Europe boasts some of the world’s most beautiful cycle routes, through stunning natural landscapes, magnificent cities and places of cultural significance. The following list of routes and cycle paths journey past wonders of the world, through mountainous regions and along peaceful, leisurely roads so whether you’re new to cycling holidays and tours, or an experienced cyclist in search of a new path, take a look at our list of the ten most beautiful cycle routes in Europe.
Danube Cycle Path
Recognised as one of Europe’s first cycle paths, the popular Danube Cycle Path is a great introduction to cycle touring due to its safe route, flat, cared-for paths and beautiful scenery.
The cycle path follows the meandering Danube river from Germany to the Black Sea, passing through ten European countries including Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. There’s plenty of things to do and places to explore along the way from the natural wonder of the Danube Loop in Austria to the Baroque palaces of Vienna and the natural spas of Budapest.
Romantic Road, Germany
The Romantic Road is a beautiful route through rural countryside and the enchanting walled medieval towns of Nördlingen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The route is around 440km, mostly flat and although the route it does go into the breath-taking Alps the altitude increase is under 600 metres.
Cyclists can also visit the historical town of Augsburg along the way before ending the ride with a view of the fairy-tale like Neuschwanstein castle.
Via Francigena, Italy
A 1,000-year-old pilgrimage route, the Via Francigena route is based on the 1,800km journey Archbishop Sigeric walked from Canterbury to Rome in AD990. When returning, he recorded 80 overnight stops which now make up the beautiful cycling route.
This part of the cycling route Great St Bernard Pass on the Switzerland border, through Tuscan landscapes and visits Medieval towns like San Gimignano before reaching St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The longest signposted route in Italy, the journey allows cyclists to experience stunning views, although please note that it involves crossing both the Alps and the Apennines at high altitude.
Elbe Cycle Path
Consistently voted as the most popular cycle route in Germany, the Elbe Cycle Path boasts dramatic mountain scenery following the country’s second longest river. Cyclists can ride from Prague to Dresden experiencing beautiful views and visiting bohemian towns before ending the journey in the city of Dresden.
The path is integrated into a system of 37 river cycling routes in Germany allowing cyclists to further explore the land visiting reserves and vineyards before reaching the North Sea coast.
The Camino Frances route is around 490 miles long passing through cities such as Pamplona and Leon before ending in Santiago de Compostela. Also known as the ‘French Way’ it is the most popular part of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and cyclists are often alongside pilgrims making the epic journey.
The route takes you past the snow-dusted Pyrenees mountains, the beautiful vineyards of Rioja, charming Spanish villages, the beautiful green hills of Galicia and the vibrant city of Ponferrada.
Tauern Cycle Trail, Austria
Starting at Gerlos Pass and ending in Salzburg, the Tauern Cycle Trail in Austria is an amazing experience. Over 150 miles long and at times over several thousand feet in altitude, the route is best suited to more experienced cyclists and can be a difficult yet well-worth it ride.
Experience natural beauty and stunning views throughout the route including Grossglockner Mountain, The Hohe Tauern National Park, Lake Zell and Krimml waterfall, which is one of the highest in Europe.
Iron Curtain Trail, Bulgaria
Through mountains and spa towns, the Bulgarian section of the Iron Curtain Trail begins in one of the oldest and picturesque winemaking regions in the world, Thracian Valley.
Cyclists can then head east along pinewood lined paths into the mountains bordering Greece, passing through Gotse Delchev and Devin before experiencing the natural beauty of the Rhodope Mountains.
Baltic Sea Cycle
The Baltic Sea Cycle, also known as the EuroVelo 10 route, follows the Baltic Sea coastline experience a range of beautiful cultures and views. From the white, sandy beaches of the German Riviera to dramatic cliffs, National Parks, and thousands of islands, there’s plenty to take in.
As well as idyllic coastline scenes there’s also a wealth of culture to explore as the cycle route also passes through five charming capital cities, majestic Saint Petersburg and Hanseatic towns like Gdansk and Lübeck.
Holland Junction Network
Holland is an ideal country to ride in for cyclists of all abilities and experience due to its impressive cycling infrastructure and flat routes. The Holland Junction Network consists of 32,000km of well sign-posted cycle routes, with plenty of destinations and places to rest along the way.
The Network allows cyclists to explore the idyllic coastline of Hollands North Sea Coast as well as the beautiful countryside and bustling city of Amsterdam at a leisurely pace.
Cornish Coastal Way, England
With various cycle routes to choose from, the Cornish Coastal Way can range from a 30 to 100-mile journey passing through stunning seaside towns such as St Ives and along romantic smugglers paths.
On the doorstep for British cyclists, the route runs from Minehead in Somerset through Devon and Cornwall to Poole Harbour in Dorset and holds its own amongst Europe’s most beautiful cycle routes past sandy coves, enticing waters and attractions such as the Eden Project.