Keeping fit between ski seasons is very important and what better way then to head to the Alps for some easy cycling? Here we list our top six road bike tours for people who haven’t done much – or any – cycling at altitude before. Road cycling tours allow you to appreciate the scenery, combining exercise with fun and not forgetting some good food en route.
Follow the River Inn Cycle Path
The Tirol has over 900km of signposted cycle paths and road cycling routes along some gorgeous valleys. The three main long-distance routes include the classic 500km Inn Cycle Path, which is ranked among Europe’s longest and most scenic cycle routes.
Self-guided cycling route along the River Inn from £625pp for seven nights B&B staying in three-star hotels and including bike hire, luggage transfers, maps and route information. Flights are not included. To book visit Saddle Skedaddle.
Alternatively, there’s a five-day/four-night trip goes from Innsbruck to Kufstein, over approximately 107km with 25km to 45km daily. The route is mostly flat and during this tour you will be able to try the typical Tirolean inns – serving delicacies such as traditional cheese, good Schnapps with crispy bread, and delicious local bacon.
Prices for the tour start from €398pp, including luggage and rail transfers, maps and culinary themed evenings. Flights and bikes are not included. Book this Inn Valley Cycle Path tour through RadUrlaub.
Tour Around Lake Annecy
Families are catered for with a cycle path that runs all the way from Annecy to Albertville along the old railway lines. This delightful route winds along the entire length of the lake and has direct access to the beaches at Marquisats and Sevrier.
Five nights self-catering in Les Chataigniers apartments from £176pp (based on five sharing) including return ferry crossings. The apartments have free wifi, two outdoor pools and an indoor pool, a wellbeing area and sporting facilities such as badminton and volleyball pitches – so there are plenty of ways of keeping fit. Holidaymakers are provided with cycling manuals and maps, and are given guidance on local bike hire. More details from Peak Retreats.
Pedal Italy’s South Tyrol
The dramatic river valleys of Italy’s South Tyrol provide some easy cycling routes with a mountainous backdrop, and this is also an area famed for its excellent food and drink. The local wines are Vernatsch, Lagrein and Gewürztraminer, and you can accompany them with traditional snacks such as roasted sweet chestnuts and smoked raw ham.
Two nights are spent in the historic town of Bressanone, a night in the regional capital of Bolzano, another in the walled town of Trento. The routes are easy to moderate, along river banks, through orchards and along country roads, with trains available if you want a break.
The South Tyrol to Trentino self-guided cycling trip costs from £898pp including six nights B&B, two dinners, luggage transported between hotels, maps and 18-gear cycle hire (e-bikes are an extra £10pp). Flights to Verona or Venice and airport transfers can be booked at extra cost. Book with Inntravel.
Ride Kitzbuhel’s 1200km of paths
The trip in and around the beautiful ski town of Kitzbuhel includes varied terrain to suit all abilities for road biking and mountain biking, and the resort and surrounding area offer 1200km of paths including plenty that are tucked away from the traffic. It’s a great way of keeping fit!
A week’s half board at three-star Hotel Edelweiss costs from £349pp, including Gatwick flights and resort transfers. Bike hire is available locally. Information from Thomson Lakes.
Explore the Shores of Lake Constance
Lake Constance is bordered by three countries – the 270km shoreline is shared between Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and there are some lovely views from the German shore across to the Swiss Alps. The six-night, self-guided cycling tour explores 140km of the eastern shores of Lake Constance in Germany.
The trip is based on gentle, leisurely cycling and it also explores the historic town of Constance, Meersburg with its castle and vineyards, and the village of Lindau with its cobbled streets and harbour.
From £349pp for six nights B&B including luggage transport, maps and route information, two boat trips and entrance to the Rosgarten museum. Flights not included and weekly bike hire can be booked at extra cost. To book visit Freedom Treks.
Go for Gruyeres, Gstaad and The Bernese Oberland
This journey goes through some of Switzerland’s most beautiful scenery and the heart of Swiss cheese country, via Gruyeres, Gstaad and the Bernese Oberland. The route is mainly along river valleys and lakesides, so serious gradients are avoided. You can also take the spectacular cable-car to the summit of Murren’s Schilthorn – of James Bond fame.
From £929pp for seven nights B&B including airport transfers, bike hire (e-bikes at a supplement), scenic rail journey from Brig to Chur with lunch on board. Flights are not included. Book with Freewheel Holidays.
Touring Lake Geneva
Le Tour du Leman is a 180km cycling track around Lake Geneva, which officially opens on June 6 and can be completed in three or four days. A third of the circuit is in the Savoie Mont Blanc region and the tour is linked with the Via Rhona circuit, which is a cycling itinerary going all the way from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea.
From 795€ pp on the five-night/six-day self guided Via Rhona tour with 42-68km of cycling per day and accommodation in two- and three-star hotels en route. Flights are not included. Tailor-made tours are also available around Lake Geneva. For information go to Cyclomundo.
For more on cycling holidays see these other features:
For other summer activities in the Alps see The Best Resorts for Summer Skiing, Six Ways to Fill the Gap Between Ski Seasons, Why You Deserve A Summer or Autumn Holiday in the SkiWelt, Where to Play High Altitude Golf, and A Big Alpine Adventure.