Long distance bike touring gets more and more popular, so we have caught up with some of the most interesting cycling adventurers and asked them about their favorite destinations.
Here they share their 159 favorite bike touring destinations, so you can see where you should go when you start your bike trip around the world!
So there are plenty of gorgeous destinations to travel by bike in the world. Here are some of the few out of hundreds that pro cycling adventurers recommend:
Honshu Island, Japan
Japan has many great cycling trails. Biking couple Alee recommends Honshu Island for those who love pristine scenery. Unlike the popularly visited Tokyo area, Honshu Island preserves the stunning Japanese countryside without heavy urban development ruining the skyline. Here cyclists can enjoy clear rivers, panoramic mountain ranges and meet the nicest villagers.
The Great Dividing Range, Australia
Cyclist Alia Parker recommends riding through Australia?s Great Dividing Range, the third longest mountain range in the world. The rather short peaks here are ancient, and the scenery is to die for. Amazingly enough, the climate along the range can vary from outback to rainforest to alpine. Along the wind, roads are also scenic rural farms rolling fields. It?s easy to forget the hustle and bustle of big cities like Sydney here.
James Thomas, an ardent ?bikepacker? recommends taking the Lungar to Mon bike trail in Nagaland, northeastern India. Be aware that this trail is not for the frail. The two weeks ride to Mon is quite grueling, according to Thomas, and cyclists will face rough roads and cold weather. Mon is a charming hill station in the area so cyclists will be riding uphill. The track includes a visit to a scenic village on the Indo-Myanmar border. Cyclists can rest here and meet a headhunting tribe. This is definitely a cycling tour for those who truly love adventure.
Ma Pi Leng Pass
Thomas also recommends the jaw-dropping Ma Pi Leng Pass in Vietnam. The cycling trail here varies from slow rides through verdant paddy fields to thrilling, adrenaline-pumping ride from Dong Van to Meo Vac. The trail includes stops to visit tribes, including one that tends to an elusive flower. The trail also goes through captivating mountain ranges untouched by pollution. This is a great trail for women to explore too. Women Cycle the World has great guides for female cyclists wishing to explore Asia.
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, U.S.
Jeff Bartlett highly recommends the Great Divide route to all mountain biking enthusiasts. This is, in fact, one of the most classic mountain bikes trails in the world. It is definitely challenging, so the route may not be for beginners. Cyclists will get to ride along the length of the Rocky Mountains. The scenery is great, and the thrill is even greater.
Patagonia Region, Argentina, and Chile
Patagonia is a rough landscape encompassing both Argentina and Chile. The place is definitely not for tourists. It?s rough and lacks facilities. However, the landscape makes up for everything else. Bartlett highly recommended this region for highly rewarding cycling rides. It?s a great trail for those who wish to ride forever without interruptions.
Everywhere in Iceland, away from the main highway, is the destination cyclists Benoit Charra and Michele Titcombe recommend to cyclists. Iceland has a unique landscape. The place has vast open spaces and volcanic landscapes that shockingly resemble the Middle Earth from J.R.R Tolkien?s fantasy novels. (All right, maybe not so shocking because Tolkien was inspired by Iceland when he created the Middle Earth.) Cycling through Iceland will make you genuinely believe in giants and fairies.
Switzerland is very much a bike-friendly country. There are trails all over, but none are more captivating than the Bern-Dornbirn routes that snake through the Alps. Cyclist Carl Georg Rasmussen loves the trails, and says they are very quiet, safe and offers truly amazing views. If you ever want to cycle through the Alps, these trails should be on top of your bucket list.
Mojave Desert, U.S.
The majestic Mojave indeed offers some of the best desert cycling trails in the world. Indeed, the landscape is vast and hard to believe at first. Cyclists may have to put up with a bit of heat, but pro rider Cary Gray says it?s completely worth it. The desert landscape is full of surprises, and the starlit night is truly breathtaking.
Charlie Walker recommended this unconventional cycling destination: Iran. Despite what you may see on the news, Walker assures that Iranians are the world?s friendliest people. Cycling through this ancient land is great for discovering wonderful ancient sites and fascinating archeological wonders. There is a variety of landscapes cyclists can enjoy, as Iran is not limited to the desert. Plus, Walker points out that there?s plenty of cheap street food to enjoy.
Walker also recommended the Lusaka-Copperbelt cycling trail in Zambia for those who seek unconventional destinations to tour. Africa is known for safaris, not cycling. So this route is one of the few that cyclists can enjoy without worrying about stumbling upon a lion. The route goes through quaint villages, not wilderness, so it?s a great way to enjoy life and scenery of the continent at a leisurely pace.
Away from the smog-filled southern cities like Beijing, China offers many wonders for cyclists. Western China has some of the best cycling trails in Asia, which come highly recommended by the cyclist duo Daniele and Simona. The landscapes are absolutely mesmerizing. The route will go through mountain ranges that border Tibet. The roads are good and pose only natural challenges. The villagers living in the area are also very welcoming.
Alcan Highway, Canada
Cyclists who want to enjoy great climbs, spot wildlife and stop by beautiful lakes should head off to the Alcan Highway in Canada, says Dave Conroy, a lifelong cycling tourist. The highway stretches from Whitehorse to Fort Nelson and offers some of the best scenery Canada has to offer. The route is not too challenging so even beginners can enjoy.
Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Indonesia?s Lesser Sunda Islands are known for their paradise beaches and otherworldly landscapes. Cyclist Florian highly recommends this trail for those who want to enjoy riding along lonely beaches, quiet villages and paths flanked by rainforest. This area of Indonesia is not congested by tourists like Bali so cyclists can enjoy tours in peace. Stops can be arranged to tour the villages and meet the locals who sometimes help cyclists make it to the end of the tour.
Florian also recommends the awesome bike trails of New Zealand, one of the most breathtaking places on earth. Florian says everywhere in New Zealand is great for touring. However, the Otago, Wilderness, Around the Mountains, and The Alps to the Ocean trails are particularly rewarding, he says. You can even enjoy the captivating landscapes shown in movies like the ?Lord of the Rings.?
Shokhdara Valley, Tajikistan
Frederika Ek recommended a truly unique cycling trail for touring enthusiasts, the little known Shokhdara Valley routes in Tajikistan. The roads can be rigid and rough, but Ek says they are very rewarding as well. Cyclists can explore mountain trails as well.
The Tibetan Plateau
Ek also highly recommends the ancient mountain passes of the Tibetan Plateau to cyclists. The scenery is magical and the mountain passes were used in ancient times to trade spices and silk. Ek says one can ride all day and never get tired of the alien-like scenery.
Where would you go to really enjoy bikepacking?