We get it: cycling preferences vary as much as people do. Some people tie bikes to their cars to be ready at a moments notice, while others leave them in their garages for weeks. Not everybody is ready for a Grand Tour, but then again, casual pedaling down the beach doesn't do it for everyone either. But no matter what type of cyclist you are, every bike owner deserves a memorable ride. We've compiled a list of American and European vacation rental destinations that are sure to please both low-key beach cruisers and hard core mountain bikers alike.
All-American bike trips in the USA
As Lewis and Clark can attest, there are few places that inspire more wanderlust than the rugged American wilderness. From villa rentals amid purple mountains to waterfront cabins overlooking shining seas, there are many diverse locations to stay in the U.S., and the bicycle trips around those locations are no less varied. And while true cyclists can find an exhilarating route anywhere, a few U.S. destinations offer a number of particularly exciting opportunities for bikers to enjoy both natural and urban terrain.
Grand Canyon bike vacations
Grand Canyon National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to spot wildlife or climb one of the canyon's iconic buttes. But it's also a vacation hot spot for guided bike tours. Cyclist's groups hoping to do some mountain biking can rent villas along the Utah border for easy access to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Kaibab National Forest. Of course, not everyone likes to bike in nature, so riders who prefer metropolitan environments can visit city trails in nearby Flagstaff if the canyon proves too daunting.
Bike-friendly vacation rentals in Seattle
Known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the USA, Seattle has no shortage of vacation homes for all types of bike riders. Rent a stylish apartment near the Space Needle and spend your days pedaling through the city's hilly streets, or head on over to Bainbridge Island and relax in a homey cottage with stunning views of the Pacific Sound and access to island trails. Mid- to late-summer is the best time to avoid rain—try a summer rental with an indoor pool to beat the heat after a day of biking.
Bike routes on the Big Island
Bike travelers looking to venture outside of the contiguous US need look no further west than the Big Island of Hawaii. Adventure bikers seeking long-distance thrills should check out the "Escape Route to Mauna Ulu", a high-altitude ride through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you'll see views of rainforests and lava flows. Less venturesome cyclists may want to stick close to the shore for scenic routes along the Pacific Ocean. From your oceanfront cottage rental you can watch the sunset after a long day of perusing the trails.
European bike vacations for international cyclists
As the host to all three Grand Tour locations, it's safe to say that Europe is the place to be when it comes to road cycling. Europeans take pride in their urban bike trails, and many public transit systems offer rental bikes for cruising around town. But as much as Europe is known for its beautiful cities, it's also known for its stunning forests, snowy mountains, and scenic parks. In Europe, cyclists will find plenty of opportunities for riding out in the streets and in nature, especially by choosing one of the European getaways on this list.
Sip champagne after cycling in Champagne
Though France is home to cosmopolitan hubs like Paris and Cannes, it's the Champagne-Ardenne region in the French countryside that draws cyclists from around the world. Beginner and advanced cyclists alike can enjoy hundreds of miles of leisurely, self-guided and family-friendly routes that weave through provincial landscapes. Rent a quaint apartment in Riems and toast to a long day of crusing past vineyards with a bottle of bubbly, or stay in Épernay to soak up the natural scenery and watch the sun rise over the bike trails.
Coast along the South Cornish Coast
You may already know Cornwall for its rugged coastline, but did you know its also home to the longest trail in the UK? The 630-mile South West Coast Path attracts pedestrians and cyclists from all over, and includes stops in towns in Devon and Dorset. Refuel with a Cornish pasty in your coastal vacation home after hitting the pavement, or get some rest in a casual cottage before continuing your bike journey along the southwest English shoreline.
Bike in the wilderness of Austria
Sometimes the greatest journeys start in the most unexpected of places. From the small village of Krimml, you can begin your excursion on the Tauern Cycle Trail, a long-distance bike path that'll take you past waterfalls, through the Hohe-Tauren National Park, and to the popular winter vacation spot of Zell-am-See. At the end of the route, you can return to your charming apartment, chalet, or cottage rental in Salzburg, where tired cyclists could splurge on a vacation home with a sauna.