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La Piazza Blog & Stories
5 Spring Cycling Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss
Southern Italy
December 27, 2019

5 Spring Cycling Trips in Europe You Can’t Miss

Bikers in La Bella Puglia

We know a lot of you are thinking about the holiday season. In fact, we too are in holiday mode. But let’s face it: we can never get our minds off of cycling and traveling through Europe. The prospects of warm-weather cycling during this cold, frosty, winter-wonderland get more intriguing once the holidays have passed.

We know many of you are contemplating your next trip with Ciclismo Classico – or, for some of you, that it may be your first trip ever with us. There are a lot of qualms about taking a trip in the spring. But we guarantee you, Spring biking trips to Europe are the best for a variety of reasons. And not just for the weather; but also for the wine, the food, the scenery and that break from cabin fever.

Pay attention to your training in the wintertime – don’t stop moving. By March, you’ll be in fine shape to tackle any of our advanced beginner or intermediate trips for April or May. In fact, we’ve come up with five destinations for the spring that you have to bike in. A must. Reading further, you may wonder why you didn’t travel to Europe in the spring sooner. But that’s okay, this is a learning curve. You’ll get it right this time.

Thus, to help you nod off to sleep (along with all of those sugarplums) here is our “not-to-be-missed” list of five European trips for the Spring. Be forewarned: they may stimulate fantasies of far-away lands and going fast on your bike. But that’s okay – you’ll have plenty of time to rest next winter.

Andalucia

The southern-most tip of Spain is blazing hot in the summer, which is why it’s a good idea to tackle Andalucia in the spring. Lovely rolling hills carry you through remote Sierras and high plateaus, covered in wild grass and sunshine. What a perfect beginning to your cycling season. These hills will get you “on the road” to perfect form by June.

Andalusia in the spring is cool, breezy, and full of culture. Only past Ciclismo Classico guests on this departure can understand the magic of the area and the beautiful weather the spring can add to this experience. This ancient part of the continent has been the crossroads of cultures for thousands of years. (blog)  We’ll take you on unique rods and side-streets of Andalusia’s quiet towns, show you the ancient history here, and explain – really explain – the meaning of flamenco.  And we do all this, while you taste and savor the region’s specialities. Not a bad way to begin the warm season, now is it?

Sicily

As a local here in Sicily, I have the pleasure (more like a blessing) to bike all year-round. In the winter, the leaves have fallen and the fields are barren. But by spring, the birds have awoken; the fields are green and it looks like another island.

If you aren’t familiar with the mythologies of the island, spring is when the beloved Persephone returns to her mother from the underworld – a legend that took place here in Sicily. This return triggers the beginning of spring. The children are still in school so the roads are quiet. The fields burst with red poppies and yellow wildflowers and etna herself spawns her unique desert roses now that the snow has melted away.

La Bella Sicilia is a rare bike adventure. Spring is also a time of festivals in Sicily, and you see the local fanfare in the small town piazzas. Whether the festival of Saint George in May, the greek Theatre festival in Syracuse, or the ricotta festival in Vizzini, there is a special event for everyone.

Costa Brava

The special characteristic about the Costa Brava is its year-round moderate temperatures. Often when we’ve run this departure, we’ve found the water along the coast to be the perfect temperature for a swim. And our Costa Brava departure sees a lot of water: we ride along the coast for several days.

As a result, all the milage and elevation gain isn’t too difficult.

As an intermediate-level trip, consider we start where the pros train: in Girona. Among the fresh food, the unique flavors we have in Besalu, and then the spectacular ride over an extinct mountain range, its important to have fair weather to ensure the group gets from point A to point B. Add that to a picnic in a secret location and you have a very special experience.

A final dip in a warm Mediterranean at day’s end is the perfect ending to the perfect day.

But you also need good spirits. And that’s what makes the Costa Brava trip so amazing: the fun, adventurous people who come on the trip. Cool days give way to warm evenings and our late-night dinners will offer after-hours walks along the beach.

Southwestern France

Nothing is more remote than our Bike Across France cycling trip in southwest France. Other outfitters go to Bordeaux, or to Dordogne, but none can do both.

In one week you can savor delicious Bordeaux wines then extend your palate towards the tasty – and lesser known – reds of Cahors. These Malbecs are fantastic and native; a great companion to any French feast of springtime garden vegetables.

Next to these flavors you’ll find the magnificent fortress of Carcassonne, the castle of Castelnaud and our hotel in an ancient castle (which is also a 1-star Michelin restaurant).

But this trip isn’t only about castles and wine. We check out some of the most impressive art and architecture in Albi. From the medieval representation of the last judgement to the libidinous sketches of Toulouse-Lautrec there’s something special about France in the spring: away from the crowds and close to your heart.

Puglia

Only Puglia can boast the beautiful white houses of the inland villages. In the spring, the sun is not as intense as in the summer and these unique structures remain a calm against an ocean-sapphire sky.

Where else can you look at the beautiful white-washed buildings of Ostuni, or meander through the trulli of Alberobello without the crowds or the heat?

In a region thick with Norman, Arab and Roman history, our Bella Puglia itinerary is one of a kind: Ciclismo Classico was the first to open Puglia’s doors to active travelers.  Being in the south, it is one of the first Italian regions to “thaw” from the winter “freeze.” Our athletic beginner itinerary is one of the best to get your legs spinning and your jaw dropping.  As part of the Magna Grecia, the Murge high-plains are some of the most breathtaking of the region. Adding our special trip to Matera – in Basilicata – and you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t go sooner.

Spring is just around the corner. Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up on our Spring departures. chances are, they’ll sell out by March. Contact our office or book online and get your travel plans in order today.

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