There are so many great places to visit on holidays to Central Europe, from the bustling cities around Germany and Poland to the picturesque countryside of Austria and the Czech Republic.
While you can take the easy option of picking just one European destination for a getaway, we implore you to hop aboard a bicycle and see as much of this wonderful part of the continent as possible.
Here’s a guide for getting the most out of a cycling holiday to Central Europe:
Where should I go?
The great thing about cycling is that it’s up to you to choose the route; you can pick your starting and finishing point, adapting the route to call in at places and sites that interest you.
Feel free to head on a self-guided bike ride if you would like to explore a region at your own pace, though we also urge you to consider sticking to a route set up by a specialist travel agent.
There are many companies out there of fellow travelers who have used their experience of exploring the globe to create some amazing routes such as the Prague to Budapest Ride.
Over the course of 11 days you will have visited Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where diversity is particularly appealing: one day you will have the chance to cycle alongside the Vltava River in the Czech Republic, before being in awe of the quaint villages of north east Austria a few days later.
A stop-off in Vienna is great for those of you who like to go sightseeing too, as is a visit to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. Finish your ride by following the majestic Danube River, before passing below the Visegrad Castle in Hungary.
There are many options and companies out there that can suit every need but the above route is the one I would go with.
How about if I don’t want to cross borders?
Rather centre your cycling on just one country in Central Europe? Again you can pick your own route and travel at your own pace or head to one of the many companies that offer the service of setting it all up for you. I prefer to do my own thing but I have met many people that were thrilled to leave the planning to the experts.
Check out the incredible range of trails that allow you to discover the Gothic culture that the Czech Republic is famous for or romantic routes across Slovakia that are perfectly suited for couples of every skill level. All the countries in Central Europe have more than enough to offer in terms of sights and historical value to keep you busy. No need to change countries if you prefer not to.
What should I pack?
If you’re heading on a cycling holiday, your suitcase is going to be packed quite differently to travelers seeking a city break or a week or two by the beach.
Safety is paramount so make sure you have a tough bike helmet and comfortable cycle armour – knee pads and elbow pads included – ready to put on once you reach your destination.
You can never predict the weather across Central Europe either, so prepare for every setting. A pair of goggles and some gloves will keep you snug if you get caught up in a rain or snow shower, while sun cream and loose-fitting clothing is more suitable if you encounter a heatwave.
Be sure to pick your bicycle wisely too. Rides from B'Twin, which are available for great prices at Decathlon, are great example of a perfect bike for navigating the challenging hills and winding routes of Central Europe. After all, the brand’s commitment to hand-build their bicycles from scratch has allowed them to create a loyal customer base over the past half a decade.
What do you think, is a bike tour in your future?