Europe, with its rich culture and heritage, has been the Mecca for travelers since the earliest of times. With cities that offer mild weather and picturesque charm to the snowy Alpine slopes and immortal Mediterranean shores, Europe is an explorer?s delight.
The first bicycles were invented and used in Europe, as early as 1818 and with European colonization, the ingenious machine became popular around the world. People went around the entire continent on bicycles, exploring the diversity of the land even before the term ‘bicycle tours’ was invented. The practice became popular as an inexpensive and exciting alternative to road and rail travel. After nearly two centuries, the bicycle remains one of the most popular means of transport and recreation in Europe.
When people think of European bicycle tours, the first thing that they think of is the Tour de France, an amazing cycling race that transverses the entire French landscape. However, the Tour is a competitive sporting event, whereas a ‘bicycle tour’ is a leisure activity that generally forms, part of a guided vacation. Whether riders chose to cycle through Europe, on their own or as part of a package vacation, planning is essential. Details such as the budget, the duration of the trip, the countries and regions all have to be charted out carefully. Riders need to acquaint themselves with the general topography, of each region as well as the local climate, and the best season, to visit a particular place. It is highly recommended that riders map out a route, and take note of all motels, lodges and B&B?s along it, to ensure that they have a place to stay, every time they wish to rest.
One of the biggest impediments to a smooth European bicycle tour, are the large language variations within the region. The best way to overcome this problem is to learn a few phrases in the most popular languages, and carry an ample supply of dictionaries, maps and guidebooks.