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GCN’s 5 Cycling Holiday Destinations


– [Narrator] Summer is
here! And here at GCN, we are meticulously
planning our next vacation. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to leave the bike at home now, would it? So, here are five destinations to inspire your next cycling holiday. You may have watched the Spring Classics and dismissed Belgium on
account of the weather, and we totally understand that. But trust us, we guarantee that riding the
hallowed roads of Flanders is definitely one for your Bucket List. Especially in the summer months, where you can take on
those fearsome hellingen without getting soaked to the skin. The towns of Ghent and
Kortrijk are ideally situated to put you in reach of iconic
bergs like the Paterberg, the Koppenberg, and the Oude Kwaremont. Stop by Oudenaarde and take a look at the Flanders’ cycling museum and take Lloyd’s recommendation and sample some of the
finest beers in the world. This Colorado town sees a wide range of endurance athletes gravitate here thanks to the endless possibilities
of routes and terrains available right on your doorstep. From one-hour lunchtime
spins to all-day epics. If it’s altitude you are
after, then look no further. The nearby Rocky Mountains
offer plenty for the climbers with the added benefit of
Boulder being over 5,000 feet above sea level before you even
begin to tackle the likes of Flagstaff, Magnolia, and
the fearsome Mount Evans. It’s super easy to get in and
around the town itself as well thanks to over 300 miles
of traffic free cycle ways. If you can bear to draw
yourself away from the beach, Mallorca is home to some of
the greatest roads in Europe and thousands of cyclists
flock here every year. It’s also the preferred choice
of none other than Team Sky who set up a temporary
pre-season base here, from December to March. Like Boulder, you have
variety of terrain on an offer on this beautiful Balearic island. The central and southern
parts of Mallorca feature flat to rolling roads and to the North you got your mountains, Sóller, Puig Major, and Sa
Calobra, to name just a few. We’d also recommend taking
a ride up to the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor. It’s an area we know very well here at GCN and one we thoroughly recommend visiting as a stunning alternative to your usual French Alps or Pyrenees. The unspoiled Alta Badia
region of the Dolomites offers challenging mountain terrain
and incredible scenery, with bare rock faces looming large above the gorgeous lush valleys. Schedule your cycling
holiday for early July and you can tackle the ever popular Maratona dles Dolomites sportive, which winds its way over the
big mountain passes in the area such as the Passo Campolongo,
Passo Pordoi, and Passo Giau. Nicknamed Radelaide by the locals, this cycling paradise makes our list not only for the weather and the roads, but also for the flourishing
cycling community in this South Australian city. You have a world of options
when it comes to route choice and you can soak in the sunshine
on beautiful coastal roads, cruise through the
vineyards of McLaren Vale, or you can ride just 30
minutes from the center of town and you’re into the Adelaide Hills, a real playground for
cyclists, which offer a vast array of shorter,
but very challenging climbs. Adelaide Summer months come
in December and January, which is perfect for those
in the Northern Hemisphere looking to escape the cold. If you got any other
cycling holiday suggestions that you recommend, let us
know down in the comments. We love to hear them. And if it’s more cycling
inspiration you are after right now why don’t check out our
GCN epic ride series, starting with the very first
episode in Gran Canaria.

Stephen Childs

100 Comments

  1. Where do you think the best cycling destination is? 👇

  2. Definately agree that Boulder is a great place to ride with the altitude, though I think that you should always be warned that you are going to need a day or more to get used to the higher altitude and its gonna take a while to adapt to climbing at such high altitude. Alta Badia looks great although I have been captivated by the Appenines in Italy along with the Austrian Alps, not somewhere that gets a lot of exposure but somewhere different also exceptionally good for climbing. On that note never seem to get a lot of love for Turkey, increadible country and some really mixed terrain, plus the weather stays good for a large part of the year..

  3. Been to Tenerife and the French alps (Bourg d'oisans) before and they were both amazing. Mount Teide is a must do as are all the TDF climbs in the Alps. Looking forward to visiting a few of the places in this video in the next few years.

