Whether you prefer rugged mountain bike terrain, or the smooth, long stretches between mountains, one thing is for sure – there are few fitness activities that offer the sense of fulfilment the way cycling does. It’s also an affordable and healthy way to see the sights, but be sure to plan your trips ahead to include some of the world’s most beautiful cycling routes.
La Farola, Cuba
La Farola is a road that was built in 1965 and leads to Baracoa, an area that was only accessible via sea before this road was built.
Even though the route is about 35 miles long, the real beauty will hit you after a 10-mile climb to the top of the mountain, when you start descending through ravishing vegetation towards the sea.
The route itself can be very challenging thanks to steep inclines and even steeper descents, so make sure to tune-up your bike before hitting the road.
Tasmania’s West Coast, Australia
While Tasmania’s east coast is well-inhabited, the west coast is a completely different story. With almost no signs of civilisation, this route offers sheer beauty, but cruel climates.
It’s incredibly long, since it starts in Hobart and ends in Launceston, so it’s only recommended for advanced cyclists looking for a serious ride.
You’ll not only get to see the Montezuma Falls in their full glory, but you’ll also go through some of the oldest forests in the world, untainted by human civilisation.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
If you’re the type of cyclist that enjoys cycling next to an ocean – this is the route for you. The route starts in Torquay in south-eastern Australia and goes all the way to Morengo.
Besides offering breathtaking views, this road will also take you through lush inland pastures, beautiful rainforests, sand dunes, and volcanic craters.
The entire route is about 60 miles long, so you won’t need more than a day to complete it. It’s great for moderate and advanced cyclists, and if you prefer mountain biking, you can look up biking trails near the main road.
Pacific Coast, Canada/USA
This route starts in Vancouver and goes all the way to the Mexican border. That’s about 2,000 miles+, which is estimated to take 3-4 weeks to complete.
The best way to experience this route is to dedicate a lot of time to it so you can feel relaxed about spending a bit more time than planned (if need be).
You’ll get to see ravishing mountain passes, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and experience the entire California coast in its full beauty.
Salzach Valley, Austria
One of the most beautiful routes in Europe, this is a great choice for families that are looking to enjoy some easy cycling with a lot of additional activities along the way, from rafting to archery contests.
If you start in the small village of Krimml, you’ll get to go through the Hohe Tauren National Park and see the Europe’s highest waterfall. From there, you’ll follow the route through the Salzach Valley’s pine forests all the way to Lofer.
Patagonia Route, Argentina/Chile
Another incredibly long route (1,800 miles) starts in Barichole and ends in Ushuaia. Experiencing the Patagonian Steppe is something every cyclist should have on their checklist since it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
The Chilean sections, on the other hand, are much greener but also present tougher climates. Wind and rain are common, so make sure you’ve visited a reputable online shop to get all the necessary equipment for your bicycle before taking off.
Preparing for the World’s Most Beautiful Cycling Routes
Some of these routes make for a great day trip with friends to get you in good shape, while others will require months of training and planning in the lead up to departure.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to invest some time into planning: pack adequate food and water, have a small first aid kit on hand, guard against sun damage, and ensure your bike has a comprehensive service before take-off.
While these routes may be physically and mentally challenging, the pristine natural landscapes will have you planning your next cycle adventure while you’re still out on the open road.