Why You Should Book a Bike Tour
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Sure, exploring a new place by foot is nice—but you can cover so much more ground on a bike! And as the adventure tourism market continues to grow (by a projected 17 percent over the next five years), more and more people are looking to sightsee on two wheels. In fact, searches for bike tours are up 64 percent on Pinterest, according to the website's 2019 trend report. It's not just hard-core cyclists who want to travel with their bikes; it's amateur enthusiast and casual peddlers who are looking to do more than see the world from behind the window of a tour bus.
Need inspiration? Check out these incredible bike tours across the globe.
Photo: Rocky Mountain Cycle
Zion National Park Bike Tour, Utah
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Head to the desert with DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. for a five-day ride through Zion National Park. Rides take you on the Red Canyon bike path into Bryce Canyon National Park, through Checkerboard Mesa and Navajo Sandstone, and across the Floor of the Valley Road. But you can explore must-see sites like the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and the Rim Trail to Inspiration Point on foot. At night, you'll chow down on local Southwestern fare before hitting the hay at rustic desert inns and lodges.
Photo: Duvine Cycling + Adventure Co.
Cape Town & Winelands Bike Tour, South Africa
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Cape Town in South Africa is a major bucket list destination, and Exodus Travel's 12-day tour takes advantage of every second you're there. You'll cover almost every type of terrain: through the famous Boschendal vineyards; up 2,500 feet through Franschhoek Pass and then to Nuy Valley; across the semi-arid desert of the Great Karoo; down the Langeberg Mountains; through the western farmlands and coastal towns; and along the route of the annual Cape Argus Cycle Tour, one of the largest cycling events of the world.
Photo: Exodus Travel
Puglia Bike Tour, Italy
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Escape to the bucolic heel of Italy's boot, far from the hubbub of Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan. Backroads' six-day cycling tour winds through lush olive groves and idyllic farmlands, and along the azure coastline of the Adriatic Sea. You'll hit the cities of Matera, famous for its cave dwellings; the World Heritage site of Alberobello; the hilltop "White City" of Ostuni; the tiny seaside village of Santa Maria di Leuca; and historic Lecce. Obviously, there's as much pasta and wine as you can eat and drink.
Sonoma Wine Country Bike Tour, California
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Spend a long weekend biking through Sonoma County's major wine areas: Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valley. The area is as well known for its cycling as it is for its vineyards, thanks to the rolling hills and country roads. And the rides on Trek Travel's four-day trip are leisurely, more about exploring the area than about spiking your heart rate. There's plenty of time built in to stop and taste the best wines of the region and the farm-to-table food Sonoma is known for.
Photo: Trek Travel
Alentejo to the Algarve Bike Tour, Portugal
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On VBT's 10-day tour, you'll get a front-row seat to the changing landscapes of Southern Portugal—from rustic farmland and the high plains of Alentejo to the arid Campo Branco territory and riverside banks that look toward Spain. It's just as fascinating as the journey you take back in history while you visit the medieval town of Evora; Monsaraz, one of Portugal's oldest settlements; and the fortified hilltop town of Mértola, where you'll stay in whitewashed buildings and dine on the freshest Portuguese dishes.
Burgundy Bike Tour, France
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What better way to see wine country than from the seat of your bike—unless you're drinking your way through it? Do both with Butterfield & Robinson's six-day tour. Get schooled in Burgundian wines after riding the Saône River plain; cycle into local villages before drinking wines straight from vineyard cellars; then sample Beaune region wines as you pedal through the countryside. And it wouldn't be a trip to France without staying at a fancy hotel (the Abbaye de la Bussière) and a Michelin-starred meal (by chef Guillaume Royer).
Photo: Butterfield & Robinson
Mekong Delta Tour Bike, Vietnam
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To pedal through the maze of rice paddies, rivers, and islands in southern Vietnam's Mekong Delta is to get an unparalleled glimpse beyond the bustling epicenters of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Over four days with Pedal Tours, you'll cycle down quiet highways, along canal systems that stretch all the way to the border of Cambodia, and next to the bands of the Hau River; the flat terrain makes it easy to ogle the stilt houses, Khmer pagodas, and floating markets without ever missing a pedal stroke.
Photo: Pedal Tours
Columbia Icefields Parkway Bike Tour, Canada
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Get up close and personal with the Canadian Rockies on Rocky Mountain Cycle's six-day tour. The ride leaves out of Banff, Alberta, and covers nearly 200 miles of the Columbia Icefields Parkway, one of the world's most iconic roadways. As you bike one historic mountain from inn to inn (where you'll refuel on gourmet meals), roadside views range from fields of alpine wildflowers to the jagged glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, culminating in an epic panoramic view from 7,200 feet above sea level.
Photo: Rocky Mountain Cycle
Rajasthan and Taj Mahal Bike Tour, India
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Touring India can be overwhelming; riding the Rajasthan backroads from Udaipur to the Taj Mahal for a week with KE Adventure is a full immersion in the country's colorful culture. You'll start with a city cycling tour of Delhi before heading to Udaipur, where you'll navigate the rolling Aravalli Hills to the fortress of Kumbhalgarh and the lakeside town of Pushkar. The only time you'll want to get off the bike is to explore the Pink City of Jaipur and to take in the incomparable Taj Mahal in Agra.
Photo: KE Adventure
Savannah to Charleston Coastal Bike Tour, South Carolina
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Heavy on the charm and short on hills (great for beginner cyclists!), this seven-day bike trip with Sojourn highlights the best of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Take in everything from the Spanish moss–draped avenues of Savannah and the huge antebellum estates of Beaufort to the beaches of St. Helena Island and the quaint cobblestone streets of Charleston. After each day of riding, you'll fill your belly at some of the South's best restaurants and kick up your feet at quintessentially Victorian properties.
Acadia National Park Bike Tour, Maine
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The majority of Acadia National Park is an undeveloped paradise of spruce forests, rocky beaches, and granite peaks, but there are 45 miles of car-free carriage roads throughout—which makes it a perfect cycling destination. Over the course of six days with TourzPlus, you'll ride mostly level and gently rolling terrain with a few longer or steeper climbs (including up Cadillac Mountain, the tallest on the eastern seaboard), along Somes Sound, and out on Schoodic Peninsula. Nights include local beers and lobster bakes back in Bar Harbor.