The start of any new year brings fresh energy, enticing plans and new cycling destinations to motivate you. As we pedal into the first promising weeks of 2024, the cycling world beckons with new horizons and exciting adventures.
With the Tour Down Under getting underway on 16th January, and February and March packed with races in Spain, France, Italy and Belgium, there’ll be plenty of content, videos and memes to get our cycling juices flowing as we look ahead to the coming season.
At Eat Sleep Cycle, we’re all about the experience and adventure of cycling, about creating memories and community wherever you cycle. Our top 2024 cycling trips are designed to give you a taste not only of the landscapes, roads and tracks we plot our routes on, but also of the people, cultures and food you’ll encounter along the way.
Our scheduled tours are led by local guides who have profound knowledge of the area, including the best kept secret spots, cafés, restaurants, ice cream parlours and fun cycling facts. These are the people you want to ride with. They not only enhance your days in the saddle in terms of company and guidance, they are also on hand for mechanical support to keep you safe and make sure every stroke of the pedal is as smooth as possible.
Let’s dive into our top 2024 cycling trips.
The best places for cycling trips
Cycling trips can be deeply personal. Depending on our likes and dislikes, ability level, available time or preferred discipline, every cyclist has an ideal route in mind for their perfect cycling adventure.
The world offers a tapestry of landscapes to cater to our preferences. For riders drawn to the challenges that come with ascending (and descending!) mountain roads, the allure of the majestic French Alps or the winding roads of the Spanish Pyrenees may prove irresistible. Then again, riders after a calm sea breeze and views of the coastline will find more joy in pedalling along the coastal roads of Andalucía, or exploring the Algarve on two wheels, combined with a spot of golf.
The best places for cycling trips are as varied as we are as riders, and each destination presents its own thrills and scenic wonders. Another variable to think about is the season. Do you perform best in the vibrant hues of autumn? Do you prefer the crisp air of a morning winter ride? Or are summer rides that stretch until late into the evening your calling? Your list will be unique to you, but we guarantee we’ve got a cycling trip that checks all the boxes.
The best cycling in Europe
A haven of cycling culture, Europe offers almost every kind of landscape, terrain and conditions imaginable. The best cycling holidays in Europe, designed, tried and tested by the Eat Sleep Cycle team, span nine countries: the UK & Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. Here are some of our top picks of Eat Sleep Cycle’s 2024 cycling holidays in Europe:
Cycling in Italy
The Trans Dolomites Challenge: One for a challenge? This exceptional road cycling tour through the stunning Dolomites begins in the picturesque village of Ravascletto. Over eight days, you’ll pedal your way towards the majestic Dolomite mountains on point-to-point rides with slightly longer breaks in Colfosco and Bormio. Discover charming Italian villages and culture, and savour local dishes each evening before enjoying some well-deserved R&R at top-notch accommodation.
The ESC Tour of Tuscany: This immersive road cycling trip through the enchanting Tuscan region of Chianti will take you through quaint villages, vineyards, and UNESCO-listed landscapes. During the trip, you’ll stay in luxurious hotels, including Realis Il Vignale in Radda in Chianti, Villa Curina in Castelnuovo Berardenga, and Osteria dell Orcia in Bagno Vignoni, and sample authentic Italian cuisine and wines, soaking up the rich history of each location. Your guide team will provide lunches featuring fresh, seasonal produce to fuel this bucket-list adventure.
Cycling in Spain
Beyond Girona: This intermediate level 2024 cycling trip offers an in-depth exploration of some of Catalonia’s best roads, mountain passess, historic villages and culture. It starts strong in the Spanish Pyrenees mountains, a common training ground for many professional teams. Over the course of the seven-day tour, discover this region’s charm and beauty through the Alt Empordà wine region, the scenic Costa Brava coastline (once home to Salvador Dalí), and some of Spain’s best preserved Mediaeval towns. The trip draws to a close in our home town of Girona, Catalonia’s cycling mecca, where you’ll enjoy lunch at our Eat Sleep Cycle café in the centre of town. This tour is guided by our ESC team, who will provide you with mechanical support, ride nutrition, water and generally great vibes throughout each ride.
