Check out this list of our top 5 stunning scenic bike rides from around the world as well as our favorite route suggestions in each. In our haste to get from one place to the next, we miss out on opportunities to explore the world around us. Those fast-moving trains you jump on in Italy or the flights you board that soar above the Andes only give you a glimpse at what beautiful destinations like these have to offer.
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them." - Ernest Hemingway
Scenic Bike Rides Around the Globe
1. Banff National Park // Canada
You want to talk about an area that has stunning scenic bike rides, Banff National Park is it. Mountains, glaciers, rivers and lakes … what more could you ask for! Over 190 kilometers of biking trails offer both trail and road rides for riders of all experience levels. Biking season typically runs from May through to October. Biking options range from family-fun lakeside cruises to rugged tree climbs to fat biking in the snow.
Route Suggestion: Ice fields Parkway
2. South Island // New Zealand
Along with being known for its passion for Rugby and home of The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand’s picturesque landscapes have left the rest of the world in awe. There’s no better way to explore this country’s beautiful outdoors than, DUH, by bike. For the most scenic bike rides, head to South Island. Riders of all levels can choose from peaceful country roads, coastal trails, rigorous mountain climbs and more year-round - with the exception of certain regions during the winter months. Thrill Tip: For you extreme sport connoisseurs, experience the rush of flying up then riding down the peak of a mountain range by booking a heli bike tour.
Route Suggestion: Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail
3. Costa Brava // Spain
National Geographic didn’t name it one of the top 10 travel destinations in 2012 for nothing. Spain’s Costa Brava is an idyllic biking destination. Coastal terrain along the Mediterranean as well as inland trails coursing throughout ancient city streets. Avoid tourist season in the summer months to enjoy 1. cooler weather and 2. less populated routes.
Route Suggestion: Pirinexus Route
4. Dolomite Mountains // Italy
Forget skiing in the Alps, bike them! The Dolomite Mountains - a part of the Southern Limestone Alps in Italy - provide varied terrain for riders to choose from. Those looking to coast winding valley roads and enjoy stops in small hamlets should hit the road bike routes between mid-May and October. For more of a challenge, mountain or E-bike your way through breathtaking high mountain passes between June and October. If the idea of having these Dolomite roads all to yourself sounds appealing, look into coming for Sellaronda Bike Day where all traffic is barred from crossing the Dolomite passes from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Route Suggestion: The Sella Ronda
5. Monument Valley // Utah and Arizona
Transport yourself back to the world of the wild, wild west in Monument Valley. Known for its famous towering buttes and red-sand deserts, Monument Valley is a prime biking destination on the Arizona/ Utah border within the Navajo Indian Reservation. You're more than welcome to ride along the 17-mile loop on U.S. 163 which takes you past all the iconic parts of the park. However, if you wish to be off the main road and far from cars, consider signing up for a guided tour which will allow you access to backcountry trails. Safety Tip: Weather conditions such as strong winds can be quite extreme. Be sure to pack sunglasses to protect your eyes, and a bandana of some sort to cover your nose and mouth.
Route Suggestion: Navajo guide for backcountry access
Explore the world as every adventurer should, on the seat of a bike. What are your suggestions for scenic bike rides? We would love your suggestions for more to explore by bicycle in the comments below! #bikeinnbikeout