This border-hopping ride starts in the Gothic city of Prague before heading east, freewheeling its way through four different countries as it heads towards the finish in Budapest. Time stands still along this route, with UNESCO World Heritage sites and historic relics blending into the surrounding eastern European architecture.
The Czech Republic soon hands you over to Austria and its capital, Vienna, where you’ll then follow the Danube River east, sampling the rich riverside treasures as you go. As you straddle the feet of the Austrian Alps, take a moment to drink in the views and let out a sigh of relief – you won’t be climbing any Alps on this trip.
The Danube continues to act as your compass as you leave Austria behind and pass through Bratislava, Slovakia, a capital city that sits on the border of three countries, combining the rich and unique cultures of each one. Hungary is soon reached and the finish in Budapest beckons, but not before you leave the comfort of the Danube behind and tackle the final hills that stand between you and the finish line.
This tour showcases the very best of Central Europe, taking you on an adventure that passes by ancient castles, former bastions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the famous wine-making region of Moravia. The melting pot of cultures in each city is sure to make this a cycling holiday that you’ll never forget.
Searching for solitude: Baltics
Perched in the north east corner of Europe are three criminally underrated cycling destinations boasting vast swathes of untouched landscape. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are ideal destinations for those riders averse to super steep climbs and long mountain passes, their flat, unspoiled marshlands providing the perfect playground for leisurely cycle tourists.
Starting from Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, and heading north to the Baltic Sea, you’ll soon swap the fairy-tale architecture of the city for the unbridled beauty of Mother Nature. This untouched haven is utterly devoid of humans, allowing you to revel in complete serenity and solitude.
Latvia’s capital, Riga, soon appears and throws you right back into civilization, plying you with delicious local dishes laden with dill and potatoes. From there the route continues north, following exquisitely tarmacked cycle paths along the Baltic’s most beautiful beaches and hummocky sand dunes.
Once again, you’re thrown back into the welcoming arms of Mother Nature, the sprawling beaches and Baltic sea on one side, and the vast, marshy plains on the other. You’ll pass through yet another national park, Gauja, before crossing the border into Estonia, the final country on your intrepid Baltic tour.
The route finishes in the castled city of Tallinn, Estonia’s cultural hub. The skyline here is dominated by steeples and spires, showing off the city’s stunning 13th-century architecture. It’s the perfect end to a perfect ride and easily one of the best cycling holidays Europe has to offer.
As you can see, it’s not just southern and western Europe that boast the best bike riding terrain – it’s about time we started to look east and see what the road less traveled has in store. To learn more about our cycling tours and where we operate, be sure to check out our inspiration page.