Freedom Treks, the cycling holiday specialist, has added five new leisurely bike breaks across Europe to capitalise on the growing demand for cycling getaways. From coastlines to castles, it hopes the new selection will appeal to travellers keen to combine moderately active days with the well-deserved reward of gourmet stops, cultural experiences and characterful accommodation along the way. Four of the new trips are self-guided, giving would-be adventurers the flexibility and freedom to explore at their own pace using detailed route notes, whilst the guided tour is ideal for those keen to meet like-minded travellers and enjoy local insights from their English-speaking destination expert. HOTEL & BIKE HOLIDAYS
- NORWAY: Lofoten Islands
This new tour offers a rare opportunity to cycle under Norway’s midnight sun and marvel at some of Northern Europe’s most stunning scenery. Whilst the archipelago is famous for its dramatic coastal scenery, the terrain is flat and easy to navigate. Along the way holidaymakers will cycle past picturesque fishing hamlets such as Henningsvaer, known as the Venice of the Lofoten Islands, and Stone Age settlements, enjoying the peaceful landscapes and natural birdlife en-route. Those looking to add a city dimension to their Norwegian memory-making can also choose to stop over in Oslo on their way to the islands. Trip summary: This 7 night, 112 mile self-guided tour – graded moderate – starts from £1106pp and departs Mondays from June to August. The price includes comfortable accommodation in charming local guesthouses, most meals (7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, 5 x 3 course and 1 x 2 course dinner), ferry crossings, luggage transportation, secure bike storage, maps and route information. Bike hire starts from £164.
With the Canaries nicknamed the “Islands of Eternal Spring”, the warm and dry climate of Lanzarote lends itself perfectly to year-round exploration. The island’s mix of volcanic landscapes, secret coves and charming fishing villages provide a picturesque backdrop throughout, ensuring cyclists are rewarded with stunning views as they pedal along quiet routes. Whether taking advantage of winter sun or travelling during the summer months, the itinerary offers the perfect balance of cycling and relaxation, with two optional rest days to fully recharge or explore at a leisurely pace. Trip summary: This 7 night, 151 mile self-guided tour – graded moderate – starts from £657pp and departs Saturdays year round. The price includes B&B premium accommodation in 3, 4 & 5 star hotels, luggage transportation, secure bike storage, maps and route information. Bike hire starts from £82.
- ITALY: Family Lake Garda
Freedom Treks believes, with the right itinerary, a biking holiday can help bring families even closer together, thanks to a collective sense of achievement at the end of an enjoyable day’s cycling. After a night in the lakeside town of Desenzano, this fun-packed trip spends five nights based in one hotel in picturesque Peschiera, on the southern end of Lake Garda, ensuring parents get to relax and appreciate the holiday as much as the children. The flexible tour includes three days of short easy rides, leaving two days to relax or visit the local attractions, with one of Europe’s top theme parks, Gardaland, and an aquarium all within easy reach. Best of all, the beautiful beaches, fascinating fortress and local restaurants are all just a few minutes’ walk away to help parents keep young adventurers entertained throughout their stay. Trip summary: This 6 night, 59 mile self-guided tour – graded easy – starts from £286pp and departs Mondays from May to September. The price includes B&B accommodation in two 3 star hotels, luggage transportation, secure bike storage, maps and route information. Bike hire starts from £55, with family tandems available from £109 and child trailers from £63. BOAT & BIKE HOLIDAYS
Bordeaux’s vineyards are ripe for exploring by bike and this trip’s outstanding on-board menu – packed with regional specialities, fresh local ingredients and some of the regions finest wines – ensures cyclists are fully refuelled for the next day’s culinary adventure. A visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bordeaux – said to be one of the most bicycle-friendly cities not just in France but in the world – provides an urban element to this leisurely tour. Here the well-preserved architecture and quaint streets of Bordeaux’s old town contrast with the magnificent castles and lush countryside savoured en-route. In addition to sampling many of the local wines and riding some of France’s most tempting routes, this week-long cycle and cruise option offers plenty of opportunity to simply sit back and take in the scenic delights as the barge heads down the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde rivers. Trip summary: This 7 night, 143 mile self-guided tour – graded easy to moderate – starts from £893pp and departs Saturdays from May to October. The itinerary reverses route on alternate weeks. The price includes full board accommodation on a comfort-class boat, welcome cocktail and presentation of the ship and crew on the first evening, complimentary tea and coffee until 4pm, maps and route information, some short walking tours and daily bike tour briefings from the on-board English-speaking tour leader. Bike hire starts from £56.
- FRANCE: Paris & Beyond
This new bike and boat tour gives travellers the chance to experience a different side to the Seine and starts by cruising the city’s 19th century canals before mooring overnight in downtown Paris. The next few days are spent gently following the Seine and Oise rivers, with the chance to arrive at the remarkable Palace of Fontainebleau – one of the largest French royal chateaux – in two-wheeled style. Midway, there’s a free day included to wander – or ride through – the alluring arrondissements of the French capital. And, with wonderful views throughout the week, it’ll be easy to see how the delightful villages of Auvers-sur-Oise and Moret-sur-Loing inspired the paintings of Van Gogh and Sisley. Trip summary: This 7 night, 138 mile guided tour – graded easy to moderate – starts from £696pp and departs Saturdays from May to September. The itinerary reverses route on alternate weeks. The price includes full board accommodation on a standard-class barge, the services of an English-speaking tour guide on board and while cycling, several city walks, a visit to Fontainebleau Castle and a wine and cheese tasting. Bus transfer between Paris Gard du Nord and Moret-sur-Loing, maps and route information plus bike hire is also included. For more information or to book call 01273 224 066 or visit www.freedomtreks.co.uk.