  4. I had a chance to ride in Boulder, Colorado 2 yrs ago, loved it. I really want to go back to ride more, maybe spend a full week just riding

  5. any organized organized group rides , if so can you post contact information ? thank you

  6. What about Croatia, close to Rijeka? Ucka Vojak is not a small mountain with it's 1401m height with paved road to the peak. And for motorcycle fans like me, we have the historical Opatija Circuit there to do some laps around the track with a non-motored bike. Finally of course if you are exhausted by cycling, you can join other, non-cyclist holiday people and go to the beach, to fabulous restaurants at night to have an excelent dinner or anything what a mediterranean beach can offer. And yeah, it's not that expensive. 🙂

  7. Not big epic rides, but amazing scenery and challenging rides can be found on the San Juan Islands in the state of Washington in the United States. There are four primary islands that the ferry goes to. Once on the islands, cyclists can use the ferry for free. None of the islands are flat but have some rolling hills and Orcas Island has a challenging climb up Mt. Constitution. The islands show up in several lists as one of the best cycling destinations.

  8. I loved the series on Dirty Kaanza. Now please send one of your presenters to do the Deathride in California. How about one of those new boys?

  9. If you have the money, Switzerland. There are an incredible number of superb cycle routes, quiet, beautiful roads and amazing public transport to get you to the start of the ride and to save you if you get stuck.

    Traffic is far less than equivalent Italian and French roads, the road surfaces are perfect everywhere and the drivers are pretty respectful of cyclists overall.

    Oh and the mountains and lakes are just a little bit special.

  10. The Karakoram mountains in the northeast of Pakistan the scenery there is stunning

  11. The canarian islands are great! If you pick your route carefully you'll have some great quiet roads what absolute epic climbs! There is a lot of cycling toerism so renting a bike and going on group rides is an option on all the islands. The weather is really stable year round, a round 25°c all year, ideal for riding! At only 4hours of flying away from home, the best cycling destinition there is, in my opinion.

  12. To the "usual" french alps or the pyrenees. Only GCN can say that and actually mean it

  13. these all look great, but ill just have to do it with 3 weeks of the Pyrenees, poor me 🙂

  14. What is riding like in Crete? There are some really cheap tickets there from Norway at the moment, so thinking about making the trip 🙂

  15. In the winter there are few places nicer than Tucson Arizona for cycling, there are lots of options here including 100+ miles of car free paths, Mt Lemmon climbs and it's the only UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the US. Please visit!

  16. Hi GCN, myself and a few friends are heading to Andorra in September the week after the last stage of the Vuelta. Andorra sits 3000ft above sea level with some fantastic climbs in the Pyrenees,
    I'd like to hear if anyone else has been here an any tips would be great.
    Maybe GCN could do something there.

  17. Central Switzerland is awesome for riding in June & July, especially around Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee). There are scenic roads and trails around the lakes, as well as a range of medium to hard climbs up some alpine and sub-alpine passes.

  18. Colombia. only some of the longest climbs in the world, amazing weather all year round, great cycling culture and heritage, and the best food.

  19. You should come to Medellín, Colombia. Great weather all the year, great mountains all over the place. And the oportunity to ride Letras: 80 km in one climb, the colombian Mauna Kea, and many other great places!

  20. My dream cycling vacation is a couple weeks down the length of Vietnam

  21. Hey peeps: you have been really lazy with the training videos recently; I have been waiting since march for a ride-along upload, sort it out lads! Get on your bike and cycle through the Sahara and make a training video form it. I say that you owe the GCN community at least 1 video per month since March … lets make it TWO so that you do not get lazy with the train with a GCN presenter in future! Many thanks peeps 🙂
    Peace 🙂

  22. Unable to fund a trip abroad so looks like the local rolling hills of Yorkshire will do me fine 🙂

  23. What are the odds?  I was just going to request you guys start a series on this topic.  I'd like to visit wherever it was that Emma filmed her comfort during climbing video that posted recently?  Thank You!

  24. Has anyone ever seen/ridden campagnolo or is it mythical kit? Have never seen a gruppo

  25. 0:25 guys that knees cover thing, what do you call it? I want to buy one..

  26. Cordoba, Spain is as good as Girona but virtually untouched by cyclo tourism.

  27. Bright in Victoria Australia is surrounded by amazing climbs which host fantastic events such as the alpine classic and 3 peaks! Snow in the winter = Cycling in the summer.

  28. Le Freney-d'Oisans! Just a stone's throw from Alpe d'Huez, Galibier, and Croix de Fer. I spent a week there with some great friends a few years ago…should…must go back!

  29. If they play their cards right, Romania will be a good cycling destination as well. Lots of varied terrain there, temperate climate.

