As summertime wanes and the chill of fall returns, Freewheel Holidays is rolling out some suggestions for bicycle vacations in warm-weather destinations for avid “cyclepaths” and casual riders alike. This winter, the UK-based specialist cycling vacation provider is arranging week-long, self-guided bicycle vacations in Sardinia (Italy), along the Costa Brava (Spain), in the Algarve (Portugal), and on Lanzarote (Canary Islands).
All four destinations are imbued with rich culture, fine cuisine, scenic coastlines with beaches and—most importantly—warm weather during the winter doldrums. The following vacations can be adjusted to accommodate parties with as few as two adults, to families who wish to travel at their own pace:
Sardinia Family Cycle Tour:
This eight-day vacation through Sardinia takes individuals and families alike over terrain graded “easy” and over distances that can be tailored to meet the client’s needs. Daily rides range from 20 kilometers (approximately 12.5 miles) to 36 kilometers (approximately 22 miles). The itinerary is also flexible in that clients have the choice of daily activity and destination; for example, to ride to a famous beach or board a ferry to a village where locals fish for red tuna and lagoons are populated by flamingo.
On some days, travelers will cycle by vineyards and olive groves and ancient ruins, Roman roads, vestiges of the Phoenicians and beaches. The per-person double rate start at £549 (approximately $711); rates for children from ages three to 12 are available. The vacation package includes seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast, bike rental, luggage transfers, welcome meeting, route notes, maps and 24-hour emergency/service telephone access. This tour is also offered year round.
Discover Costa Brava For Families:
On this itinerary, cyclists will traverse over seven days the northern Spain district of Catalonia, where the beaches of Costa Brava and the Pyrenees Mountains meet. The trip can also be adjusted from two to five days, providing plenty of time to explore the area and add a beach or city stop. Along the way, guests will see the coastline, the hamlet of Can Muni, pine forests and medieval, Greek and Roman architecture peppered throughout the region. Must-sees of the itinerary include the famous Dali Museum in the town of Figueres and the Museum of Emporda, which houses the region’s many archeological finds, like the Hall of Asclepius.
Ambitious riders can travel up to 56 kilometers (approximately 35 miles) in one day, but shorter routes are also outlined. The mostly flat terrain is rated as “easy.” Horseback riding can also be mixed into the itinerary. The per-person double rate starts at £539 (approximately $698); rates for children under 13 are available. The package includes six nights’ accommodation with breakfast, a welcome meeting, bike rental, GPS with everyday tracks and map, detailed rout notes, local information and 24-hour emergency/service telephone access. This tour is also offered year round.
Algarve Coast to Coast:
This eight-day journey takes travelers down the Ecovia do Litoral, a dedicated cycle route in Portugal that connects Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the Spanish border with Cabo de Sao Vicente (Sagres) in the west. The terrain is graded as “easy” to “moderate.” This route, which requires cycling up to 40 kilometers (approximately 25 miles) on some days combines trails in nature preserves with coastal views and beach access. There are also linked stretches on traffic-calm or car-free routes.
Sights include fishing villages that date to Roman times, Moorish architecture and cafes where guests can break for coffee and wine. The per person double rates begin at £779 (approximately $1,008), and seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast, return transfers from Faro Airport, bike rental, luggage transfers, detailed route notes, cycling maps and 24-hour emergency/service telephone access are all included. Departures may be scheduled any day of the year.
Lanzarote in the Canary Islands:
While not an obvious choice for a cycling holiday, one of the islands in the Canaries provides easy access, minimal rainfall, interesting landscapes with volcanoes and of course, warmth and sunshine. This eight-day itinerary is marked by untouched beaches and hotel and rural villa accommodations. The terrain is classed as “moderate,” with some daily rides covering up to 58 kilomters (approximately 36 miles)—the routes are also adjustable for families.
Cesar Manrique, a hero of the Spanish Civil War and Canary Islands-native has inspired the architecture throughout Lanzarote; guests will have the opportunity to view some of his work. On Lanzarote, the volcanic landscape blends into the beachfront routes. Guests will cycle and walk under palm trees in Moorish towns, tour through a volcanic cave and explore the wine-producing area of La Geria. A waterpark and go kart attraction are also stops on the route.
The per-person double rate starts at £809 (approximately $1,048), with rates for children available. Seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast, bike hire, luggage transfers, detailed route notes, cycling maps and 24 hour hotline assistance service are all included. This adventure is also available year round.
For more information, visit freewheelholidays.com.