From epic off-road adventures in England, to road biking in the Ethiopian Highlands, and weekend escapes to the singletrack of central Spain, we pick half a dozen of our favourite new cycling tours for 2017
Six of the best new bike tours for 2017
Spanish sun-blessed singletrack weekend escape
Escape to the sun for a weekend of guided mountain biking in central Spain’s Guadarrama mountains, exploring the scenic ridgelines, wild forests and endless singletrack of this historic, rugged region. Your pedalling break away will start in Cercedilla, before you climb over the 1,793m Fuenfria Pass on gravel roads and remote singletrack, stop for tapas in Sogovia, where you can admire its 11th Century royal palace, pass the 16th Century monastery of El Escorial, and finally slake your thirst with some local cervezas in the evenings to relive your epic descents and wildlife spottings of deer, boar, wildcats, eagles and vultures.
Land’s End to Bristol MTB adventure
Organised by mountain bike route guide publishers MTB Epics, this mountain bike adventure tour follows the route of what will be the first leg of an MTB End to End that the company is working on. Now that is unquestionably an ‘epic’ undertaking. Taking place between 20th and 26th May, the 280-mile, seven-day tour, with 7,315m of vertical ascent will take you through Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, including bridleways, byways, singletrack, woodland, moorland, trail centre’s, and urban trails over some of the West Country’s best mountain biking areas, such as the Cornish moorlands, Dartmoor, Exmoor, The Quantocks and the Mendips.
Price: Entry is just £225 and includes 6 days fully supported riding and camping with breakfasts and more!
Wine, cheese and wheeling in Northern Italy
Putting together all of new Venice based active tour op Wanderjack’s cycling experiences could see you spinning through the sweet-scented pine forests of Pian del Cansiglio, whose trees built the fleets of the Venetian Republic one day, exploring the beaches and harbour of the ancient Adriatic port of Chioggia the next, and riding through the valleys and vineyards of the volcanic Euganean Hills the day after, stopping for glass or two of the refreshing fizz that this Prosecco region in famous for.
Road bike Ethiopia’s Highlands
You’d be forgiven for doing a double-take at this new tour from Tadele Travel, which will take you on a tour of Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray Region. But look closer and you’ll see a country that is three times the size of Germany, with an extensive, freshly paved road network and just 700,000 cars to share it with. Not for novices this nine-day supported tour has five days of riding, where you’ll cover op to 135km a day, often at over 2,000m.
Price: The cost of this tour is from £1,490 per person, all inclusive except flights, visas and insurance. Tadeletravel.com
Singletrack safari in Andorra
Guided mountain bike tour and tuition provider Singletrack Safari is now exclusively concentrating on its tours in Andorra, making best use of the Pyrenean country’s reputation as the small country that packs a big punch. Their one-week Andorra Enduro Project tour, with fully guided riding mixes high-altitude ridges with steep and flowing descents and dense forest trails. What’s more, you start all of their new routes higher than you finish them with both vehicle and ski lift uplifts taking away most of the hard, slow slog.
Prices start at £575 per person (bikes, flights, lunch and dinner not included).
Discover south-west China
If the China of your imagination includes paddy fields tended by flat-hat wearing farmers, bamboo lined rivers and hundreds of pointy mist-swept limestone karst peaks, then Skedaddle’s 13-day tour through Guilin and Guangxi, exploring Yangshuo, the Li River and Pingan won’t disappoint. You’ll pedal through the iconic Longji, Dragon’s backbone rice terraces and meet the people eeking out a living among them and take side trips of rafting on the Li River and visiting tea plantations.
Prices start at around £1,395 for 14 days, including 8 days riding, staying in guesthouses and hotels with about 85% of meals.