  30. Northern hemisphere riders would not be able to stand an Adelaide summer. Even coming from Adelaide it’s super hot. Come in spring or Autumn. Much better time to ride

  31. Hi everyone, I live for 2 Years in Taiwan (Taichung) and I ride the bicycle every day to work and also on weekends I ride around the country, the epic climbs are countless and so are the decent's, cyclist are very welcome and there are so many destinations you can ride to that it is worth planning a trip. Coastal roads or mountain roads anything you wish for. And for some of you who like to do a long climb, there is a chance to the mountain pass of Mount Hehuanshan (3275M), the highest mountain pass in Taiwan where also the KOM challenge takes place once a year.

  32. As an American, the only reason I'd want to travel abroad is to experience an area for a road cycling vacation. I'd rather see the countrysides of the other countries than be a normal tourist. I want to see the beauty of these countries on two wheels. I think the United Kingdom would be my first place to visit, then maybe Germany and Sweden. Italy, France, others would be on my list as well. Maybe one day – I rarely even leave my own state though. Great video 🙂

  33. Burgundy, France. Did a weeks cycling there last September. Roads are beautifully quiet and in great condition. Not the most massive climbs but they all add up on a long ride. And the best thing is you can load up the car with wine from visits to the local vineyards!

  34. I enjoy cycling here in the UK as I get to practice abseiling down huge pot holes in the road on my bike. 😐

  35. Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. The fearsome Doi Inthanon resides there.

  36. Not sure about the Flanders recommendation including fine weather – after all there's a design shop here in Brussels that in its range of paints has a foreboding grey called "Belgian Sky! (Agree about the beer though)
    Another destination I'd add though is the Côte d'Azur. Nice to Menton as a base gives access to amazing rides (that GCN have covered in the past) including the Col de la Madonne, col du Braus and col du Turini. You can also get there by train (even from the UK via Eurostar with a change in Lille then direct by TGV all the way to Nice!) I'll be in there (again) in Roqubrune-Cap-Martin in July 🙂

  37. Often missed off cyclists' bucket lists but the Giro organisers can't be wrong so head to Sicily. Base yourselves around Syracuse and ride Etna

  38. In december, january and february, you could also come to ride to Colombia, we've got the routes where some of the best climbers in the world train (Boyacá Region where Nairo Quintana lives, or Antioquia, where Sergio and Sebastián Henao spend all their time), we also have one of the longest climbs in the world "Alto de Letras"

  39. The Vosges region in France close to Belgium and England but alot of hills and beautiful weather and the mountains aren't so hard as in the alps.

  40. Dear @GCN you are or were my holiday cycling sportive… not other than the dragon ride in Wales as a very early post of you put it into my bucket list… I've ride all the 300km in one day and also over 500km more all around Wales… am still in UK wondering… could we ride along?

  41. Nice, France. Beatiful surroundings. Lots of climbs, but nothing too extreme. Great weather. Close to the airport. Lots of stuff to do on the inevitable rest day.

  42. I've been to Boulder, it's wonderful indeed, for cycling and hiking.
    I hoped gorgeous Colorado would stay my little secret but.
    Adelaide ?? urghh. Would be afraid to stumble across D…….r ! Plus, it's far, like… real far.

  43. Montenegro, still a bit rough round the edges but it's getting better and so many mountains

  44. Most underrated cycling ground in the USA is the Driftless region of SW Wisconsin. Anywhere W of Madison or S of Lacrosse or N of Dubuque/Galena is a good base. Fantastic roads with very little traffic. Endless rollers with lush countryside. Great training and the beer/food is superb and simple.

  45. I never hear a mention of the Cabot trail in Nova Scotia, Canada on GCN but lots of other publications seem to list it as a top destination

  46. Can’t believe you missed out Taiwan! Cycle-friendly roads all the way around the coast, amazing scenery, brilliant food and, to cap it all, the Taroko gorge climb. It’s a must.

  47. These are good destinations but Siberia is THE best. Trusr me I travel a lot.

  48. Hokkaido. Empty roads, amazing scenery, superb food and hot springs after a day's ride.

  49. Only a short trip but the Shimanami Kaido in Japan is a great bike tour. Mostly for the views though and not training

  50. Kyushu, Japan. Cycle the perimeter or inland. Good climbing and yummy food. Drivers are respectful of cyclists.

  51. Aotearoa New Zealand! Land of the long white cloud and home to beautiful vistas to cycle through. Tour Aotearoa features 3000km (and over 44000m of elevation) of sealed roads, gravel, cycle paths and trials through parks, beaches, forests, and mountains.

