July 10, 2018
This is a self-guided exploration, by bike, of an undiscovered area. The Noto Peninsula on the Japan Sea coast of Ishikawa Prefecture is known for its breath-taking coastline and abundant nature. It’s also home to the country’s finest seafood. Cycling village-to-village makes for an alternative way to explore an often-overlooked part of Japan. On one day you take a lovely coastal road to a hillside of two thousand terraced rice fields overlooking the Japan Sea. The seven-day trip costs from £1,550 pp (two sharing) including B&B, five dinners, all excursions and the services of a local guide. International flights not included. Call TravelLocal on 0117 3257898 (www.travellocal.com).
Choose from one of 38 routes covering 1200 km of walking and cycling bike trails in the coastal wilderness of south west Portugal on this seven-night holiday. The recently-expanded Rota Vicentina network offers routes for a range of abilities, from beginner to advanced, including the ‘Fisherman’s Way’, which takes in pretty seaside harbours, reddish sand dunes, lunar landscapes and white sand beaches between Zambujeira do Mar (Alentejo) and Pedralva (the Algarve). Prices from £571 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), eight days’ car hire, four nights’ B&B and three nights’ self-catering. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
La Plagne in the French Alps has established itself as a key destination for electric mountain biking (e-mountain biking). The beautiful resort has 150 km of marked trails, with nine easy and accessible routes through alpine meadows and forests suitable for all levels, ranging from 13 to 23 km and with vertical gains of 155 to 900 m. Access to trails is free and e-bikes can be rented from €45 pp / £40 pp (half day) / €65 pp / £57 pp (full day). Children’s bikes also available. One week’s self-catering in Aime 2000 is priced from €57.50 pp / £51 pp (€230 / £202 total), based on four sharing a studio apartment. Return flights (London-Geneva) cost from £143 pp with easyJet. Call La Plagne on 33 (0)4 79 09 79 79 (www.la-plagne.com).
A stay at five-star Seaham Hall is an opportunity to explore Durham’s Heritage Coast – a colourful and dramatic landscape with beaches, cliffs and imposing headlands. Bike hire is free, or you can bring your own (storage at the hotel is easy) and Seaham Hall offers cycling maps for guests too. Seaham Hall is under three hours by train from central London. Alongside its contemporary and eclectic interiors, the hotel has an award-winning 44,000 sq ft spa. A one-night stay in a Junior Suite costs from £195 (two sharing) including full English breakfast and full use of the spa facilities. Call Seaham Hall on 0191 516 1400 (www.seaham-hall.co.uk).
Just a few kilometres from Pollensa Old Town sits Ca’n Muscarolas, a gorgeous countryside villa ideally situated as a base to explore Mallorca by bike. With fabulous weather year-round, excellent signage and low-density traffic, the island is a great destination for cyclists of all levels to venture along the coast or inland, or even around the area’s excellent vineyards. Ca’n Muscarolas (sleeps eight) is the perfect property to retire to after a day’s peddling, with tranquil surroundings, stunning interior design, attractive country-style kitchen which opens out to a terrace and a large private pool. A week’s stay is from £228 pp (£1,821 total). Flights extra. Call CV Villas on 020 7261 5404 (www.cvvillas.com).
*AITO is the Association of Independent Tour Operators: more than 120 specialist travel companies providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of high-quality holidays and excellent personal service. Visit www.aito.com for further information.
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