Yesterday, Boris Johnson told us all to get on our bikes - but happily it was to announce the London cycling festival which sets forth this August from the Olympic Stadium. In celebration of this, we’ve put together a 'feast of velocipedes’ (Boris’ expression, not ours!), and compiled our favourite cycling sprees which range from the laziest cycle along Vietnam’s Thu Bon river, to a death-defying ride in Bolivia on the World's Most Dangerous Road.
Bicycles have always been tightly woven into the romance of Vietnam, and once upon a time they were not only a way of getting around, but a big part of people’s livelihoods. Nowadays, it’s a rare treat to see these “market stalls on wheels” – selling sticky rice, flowers, chinaware, and all manner of other goods – as the bikes of course compete with a haze of whizzing mopeds.
If this is the way you roll, then you should check out our Luxury Vietnam Honeymoon which sees you hopping on a vintage Vespa and zooming around the streets of Saigon on a delicious street-food safari. If however, you prefer things a little lazier, then a cycle along the riverbanks in medieval Hoi An is one of the nicest ways to explore this sleepy, seaside town. We also love hopping on a hire-bike in the Imperial City of Hue and stepping back in time as you explore the Forbidden City and Thien Mu Pagoda.
Since Wiggo’s Tour de France triumph, France is now even more appealing for a vélo-based vacance, and whether you’re cycling through Cezanne-esque landscapes in Provence, stopping off for a picnic beside the magnificent Gorges du Vedon, or soaking up the sunshine along the golden trails of the Côte d'Azur, you’ll never be short of stunning scenery.
If you visit during the cooler time of September, the Etoiles de Mougins (festival of gourmet cuisine) is the perfect treat after all that pedalling, and to ease your muscles, Le Mas Candille’s gorgeous Shiseido spa is just what the doctor ordered.
Africa experts have been pedalling the cycling safari as the next big thing for a while, and if you’re a seasoned Africa-phile who wants to encounter wildlife and experience the landscapes from a totally new perspective, then it’s definitely one to consider.
We’re particularly excited about the “Giants of Mashatu” ride in Botswana, which leads you along ancient elephant paths, through stunning scenery of the Limpopo Valley, and the big game country of the Mashatu Reserve. Namibia is another great one for cycling, and we can arrange a trip that carves up the the dramatic mountain terrain of Damaraland - home to the uniquely adapted desert rhino and elephant.
We’ve recently introduced one of THE best mountain-biking adventures in Peru, as part of our luxury Family Adventure Holiday. The trail takes in the Sacred Valley, Lake Huaypo, and the Vilcanota mountain range, before making the final descent along mule trails to the extraordinary Maras Salt pans.
Best of all, the majority of the trail is down-hill, and if you start to tire there are vehicles constantly on hand for less fit (or whinge-y!) cyclists.
A brag-list favourite for backpackers, Bolivia’s hair-raising Yungas pass definitely deserves its reputation as ‘the world’s most dangerous road.’
With sheer drops of up to 600m, clouds obscuring the edges, and a death-toll of almost 20 people to date, this isn’t necessarily a cycle we’d recommend to our clients…However, it’s reassuring to know that our Latin America expert James managed to survive it – and subsequently knows his stuff when it comes to a South American adventure!
If you're interested in a luxury cycling adventure, or any type of besboke holiday in the countries featured, then enquire online now, or give one of our experts a call on 020 7337 9010.