The e-bike has done so much more for cycling holidays than give them power. They have empowered adventurers to get back in the saddle and feel overshadowed by expert cyclists who conquer cols all year round, or for whom Lycra is a second skin. It’s as if the arrival of the e-bike has democratised cycling. When they first arrived on the scene traditional cyclists were cynical, and now many are going electrical. E-bikes have gone from niche to norm, which is why we don’t specifically list e-bike holidays. We just have cycling holidays with an option for vélos with volts. Some of these are easy, flat routes but, for this blog, we are highlighting some of our tougher trails, made so much more accessible by powering up.
Traversing the Pyrenees, France
Follow in the slipstream of cycling greats on the mammoth journey across the French Pyrenees from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Spend eight days on this colossal route, powering up in the medieval port town of Collioure, and down again in surfy Saint-Jean-de-Luz. You do need to power up in between, of course, but you can go for 90km without charging on these e-bikes, and there is an option to carry a spare battery as well. This depends on how much boost you opt when climbing to the likes of Col de Portet d’Aspet (1,069 m) or Col de Menté (1,369m), two of the Tour de France high spots. Or the road between Soulor Pass (1,474m) and Col d’Aubisque (1,710 m), considered one of Pyrenees’ finest. This holiday is also accessible by train making it a seriously mean, green trip.
Easy peasy Pyreneesy.
The Grand Crossing, French Alps
Starting on the French shores of Lake Geneva in Thonon-les-Bains, your first day of cycling is through the famous Portes du Soleil area, one of the finest windows onto the alpine terrain that lies ahead. Spend eight days cycling through mountain magnificence on this Grand Crossing of the French Alps, spending nights in renowned resorts Bourg-Saint-Maurice or Aussois and the medieval fortress town of Briançon. From Mont Blanc to the Med at Menton, cycling highlights along the way include Mercantour National Park or the Tarentaise and Maurienne Valleys, with views across Vanoise National Park. You don’t need a yellow jersey for this trip. You just need plenty of juice in the tank. This trip is also reachable by rail.
Camino Primitivo by bike, Spain
Although the Camino Primitivo is considered the original camino, it’s actually one of the quietest, perhaps because it is also more demanding in parts. It takes you between Oviedo, the capital of Asturias and Santiago de Compostela. You can cycle all of it in a strenuous eight days or opt for a more moderate 11 days. However, you don’t have to suffer for your spirituality, and having an option for e-bikes has made the Primitivo a very pretty option for pilgrims. This carefully crafted itinerary offers shorter and longer routes too, following either mountain trails or quiet country roads, the latter running parallel to the historical footpath. In both cases, you see all the major highlights, including the passes of Puerto del Palo (1,146m) and Alto del Acebo (1,030m), an array of ancient religious sites and, of course, the cities of Oviedo, Lugo and Santiago.
Cycling across the Alps: Munich to Venice
Turn a triathlon of three countries into a fun-athon, using an e-bike to carry you on this wonderfully crafted itinerary through Germany, Austria and Italy. Starting in Munich and finishing in Venice, both accessible by rail, spend nine days cycling through Bavaria, along the River Isar into Austria as far as the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. This is the only point where you use a train to ease the pain, which cuts through the Brennero Pass, the border between Austria and Italy. This is your gateway to the Dolomites’ Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks), following an old railway line. Power through to Venice, cycling on cloud nine via its Adriatic coast at Mestre.
Feeling Dolomighty on an e-bike.
Cycling the Coast to Coast, England
Make it an even breezier Coast to Coast cycling holiday following the C2C route on an electric bike over six days. Starting in the west, at Whitehaven on the Irish Sea, you cover 220km before you get to Tynemouth on the east coast which, slightly confusingly for non-Brits, is on the North Sea. In between, you cycle through some of England’s finest natural heritage, including the Lake District, Pennines and Yorkshire Dales. This route is slightly different to the Coast to Coast Walking Path, but follows close by and still takes in the same wonder spots.
Mountains of North and Greek Macedonia
Cycle across borders without any muscular barriers on a 13 day expedition that is electric in so many ways. From day one, starting on the shores of North Macedonia’s Lake Ohrid in the medieval town of the same name, you’re hit by pure Balkan beauty at every turn. Spend the first five days in North Macedonia, with spectacular cycles including one between Lakes Ohrid and Prespa through Galichitza National Park. Heading into the Macedonian region of northern Greece, pedal through the mountainous terrain of Pelister National Park, luscious lakelands of Kastoria and Vegoritas as well as the elevated wonders of the Pinios Valley, where ancient monasteries cling to giant rock faces.
Church of St. John at Kaneo, Ohrid. Just one of many joys on an e-bike cycling holiday in North Macedonia.
Renting an e-bike on our cycling holidays
The cost of bike rental is not included in the price of most of our cycling holidays, due to the fact that we offer various different types of bikes and, in the case of traditional bikes, cyclists often bring their own bikes with them. In some countries, such as France, there are quite high costs in the event of your rented e-bike being stolen or damaged and so we recommend insuring against this before you travel, just in case. You can get a quote online or contact your own insurer. We will advise more about any such costs at time of booking.
We have many more cycling holidays where e-bikes are on offer, which may be less daunting to beginners or less experienced adventurers. You can see all of them here and please don’t hesitate to contact us for more details. You may also enjoy our blogs on How to prepare for a cycling trip or Our best coastal cycling tours.