Summer Guide 2013: Bikes
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Saturday 11 May 2013
Freewheel along the Via Francigena in Italy, an old pilgrimage route to Rome, on a 172-mile tour that links Parma and Lucca. Let an E-bike take the strain, firing up its electric engine when you need a little help on those hills. The week's tour costs £641pp, based on two sharing, through Freedom Treks (01273 224066; freedomtreks.co.uk), including B&B, two dinners, luggage transfers and route maps. International travel costs extra.
Try one of the new cycle routes in Normandy, France. Seventy-five kilometres of traffic-free greenways, the Voie Verte (veloscenie.com), connects Paris with Mont Saint-Michel. Packages are also on offer through L'Orne en Normandie (00 33 2 33 28 07 00; www.normandie-weekend.com). For example, "Discover the Perche", a two-day trip, costs £100pp, based on two sharing, including two nights' B&B and bike hire.
Pedal through the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on an 11-day ride. Starting in Tallinn, make your way to Riga and Vilnius. From £1,449pp, through Exodus (0845 863 9601; exodus.co.uk), including return flights with Lufthansa from Heathrow via Frankfurt into Tallinn and out of Vilnius, airport transfers, luggage transfers, accommodation, some meals and the services of a guide. Bike hire costs an additional £55.
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