Summer Guide 2013: Bikes


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The Independent Travel

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;, 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 (, connects Paris with Mont Saint-Michel. Packages are also on offer through L'Orne en Normandie (00 33 2 33 28 07 00; 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;, 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.