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5 Cycling Destinations to Explore in 2020

By Megan Flottorp

Looking for some inspiration for your 2020 cycling adventure? The holidays are the perfect time to get planning. With family obligations, parties, dinners, and gift shopping likely eating into some of your riding time, it’s nice to take a few minutes to yourself and start dreaming up your next big cycling escape. Here are five destinations that we’d be thrilled to explore by bike in the coming year!

Have an adventure in Cambodia and Vietnam

Offering a hugely diverse set of cycling opportunities, discovering Southeast Asia by bike is a truly rewarding experience. Vietnam, in particular, has become one of the best destinations for cycling tours in Indochina. From Hanoi to Saigon, to Sapa and Halong Bay, you can take in a vast amount of history and nature, while also enjoying a quirky experience like spending the night on a junk boat or taking in a water puppet show in Hanoi. Of course, a beach break is definitely in order and there are plenty of combination cycling trips from Thailand to Vietnam through Cambodia, and Laos.

Tour to check out

This off-the-beaten-track adventure guides you from Angkor Wat in Cambodia to Hoi An in Vietnam. Venturing away from the tourist trail for something a little more remote, you’ll get an authentic experience by exploring quiet roads, dirt trails, small villages, and riverside towns. This tour includes a day of kayaking down the Mekong River, a chance to meet rescued Cambodian wildlife and, to cap it all off, you’ll sail into the UNESCO city of Hoi An before riding the last rewarding miles by bike.

Angkor Wat

Get carried away in Portugal

An increasingly hot tourist destination thanks to its gorgeous sights, mild temperature, and friendly prices, exploring Portugal by bike is not something to miss. A great option regardless of your level, you can take it at your own pace, enjoying all that this bountiful country has to offer. With a temperate climate all year long, you can choose the sea at your side, to go up and down the mountains, or to meander through the towns and villages.

Tour to check out

Known as the ‘top to bottom challenge,’ this trip starts on the Spanish border in Valencia and ends on the Algarve coast just east of Faro. You’ll begin looking out over the river to Spain while exploring the spectacular hills of Northern Portugal. It is then off to the coast, where you’ll slowly work your way down the country’s gorgeous seaside paths before reaching the Spanish border in the northern Algarve. Riding conditions get progressively easier as the country flattens but the scenery is always great.

The beauty of Portugal

See a different side of the South-Central United States

Looking to have a cultural experience in America? Why not check out the home of Bluegrass and bourbon, and an increasingly must-visit cycling destination. You might not think of cycling when you hear the name Kentucky but a word to the wise, here you’ll find everything from the Appalachian Mountains to acres of rolling hills and green pastures. Kentucky’s thousands of miles of roadways even include a few specially designated Kentucky Bicycle Routes. In fact, the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, which traverses from the Pacific Coast to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, includes 600 miles of cycling in Kentucky.

Tour to check out

Paying tribute to the best of what this part of America has to offer, this tour will take you through the Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky, which features world-class horse farms, distilleries producing premier spirits, and the history of a bygone era. Trip highlights include a private tour and tasting at Castle & Key Distillery, a cruise on the Kentucky River and a visit to MeadowCreek Farm to learn about the equine culture.

A farm in Kentucky

Get Your Gravel on in Girona

Known as a cycling mecca for the pros, look at Girona with a fresh set of eyes and discover some of its barely-ridden gravel courses. A gravel wonderland waiting to be discovered, it is said that for every classic Girona climb, there’s a rival gravel version. Ever wondered if there was a different way to get to Banyoles Lake, for example? There sure is, you can do it on gravel.

Tour to check out

The gravel courses at this camp will leave your legs burning and your heart begging for more. In addition to riding old dirt roads in the beautiful region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the old castles and architecture of Girona, dine on traditional Catalan cuisine and lounge in some sleek modern hotels.

Aerial view of Girona with cathedral Santa Maria and basilica Sant Feliu, Spain. © kama71 / DPphoto / Profimedia

Mountain bike your way through Nepal

A nice alternative to India, Nepal offers some truly astonishing cycling opportunities, with less noise and traffic. As the towns and cities are smaller here, you’ll still get a taste of the frenetic energy of South Asian while being able to get a good sleep at night. You can explore the quiet of the mountains and fertile fields of the Katmandu valley and come to appreciate for yourself why the Nepalese are so proud of their country.

Tour to check out

Nepal Mountain Bike tour is specially designed to take you deep into the culture and lifestyle of the local people and show you the best trails in the Himalayas. You will spend nine days discovering wild and challenging trails through some of the most stunning scenic and cultural landscapes in the world. You will remember this journey for its unique beauty as well as its challenging mountain biking terrain.