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If you really want to get off the beaten track to discover a place, cycling is a fantastic option. Pedaling at your own pace offers a wonderful sense of freedom, and enables you to have experiences that wouldn’t happen on foot or by car.
Rather than simply ‘scratch the surface’ of your destination, travelling by bike means that secret alleyways, hidden forest paths and winding village streets lead the way and take you closer to incredible nature and culture. Be it for exercise, exploration and/or exhilaration, we say: saddle up and go for it!
Duration: 3 hours
Swap the lure of the Bali’s beaches for some action on a bicycle, with a side of culture and adrenaline thrown in for good measure. Spend a night in the Batur Caldera on the slopes of Mount Batur’s volcano, witness the famous sunrise, and then embark on breezy one to three-hour cycle — or rather, freewheel — down the 25m single track of the volcano’s flanks, surrounded by natural beauty. Along the way you pass through villages, coffee plantations, gardens and seas of rice terraces. Just don’t get too distracted!
2. Sri Lanka
Duration: 3 hours
For a bike ride with views of lush green paddy fields, tea plantations, electric blue kingfishers, big buffalo, village life and temples, cycle through Sri Lanka’s beautiful countryside. Start early at Wijaya Beach and opt for Galle’s winding backroads, passing through verdant paddy valleys. Continue along the north west shoreline of Koggala Lake. Stop at the gloriously decadent Kahanda Kanda hotel for lunch before riding to the beach in time for a sunset swim or cocktail.
Duration: Half a day
Topping the list of attractions on Maui is Haleakala National Park. A thrilling way to see it is by descending the backside of the volcano on mountain bikes. The journey starts at 10,023 feet from the summit of Haleakala, with amazing coastal views of Maui and the Big Island on clear days. The 37km ride is mostly downhill, so enjoy the ride. You’ll go through moonscapes of the Skyline trail, the pine forest of the Mamane trail, the misty waddle forest and the open fields of Waipoli Road before finishing at a lavender farm.
Duration: One day
Level: Beginner to intermediate
You know the Chele-la Free wheel ride in Bhutan is going to be fun just by its name. Whether you drive to Chele-la and travel to Paro, or travel to Haa valley from Chela-la, both routes are serene and stunning. The roads are free wheel all the way, whisking through pristine blue pines for 37 km with Bhutan’s highest mountain, Jhomolhari, in the distance. The Haa valley is one of Bhutan’s most untouched as it was closed to tourists until 2002. Either way, the combination of forest, fresh country air and freedom make this area a cycling must-see.
5. Cape Town
Duration: 3 days
Cape Town’s carpets of flowers, coastal scenery, quaint fishing villages and reserves of plains games make the Cape West Coast beautiful, uncomplicated and spectacular – especially when seen on two-wheels. Several tours await, but we recommend the three-day excursion which starts at Bushman and takes in Cape Floral Kingdom, the village of Yzerfontein and the seaside town of Paternoster with activities such as beach walking, a bike safari, kayaking, mountain viewing and champagne sipping en route.
Duration: 12 days
This isn’t one for the faint-hearted as it takes around 12 days to complete. The journey sees you covering 580km of remote altiplano full of alpacas and llamas, remote Andean lakes and villages. On certain days, your backdrop will even include a snow capped mountain. Cycle from Peru’s Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake standing at 3,820 metres, to the lost city of Machu Picchu. Be sure to ,ake a pit-stop at several Inca ruins along the way and complete your trip in the beautiful ancient Inca capital of Cusco where a strong Pisco Sour can be waiting for you!