Cycling is booming in Britain, with more than two million people now cycling at least once a week*. This trend isn’t confined to the work commute, but is extending to people’s leisure time and, according to ABTA (the leading association of travel agents and tour operators), older holidaymakers are seeking more active or adventurous holidays.
Always eager to offer these holidaymakers interesting and leisurely ways to see a destination, Freedom Treks has introduced a selection of brand new cycling tours to its exciting collection, from expanding into Madeira and introducing more trips in Denmark, to an appealing two-week journey and more relaxed stay put holidays.
Freedom Treks believes there is no better way to discover new places and experience history and culture than by bike, especially at a relaxed and comfortable pace.
Read (or roll) on, to find out more…
With a warm climate all year round, exotic flora and fauna and panoramic coastal scenery, Madeira is an ideal destination for a regular cyclist. Starting in the town of Canico de Baixo on the southern coast, pedal around the Portuguese island looking out for colourful gardens, tranquil bays, plunging cliffs, traditional quintas, rum distilleries and magnificent fortresses. Spend time watching the locals weave baskets in the village of Camacha and pause on Porto da Cruz, a beach made out of volcanic sand. Admire the quaint thatched farmhouses in Santana and marvel at the 400,000-year-old grottos in Saint Vincent. Board an air-conditioned mini bus and travel to the high plateau of Paul da Serra, before jumping back on the bike and enjoying an exciting descent to Madeira’s west coast and the beautiful Porto Moniz (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Don’t miss standing on the transparent platform in Cabo Girao – at 580 metres above the sea, the view down over the highest cliffs in Europe is thrilling.
Level: Moderate to challenging
The seven-night Madeira tour costs from £655 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation, welcome meeting, luggage transportation, maps and route information, bus transfers with bike, cable car return journey and local assistance. Return flights, transfers, bike and cycle helmet hire and tourist taxes extra.
Denmark’s Largest Island
Copenhagen is famous for its biking culture. Earlier this year it was named the world’s most cycle-friendly city after investing heavily into the pastime. Denmark’s capital showcases 350 km of well-marked cycle paths along the coast and out into the countryside, making pedalling a dream. Bike around Denmark’s main island of Zealand, featuring beautiful beaches, quaint fishing villages and impressive castles on this new tour. Beginning and ending in Copenhagen, sleep in a different historic town each night, from Korsør – famous for its freshly smoked fish – to Næstved – home to Gavnø Castle and a magnificent rose garden – and Køge – a characterful medieval municipality. Highlights include the many UNESCO landmarks and the incredible Viking fortress in Trelleborg.
Level: Easy to moderate
The seven-night Denmark’s Largest Island tour costs from £734 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation, luggage transportation, maps and route information (one set per room) and local assistance. Return flights, transfers, bike and cycle helmet hire extra.
Boat & Bike along the Danube, Europe
Beginning and ending in Passau, travel by boat and bike through six beautiful countries: Germany, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Croatia on Freedom Treks’ first two week tour. The route follows mostly flat cycle paths with the option of rest days on the boat. Enjoy a delightful day of cycling from Engelhartszell, Austria’s only Trappist monastery, to the beautiful Danube Bend at Schlögen. Pedal alongside the boundaries of the former Iron Curtain stopping at the splendid Schloss Hof Palace (home to one of the most magnificent Baroque gardens in Europe) and visit a colourful folklore show in Serbia. Marvel at the dramatic Balkan mountain range, the incredible views of the floodplain forest in Donau-Auen National Park and sample delicious cakes in the vibrant city of Vienna.
The 14 night Boat & Bike tour along the Danube River costs from £1,033 pp (two sharing) and includes full-board accommodation with afternoon tea, coffee and cake and late night snacks, services of an English-speaking on-board guide with daily briefings of the bike tours, map and route information (one per cabin), welcome meeting with cocktail, local assistance, daily cabin cleaning, harbour fees, daily live music, farewell gala dinner with cocktail. Return flights, transfers, bike and cycle helmet hire, transfers to/from the docking in Passau and optional excursions extra.
Stay put tours
Ready for the 2017 cycling season, Freedom Treks has added a number of stay put tours to its engaging collection. These trips are ideal for those who want to discover a region, but do not want the hassle of packing and unpacking at multiple places. Guests on stay put holidays can decide if they fancy following the itineraries and suggestions, or create their own programmes. The flexibility means the trips are perfect for all types of travellers, but especially families and groups of friends.
Prosecco Vineyards, Italy
Based at the luxurious 4* Country Hotel Relais Monaco in Ponzano, located conveniently just outside the city of Treviso, explore the charming towns of the Veneto region on five easy day cycle rides that lead back to the hotel each evening. Stroll through the never-ending grapevines in Valdobbiandene (the capital of the Prosecco region) and pedal alongside the tranquil Sile River. Ideal for foodies, find out where the renowned Pinot Grigio wine has achieved real prestige in Strada dei Vino del Piave and sample delicious Venetian specialities such as fresh seafood, asparagus and radicchio. Discover the old Roman roads to Vicenza, Padua and Asolo and admire Giorgione’s renaissance artwork and the imposing fortress in Castelfranco Veneto. In the evening, enjoy the peace and quiet at Country Hotel Relais Monaco, which has air-conditioned rooms, an outdoor pool with sunbeds and a terrace overlooking the undulating hills. A brand new spa features a Jacuzzi, steam room and Finnish sauna.
Level: Easy to moderate
The six-night Prosecco Vineyards tour costs from £499 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation, welcome briefing with drink, maps and route information, bus transfer to Valdobbiadene with the bike, one Prosecco tasting, entrance to Villa Emo, discounted rate for hotel spa facilities and local assistance. Return flights, transfers, bike and cycle helmet hire and tourist taxes extra.
Tuscany – Bike & Spa, Italy
Explore the beautiful rolling landscapes of Tuscany by bike, before relaxing at the stylish 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta, complete with a new wellness area, each evening. Cycle past vineyards, cypress trees and olive groves to well-known cities, beautiful hill towns and the sparkling Tyrrhenian coast. The cycling can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace and the few ascents lead to spectacular vistas and fabulous long descents. Discover Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace, pedal along a Roman viaduct to the leaning tower of Pisa, cycle towards the 14 towers of San Gimignano and ride along the city walls of Lucca before enjoying a glass of local Lucchesi wine. Enjoy a break from cycling on a mid-week trip to Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance art. After exploring each day, return to the stylish Grand Hotel Croce di Malta, located in a quiet area close to the spa park and town centre. The hotel features spacious rooms with balconies, an outdoor pool with sun loungers, a modern fitness area and excellent restaurant. Guests will also receive a 20% reduction for the new wellness area which has a pool, sauna and whirlpool.
The seven night Tuscany – Bike & Spa tour costs from £574 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation, welcome meeting and drink, maps and route information, bus transfer to Monte Pisano and Casciano Terme and from San Gimignano with the bike, train journey from Viareggio and Lucca – Montecatini with the bike, train journey to and from Florence, use of outdoor pool and fitness area and local assistance. Return flights, transfers, bike and cycle helmet hire and tourist taxes extra.
For more information on any of these cycling tours, or any more trips with Freedom Treks, visit www.freedomtreks.co.uk or call 01273 224066.