Have a look at these other rides in and around Girona for more inspiration:
Road / Scheduled / Advanced level / Average 78 km per day
Road / Scheduled / Advanced level / Average 92 km per day
The Classic Climbs of Málaga: Málaga is fast becoming one of southern Spain’s most popular destinations among cyclists. It’s also the home of our ESC Málaga Hub, and our expert team of mechanics and specialists. Málaga’s warm climate makes it the ideal location for year-round cycling. Temperatures in December to March don’t get much lower than 12º C during the day, and with over 300 days of sun per year, daily rides are a guarantee. This tour begins with a warm-up ride to el Puerto del León, just outside the city, followed by a wine-tasting tour around the city centre. During the rest of the trip, you’ll discover el Caminito del Rey, the road to El Chorro, the natural wonders of El Torcal de Antequera and some of Andalucía’s charming white hilltop villages. These vibrant climbs are matched by the Málaga’s colourful city centre, bars, restaurants and beachside chiringuitos, where you can sample the local delicacy, espetos (sardines cooked over a fire). For your safety and comfort, we recommend avoiding the hot summer months of July and August.
Have a look at these other rides in and around Andalucía for more inspiration:
Gravel / Scheduled / Advanced level / Average 83 km per day
Road / Self-guided / Intermediate level / Average 66 km per day
The ESC Tour of Mallorca: Touring any of the Spanish islands on two wheels makes for a bucket-list experience, but Mallorca is a particularly special place to ride. This six-night flagship 2024 cycling trip around the Balearic island of Mallorca begins in the capital, Pollença, in the North East, and continues on to explore the island’s picturesque landscapes. What Mallorca lacks in size (spanning just 3,640 km²), it makes up for in colossal climbs worthy of the world’s best cyclists (Sa Calobra, Cap Formentor, Soller), panoramic views from the Tramuntana mountains, and stunning coastal scenery. No Eat Sleep Cycle cycling trip would be complete without an authentic introduction to the local culture, people and food. Led by local guides, you’ll also have the chance to discover the island’s wine region, stay in rural hotels and guesthouses and visit local monuments to soak up Mallorca’s past and present. This is an advanced level tour, covering an average of 90 km each day.
Cycling in Germany, Austria & Italy
The Trans Alps Euro Velo: Check three countries off your list in one go! This self-guided gravel cycling trip has been carefully curated by our Eat Sleep Cycle team to take you on a tour around the cycle paths, trails and quiet back roads of Germany, Austria and Italy. Starting in exciting Munich, you’ll cycle straight into Austria on day 2 and be greeted by the Alps, before heading into Italy on day 3 and continuing to explore charming Italian villages such as Klausen, Trento and Rovereto. This is the ideal introduction to gravel riding and a great option for families with older children who wish to set their own pace.
Cycling in France
The Eat Sleep Cycle Tour of Provence: If you thought you knew Provence, think again. This carefully curated cycling trip has been designed and plotted to blend some of the region’s most renowned highlights with hidden gems. Starting in the Préalpes d’Azur and the stunning Gorges du Verdon, this seven-day tour unfolds through Sisteron-Beuch, Gorges de la Meouge, and Gorges de la Nesque, leading to the charming village of Mazan. The week culminates with the iconic Mont Ventoux, the scene of one of the most gruelling climbs in the Tour de France, which has ascended the mountain eighteen times since 1951. Provence’s charm is ever present as you spend each night in exquisite hotels, including the 4-star Bastide du Calalou, Le Patio de Sophie in Sisteron, and Chateau de Mazan, offering a restful night of R&R. This is an advanced level tour, covering an average of 94 km each day.
Other Eat Sleep Cycline 2024 cycling trips in France include:
Road / Scheduled / Advanced level / Average 68 km per day
Road / Scheduled / Advanced level / Average 78 km per day
Cycling in Slovenia
The ESC Tour of Slovenia: This seven-day road cycling trip from Ljubljana to Lake Bled and the Julian Alps, is the ideal opportunity to explore the scenic wonders of Slovenia. This tour promises the best roads, challenging climbs, stunning nature and warm hospitality in this often overlooked cycling destination. You’ll cross the border into Austria on day 4 before making your way to the crystalline shores of Lake Bled, arguably one of Europe’s most beautiful Alpine lakes, and there’s even the chance to indulge in Michelin-star dining.
