7 Summer Biking Vacations to Book Now

Sure, a pedal-powered getaway requires a little more legwork, but the upsides — toned calves, unlimited carbs, and more intimate cultural experiences — are worth the extra effort. Plus, think of all the vitamin D you’ll be soaking in as you cycle from Point A to Point B. Thanks to the dozens of tour operators specializing in two-wheeled vacations, there are countless itineraries — both in our backyard and abroad — worth considering this summer.

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Some trips are self-contained and riders must pack their own gear before pitching tents in campgrounds, while other trips feature five-star accommodations and support crews boasting massage therapists and private chefs. Regardless of the trip, space can be quite limited, as groups are generally capped at 10 to 12 riders. With that in mind, here are several outstanding itineraries you’ll want to book now for your 2015 summer vacation.

1. Pedal from park to park: Glacier to Yellowstone “bikepacking” vacation


Bike through two gorgeous national parks and so much scenery in between. (Photo: The Cycling House)

Experience two of the top 10 most-visited national parks in the country (and what’s in between them) on this brand-new “bikepacking” trip running from Glacier National Park along the Rocky Mountain Front before ending some 480 miles later in Yellowstone National Park. The trip starts on the legendary Going-to-the-Sun Road, so riders get the toughest climbs — 8 percent inclines — out of the way before the smoother sailing south to Yellowstone. Most nights are spent in tents or sleeping out under the stars because, after all, Montana is Big Sky Country. Riders refuel with backcountry gourmet meals prepared by camp chefs and go out for beers at night with their guides and the group’s mechanic. Seven days, from $1,595/person, The Cycling House

Related: Biking Is the Most Delightful Way to Get Around Paris

2. Try a medieval trade route: Riding Germany’s Romantic Road


The picturesque German town of Rothenburg is one of several fantastic stops along this Bavarian bike tour. (Photo: Jose Fuste Raga/Corbis)

Follow the famous brown signs along this breathtaking legendary 250-mile trade route that was a lifeline during the Middle Ages. Dense forests, fertile valleys, grandiose castles, romantic villages, and high alpine mountain climbs all await on this Bavarian biking tour. Stretch those legs at a falcon show or walk around Langenburg, a fortified hilltop town famous for its witch trials. Crash in unforgettable accommodations, like a 13th-century customs house and comfortable, contemporary guest rooms that share a wall with a medieval monastery. Seven days, from $2,898/person, Austin Adventures

Related: Biking the San Juan Islands

3. Kill it coast to coast: Portland to Portland with massage perks


What better way to see the great landscapes of America than on a coast-to-coast bike tour? (Photo: Trek Travel/Facebook)

The first leg, Portland, Ore., to Missoula, Mont., of this cross-country itinerary was recently named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime for 2016, but it’s reaching the Atlantic Ocean on Day 44 that cements the sense of sheer accomplishment. Completing this ambitious journey across America’s coastal plains, forgotten badlands, Amish countryside, and high mountain passes is made possible with help from pretrip training plans and coaching, the use of Trek’s state-of-the-art carbon-fiber bikes, and, of course, the masseuse who tags along for the ride. Forty-five days, from $16,999/person, Trek Travel

4. Bike and barge to Bruges: Cycling by day, cruising canals by night


Spend your days riding past iconic Dutch windmills and your nights sleeping soundly as you coast down the canals. (Photo: Francesco Iacobelli/JAI/Corbis)

Highlights of this unique, all-inclusive (airfare, too) itinerary include language lessons with inviting locals, Belgian beer tastings, waking up on scenic waterways, and, of course, plenty of miles in the saddle. Cycle past Holland’s iconic windmills, through rural farms and tulip-filled fields, and over countless canals in Ghent, the City of 200 Bridges. But perhaps the best part of this trip is only having to unpack once, because every night is spent on a private canal barge. And, yes, it has Wi-Fi. Eight days, from $4,195/person, VBT

5. Learn from a legend: Blue Ridge Mountains meet luxury boutique base camp


Ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains with a cycling legend. (Photo: Hotel Domestique)

His claim to fame may be his record-breaking 17 Tour de France starts, but these days George Hincapie is hosting cycling retreats at his French-chateau-inspired upscale boutique hotel in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These challenging yet indulgent vacation packages include world-class rides and a wine reception with “Big George,” yoga and stretching, massage with a five-time Tour de France soigneur, and private dinners in Hotel Domestique’s progressive, European-inspired Restaurant 17. Five days, from $5,000/person, Hotel Domestique

6. Follow in the footsteps of the Pilgrims: Self-contained tour from Plymouth to Provincetown


Dive into America’s history as you retrace the Pilgrims’ path by bike. (Photo: Adventure Cycling)

Prior to starting the cycling portion of this Cape Cod pilgrimage, meet at Plymouth Plantation and board the Mayflower II for a trip back to 1620. Then it’s time to retrace, albeit backward, the path the Pilgrims took when they arrived in America. Ride by cranberry bogs, the whaling capital of the world, and miles of shoreline — every day is spent within 15 miles of the Atlantic. On Day 4, depart the mainland on a ferry bound for Martha’s Vineyard and two nights in a hostel. Every other night will be in campgrounds, where riders will share in the fun responsibilities, such as cooking, that come with a self-contained tour. Eight days, from $999/person, Adventure Cycling

7. Find your cadence in Cuba: The Pearl of the Antilles, no longer off-limits


From Havana to Trinidad and everywhere in between, experience this formerly off-limits country atop two wheels. (Photo: Jane Sweeney/JAI/Corbis)

Dancing the rumba in the streets of Havana is the perfect way to warm up the leg muscles for this island ride that begins and ends in Cuba’s capital. Cycle along the vibrant Caribbean coastline with stops including the colonial town of Trinidad, the infamous Bay of Pigs, a working sugar plantation, and the site of Che Guevara’s last stand, Santa Clara. These are Cuba’s highlights and behind-the-scenes reel, all best seen from behind the handlebars. Eight days, from $1,745/person, Intrepid Travel

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Check out our original adventure travel series, “A Broad Abroad.”