Travel

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Six luxury cycling holidays for 2023

Words by Mark Hooper

16 March 2023

Quintessentially Foundation | Cycling riding bikes on uphill road with landscape view

From challenging rides to leisurely tours with an emphasis on fine dining, here’s our pick of the best.

Seeing the world from two wheels? Count us in. From challenging rides for experienced cyclists to more leisurely tours with an emphasis on fine dining, heres our pick of the best luxury trips in the world

Ride and dine across Norway with a world champion

Le Blanq offers unique ‘Led by Legends’ tours, pairing you with an elite cyclist and an iconic chef for a weekend of world-class riding and dining across some stunning global destinations. But don’t be intimidated by the big names: the focus is entirely on the experience, inspired by the Eddy Merckx quote: ‘Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride.’

Group of cyclists cycling on road next landscape and sea view on 'led by leaders' cycling exhibition by Le Blanq in Norway Group of cyclists cycling on road next landscape and sea view on 'led by leaders' cycling exhibition by Le Blanq in Norway

This year’s highlights include a joyride in Norway’s Sunnmøre Alps with world champion Thor Hushovd and influential ‘open fire’ chef Niklas Ekstedt (el Bulli, The Fat Duck, Charlie Trotter). Other experiences include the Isle of Wight with Sir Bradley Wiggins and Angela Hartnett, Yorkshire with Matt Stephens and Monica Dew, and Ibiza with Geraint Thomas and Alex Atala (or how about Mark Cavendish, Nieves Barragán and Pete Tong?)

Man and women in cycling gear smiling riding bikes overlooking mountain and sea landscape in Norway
Influential ‘open fire’ chef Niklas Ekstedt in chef uniform cooking in a kitchen on a stove with pans in Norway
Le Blanq combines expert-led cycling with Michelin-standard gastronomy

Tackle the Dolomites with the experts

Named after the Italian slang for ‘in the know’, InGamba’s trips are led by former cycling pros, mechanics and soigneurs – meaning you’re in the best of hands. Its climbs through the Dolomites allow you to live out your Giro d’Italia fantasies, and the expertise extends into the night – the best food, wine, and hotels are integral to the tours they offer. As is the company: as they put it, ‘It is about the pleasure of riding a beautiful bicycle through beautiful country, surrounded by people who feel the same way’.

View of the sunset over the mountains and hills of the Dolomites, Italy
Two people in cycling gear sat on a wall looking at a phone
Experience the best food, wine and scenery in Italy with InGamba

Explore the climbs and the vines of The Ventoux

Cyclists revere the Ventoux region in Provence for its pivotal role in some of the most dramatic Tour de France races in history. This award-winning six-day trip from DuVine skirts through the foothills of the notorious Mont Ventoux and ascends to the high plateau of Luberon, taking in some stunning vistas en route. After a day in the saddle, enjoy the produce of the sun-kissed valleys with some of the finest wines in France (including those from the Vaucluse) and classic Provençal dishes, staying in luxury hotels along the way.

Cyclist cycling through the climbs and the vines of The Ventoux, Provence, France Cyclist cycling through the climbs and the vines of The Ventoux, Provence, France
Tackle the legendary Mont Ventoux with Du Vine | Image by Alain Rumpf

Try a taste of Tuscany at your own pace

Cycling for Softies offers tailor-made ‘easy riding’ trips, focusing firmly on Michelin-star gourmet dining and world-class accommodation. Cycle through the hilltop towns of Umbria and Tuscany (including the wineries of Chianti), take in the breathtaking views across Lake Trasimeno, explore Roman ruins, meander through country roads to the medieval town of Montone for dinner prepared by celebrity chef Giancarlo Polito... Even if you over-indulge, you won’t have to worry too much about the next day’s exertions: they even offer e-bikes.

View of street in Tuscany
View on landscape in Tuscany
Cycling for Softies offer 'easy riding' trips with gourmet dining and world-class hotels

Californias wine country by bike

Award-winning bikemakers Trek Travel offer a variety of tours through California for all levels of competency. From the northern wine regions of Sonoma and Napa to the bleak beauty of Palm Springs and verdant Joshua Tree National Park – not forgetting South California’s coastal routes and the poolside charms of Santa Barbara – there is something for everybody, as well as the best wines in America to enjoy every evening. Pick the trip that best suits your needs; try the ‘Ultimate Luxury Accommodation’ option for a nightly oasis in the desert…

Women sat on a low garden chair with a glass of red wine in the sun looking at trees
View of vineyard and landscape in South California
A self-guided wine country tour is just one option from California-based Trek Travel

A charitable ride through the south of France

Every summer, Quintessentially Foundation hosts its annual four-day charity bike ride in a spectacular location around the world. Now in its 13th year, this June’s challenge is a grueling 500km from Lyon to Marseilles, winding through the Rhone Valley and Cote d’Azur and tackling legendary routes such as Mont Ventoux. All the proceeds raised go towards supporting The Firefly Project, which provides funding and tailored support to grassroots charities working with young people in poverty.

Quintessentially Foundation | The Firefly Project | Man in cycling uniform lifting bike in the air celebrating
Quintessentially Foundation | The Firefly Project | Group of people in cycling gear with bikes posing for a photo
The Quintessentially Foundation bike ride takes place from 7th – 12th June 2023

To find out more about the Quintessentially Foundation bike ride, including to sponsor the riders, click here.

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