It’s less ‘bonjour’ and more a case of ‘ow do’ as the 101st Tour de France kicks off today in Yorkshire. But you don’t have to be Chris Froome to get in on the action – check out our top holiday bike tours here…
It’s day one of the Tour de France. But the action isn’t playing out in Paris, Nice or even Bordeaux. No, this year all eyes are on that oh-so-French city of… Leeds. Yes, you read that right. But don’t panic, they haven’t airlifted a chunk of Yorkshire across the Channel. In actual fact, this year the UK is hosting the opening stages of the world’s most famous bike race.
198 cyclists will be pedalling their way between Leeds and Harrogate aujhourd’hui, passing the Yorkshire Dales en route. Sunday’s second stage will then see them tackle a stretch from York to Sheffield. The third and final leg on British soil will finish up in London along The Mall on Monday. The race will then head over to ‘home turf’ with competitors crossing the finish line in Paris on the 27th July after a gruelling 2,777 miles of hills, mountains and flat terrain.
But don’t think you have to aim for the coveted yellow jersey. You can pedal at a more leisurely pace thanks to Thomson Cruises’ Star Bikestations excursions…
Amsterdam is a city where cyclists rule the roads. In fact, it’s one of the most bike-friendly places in the world, thanks to its massive network of cycle paths. They’re a scenic bunch, too – you’ll bump along cobbled streets and zoom over those iconic canals.
All right, we admit it – Santorini is a bit hard on the calf muscles. But the uphill treks are well worth it when you’re rewarded with views of its famous clifftop villages. Up here, it’s bright white houses, blue-capped churches and sweeping sea views all the way.
Aruba’s capital city, Oranjestad, was founded by the Dutch – so it’d be rude not to explore the island by bike. Once you’re done with this strangely Amsterdam-esque town, head to the coast. You’ll be confronted with otherworldly beaches at every turn.
The scenery at Eidfjord is as dramatic as it gets. This is fjord country, so you’ll be pedalling by mammoth mountains and sleepy little villages. Our top tip? Keep your camera handy at all times.
The Blue Mosque. Byzantine city walls. The Grand Bazaar. Istanbul packs a real historical punch. And the advantage of seeing the city by bike? You don’t have to wait for 50-odd people to pile in and out of a coach at every photo stop. Nice.
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Author: Catherine Roberts
Published: July 5, 2014
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