The family that cycles together...

Posted 03 Jun 2015

Some may think a relaxing holiday involves nothing more than a beach, a sun lounger and a good book, but active holidays can also provide plenty of opportunities to unwind. Cycling holidays keep the whole family entertained while offering all the health benefits of fresh air and exercise. Some of Europe's most famous sights are best explored by bicycle, giving you the chance to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Garmisch and the Romantic Castles

Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany's romantic castles contain hundreds of years of history within their walls. Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, you may remember Neuschwanstein as the castle used in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and children might recognise it as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland. You will also have the chance to visit another of King Ludwig II's castles, Linderhof, which has its own underground grotto and lake. The mountain resort of Garmisch Partenkirchen is the perfect place to rest after a day of cycling and sightseeing. It's home to award-winning restaurants such as Joseph Naus Stub'n at Hotel Zugspitze, which serves local Murnau-Werdenfelser beef from cattle reared purely on an organic diet of grass from the surrounding Alpine meadows. Garmisch also contains multiple mountain lakes and picturesque natural lidos for swimming and boating, such as the Kainzenbad, with its two water slides, diving platform and separate children's pool.

Südtirol, Lake Garda and Valpolicella

Südtirol, Lake Garda and Valpolicella

Explore picturesque, quiet roads that wind down through to the beautiful landscape of South Tyrol. You can expect to breeze your way past apple orchards, vineyards and olive trees, set against a backdrop of beautiful mountain scenery. Plenty of lakes along the way provide the chance to cool off, and stopping to enjoy a spot of al fresco lunch at one of the many waterside restaurants is highly recommended. Choose the terrace of the 16th century Castel Toblino and try the canederlotti (dumplings) with chanterelles and alpine cheese for a taste of some delicious local cuisine. Plenty of pizza and pasta options will keep children happy and parents can visit the local vineyards before heading onwards to Verona. As the historic home of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, a visit to the 13th century Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's house) is a must.

Pearls of Istria in Croatia

Pearls of Istria in Croatia

Pretty coastal towns, freshly caught local seafood and plenty of sun, sand and surf characterise this delightful cycle tour through Croatia. The cycling is mostly on quiet, picturesque roads that hug the coastline, or roll through vineyards. Beach bars serve up ice cold drinks against sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea, whilst fishing villages and harbour towns are responsible for a mouthwatering array of seafood restaurants. Locally caught sardines taste delicious freshly grilled, served with a simple green salad and washed down with a cold glass of Istrian wine. In Poreč, Baredine cave is well worth a visit. As well as stalactites and stalagmites, the cave is home to the strange looking olm – or "human fish" – a rare salamander found only in the karst region.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your family holiday with BSpoke here.

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