Seeing Europe on two wheels is always a good idea, especially on a trip organized by experts. Here are four new bike tours for 2023 from some of the best tour operators in the business
Italy: The Via Francigena
Since 1989, Ciclismo Classico has been the go-to company for in-depth Italian cycling tours steeped in culture. Next year they are unveiling La Via Francigena, a route that follows the paths of pilgrims. This route was first documented in 990 by Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, describing his journey on his return to Canterbury. The roads Sigeric followed became known as the Via Francigena (the road to France) or “Via Romea” (the road to Rome). For centuries it has been used by merchants, clergy, soldiers and pilgrims. Ciclismo’s 10-day journey begins in the Tuscan town of Lucca and ends 301 miles later in Rome, with stops in towns such as San Gimignano and Siena. The biking is done on a mix of paved and unpaved gravel roads, largely away from cars and trucks. Part of the journey takes place on the basalt of the ancient Via Cassia, a 2000 year old Roman road. The trip is rated intermediate and costs from $6,600 per person, based on double occupancy (like all trips mentioned here).
Spain: Balearic Islands, Majorca and Ses Salines
VBT has announced Spain: Balearic Islands, Mallorca and Ses Salines for 2023, a remarkable journey for scenic biking along the Mediterranean coast of the largest Balearic island. The mountains of the Tramuntana Range are the backdrops for this trip, and highlights include lunch at the oldest finca on the island and a vineyard offering paella classes for the group. Riders visit the open-air markets, where local artisans sell their pottery, ceramics and glassware. This tour features easy to moderate terrain on quiet paved rural roads. This tour works well for beginners and experienced riders thanks to the longer route options. Accommodation is in unique boutique hotels and daily mileage ranges from 10 to 40 miles. Fares start at $5,395 for a 10-day air package, $4,395 for a 7-day bike tour per person.
France: Brittany & Normandy Bike Tour
Trek’s Brittany and Normandy bike tour is perfect for anyone who has wanted to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont-Saint-Michel and the historic D-Day landing beaches. These Atlantic regions of northern France are havens of castles, monasteries, medieval towns and white chalk cliffs. On this trip, riders can visit the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry and take a private guided tour with a local historian of the most essential World War II D-Day sites, including the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach. There’s a morning tour of the fortified old town of Saint-Malo and lunch in Brittany’s oyster capital, Cancale. This trip is rated at Level 2. Unusually for a bike tour, this departure also welcomes non-cyclists. These non-equestrian travelers will have many options on these trips with dining, leisure and cultural activities. The six-day trip costs $5,899 per person.
Italy: Salento from Puglia to Matera Easygoing E-bike Tour
Coastlines, hill towns and world heritage sites are the hallmarks of this Backroads trip. This is your chance to ride an e-bike on the quiet roads of Puglia, a part of Italy that is constantly emerging but never quite discovered. Puglia is a place of whitewashed towns, the cave village of Matera and the distinctive limestone trulli dwellings found especially in Alberobello. Highlights include tasting the region’s wines and sampling classic Puglia dishes. This trip is one of Backroads’ Dolce Tempo trips, which means it’s slower and easygoing. The effortless style of this trip means staying at luxury hotels like the Sant’Angelo Resort in Matera and the 16th-century Palazzo Ducale Venturi. There are two to four hours of biking a day, with distances of 10 to 30 miles. These distances are made easier on this trip, thanks to electric bikes. This six-day trip costs $5,799 per person.