So, now you’re ready to venture forth and try your first big cycle tour. Yay! If you want to have a delightful tour with minimal complication and logistic challenges, I suggest you start with one of the Tried and True Tours. Tours that have it all: well-signed, excellent amenities, with beautiful and interesting things to do. These tours are all that (and the bag of chips).
The best Tried and True Tours that I’ve done are:
- Loire Valley in France
- Danube Cycle Trail across Germany and Austria
- Rhine Route between Cologne and Mainz, Germany
- Main Route between Mainz and Würzburg, Germany
I’m sure there are many more, and I’ll do my best to discover every single one of them. Just for you, my friend. Because I just give and give that way.
Loire Valley in France
The Loire Valley is a wonderful trip following the Loire River east to west across central France, and it is a portion of the EuroVelo 6
|Cave town of Souzay-Champigny|
The route is well-signed, and is so technically easy that it is the tour most recommended for folks touring with children. There are poppy fields, vinyards, caves, and don’t forget the castles. There are castles everywhere! The first time Brent and I cycled in the Loire, he joked that he finally understood the hapless forgetful goldfish swimming around its tank discovering the same castle over and over again. “Oh Look! A castle!” You can check out our first time in the Loire on DAMDetails
and follow us, live, in June 2019
as we return to do the tour with four friends in tow.
|Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne|
Many of the towns that you ride through have campgrounds, and as you reach the edge of town, there is often a sign pointing you in the direction of the campground. If a hotel or BnB is more your thing, you can stop in at most Tourist Info offices and the folks there will recommend a place to stay, and sometimes even make a reservation for you.
Danube Cycle Trail
The Danube Cycle Trail is also a portion of the EuroVelo 6 route
and you can easily follow it from the source of the Danube River (called the Donau in German) at Donaueschingen all the way to Vienna. You can keep following it beyond Vienna as well, although the route is less ideal as you leave Austria.
No one does cycle infrastructure like the Germans. Well, maybe some folks do, but I haven’t been to those places yet. They have the best cycle “road” system, and the best cycle road signage system, by far, that I’ve ever seen.
|Along the Wachau Valley, Austria|
Along the Danube, as the Loire, you will encounter lots of castles, and lots of amazing countryside. And don’t pass up the opportunity to check out some of the Catholic churches.
Rhine Route between Cologne and Mainz
|In the town of Andernach|
The Rhine Route, also known as EuroVelo 15, provides more of all the goodness of touring in Germany, including stellar cycling infrastructure and amenities, castles, countryside, medieval towns and Catholic churches.
In fact, the area between Bingen and Koblenz is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized for the castles from the German Romantic era.
|Riding from Boppard to Bacharach|
Depending on how much time you have, combine this route with the Main to make a no-fuss tour from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden, up to Cologne and then back. Add more of the Rhine, more of the Main, or take a ride on the wild side and detour onto the Moselle cycle route from the Rhine, which I’ve heard is great, but I have no first-hand experience with (yet).
Main Route between Mainz and Würzburg
|The town of Miltenberg|
The Main River route is not a EuroVelo route, but it still provides all the goodness of touring in Germany. It is a great connector to the Rhine, to the Romantic Road Route (at Würzburg), or even continuing along the Main. I’ve heard that the Main beyond Würzburg is great, but again, I have no first-hand experience with that (yet).
Can you tell I have a serious love affair with cycle touring in Germany? They have it all. Great cycle infrastructure. Excellent accommodations and campgrounds. And my beloved “Bikeline” Maps
are a German product.
If you're a Medieval Town fanatic like Brent and me, stick to areas that were not heavily damaged in the wars.
Sounds wonderful! In my next life guess what I plan on doing. ;)ReplyDelete