10Best Reasons to Cycle Europe

  • The variety of scenery is amazing

    You could be pedaling past snow-capped alpine peaks in Austria, through vineyards and lavender fields in France or along the sun-baked Tuscan coast in Italy. Biking through Europe means having an unobstructed view as new vistas open up all around you.

    Photo courtesy of VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

  • There are tours for all levels

    Travelers who appreciate the no-hassle style of traveling on an organized tour will find a huge variety. VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, as an example, ranks tours by ability level, with Easy tours including as little as two hours of cycling per day, while advanced riders can conquer itineraries with longer daily mileages and challenging terrain.

    Photo courtesy of VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

  • A VBT guest interacts with a local in Italy.

    You'll meet new people

    Whether it's the cycling community or just being "closer to the ground," something about cycling in a new destination creates opportunities to meet new people. On a cycling tour, the strangers you start out with could end up being close friends. Plus, your bike serves as a conversation piece - a bridge between you and others of a different culture and maybe even a different language.

    Photo courtesy of VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

  • Tuscany

    You can get off the beaten track

    While other tourists are rushing from one famous site to another on a tour bus, with little time for exploration, you and your bike have the freedeom to get off the beaten path. Take that scenic country road instead of the major highway, or stop in that local village bakery that looked so enticing.

    Photo courtesy of clodio/iStock

  • You can chow down without guilt

    Want to try all thee of those gelato flavors that look tasty? Go for it, 'cause you'll burn it all off tomorrow anyway. While other travelers are worrying about what their European vacation is going to do to the scale back home, you can rest assured that you've earned all the good food you'll be eating, whether it's tapas in Spain or schnitzel in Germany.

    Photo courtesy of Manuel-F-O/iStock

  • Bikes in Paris

    It's environmentally friendly

    Travel can leave behind a significant carbon footprint, especially when it involves flying overseas. Luckily, you can help limit the environmental impact of your travels simply by choosing a bike as your method of getting around. Even if you don't have time for a multi-day tour, many European cities offer bike shares scattered around town, making it easy to embark on your own city tour by bike.

    Photo courtesy of marchello74/iStock

  • It's affordable and efficient

    Transportation in Europe can be expensive, but renting a bike usually isn't. Not only is it an affordable way to tour a city or a region, it's also efficient. Biking cuts transit times in half (or more) when compared with walking, and during rush hour in Europe's big cities, you'll get around faster on a bike than you would in a taxi or train.

    Photo courtesy of Alexander Shalamov/iStock

  • Planica Valley

    You'll travel with all your senses

    Pedaling through the countryside, all you'll hear are the birds tweeting and your tires whirring beneath you. You'll breathe fresh air, see the sights, smell the smells and feel the breeze in your face. Biking allows you to soak up your surroundings in a way that taking the Eurail can't.

    Photo courtesy of Mario Savoia/iStock

  • You'll get bragging rights back home

    One of the best reasons to tour Europe on a bike is the sense of accomplishment you'll have at the end of each day. Instead of returning home feeling lethargic, you'll feel energized and motivated; you'll have challenged yourself, whether that's by biking 10 miles across a city or 300 across an entire country, and the bragging rights will be your reward.

    Photo courtesy of andreusK/iStock

  • Europe has plenty of Bike-Friendly Cities

    No matter how long or how often you choose to bike during your European travels, you'll find that Europe is full of cities and towns that are a delight to pedal through. Many cities, like Munich, Stockholm, Florence and Amsterdam, have extensive and well-marked bike lanes and plenty of rental shops, making touring by bike convenient and easy even for novice cyclers.

    Photo courtesy of benstevens/iStock