This is a sponsored guest post.
There’s plenty to love about cycling as a hobby and as a sport. But aside from being an introspective way to exercise, coupled with the addictive adrenaline rush, cycling lets bikers enjoy cruising through scenic bike paths and the liberating feeling that comes with it.
In fact, cycling vacations are a thing. These holiday getaways encourage you to explore a place through a bicycle. A lot of these locations, however, cater to cycling enthusiasts and are usually too long for the average tourist.
Take the high road, and venture beyond your local state parks and highways. The following cycling locations, considered to be the most beautiful in the planet, are bound to make you daydream of the ultimate cycling holiday.
Shimanami Kaido, Japan
Japan’s main island, Honshu, is connected to the island of Shikoku via a 60-kilometer toll road called the Shimanami Kaido. This stretch of road passes over six small islands, making the route definitely a scene to behold. The locals also call Shimanami Kaido by its other name, the Nishiseto Expressway.
Cycling in this part of Japan is safe because the bike route is separated from the main road. Additionally, the routes are well marked, and there are inclines built specifically for cyclist use.
A total eye candy with a 360 vista of lush green landscapes, the blue sky and the sea, and the neighboring islands, Shimanami Kaido is undoubtedly a cyclist’s idea of paradise.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
The horizon where the sea meets the sky is your view while cruising down the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. You can take the 60-kilometer route or the 243-kilometer route, depending on your personal preference. Either way will provide you visual access to dramatic seascapes, high cliffs, beautiful bushland, and an overall breathtaking coastal scenery.
Skirting its cliffside edges gives you that magnificent feeling that keeps you riding.
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, North America
For a lot of serious cyclists, cycling the Great Divide is a kind of a rite of passage. This long distance, off-road bicycle touring route is the most recognized and important cycling route in the US.
It traverses the continental divide from the north to south, covering Banff, Alberta, Canada, and the US/Mexico border. Its sheer length naturally makes it a lace of fantastic, picturesque scenes.
The Great Divide is not for the faint of heart. Cyclists are constantly warned about the possible perils of the ride, especially dangerous fauna, like mountain lions and grizzly bears. The view somehow makes up for the danger.
Ruta Austral, Chile
Another cycling favorite, the unpaved gravel path of Ruta Austral in Chile runs for 1,300 kilometers. From Puerto Montt in central Chile, it travels south to northern Patagonia.
This off-the-beaten-track trail takes you through the Queulat and Cerro Castillo national parks, where rivers and colorful landscapes await. Lakes and large stretches of forests offer an unprecedented number of unforgettable memories only achievable through firsthand experience.
Friendship Highway, China
Imagine zipping through breathtaking panoramas of the heavens. There’s nothing quite like cycling the China-Nepal Highway on a holiday. Commonly known as the Friendship Highway, this 753-kilometer route is located on the Tibetan Plateau and is regarded as “one of the best overland journeys on the planet.”
You will need to climb over six high passes before you can traverse the Himalayas. Cycling this route, you’ll come face-to-face with rugged landscapes that will surely test your strength of physique and spirit. The scenes, complemented with the spiritual element of the ride, make cycling the Friendship Highway perhaps one of the most memorable cycling experiences you’ll ever have the pleasure of doing.
Cycle Route 10, Holland
Amsterdam is dubbed as one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities for a reason. Aside from bike-friendly urban lanes, Amsterdam is also home to one of the most beautiful cycle routes in the world: Cycle Route 10.
This 42-kilometer route takes about four hours to complete and treats you to Holland’s flagship locales, the windmills and canals, the lakeside and the market, and its architectural hallmarks.
Route des Vins, France and Germany
France will never not make a place in a list about anything beautiful. As this country is home to the prestigious Tour de France, it doesn’t come as a surprise that France is also an amalgamation of the most beautiful places on Earth.
See it for yourself. The Route Des Vins cycling route takes you to enormous stretches of French vineyards, all the way through Germany. That means more than 50km through winding trails, majestic medieval towns and delightful villages, and the creme de la creme, the large swathes of vineyards.
Get familiar with the Routes Des Vins here.
North Sea Cycle Route, Norway
The 6000km cycling route is for extreme trainers and cyclists who want to show and test what they got. Reserved for the best of the best, this long-distance cycling circuit takes you through dramatic fjords, sloping heaths, and around coastlines from different countries, spanning England, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.
Be sure to gear up. Cycling the North Sea Cycle is always a great opportunity to test your strength and power output. A power meter would be handy in collecting personal training data during a long circuit like this.
Death Road, Bolivia
Located in La Paz, Bolivia, the Death Road, a nickname given to a 61-kilometer trail, is considered the most dangerous roads in the world. Per official accounts, around 200 to 300 people get killed in this highway every year.
So what makes the Death Road a force to behold? The treacherous highway has no hairpin turns, no guardrails, just sheer precipices that beckon eternal sleep. Navigating through the traffic is also a challenge aside from watching the cliff edges.
The reward? The most heart-stopping sights of Bolivia’s Yungas region.
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh Bike Route, Vietnam
Two of Vietnam’s biggest cities can be traversed by bike. A spectacular 1,200 kilometers in length, this bike trail runs through a sandy coastline. Don’t get easy on the coastline, though, as the surfaces of roads differ, and it’s not uncommon to encounter obstacles on the way. That aside, the view is incredible and definitely leaves an impression.
The planet has plenty to offer for those who seek adventure. Where to go next? Plan your next cycling holiday today.