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, here’s 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.’
This year’s highlights include a joyride in Norway’s Sunnmøre Alps with world champion Thor Hushovd and former Team Sky chef 'Velochef' Henrik Orre. Other experiences include Flanders with Philippe Gilbert and Johan Museeuw, and Scotland with Sir Chris Hoy and Nathan Outlaw (or how about Rioja with Miguel Induráin, Nieves Barragán and Óscar Friere?)
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’.
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.
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.
Cycling for Softies offer 'easy riding' trips with gourmet dining and world-class hotels
California’s 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…
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.
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.