The Ride of Your Life: Eight Brilliant Cycling Holiday Destinations

Two wheels good, two legs bad? We're won't be authoritarian about it, but some places are just meant to be traversed with the wind whistling through your helmet, the landscape but a background blur. Whether you're a saddle-sore pro on the lookout for your next big ride or a basket-bike type who prefers to pootle along provincial paths, these are the destinations to see at speed.

On your bike! These are the world's greatest cycling trips.

Mallorca

Spain

It's the cycling destination that has it all: sweeping tarmac paths, rugged mountain trails and everything in between. Make either Port de Pollenca or Alcúdia your base for exploring the island. Avoid visiting in July and August when the sun beats down relentlessly and the mountain villages are teeming with tourists.

Zagori

Greece

Please don't tell anyone about this place, we implore you. It's tucked in a remote corner of the Epirus region of north-west Greece, so you won't encounter many folks during your ride but you will find glistening rivers, ancient mule tracks and, if you put in the legwork, cloud-kissed mountainside monasteries scattered among the region's 46 villages. We're hitching a ride with The Slow Cyclist.

Morzine

France

This sweet village in France's Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is highly revered by gutsy road cyclists. It might be tucked in a spiky cradle of mountains - the adventurous will enjoy their fair share of downhill dirt tracks - but roads are broad and well-maintained which makes it ideal for recreational riders, too. Morzine has an Olympic-sized pool, massage centres and sandy lakeside beaches: great options for après-cycling pampering.

North Zealand

Denmark

Nope, not "New Zealand", nor a typo. It's also known as the French Riviera of Denmark. Catch a 45-minute train out of Copenhagen and you'll arrive at the starting point of Nordkyststien, a 68km path that sweeps along the region's north coast, taking in lighthouse-speckled beaches, forests and pocket-sized Danish villages along the way. The trip will take cyclists a leisurely three days.

Finland

Swaddle yourself in your thickest down, slip on a balaclava and saddle up. This cycling experience is not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of quad. With a pair of chunky, snow-adapted wheels beneath you, cycle along frozen lakes and through untouched woodlands. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Lanzarote

Spain

It's not just a holiday destination for hen parties and sun-seeking teens; this volcanic landscape is a real pull for tourists on two wheels. It's not unbearably hot in summer and remains fairly temperate in winter which means you can stream over its volcanoes and through lava flows year-round.

Istria

Croatia

You can cycle the coastal perimeter of the Istrian peninsula in eight days. A salty breeze rolling off the Adriatic will keep you cool as you put foot to pedal on a tour of the region's rippling vineyards and olive groves. You won't need to spend much to bed down in luxury for the night as you go either, plus it's truffle country, so expect to refuel on many a bowl of truffle-topped spaghetti.

Kenya

Consider yourself a cycling pro? This one's for you. In November, a fleet of cyclists will spend six days pedalling a 500km path from Amboseli National Park in Kenya down to the beachside town of Mombasa in aid of child.org. The sign-up fee might seem a little costly, but it covers luxury accommodation, an on-call professional support team and police escorts. Of course, a healthy wodge of the money goes straight to charity, too.

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