9 Delicious Cycling Routes featuring Culinary Delights

Bicycle touring is a great way to see beautiful places from a unique perspective. The opportunity to sample delicious local cuisines along the way rewards those who choose this sustainable form of exploration. As varied as those who enjoy bike trips, are the culinary cycling routes beckoning around the world.

We’ve selected 9 particular routes because of the breathtaking countrysides they pass through, as well as the authentic food accessible along the way. Get intrigued by the following images, See where the routes lead, learn a bit about each trip with options to dig deeper:

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Photo showing San Francisco as seen from the top of Mt. Tam in Marin County
San Francisco seen from Marin County – Noah Friedlander

Golden Gate Bridge, Bike, and Brew Tour, California, USA

This was our favourite among the many culinary cycling routes along U.S. Route 95 we treasured when we lived in the Bay Area. First, the ride leads you through some of the famous streets of San Francisco. Then, you get to feel the ocean breeze while crossing the Golden Gage Bridge. And finally, you end up winding your way into tranquil Marin County. Rewarding yourself with a cool beer and a yummy treat at Bar Bocce makes the cycling trip delicious. Catching the Sausalito Ferry back turns the excursion into an epic experience. If you want to see more before your return, you can bike into the Marin Headlands for views like the above from Mt. Tamalpais, for instance. To find out more or arrange a trip, check out blazing-saddles or get-your-guide.

Photo showing a bicyclist on one of the epic cycling routes around Mallorca
Cap Formentor on Mallorca – Markus Storck

Tramontana Coastal Route, Mallorca, Spain

Part of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain, Mallorca attracts cyclists from around the world. On our recent visit, we got to find out why. Exhilarating vistas kept spurring us on while exploring some of the epic cycling routes along the coast. Some are fun for families, while others are quite demanding due to steep elevation gains. Either way, they all pass through stunning terrain with cute towns to stop at for a bite of fresh local cuisine. For these reasons, Mallorca has earned its reputation as a paradise for bicyclists of all levels. We especially recommend the Tramontana Coastal Road between Valldemossa and Sóller. This stretch offers both: an exhilarating ride along the island’s beautiful north west coast, with a climb up the Coll de Sóller, if you are so inclined. Should you desire help organising your trip, there are plenty of operators.

Photo showing the Uferrundweg around Lake Chiemsee, a famous cycling route with the Bavarian Alps in the background
Chiemsee with Bavarian Alps in Background – Bergfex

Chiemsee Uferrundweg, Bavaria, Germany

After we moved to Bavaria, I took my American husband on one of the most epic cycling routes around Lake Chiemsee. As a teenager, I’d already loved biking the 60K around the “Bavarian Sea” to my vacation job guiding tours in King Ludwig II’s castle on Herrenchiemsee. The bike trail has not lost any appeal since. In fact, every season brings its special delight. In spring, thousands of irises line the path. Summer makes the lake sparkle. Riding through autumn foliage turns the ride into a colourful spectacle. And during winter the snowy path enchants. Best of all, fantastic views of the lake with the Alps rising up behind impress regardless of season. And of course, quaint Bavarian villages tempt riders with local specialities at convenient intervals along the way.

Photo showing Bellagio at Lake Como, as viewed from the western shore to south-east with Grigna Mountains in the background.
Bellagio at Lake Como – Yoyborg

Giro di Lombardia, Como, Italy

When I moved from Munich to Milan for my first college internship, I naively decided to bring my bicycle. As it turned out, though, riding a bike in Milan is not for the faint of heart. After just one week in the capital of fashion and design, I reconsidered. Luckily, I was was able to store my bike with friends in Bergamo for weekend excursions instead. It was a sound, enriching decision. In Northern Italian, options for great rides abound. For instance, I loved exploring different stretches of the famous Giro di Lombardia. Especially beautiful is the ride around Bergamo, as well as stretches alongside Lago di Como. Amazing vistas are a given, as shown in the photo above. Of course, everywhere you stop, great Italian food can be had, too. Once the ride is over, the culinary adventure begins!

