Road & Rail

Intrepid reveals top 10 cycling adventures for 2019

Say goodbye to your everyday cycling routines and bring your lycra on an adventure of a lifetime, to discover the world in a unique way.

Intrepid Travel has seen a 55 per cent increase in cycling trip bookings demonstrating how travel can play a role in encouraging people to go outside of their comfort zones and challenge themselves.

To help adventurous travellers find their next challenging route, Frank Cheshire at Intrepid Travel has put together his top 10 cycling locations around the globe.

Frank is a self-confessed cycling junkie and is addicted to the thrill of two-wheeled adventures.

Frank’s top ten places around the world for a cycling adventure:

Colombia is a cycling-mad destination and any country that closes its capital city’s main streets every Sunday for ‘Ciclovia de Bogata’ – where over two million cyclists, or 30 per cent of the city’s population, can enjoy traffic free riding.

Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrims in the northwest of Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of Saint James are buried.  While most pilgrims slog it out on foot the path is growing popular with cyclists and the thrill peaks on the final hill where you’ll see the towering steeples of the Santiago de Compestella Cathedral in the near distance.

Iceland is known for its scenery and there’s no better way to experience it than on two wheels. You will feel dwarfed by the majestic beauty of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier where the lake glistens with diamond-like mini icebergs. Intrepid also take cycling groups out to the Glacier Lagoon at Jokulsarlon and Game of Thrones scenery.

The Balkans include some of Europe’s best landscapes spread over three countries. A pit-stop in the charming town of Mostar includes a stop at Stari Most (Old Bridge). Park the bike, grab a coffee and cake at a nearby cafe, and marvel at as locals dive almost 100 feet into the River Neretva below. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man.

Japan is set to be one of the hottest destinations for 2019 and a great way to experience it is by cycling through the laid back and rustic Noto Peninsula. Its quiet roads, rugged coastlines, rice paddies, endless farmland and sleepy coastal fishing villages are the perfect antidote to the frenetic buzz of Japan’s neon city of Tokyo.

New Zealand’s South Island has some of the finest ‘rail trail’ cycling routes in the world and few are better than the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail. It’s the oldest rail trail in New Zealand and the locals have voted ‘New Zealand’s Favourite Ride’ for last two years in a row.

Eastern Cuba is where cyclists can explore a seldom-visited paradise not far from Varadero’s popular beaches – the Yumuri Valley. Tucked behind the hills that line the province’s northern edges, a bike tour of the Yumuri Valley will reveal a stunning mix of rolling pastures, fields of palm trees, small forests and agricultural plots. This is a genuine insight into Cuba away from the tourist crowds.

Northern Vietnam and the ride to Mai Chao has you cycling through some of the country’s most remarkable views including limestone karst peaks rising out of serene rice paddies. This is a ride when the end is almost as spectacular as the ride itself. The peaceful and friendly village of Mai Chau is situated in a valley surrounded by verdant green mountains and is famed for its breathtaking scenery.

Kerala is state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast and is a dream to cycle, from cooler climes of the hilly Western Ghats to the buzzing port town of Kochi. A highlight is the ride from Trivandrum to Varkala with Kerala on your right and nothing but long stretches of sand, palm trees and the Arabian Sea on your left. Best of all, Varkala has some of the most pristine beaches in India.

Costa Rica’s shores of Lake Fortuna, in the shadow of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, is a must do in this area of stunning natural beauty. In between pedalling, you can check out Costa Rica’s reggae bars and even take a chocolate tour.

Intrepid’s 2019 Cycling Brochure is out now.

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