For those of you who haven't already booked, or even taken your main hoiday this year, there are some tasty deals to be had and also some exciting destinations available. It seems that cycling may well be the activity holiday of choice at the moment. Who'd have thought it?
There are a variety of options, some UK based, some short haul and some further afield, catering to all types of rider, and in some cases offering a non-cycling partner a pleasurable break as well.
Here are some of the options available at the moment:
Cycling Basque Country- easy/moderate tour predominantly around the French Basque, visiting the unofficial home of the red chili pepper, enjoying the famous ham of Bayonne and even nipping into a few vineyards along the way.
Departing 10th Sept- £971 incl Eurostar, 7 nights B&B, bike hire and tour guide.
Cycle & Cruise Croatia- Boats and bikes together as you cruise around the islands off Croatia's Dalmatian Coast (no spotted dogs), and tour them by bike. Easy laid back cycling.
Departing 10th Sept- £1128 incl Flights, transport, 7 nights B&B, 7 other meals, bike hire and tour guide.
Cycling Cuba- moderate graded tour around the island, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Havana and the countryside.
Departing 18th Sept- £1736 incl Flights, 14 nights B&B, 11 lunches, 6 dinners. Bike hire is extra or take your own.
Cycle the Backroads of Sri Lanka- moderate/challenging graded ride, visiting the island's highlands, jungles and national parks (home to elephants and leopards) and ancient buddhist cities.
Departing 10th Sept- £1574 incl Flights, 15 days B&B, 10 lunches. Bike hire is extra or take your own.
Land's End to John O'Groats- for those who want a challenge and would like to raise money for charity but welcome the reassurance of an organised tour.
Departures in 2012- £1220 (+ registration fee of £299) for self-funded or a commitment to raise £3050 for the charity of your choice (+ reg fee). 13 days B&B, most meals and driver and mechanics.
Cycle Leh to Manali- challenging ride traversing the backbone of the West Himalaya- the Zanskar, Himalaya and Pir Pinjal Ranges, cycling some epic high passes while surrounded by snow capped peaks and deep river gorges.
Departing 20th August 2011, 16th June 2012- £1690 excl Flights, incl 18 nights B&B, 16 lunches, 16 dinners, transport, support vehicles, tour leader. Bikes not incl.
Yunnan Cycle and Tiger Leaping Gorge- moderate trip exploring the Yunnan countryside and rural villages as well as a two-day hike through the stunning TIger Leaping Gorge.
Departing 21st August, 25th Sept 2011- £1890 excl Flights. Incl internal flight, 13 nights B&B, 10 lunches, 9 dinners, bilingual guide, bike hire, suport vehicle.
Quiet Lanes of Mallorca- family cycling holiday, self-guided hotel-hotel with luggage transported for you. A relaxed way to see the island.
Departure dates throughout 2011 and 2012- from £730 per adult excl Flights. Incl 6 nights B&B, 6 dinners, luggage transport, maps and route notes, bike hire.
Secrets of Western Tuscany - moderate trip, touring through the undulating Maremma area of Tuscany. Self-guided hotel to hotel with luggage transported.
Departure dates throughout 2011 and 2012- from £878 per person excl Flights. Incl 7 nights B&B, 5 dinners, luggage transport, maps and route notes, bike hire.
This is just a few of the cycling holidays currently available. There are many many more, incuding far more specialist riding breaks and training camps, rather than the more relaxed out and out holiday options outlined above.
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.