Photo showing bikers crossing a bridge in Amsterdam with Westerkerk in the background, one of the epic cycling routes in the city
Amsterdam with Westerkerk in the background – Jorge Royan

Waterland Loop, Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam is arguably the oldest and most famous bicycle friendly city in the world. For good reason, as ~60% of trips occur by bike in the Dutch capital. Bicyclists get to ride on separated pathways with cycling-specific traffic signals. For this reason, most Dutch take the bike as the city’s quickest, most enjoyable, and most effective form of transportation. Of course, for tourist it is fun to bike through the old town. While getting fresh air, it’s a delight to pass over historic bridges and ride along picturesque canal banks. Refreshing Dutch treats are available almost everywhere. If you want to get a good overview, a bike tour is a good way. If you want to stay independent, rent a bike. One of the most epic cycling routes for more ambitious riders is the Waterland Loop.

Photo showing Torii path with a hanging lantern at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Senbontorii
Torii path at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Senbontorii – Basile Morin

Historic Monument Tour, Kyoto, Japan

It may come as a surprise that Japan follows right behind Amsterdam and Denmark among the leading biking nations. Moreover, Tokyo has the highest bicycle density of the world’s most populated cities. Beyond that, biking is an effective and fun mode of transportation among visitors as well. There are many quaint places as well as bike routes to explore the scenic island in a sustainable way. Our favourite is a monument tour of Kyoto by bike. After all, the ancient city is interspersed with historic temples and shrines throughout. The wide roads, ubiquitous bike paths, and considerate drivers of Kyoto make for a wonderful urban riding experience. Along the way, yummy traditional snacks can be sampled. And at the end of the tour, great Japanese fare is always a reward.

Photo showing View of Riverfront of Hội An with colourful wooden boats in the forefront.
View of Riverfront of Hội An – Supanut Arunoprayute

Exploring Vietnam from the seat of your bicycle guarantees the best views. For one, riding by lush green rice fields and through magical rainforests is sheer bliss. In addition, the people you encounter will likely make lasting impressions. Most importantly perhaps, there are many opportunities for steeping yourself in history. For example, a city with great bicycle-friendly surroundings is Hoi An. In 1999 its old town was declared a World Heritage Site as an example of a well-preserved former Southeast Asian trading port. Cycling through the city at night is especially enchanting, when antique lanterns illuminate the paths and culinary delights beckon. Beyond that, riding from village to village gets you close to the local way of life. For cycling routes away from the beaten paths, we recommend a local tour specialist with good credentials.

Photo showing Vineyard in Avatere Valley, Marlborough Country in Fall
Vineyard in Avatere Valley, Marlborough Country – Phillip Capper

New Zealand is a country that may not immediately come to mind when contemplating culinary cycling routes. However, it has made itself a name for bicycle trips where great local food is readily available, competing with South East Asia for budget conscious travellers. In fact, there is even a route named Tasman’s Great Taste Trail for the array of delectable experiences it has to offer. After all, the close proximity to micro breweries, award winning wineries and cute cafés allows you to feast on and off the trail. Along the way, you get to wind your way through picturesque countryside and along the breathtaking Tasman Bay coastline. We recommend trying Nelson’s famous aromatic smoked seafood.

Photo showing the 2022 Tour de France heading into Garcassone
Tour de France 2022 Etape 16 – Charly Lopez

Last but not least, we just had to feature a French culinary cycling route to finish strong. After all, there is the Tour de France to serve as a great inspiration. For one, it is the most prestigious multi-stage bike race in the world for a good reason. Secondly, the route leads through some stunning French countryside. Third, when it comes to the culinary aspects, leave it to the French. They take care of your tastebuds while being busy cycling or recovering. Besides the fresh local treats to be had while on the road, there are also convenient online marketplaces such as “lebonpicnic.com.” There, you can order a delicious locally-made picnic before hitting the trail. For great options check out the amateur guide of the Tour de France stages.

For active travellers there is perhaps no finer way to explore the sights and delights of the world than by bicycle. We hope we were able to inspire you. No matter whether it’s your annual cycling holiday or a one-off, once in a lifetime trip, there’s nothing quite like venturing out on any of the above cycle routes.

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