Speed up your cycling sales with Katie McGonagle’s round up of choice routes across the Channel.

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Scenic Spain

Make the most of the late-summer sunshine with a cycling trip to Murcia, where bikers will find quiet backroads, gentle traffic-free paths and pretty, white-washed villages. Explore has a point-to-point journey starting in Murcia, visiting the holy city of Caravaca de la Cruz, stopping off at shrines and fortresses, and ending with a scenic cycle along the Segura River back to Murcia.

Book it: Explore’s seven-day Cycle Southern Spain, rated moderate, starts at £870 including flights, six nights’ accommodation, breakfast, bike hire and services of a tour leader/driver.

No-fuss Norway

Get closer to nature in the laid-back Lofoten Islands with a holiday that combines biking along its colourful coastlines with cruising on expedition vessel Strønstad. The Norwegian archipelago – home to charming harbour towns and rolling green landscapes – is ideal for an easy-paced biking holiday, with stops including the much-photographed white-sand beach of Uttakleiv and pretty fishing village of Nusfjord.

Book it: Magnetic North Travel’s Cruise and Cycle the Lofoten Islands starts at £2,415 based on two sharing a double cabin on a full-board basis, with guided cycling and hiking; flights not included.


Roman holiday

From the timeless magic of Lake Bled to the timeless monuments of ancient Rome, the route from the foothills of the Julian Alps, on the shores of Slovenia’s most famous lake, to the idyllic Italian coast is one of the most captivating in Europe. Expect lush forests and shady valleys, tranquil vineyards and tiny villages, along with sightseeing highlights such as the ancient city of Aquileia, the museums and cathedral of medieval Udine, and the fortress town of Venzone, before finishing on the Adriatic island of Grado, set between Venice and Trieste.

Book it: Headwater offers a 10-night, 135-mile trail priced at £2,195 per person, including flights from Heathrow to Ljubljana, hotel accommodation, some meals and luggage transfers.


French fancy

Specialist operator Cycling for Softies has seen summer bookings to France grow by 21% year on year, with the Loire Valley its most popular spot. The self-guided Chateaux of the Loire takes cyclists past fairy-tale castles and ancient riverside spots that were once the summer retreat of the French and English elite. The route takes in the Loire à Vélo cycle path and the manicured gardens of Chateau de Villandry.

Book it: Cycling for Softies’ self-guided trip lasts between three and seven nights, starting at £615, and is rated easy. The price includes accommodation at three and four-star hotels, dinners, route maps and luggage transfers.

Border control

Lake Constance – set at the point where Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein meet – offers some of the most scenic cycling in central Europe, with routes ranging from flat lakeside ambles to more challenging mountain ascents. A new digital map has plotted out 17 cycling routes around the region, aimed at different abilities, with QR codes meaning riders can access information as they go, along with clear details on distances, altitude, signposting and level of difficulty.

Book it: The Lake Constance Bike Route, or Bodensee-Radweg, is a 170-mile path around the lake circumference, travelling through Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Download the map or order brochures for delivery from the Tourist Board of Lake Constance site.

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