First of all, you should discuss the route with your children. Tell them everything about your destination and describe as much curiosities along the journey as possible because when you make them looking forward to a trip, things will run smoother and easier. When you get them into the planning phase, their sense of responsibility for the event will grow and they will take it more seriously. It’s always better to see them enjoying the program than listening to them sobbing and demanding immediate ending of the trip and coming back to the warmth of home.
When planning, it is also important to consider the resilience of your young companions. It’s always recommended to adapt the length of the route so it will suit the youngest child. With the help of some previous cycling experiences, it’s believed that children over 6 years can cycle up to 30 km a day without a bigger effort. The older the kids, the longer adventures can be taken. With these small explorers, it’s better to avoid steep slopes and descents as well as roads with loose surface. In case you enter such a terrain, however, there’s no need for panic, because kids tackle everything much easier than we usually expect.
Prior to a longer trip, think about some shortcuts and make a backup plan just in case the weather changes or kids get exhausted. Even adult cyclists can throw a tantrum and give up when they get suddenly hungry or overheated. A playground with an ice cream truck will serve for a convenient break when children start complaining.
Because you must have already heard about the highly recommended family trips following Danube or Elbe cycle paths, this time we are offering you 3 beautiful, less famous routes.
Family trip around Baltic coastline – (108 km in 8 days)
Discover the most beautiful coastline of the German Baltic sea with your children. Short stages give you plenty of time for exploring and hanging around. You can visit the Rostock Zoo with 4500 animals, take a boat down the Warnow river, learn interesting facts in the Darsser Arche nature museum, admire the incredible size of OZEANEUM in Stralsund, and visit the tropical water park Hansedom in Stralsund. Along the journey there will be kilometres of beaches for swimming, playing, and building sandcastles. Your cycling holiday starts in Rostock and you will follow the cycling path heading east over Prerow and Zings to Strjalsund. Your daily portion of cycling will not exceed 30 kilometres.
Around the lakes in Salzkammergut area (104 km in 8 days)
Salzkammergut is a popular lake district in one of the most impressive regions of Austria. With children in your peloton, to enhance your trip with a lot of amusement is almost a requirement. This tour is overflowing with things that children may like: riding the summer bobsled, a ship ride on a lake, visiting an Abarena amusement park or descending into the oldest salt mine in the world. The trip starts in St. Gilgen and runs along the safety cycle paths through Abersee, Bad Goisern and Halstatt to Bad Ischl. The described route we find as the most suitable for kids, however, you can bite off your own chunk from the 345km-long “Salzkammergut Cycle Way” which passes around 13 lakes and the most beautiful villages of the area.
Around the Bornholm island (103 km in 8 days)
Although Copenhagen is considered one of Europe’s most cycle-friendly cities, many of its citizens escape the metropolis each summer and change it for the Baltic island of Bornholm. You can reach it by about 30-minute flight from Copenhagen airport, or by a ferry from Sweden and Germany. The island is well known for its white-sand beaches and mystic rock formations calling to be explored. The entire coastal loop No. 10 is just slightly over 100 kilometres, being the shortest national cycling route of Denmark. Short distances between small villages, beautiful beaches, children-friendly campsites, and an excellent tourist infrastructure allow you to enjoy a well-dosed mixture of cycling and lazing on the beautiful beaches. The individual stages are often, but not always mapped out along car-free routes, so that self-driving children should have a basic road safety awareness. Also, it is important to note that the island is not free of incline; on several stages, there are numerous small climbs which are difficult for children.