Saddle up and head for the hills on an e-bike with these top trips through Europe
- Holiday Hero Neil Simpson has listed the top e-bike trips throughout Europe
- Electric bikes mean you needn’t be super fit to hit those hills and do the miles
- Highlights include a ‘bikes and bubbles’ tour of Spain and Mount Etna in Sicily
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week, he saddles up for cycling holidays where you can beat the hills with an e-bike.
Bike holidays are booming – but until recently they’ve been off- limits for those who aren’t as fit as they’d like to be (or not as fit as their travel companion).
That’s changing fast and you can now rent an electric bike instead of a traditional one on a host of Europe’s most scenic cycle holidays. Here are some of next year’s most exciting trips…
Holiday Hero Neil Simpson has listed the top e-bike trips throughout Europe
Lap up the Lakes
The steep hills of the Lake District won’t feel as daunting with the new e-bike option from cycle holiday specialist Saddle Skedaddle. On its three-night guided tour, you will be based in a country-house hotel on the banks of Derwentwater and the tour leader takes you along quiet roads (with pitstops for coffee) to the stone circle at Castlerigg and some incredible viewpoints beyond. Prices start at £315pp for bed-and-breakfast accommodation, plus two lunches and two dinners. Rent a traditional bike for £55 or an e-bike for £95 (www.skedaddle.com).
Sparkle in Cava country
If you fancy a genuinely sparkling cycle tour in Spain, try the Bikes And Bubbles route from Inn Travel. It’s self-guided, which means you’re given detailed directions and your luggage is taken to your next hotel for you every day.
You start amid the vineyards and bodegas west of Barcelona, stay in traditional farmhouses, and enjoy a different Cava tasting every night. There is even the option to visit a chocolate factory on the final day. Prices for four-night, half-board trips including e-bikes and return taxi transfers from Barcelona start at £854 (inntravel.co.uk).
Meander along the Danube
The wide, grassy banks of the River Danube are one of the most popular cycling routes in Europe, and on the stretch from Passau to Vienna you’ll pass castles, cathedrals and glorious countryside. E-bikes help with the inclines when the path occasionally winds away from the river, which you cross by ferry on day two.
The self-guided Danube Cycle Path tour takes in Enns, the oldest town in Austria, and follows the river alongside monasteries and mountains and through orchards and vineyards.
A seven-night B&B trip starts from £579pp with a traditional bike and from £678 with an e-bike (freewheelholidays.co.uk).
Sicily’s hottest attraction
New for 2020 is a dreamy Sicilian trip aimed at those who love Italian food, wine and culture. The Syracuse to Mount Etna guided tour takes in Roman ruins, baroque architecture, Byzantine mosaics and stops for pastries filled with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, honey and oranges. You can swim in rocky coves and ride around the still-active volcano. A seven-night tour starts at £1,299pp, including flights, bikes and B&B accommodation. E-bikes are an extra £155 (explore.co.uk).
Coast around chateaux
Easy riding: A family cycles along a riverside route next to one of the Loire Valley’s spectacular castles
The flat, largely car-free cycle routes round the Loire Valley will feel even easier in 2020 when Cycling for Softies introduces an e-bike version of its classic Chateaux Of The Loire self-guided tour. You’ll start by coasting through vineyards, stopping for house, garden and wine-cellar tours and the chance to sample some of the area’s famous wines. The four-night half-board tours, where you get GPS apps to supplement your maps, start at £995, including e-bikes (cycling-for-softies.co.uk).