 2016 and December 2017, from £2,199 b&b including flights and bicycle hire.
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This article was written by Hannah Grant from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.