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Why September is the best month of the year to go on a cycling holiday

26th June 2013 Print

There was a time when the end of August signalled the end of summer. That is no longer the case. September has emerged as one of the best months of the year to go on holiday, a last summer fling before the leaves start falling and the nights draw in. The most obvious reason is the lack of crowds, once high season has passed and the children are back at school, many popular tourist destinations offer life at a much more tranquil pace.

Travelling in September is a more cost effective time to travel too, with airlines and local suppliers offering competitive savings. The climate for cycling in September in Spain and Portugal is more favourable, with temperatures turning milder and the sky taking on that deep blue hue. So, here are Freedom Treks top 5 September tours for a late summer cycling break, whether you have 3 nights or a full week available.

Catalan Coast and Villages

With its sheer diversity and varied natural landscapes, this cycling tour unearths the beauty of the Catalan coast. Cycle along the ‘Wild Coast’ with miles and miles of sandy, golden beaches and pretty coves tucked between rocky cliffs. Head inland to discover the beautiful Catalan countryside, passing fields lined with vineyards and olive groves and through medieval villages, full of character and steeped in history. Travelling through the Aiguamolls Natural Park offers the opportunity for some animal spotting within their natural habitat. The region’s acclaimed gastronomy and excellent local wines serve as a welcome bonus after an accomplished day in the saddle. How much? This 5-night, 69-mile self-guided tour starts from £549 per person in B&B’s, including bike hire, luggage transfer, maps, route information and Girona airport transfers. Departs daily, year round. Grade: Easy-Moderate. Flights are not included; options include flying to Barcelona Girona with Ryanair from Stansted or Luton or from Gatwick with Thomson Airways.

Portugal - Cycling in Paradise

For those who prefer to base themselves in one place then this cycling tour is the perfect fit, staying in a rustic and typical Alentejo country house. This tour offers plenty of flexibility and can be taken as a 3, 4 or 7 night tour, with a guided or self-guided option and everyone receives a bespoke cycling itinerary, according to their individual abilities. Enjoy the Portuguese countryside at its best and enrich your mind to the varied sights and sounds as you cycle through the hidden Alentejo. A perfect complement to a day’s cycling is relaxing with local food and wine at the end of the day. How much? Prices start from only £275 per person on B&B for the 3 night, 60 mile, self-guided option, including one evening meal, luggage transport and route maps. Self-guided tour departs any day year round. Grade: Easy-Moderate. Flights are not included; options include flying to Lisbon with from Gatwick with TAP Portugal or easyJet or from Heathrow with British Airways.

Umbria - Wine Tasting

Choosing Umbria, one of Italy’s leading wine-growing regions, as the destination for a cycling tour serves as a prerequisite for combining wine tasting to the itinerary. The tour starts in the medieval town of Spello, where you will start to become acquainted with the Umbrian wines, before delving into the green 'Valle Umbra', home to four famous wine regions. The famous towns of Assisi, Spello, Montefalco and Bevagna are welcome stops along the way, complementing the green, rolling hills, lined with vineyards and olive groves.How much? This 4-night self-guided tour covers 53 miles over 5 days and starts from £463 per person in 3* hotels on B&B, including one evening meal, bike hire, two wine tasting sessions, luggage transfer, maps and route information. Departs any day from 1st April to 31st October. Grade: Easy. Flights are not included; options include flying to Perugia (S.Egidio airport) from Stansted with Ryanair, or fly to Rome or Florence.

Bolzano to Venice

Capturing some of Italy’s most loved holiday destinations, this cycling tour starts in the city of Bolzano and embraces the beauty of Lake Garda as well as the cultural cities of Verona, Vicenza, Padova and Venice. Riding mainly on the flat, on cycle paths or along country lanes, the route starts off tracing the River Adige passing through orchards, vineyards and small villages before reaching the northern shores of Lake Garda. A ferry cruise takes cyclists from Riva southwards to Peschiera, the starting point for the route through the vineyards and on to Verona. From here a more hilly region just south of Vicenza offers a more stimulating ride before flattening out. After Vicenza you can continue to Abano Terme, one of Italy’s famous spas, followed by a night in Padova before reaching the final destination of Venice the following day. How much? This 7-night, 192-mile self-guided tour starts from £654 per person on B&B, including luggage transfer, bike hire, maps, ferry cruise on Lake Garda and entrance into Villa Valmarana ai Nani. Departs any Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday in September. Grade: Easy-Moderate. Flights are not included; options include flying to Verona or Innsbruck on the outbound and from Verona or Venice on the inbound. fly to all three airports, Innsbruck, Venice and Verona from London Gatwick.

Loire - Discover Chateaux Country

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the Loire Valley, home to some of the most prestigious Chateaux in France, and focus on the grandeur of the region. This tour starts in the royal town of Blois, with its paved streets and magnificent chateau, a masterpiece of French architecture. From here, cycle on a circular route through forest and vineyards, passing royal chateaux and through charming villages, with plenty of time to marvel at the magnificent landscapes and rolling green countryside. How much? This 6-night, 157-mile self-guided tour starts from £730 per person on B&B, including bike hire, luggage transfer, maps and route information. Departs daily from March – October. Grade: Easy-Moderate. Flights are not included; options include flying from Stansted to Tours with Ryanair or taking Eurostar or flying to Paris.

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Bolzano Loire Valley