  52. Boulder: superb but you'll need a day or two prep to get acclimated to the thinner air up there, so please factor into you're planning if you're thinking of going: ie: do your higher altitude climbs towards the end of the week to avoid suffering from altitude sickness, typically above 7,500 ft.

  53. Located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, I suggest riding around Riccione, Italy (near Rimini). There are a few "bike hotels" where in the late spring they are taken over by cyclists. One is Hotel Sarti, where you can be lead out for daily 100+km rides by former national champions (ok they are in their 70's now, but they will kick your butt). You'll see a hint of Tuscany, and many castles and even visit San Marino, all in one day.

  54. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada. Why do you think the TOC almost always goes there;)

  55. Around Boulder and Denver It takes a while to acclimatise to the altitude and being super dry atmosphere due to the altitude again makes it easy to dehydrate under suffer mountain sickness so you need to manage this in summer. It is a great cycling destination and a beautiful part of the world. But it’s Radelaide for me as I am biased and it’s my country so of course it’s the best.

  56. Maui HI, there's Haleakala to climb, the West Maui Loop, and the Road to Hana. There are some dodgy bits on WML and RTH, where the road gets very narrow, but the scenery is amazing and the weather is very consistent.

  57. Corfu is great! Theyre definately not advertising the place enough for cycling holidays

  58. Kandıra, Kocaeli, Turkey
    İznik Lake
    Kartepe
    They'll be my destinations for this summer.

  59. Hokkaido and Kyushu have been mentioned, but, really, ANYWHERE in Japan!

  60. If you want to go somewhere with amazing cycling, car free roads, an abundance of spectacular and varied views, plus some of the best local food in the world, try the Cevennes Mountains in south-central France: http://www.445cyclingtours.com/product/highroad-cevennes/. The best part is, you'll be among the rare cycling breed who knows about it.

  61. Gran Canaria. Great climbs, fantastic scenery, super roads, always good weather, …. need I say more. Oh yes, also all the logistics support you ever need.

  62. Portugal as very nice road to ride particularly in north and center. and you can't miss the serra da estrela with a massive climb. I've done a GF sera da estrela last year, the final climb was terrific !

  63. What about Lanzarote? Stunning views, great climbs and wind, wind and more wind.

  64. We just spent 3 weeks cycling around South Korea and we are pretty well convinced it may be the best place in Asia or even the world for a cycling holiday. See: https://bit.ly/2zvyV2D or Google 'Seoul to Busan Cycling'. Must of the route from Seoul to Busan is on a bike path that is almost the size of a road. There is plenty of accomodation or camping along the route. The people are friendly, polite and will go out of their way to help you.

  65. Tenerife !
    I work here already 4y as a cycling guide and can know the most beautiful/ epic climbs here !

  66. San Diego, California. Fantastic hill climbs like Mt Palomar (climb to 5500ft up constant switchbacks with spectacular views), up to Idelwild from Hemet, or along the road past Mt Laguna, looking down 3000ft into the desert. In all you'll be climbing from avocado and orange orchards to firs and pine at altitude. Dramtic scenery, good quality roads and and generally very polite and courteous drivers. Ride in short sleeves all year round, even in the middle of winter, where daytime temperatures still consistently reach mid twenties Celsius! Or, cruise along the coast from Oceanside to La Jolla, enjoying cafes long the route and a swim in the surf afterwards. The mountains and inland valleys can be very hot (30 – 37 Celsius) in the summer, but midday temperatures along the coast are a generally pleasant 18 – 25 degrees all year round. Rain – forget it. Maybe 10 days a year, and when it rains in southern California it pours, and no one bothers to ride those days…

  67. San Diego, California. Fantastic hill climbs like Mt Palomar (climb to 5500ft up constant switchbacks with spectacular views), up to Idelwild from Hemet, or along the road past Mt Laguna, looking down 3000ft into the desert. In all you'll be climbing from avocado and orange orchards to firs and pine at altitude. Dramatic scenery, good quality roads and and generally very polite and courteous drivers. Ride in short sleeves all year round, even in the middle of winter, where daytime temperatures still consistently reach mid twenties Celsius! Or, cruise along the coast from Oceanside to La Jolla, enjoying cafes long the route and a swim in the surf afterwards. The mountains and inland valleys can be very hot (30 – 37 Celsius) in the summer, but midday temperatures along the coast are a generally pleasant 18 – 25 degrees all year round. Rain – forget it. Maybe 10 days a year, and when it rains in southern California it pours, and no one bothers to ride those days…

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