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Six of the best cycling holiday destinations in Europe — plan your next epic trip and ride the routes virtually before you go

Can't decide where to take you and your bike this summer? Here are our top recommendations for the very best places to ride your bike in Europe

This summer I want to go and ride my bike somewhere that isn’t my local roads... the only problem is, I can’t decide where.

There are cycling meccas like Mallorca or Calpe, the historic mountain ranges such as the French Alps or the Pyrenees, or I could stay closer to home and ride across Britain. With the help of Rouvy, I've been able to ride all of these holiday destinations virtually before making my decision. So, where is the best place to go on a cycling holiday? I'm going to attempt to find out. 

Stelvio hairpins

In my job, I am very fortunate that I’ve been able to ride in lots of very nice places, but that doesn’t get away from the fact that a cycling holiday can cost an absolute fortune. It also wouldn't be very environmentally-friendly to go off and ride in all of these locations in one calendar year. 

So, armed with the places that I’ve ridden so far, the knowledge of the team and thousands of virtual roads thanks to Rouvy, we've picked out the places we reckon are the absolute best in Europe. 

2023 Rouvy revamped

Now, as realistic as Rouvy is, it’s not a complete substitute for the real deal; but with 1,000 real routes from around the globe, I should be able to try out quite a few places and get a good idea of the terrain, the traffic and even the road conditions. So, without further ado, here’s where we’d recommend riding...

Best to tick off the bucket list: Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d'Huez

We’ll kick off with what is perhaps the most famous climb in the cycling world. We are, of course, talking about Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps. Whether you watch pro cycling or not, you are likely to have heard of this Tour de France staple.

During the winter months, Alpe d'Huez is typically covered in snow, making it more suitable for skiing. So, for cycling enthusiasts, it's best to plan a visit during the summer months when the roads are clear.

It's said that meeting your heroes can be a disappointment, but having ridden Alpe d'Huez a few times, I can confidently say that it doesn’t disappoint. After the 21 hairpins, you’re met with impressive views, the traffic isn’t usually too bad and there’s a good variety of other routes in the vicinity. 

2024 Rouvy alp d'huez climb

Despite being the most famous climb of the Tour, it is mercifully far from the hardest. With consistent gradients and a length of 13.8km, it presents a significant but manageable challenge for most well-prepared riders. If you are worried about whether you'll be able to tackle the climb, why not give it a go on Rouvy before booking?

Best for less confident riders: Mallorca

komoot mallorca feature - sa calobra 2

Mallorca is a fan-favourite holiday destination in the cycling world, and for good reason. We think it’s particularly well suited to less experienced riders as there’s an abundance of bike shops, pre-planned holidays and great routes. The island also offers plenty of flatter terrain, meaning there's something for everyone. 

2024 rouvy mallorca routes

There are a total of seven AR virtual routes available on Rouvy, featuring the famous Sa Colobra climb and scenic rides to the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor to try out before you go.

Best to test yourself: Austria

The Rauris Valley Austria

This next place is somewhere that I haven’t been to yet, but having ridden a few of the climbs on Rouvy and listening to the guys bang on about it in the office, Austria is definitely on my to-do list.

While Austria may not host a Grand Tour event, its abundance of mountains and climbs could easily fill one, with many of these climbs making the Alps look like mole hills. 

2024 Bruck to Edelweissspitze Rouvy

I tackled the savage Groẞglockner pass and have the High Alpine Road between Bruck and Furleiten next on my list. If you want big scenery, big gradients and big legs then Austria should be high up on your list!

Best views: The Dolomites

Dolomites Maratona

Crossing over the border into Italy, we have what I think is the most picturesque cycling terrain in the world. Your main issue with the Dolomites mountain range will likely be choosing which climbs to ride, given the abundance of options available. 

There’s the Giau (which I’m not riding because I have bonked on it twice during the Maratona!) the Falzarego, the Pordoi, the Fedaia and many others. You can find all of these climbs on Rouvy, along with numerous other routes as part of their Pedal Italy series.

2024 Rouvy ride italy dolomites routes

I would highly recommend trying before heading out there to check your gearing if nothing else. Rouvy simulates the gradients metre for metre, so it’s better to realise you’re overgeared in the comfort of your own house rather than blowing up your knees when you get out there.

Best for racing fans: Paris–Roubaix

Matthieu van der Poel at Paris Roubaix 2024 (Zac Williams/
Zac Williams/

If you think that lots of sun and monster climbs are overrated, then the Paris–Roubaix course would top our list. Admittedly, we do watch a lot of bike racing in our spare time here at, so it’s no surprise that this pick is steeped in racing history.

Paris–Roubaix is perhaps the most famous one-day cycling race in the world, so if you’re looking for a unique holiday destination or challenge on the turbo, then Roubaix is well worth a look as somewhere to head to for a DIY cycling trip. 

2024 Rouvy Paris Roubaix route

Like the real deal, this Rouvy route incorporates the numerous cobblestone sectors or pavé, and I always enjoy trying to spot the places that riders have attacked in previous years.

Best chance to see the pros: Calpe

Calpe riding shot

I chose to ride a lovely road on the Platja de Granda, which some of you might recognise from stage seven of last year's Vuelta a España. This whole area just north of Denia and Calpe is a firm favourite of the pros. So, if you want to catch a glimpse of your icons in their natural habitat, then this is probably the best place to do it. 

Calpe has hosted more than its fair share of La Vuelta stages in recent years, nearly all of which you can ride on Rouvy.

Best for gravel: Girona


Gravel is all the rage right now, and lots of people are looking at where they can go to kick up some dust. Our top pick would be Girona as there’s plenty of choice of gravel, from fire-roads to single track.

Of course, gravel bikes can be used on the road too, so whilst you're there why not challenge yourself to take on the famous Rococorba climb?

Best for staying closer to home: Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

2024 rouvy cairngorms national park riding

Summer holidays don’t have to be abroad, and we’re spoilt with plenty of excellent cycling routes here in the UK. The main downside of riding in the UK is the traffic, which can make or break a ride, so I’ve been using Rouvy to see how much traffic I can expect to see on different routes.

Each route on Rouvy is recorded, so it gives you a pretty good idea if there is a lot or not a lot of traffic. For example, this route across the Cairngorms National Park is absolutely deserted! I might add it to my list…

Mallorca cycling

What cycling locations are on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

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