Traveling overland: there's nothing quite
like it. All great journeys begin—and end—on the ground. But watching the world
whiz by through foggy train and bus windows is only the half of it; sooner or
later, you'll crave something more.
Fortunately, spicing up your overland
travel is as simple as getting a little closer to the earth, and perhaps, there's
no better way to do it than swapping your bus or train tickets for a map and a
Not sure where to begin your next cycling
adventure? Consider one of these three exciting bike tours:
Completing the entire North Sea Cycle Route
isn't exactly a walk in the park; at 3,692 miles (5,942 kilometers), only the
most dedicated of cyclists would even attempt it.
But the best part is: You don't have to. Simply,
pick any spot along the trail and go as far as you'd like. On the North Sea
Cycle Route, accommodation and escape routes are never far away; that's the
beauty of it.
Sweeping through eight countries—Scotland,
England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway—the
trail snakes through tiny European villages and major cities, alongside
windmill-studded canals and rolling sand dunes, and across coastal plains. The
North Sea Cycle Route is idyllic Europe as you've always dreamed it, only up
close and personal, and is an overland experience that you'll never quite
Rolling green hills, ancient castles under
stormy skies, seafaring villages, and craggy cliffs plunging into the
Atlantic—Ireland's fairytale reputation is, surprisingly, not so far-fetched,
and it's right here, along the country's West Coast, where travelers best catch
a glimpse of it.
Cycling the West Coast of Ireland is
arguably the best way to experience the Emerald Isle. If you've ever searched
for Ireland's mystic soul in Dublin only to return home empty-handed, you'll find
the country will redeem itself as you cycle through picture-perfect towns along
impossibly narrow roads that hug the rugged coastline.
Although there is no set trail, adventurous
cyclists with a little time on their hands should consider plying the long route
between Cork and Galway, detouring through interesting cities, towns, and
natural attractions like Killarney, the Dingle Peninsula, Limerick, the Cliffs
of Moher, and Doolin.
Shadowed by its bigger brothers across the
Bass Strait, the state of Tasmania rarely gets its due as an Australian
destination of choice. But keen cyclists might soon change that, and as more
and more of them pop over from the mainland, word is getting out: Tasmania is an
excellent place to ride.
Riding along the West Coast route between Launceston
to Hobart throws cyclists in front of the Australian island state's most
remarkable natural attractions: lush vineyards, rough-hewn coastline,
crystal-clear lakes, waterfalls, and ragged peaks.
Not that witnessing Western Tasmania's
beauty will be a cakewalk. Sections of the route can be challenging for less
experienced cyclists, and in complete defiance to Australia's sunny reputation,
weather in these parts can change for the worse almost instantly.
Luckily, Tassielink Transit buses run every
couple days between most towns along the route, providing the perfect escape
plan should you want to move along quicker or rest your legs.
Whichever destination you settle upon for
your first (or next) cycling trip, remember that sharing narrow roads with
motorized vehicles always carries an element a risk; even the most
well-equipped and careful cyclists could encounter trouble on the road. Before embarking,
be sure to purchase an adventure travel insurance policy to cover against
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A perfect storm of wandering wordsmith and travel photographer, Ryan O'Rourke lives and breathes travel. For the last decade, Ryan has roamed around the world, living in 4 different countries and visiting over 30 countries along the way with no signs of slowing down. Ryan's insatiable wanderlust inspired him to found Treksplorer where he now writes about his adventures and offers unconventional travel planning, language learning, and travel photography tips for independent travellers.
When not out and about, Ryan calls Northern Ontario home, and enjoys basking in the great Canadian outdoors and lazily chilling by the campfire with an acoustic guitar. Follow Ryan on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.
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