Here are some of our favourite places and experiences from the first year of our world tour. Read more of our favourites in 10 Places To Ride Your Bike Before You Die.
Top Tourist Attractions:
- The bath houses at Baden Baden, Germany — perfect for weary cycling muscles! Our favourite is the Caracalla Therme
- The Kobarid Museum in Kobarid, Slovenia tells the tale of the fighting that took place in the area during WWI. Fascinating and sad at the same time
- While you’re in Kobarid, go to see the beautiful Soca river and maybe walk to the Kozjak waterfall. Stunning stuff.
- Go to Bolzano, Italy to visit Otzi the Iceman at the South Tyrol Archaeology Museum
- Bathe in the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea, perhaps at a stunningly beautiful location like Portonovo (just south of Ancona), where the road drops steadily for 3km until you reach beaches flanked by high cliffs.
- In Syria, we were particularly taken by the souks of Aleppo and the ruins at Palmyra
- Route 132 through Quebec, along the south shore of the St Lawrence river. This road is particularly scenic around Kamouraska, relatively quiet and some great little B&Bs for a treat.
- Route D7 in the Ardeche region of France, from Privas to the Col de Benas — climb, climb, climb up the hill till you get to about 800 meters. Fantastic views the whole way, hardly any traffic on this windy mountain road, and you can see for miles around when you get to the top.
- ALP826 in Spain Las Negres to Los Escullos – A beautiful road and definitely worth the climbing! There are a few hills to tackle, including a grade of 10 percent, but persevere and enjoy the scenery in this protected park. (See the post from this day)
- A two-road route in Morocco to challenge your legs but also with scenery to die for. First go to Igherm from Tata, stopping at Souk Tleta de Tagmoute for the night. Then south to Tafraoute on the R106, ideally taking two days as well over this section. (See the posts from day one, day two and day three of this journey)
- More mountains, we love them! This time our subject is the Serra da Estrella park in Portugal. Start in Covilhã, camp in Pião, then the next day work your way up to Torre, Portugal’s highest point. From there you can descend towards Manteigas. The whole way you enjoy beautiful scenery, carved out by a glacier. (See the post from the climb to Torre and videos from our day).
- No route numbers this time, but if you are in Syria try plotting a path from Aleppo to Saint Simeon, then onto the bustling town of Afrin, the temple of Ain Dara and the ruins of Cyrrhus before you reach the Turkish border. What a beautiful area filled with olive trees and amazing historical sights. Good riding too on very quiet roads.
- The Via Claudia Augusta bike path, which runs for quite a distance, was particularly enjoyable from the Austrian border with Italy all the way to Trento. For once, a route we recommend that isn’t mountainous!
- Hotel Al-Gawaher in Aleppo, Syria: what a friendly spot with the charming Ahmed as your host and so many fascinating guests to chat with. We stayed here several days and could have easily just moved in.
- Hotel Yunus in Gaziantep: smack in the centre of town this two-star hotel with free wifi, sparkling clean rooms and friendly staff is a great bet. We couldn’t open a door for ourselves here. There was always someone beating us to it!
- Happy Hour between 5-7pm at Au Brasseur in Strasbourg (22 Rue des Veaux), one of our favourites for many years, long before this trip was even thought of. Nothing better than 2-for-1 deals on great microbrewery beers, plus delicious Tarte Flambees also at a bargain price.
- The DARNA restaurant in Tangier, run as a cooperative by and for women. A fixed menu of a starter, usually soup or salad, and a tagine as a main course is available for just 35dh and they have great deserts too! A tasty meal in a lovely bistro type setting for a reasonable price. They also have a hair and beauty salon.
- Not a restaurant as such, but you can get some great and very cheap street food down by the ferry docks in Istanbul. A fillet of grilled mackerel in a bun with a drink for just under 2 euros, a chicken donair and an ayran yogurt drink for 1 euro. What a deal, tasty and a great place to watch the world go by.
- If you’re sightseeing in Aleppo, start your day with a fresh juice from the stands near the clocktower and for lunch try a bowl of fuul from the souk. It’s a bean soup with heaps of olive oil drizzled over and served with bread and fresh mint. It’s only about $0.50 for a bowl that will keep you going all afternoon.