Slovenia Gravel: This carefully plotted gravel cycling trip takes you through the heart of Slovenia’s most beautiful landscapes, beginning in the capital Ljubljana, and culminating at the stunning Lake Bled. Some of the highlights include Velika Planina’s shepherds’ settlement, pedalling through the scenic Logar Valley and climbing into the alpine forests of Jezersko. Each night, the hotels offer rewarding views and great-quality food to ensure you are adequately refuelled for the following day. Culture, food, adventure, discovery and unforgettable experiences.
Cycling in the UK & Ireland
The ESC Tour of Yorkshire: Famous for its undulating beauty, lush green countryside and English charm, Yorkshire is one of the most entertaining regions in the UK for cycling. As you ride from coast to coast, you’ll cross the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, conquer Buttertubs Pass, tackle challenging routes to Dent, and marvel at the Ribblehead viaduct. Experience the Lake District, Kendal mint cake and the infamous Hardknott Pass before reaching your destination in the seaside town of Seascale. English delights such as craft beer, afternoon tea and the iconic fish & chips make this ride the ideal blend of culinary delights and great cycling experiences.
Cycling in Portugal
The ESC Algarve Golf and Gravel Tour: This four-day, self-guided cycling trip through the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost and sunniest region, will take you from Portimão to Sagres, over mountains and along the coastline. Tailored for beginner and intermediate cyclists, the routes encompass a mix of gravel and road, which can be adapted to your skill level. But it’s not all about cycling on this trip… Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting at the Flesia Winery and relish a day at the Espiche Golf Resort. As this is a self-guided route, you will be provided with a digital Road Book, containing routes, detailed route descriptions, hotel information and our recommended places to stop along the way and in the evenings. For safety and comfort, we also recommend you are able to perform basic bike maintenance tasks.
The best cycling trips outside of Europe
In our quest to curate some of the best cycling trips in the world, we’ve travelled far and wide and met with some inspiring teams and individuals. As of 2024, Eat Sleep Cycle offers cycling tours in Uganda, Morocco, Chile and Argentina. We are incredibly proud of our on-the-ground teams in each country, ready to welcome and host your stay and cycling adventure.
Cycling in Uganda
Uganda Gravel Adventure: Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa”, home to a myriad of wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and a warm and friendly population. This nine-day gravel adventure is the perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the country’s unique landscapes, wildlife and culture on two wheels. Pedal through tropical rainforests teeming with monkeys, observe the majesty of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and embark on a cycling safari through the Queen Elizabeth National Park home to lions, buffaloes, and elephants. This 2024 cycling trip promises an unforgettable experience, with stays in local lodges, guesthouses, and safari camps in the heart of this vibrant country. This is an advanced level tour, covering an average of 60 km each day. We recommend travelling in the dry seasons, from June to August and from December to February.
Cycling in Morocco
The ESC Morocco Atlas Mountains Tour: As soon as you set foot in Marrakesh, the journey into this majestic land and unforgettable trip begins. This tour is the ideal choice for riders looking to completely immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Arab, Berber, and European cultures that define Morocco’s culture. Famous for their warm and generous hospitality, your guides and hosts will introduce you to local cuisine, traditions and endless pots of tea! Conquer the magnificent Tizi n’Tichka pass, and pedal across the captivating Agafay desert, spend a night camping in the High Atlas Mountains. This is an advanced level tour, covering an average of 65 km each day.
Cycling in Patagonia
Patagonia gravel. The great divide: Gravel cycling in Patagonia is an unparalleled experience. This scheduled gravel cycling trip takes you up and over the peaks of the Great Divide running through southern Chile and Argentina. The region offers endless tracks and trails that take you through its vast wilderness and untouched landscapes. Between the windswept plains and the jagged peaks of the Torres del Paine National Park, you can expect a mix of challenging climbs, awe-inspiring views, and a humbling sense of nature’s grandeur. Even spend a night sleeping under the stars. This is an advanced level tour, covering an average of 76 km each day.
Gravel / Self-guided / Leisure / Average 56 km per day
If you’re inspired to ride but need more information, please contact our travel experts for tips and advice.