The time to travel (properly) again is slowly approaching. We have been craving some time to jump on the bike, the wind in our faces, the smell of petrol and the adrenaline-pumping sounds of a blistering engine is what we miss about being on the road.
As you are now well aware, here at BODA, bikes are our life. Life is a journey, so why not take on this journey on your bike, in some of the most beautiful locations available in God’s playground. The main thing to remember is that riding in new destinations can be nerve wracking, but also incredibly thrilling. Once you get the hang of being on the other side of the road, and get through the language barriers with passers-by, life will be good. Take your time, don’t give yourself unreasonable time frames to cover your distances, and above all, enjoy the ride.
With that being said, we wanted to look into 5 of the best locations to ride your bike in Europe… Sunshine, mountains and open roads - that’s what it’s all about. So buckle up - let’s feel inspired to ride.
The Iceland Ring Road
Here is one of the most scenic rides you can come across in Europe. The only thing is, it’s slightly difficult to get there. Your best bet is taking the two-day ferry from the top of Denmark. You can ship your bike to your location, or even feel free to rent your wheels when you get there.
Be prepared for poor weather, even during the summer seasons, as it can be a bleak place. But that’s taking nothing away from the brilliance of the ride. The roads are well surfaced, with the unpaved F roads heading into more remote, challenged places that are perfect for trail bike riders.
Windy roads and solid straights, there’s plenty of chances to test the mobility, or power, of your bike.
The Transfăgărășan Highway
After we saw this famous track feature on the iconic British TV show, Top Gear, we’ve been itching to get there. The first thing to notice is it’s pure beauty. The road is 56 miles long and crosses the southern section of the Carpathian Mountains. Located around 130 miles west of the Romanian capital, Bucharest, it’s also around 1500 miles east of Dover - meaning you’ll either need to hop on the ferry, or expect to to take around two weeks to get there and back on your bike.
The advice we can give here is ensure that you get there early as the traffic can be dense sometimes. Also, check the road before you head out - it’s closed from mid-October to early June due to snow, so the window is short.
However, the beauty about this ride is the journey it takes to get there. Experience a bunch of added landscapes through the Balkan countries of Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the way there, then a route through the Alps on your return home will give you the best of both worlds.
The Verdon Gorge is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Labelled as ‘Europe’s Grand Canyon’, the roads around it match it for beauty and excitement.
Located down in the south of France, this location is just to the north of Nice and Monaco. Like most canyons, it creeps upon you with unpredictable roads that can flick from flat, to the rim of a huge canyon. But aside from the actual canyon, the roads that surround it are what you’re going for. With what seems like an endless amount of twisting sections along with parts that ride across the rim of the canyon, a steel barrier is the only thing protecting you from a long drop to the bottom.
But all in all, the Verdo Gorge facilitates great riding, appealing weather and amazing options for camping. But like any other popular place, it attracts a lot of tourists, so if you like your roads quiet, be sure to arrive during the seasons of spring or autumn and you should be fine.
The Three Passes of Switzerland
Here’s an easy route to navigate through three incredible Alpine passes with the full route being rideable in a day. The three passes cut through Susten, Furka and Grimsel (located in the Alpine region of Switzerland). Each of these passes cross the Bernese Alps at an elevation of 2000 metres.
This route is usually closed between October and May due to snow, however, it facilitates multiple well-surfaced switchbacks on the way up, heading clockwise, with emerald blue lakes on the way down. The Furka Pass is the highest road at 2429 metres - it’s arguably tighter and not as well surfaced, but it's still an exciting road to experience.
The small Alpine town of Andermatt is the best place to start and base, with a batch of good facilities being available to sleep and eat at.
One thing we would say look out for though, is the crippling speed limits - be careful not to get too carried away because the fines can be harsh.
The Wild Atlantic Way
For our British BODA fam, here’s one that may as well be right on our doorstep if you’re not looking to fly out any time soon. The Wild Atlantic Way is officially the longest coastal route in the world, and with inexpensive ferries running to from the Weslh ports of either Fishguard or Holyhead, this trip is a dream destination for those who want an adventure a little closer to home.
With this being a purely coastal ride, you can enjoy a total distance of 1553 miles, while passing through 9 counties and 3 provinces during it. The tourist board designates 6 regions of the route; Northern Headlands, Surf Coast, Bay Coast, Cliff Coast, Southern Peninsulas and Haven Coast.
Also, for any movie fans out there, a lot of the scenery you’ll see on this adventure was actually featured in the latest Star Wars movies… So I guess the force will definitely be with you during this one.