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My most pleasant bicycle tour segments

Kingsley Burlinson  2016

There is plenty of information on the web about bicycle tour destinations. But much less about the greatest cycling segments, omitting the mundane stretches of cycling between these most memorable or most scenic segments. And only rarely are maps of these great cycling segments provided.

So here is my selection of the absolute best cycling segments from my travels. I am a "lightweight" tourer and i do not carry a tent etc., relying on local accommodation during my travels so my touring is limited to routes where significant towns are up to 200 Km apart. These routes are each one or more day cycling segments of 120 Km. or more. They are all paved road routes.

I include a small overview map, and also a link to a "kmz" file of the route which you can view in google earth  and zoom in for detail. Since 2013 I have used a GPS tracker to save my routes.

Although these routes are in no particular order, I must admit that the most spectacular routes in my opinion are:
Warning:  The best rides and scenic routes almost always involve mountains. Most of these routes require muscles and endurance!


Across the island through Taroko gorge and over Wuling summit. A truly spectacular but very strenuous ride.

taiwan taroko gorge

Looking down on the cloud tops concealing lower Taroko gorge

looking east down taroko gorge

Google earth route map of Taroko gorge , Wuling summit and Sun-Moon lake.


Across the inland sea bridges from Onomichi to Shikoku island.

japan bridges map, onomichi

The only triple-span suspension bridge in the world. And it has a bike pathway!
southern bridge across inland sea

You can ride to the north of the island and get a ferry back to Honshu and nearby Osaka airport, but the traffic is heavy and the scenery uninteresting as you near Tokushima (ferry location).

Google earth route map from Onomichi to Shikoku island


The Icefields parkway from Banff to Jasper through the National Park

banff to Jasper route map

Google earth route map from Canmore to Jasper


Aurillac to St. Etienne, in the massif central region and across Puy Mary.

aurillac to st etienne map

Low traffic roads, 2-3 days cycling, not many services between Saint Flour and Le Puy-en-Velay.
Google earth route map Aurillac to St. Etienne, Puy Mary and Loire valley.

Route des Cretes, Vosges mountains NE France. (Pilgrim's route)

route des cretes, vosges mts, France

Lake Gerardmer
lake gerardmer

Google earth route map from Deycimont (near Bruyeres) to Guebwiller (Deycimont has a nice B&B to stay at)


Picos de Europa national park and Lagos de Covadonga, Austurias, Northern Spain.

picos de europa map

Avoid the main roads - very heavy traffic on them
Google earth route map of the Picos de Europa region.


North-western china between Chongqing and Xian in the Qinling mountains. But the military dislikes lone westerners in these touristic mountains!

These are 2 segments of my travels and I rode north from Dazhou and later south from Baoji. I was detained by the militia and police in Xixiang and  involuntarily relocated to Xian by bus.

Xian route maps, china

Mountain valley near Wanyuan
valley near wanyuan

Google earth route map for both segments in the Xian area


Northern Arizona canyon-lands, into Colorado and mountains

chinle canyon to Montrose map

The high Coalbank pass between Durango and Silverton

durango to Silverton pass

Google earth rote map from Chinle Az. to Montrose Co.


The Victorian coastline, the "Great Ocean Road route" from Port Campbell to Apollo Bay and Queenscliff

Great ocean road route, Victoria

The Great Ocean road near Apollo Bay
Apollo bay to lorne coastal raoad

Google earth route map from Port Campbell to Queenscliff ferry terminal

South east Queensland - Kingaroy to the orange orchards at Gayndah

Kingaroy to Gayndah route map

Google earth route map from Kingaroy to Gayndah and Paradise dam


A good cycling destination, but be prepared for rain, particularly on the west coast.


Avoid NSW - it has an anti-cyclist administration and police force which facilitates if not actually encourages aggressive motorist behaviour against cyclists.


Southern coastline west of Antalya and also Lake Egirdir

Fethiye and Egirdir route maps

Looking westwards across lake Egirdir to the town of Egirdir

lake egirdir

Avoid riding in Istanbul - it is cycling hell! Use the ferry to Yalova (from Yenikapi terminal)

Google earth route map of both sections


Almost the entire country is great for cycling.
I could not pick just a single best segment so this selection is 700+ Km from west to east. There are many scenic mountain climbs, but also many pleasant river valley sections.

austria route map

Google earth route map across Austria


A deliberately hilly scenic route east from Zvolen

Zvolen to Turna route

The walking trail in the gorge near Turna nad Bodvou

slovak gorge

Google earth route map Zvolen to Turna nad Bodvou


A deliberately mountainous and scenic route from Thun to Zurich with 2 high passes each day!

thun to zurich route

Google earth route map from Thun to Zurich

New Zealand

North Island:  The Coromandel peninsula

Auckland to Tauranga route map

Google earth route map from Auckland to Tauranga

South Island:  Kingston to Queenstown and then over Crown Range pass to Wanaka.

kingston to Wanaka via queenstown

Google earth route map Kingston to Queenstown and over Crown range pass to Wanaka

There are surely many more great cycling routes which I have not yet discovered!

 I hope these route experiences inspire you you find your own cycling ecstasy.