Pedal off track: 6 unusual cycling destinations

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Off road cycling holidays can be hard to find as maps and route notes are less available. The terrain may be undeveloped or the weather conditions may make the tracks less (if not at all) accessible at certain times of the year.

Taking you away from the highway and into the hills and vast valleys, check out these unique and memorable bike tours that take you off the beaten track.

With the latest addition of mountain biking in Ladakh, these below destinations have just become more accessible for you.

Ladakh, India

Snowcapped peaks, high mountain passes and striking moonscapes dotted with prayer flags and Buddhist monasteries await you in this remote and majestic Himalayan region. Explore Ladakh at handle bar height on some of the world’s highest roads

It’s an unmissable corner in the Indian Himalayas with rugged landscapes, Champa nomadic encampments, remote Buddhist settlements and spectacular lakes.

Normally travelled by trekkers, you can be one of the very few to delve into Ladakh on a mountain bike crossing three passes over 5000m on a route never commercially cycled before. The challenging two-wheel expedition will be led by avid cyclist and adventurer Kate Leeming, who designed and tested this stunning route and will see you camping beside lakes whose clarity and colour you would never think possible if not seeing them with your own eyes.

Mountain Bike through the remote Indian Himalaya >

Quebec, Canada

Off road cycling holidays: Blueberry route in Quebec, Canada

Just two hours north of Quebec City, you will find Saint-Jean Lake. There is a circuit around the lake that offers a gentle ride through peaceful farmland, green forests, quaint towns and secluded beaches. Most other travellers will come to this area by other means of transportation so you will find the track is often for yourselves. Along the way, you will encounter many small tourist attractions. Truly discover the region and indulge in the route’s namesake – blueberries, of course! They grow wild and are farmed extensively throughout the area. You will find them sold by the basket, in pies, chocolates and, for a real local delicacy, combined with local game meat.

Cycle Quebec’s Blueberry fields >

Limpopo and Mpumalanga, South Africa

 

Experience the culture, nature, cuisine and attractions of this diverse region at handlebar level as you pedal your way through scenic provinces in North-Eastern South Africa. Combined with a safari experience in the world-renowned Kruger National Park, you’ll also go in search for the Big 5 on a game drive. Major highlights on our cycling route include riding through the majestic Wolkberg Mountain range of Limpopo and visiting the breathtaking Blyde River Canyon and the picturesque Panorama Route – with the Three Rondavels and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Taking an exploratory ride through the bushveld where it’ll feel like a safari cycle as you enjoy personal encounters with some of the animals of the African Bush. You can also opt for an e-bike for that extra assistance, so you can enjoy every enchanting side road you pass without physical limitations.

Cycle to South Africa’s picturesque north >

Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Things to do in Southeast Asia? Cycle in Bagan for a day!

Explore upper Myanmar by bike, following trails that are mostly off the beaten track. Start in Mandalay, the last royal capital of Myanmar and where the Royal Palace can still be visited, and cycle to Bagan. This city is home to one of Southeast Asia’s finest collections of ancient pagodas and temples of a bygone era with intricate carvings, murals and astonishing architecture. In between both destinations you’ll find timeless villages where you can observe the traditional way of life. For stunning panoramic views, climb the 700 steps from the golden temple at the summit of sacred Mount Popa. For bustling local markets, handicrafts and stilted villages, go off-road cycling on the shores of Inle Lake.

Cycle from Mandalay to Bagan in Myanmar >

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Off road cycling holidays: Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan with World Expeditions

Are you looking for exhilarating mountain biking adventures with a twist? Ever thought about going on an off-road cycling holiday to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan? The countries were once part of the Silk Road and their grasslands are dotted with nomads and yurts. Perhaps unexpectedly, in this area it’s possible to have a helicopter drop you (including bike) off at altitudes of 3,500m from where you can take an unforgettable yet daunting descent (1,300m!) on switchback trails and forest dirt roads. If you also like some pampering, in the remote Karkara Valley we stay at a property with a traditional sauna and a bar.

Heli-bike through Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan >

Southern Alps to Pacific Ocean, New Zealand

Off road cycling holidays: New Zealand mountains to the sea

In a country where most visitors go on a self drive holiday, why not consider a cycling holiday that takes you away from the popular trails? From the mighty Southern Alps to Ocean this spectacular trail takes you past the turquoise blue lakes at Tekapo and the golden tussock lands of the Mackenzie Country with superb mountain backdrops of New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook.

Get the chance to soak in the local hot pools, enjoy a lakeside picnic and savour delicious local produce and wines prepared by an award winning chef. This region of New Zealand is great for an off-road cycling adventure that includes ancient Maori rock art and dramatic limestone landscapes.

Cycle off the beaten track in New Zealand >

Feel like exploring one of these destinations on an off road cycle adventure? At World Expeditions we’ve been operating active adventure holidays since 1975 and while some of these trips have been running for a longer time already, others have a more exploratory character. For more information and booking details, contact our team of travel experts around the world.

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