Mom Goes Camping

5 Great European Bike Tours for Families

bike touring with kids

Cycling tours are a great alternative way to travel to destinations you might not see otherwise. These bicycle tours are not possible from a rental car or train. You just need good condition bikes to enjoy the rides.Yes, it might seem crazy to travel by bike with young kids.  However, there are a lot of people who have done it.  Their kids often surprise them at how well they handle the trip (not that there won’t be some whining and complaining along the way). Of course you are going to need special gear for kids, but it’s still a pretty cheap adventure holiday. 🙂 

For some good resources on bike touring with families, check out these blogs and articles:

Gourmet As Heck ebook

Choosing a Family Cycling Tour

As you decide on a search for the perfect bike tour, consider whether you would enjoy a guided tour or a self-guided experience.

Guided tours come with the benefit of a local to tell you lots of information and will probably provide gear and meals too.  However, you are pretty much stuck with their schedule and plan.

A self-guided cycling tour gives you more independence and freedom. It allows you to ride at your pace as you make stops are various sites.  And expect to make lots of extra stops when cycling with kids!


1. Cycling the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur)

Cote dAzur

This is an ideal destination for sea. The path goes through the red-orange, colored villages, cities and towns, and transverses along a two-hundred-mile of the Mediterranean coast. On the sides we have the olive, ochre-colored little hills and mountains, on the other side; we have a beach bordering blue-smooth sapphire waters extending further to the horizon, under the azure skies covered with beautiful white clouds.

Families can plan to visit in June to see the greener vegetation. The water temperatures are about 21ºC/70ºF. Or come during in the last days of August or September to swim in the warm waters (about 24ºC/75ºF). In some years seasons change. In October and November, the weather is warmer.

Your family will enjoy a bike ride on the bicycle path surfaces and the road; the paths do not have potholes, they are smooth and flat. You will trace your way about easily. The bike routes are well marked.

2. Gastronomic Adventure Cycling the Dordogne


Dordogne nestled in South France is a popular choice for family holidays. It is known for its fantastic wine production, marvelous scenery, and delicious dishes. There is much to enjoy here. Dordogne is well suited for cycling holidays. The place has a beautiful climate, attractive historic sites and stunning landscapes found in the locality.

Also, you do not have to worry about your luggage, as it can be transported in between hotels so you can have fun cycling. Cycling around will give you a chance to sample some regional delicacies ranging from truffles to foie gras and the locally produced walnuts.

Arriving in Souillac the cycling holiday becomes merrier. The place is home to fantastic attractions. The most striking is the Benedictine Abbey you can explore on you two wheels.

Pedaling through Salat the following day with your family becomes even more attractive. You have two routes; you can choose one that suits you. The more challenging course goes over the river down through Carlux and to St Nathalene through the magical wooded countryside.

The gentler route will see you find your way down Dordogne Valley and give you a chance to savor the ever-so-tempting lunch at the grand Chateau de Fenelon, which also houses fascinating artifacts dating back between the 15th and 18th century. The mansion is an attractive place to visit.

Other places you would want to sample next time you are visiting include the Lez Ezyies, the lively St.Cyprien, The Roc de Cazelle a historic village and many more fascinating places. The region around Dordogne is especially excellent for cycling trips. It has lovely food and plenty of amazing scenery. For all your family cycling holidays, sample this place.

3. Cycling Routes of Switzerland

switzerland rhone

The Swiss love cycling and their country cross through by a network of (8,300km) 5,157 miles of bike paths and routes on 55 regional pathways and nine national. The country has many cycling routes but here are top routes for cycling in the Switzerland:

Rhone Route – It is the most popular route for the Swiss Cyclists. It starts in Geneva and combines the path of bicycle paths and lanes dedicated along the roads. One cycles along the north shore of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). The trail goes through the Olympic Museum and Lausanne and many vineyards before reaching Montreux.

Montreux – Is home to the lakeside Castle de Chillon, the top on the list historical attraction in the country. The bicycle path continues through the banks of the Rhone River going through the International Association Velodrome and Sion, a wine center before ending in Andermatt. The route gently rolls and is suitable for family tours. One may decide to go on through the Rhine through Germany and finally the Netherlands.

4. Cycling Alentejo, Portugal


Alentejo is the province across the Tejo River in Portugal. It is a main flat, arid land full of scrub oak, olive groves, vineyards, cork trees, whitewashed hill towns and a few fields. The land gains elevation as you proceed from the South to the North. Precipitation increases yearly.

Alentejo has four advantages for bikers. The town is relatively free of tourists and traffic, and the place is full of charm, it has a good climate, warm and dry during the spring, it is inexpensive making it a destination for you and your family. You can stay in quality hotels and historical-government buildings, (pousadas) at manageable costs.

The Alentejo has lots of open landscapes that make riding enjoyable. Along the routes, we have the charming whitewashed town hills. Many are along the “castle route.” For instance, as you cycle your family can sightsee the palace that was by once owned by the Portuguese Royal family. There are also breeding farms for some of the Europeans finest horses, which are open for group and family torus. That’s not all; you have Moorish fountains, Sprinkled Dolmens, and historic churches.

5. Liguria, Italy


Italy has plenty of fascinating scenic cycle tours around the Liguria region. The Cinque Terre is stunningly beautiful it has picture-perfect villages along its dramatic rugged coastline. Cycling here is interesting and varied. The views are magnificent and breathtaking. Plus the food is plenty for families that visit the site for cycling tours.

If you are looking for an active and fun vacation to spend with your family, why don’t you think of hopping on your bicycles? Riding through the picturesque scenery is fun and a good way for family bonding.

Remember that not all places in Europe are friendly to campers.  If you plan on doing a multi-day bike trip with your family, check the wild camping laws of where you are going!

Image credits:

Trek Transport cargo bike” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by geiranders1970
Furka Pass” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by will_cyclist
Cotê d’Azur” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by fzurell
Dordogne” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by tetue
Alentejo” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Salomao Nunes
Liguria” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Karl Jóhannesson

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