Top 5 European Destinations for Gran Fondo Cycling next Summer
Driving distance destinations to enjoy best Gran Fondo rides on the European continentin 2021!
1. Norway: Trondheim-Lillehammer-Oslo
Following the legendary route of Styrkeproven, you can start from Lillehammer or if you feel you have the energy, cover the 530 km full route, and discover the beauty between the Oppdal and Dombas areas. Visit the Dovrefjell Mountains where you can ride hours, completely alone with only a handful of cars. Lillehammer, the Olympic city is the ideal city for a pit stop and rest, at halfway distance to Oslo.
The Gran Fondo that you should not miss is, Styrkeproven.
The growing interest for road cycling in Norway goes hand in hand with the popularity of cycling as a sport. The country is famous for its natural splendours, and you have the additional benefit of good quality roads, many of which are refreshingly free from traffic, noise, and pollution.
Additionally to Oslo, we recommend the Stavanger region.
An out of the ordinary marvellous tour, depart from Orsdalsvatnet to get the most out of the challenging uphill part of the route. There are plenty of good opportunities for dining along the way back to the coastal city of Egersund. But you are missing hundreds of kilometers in the country where you can spend a full month whithout repeating any roads!
2. France: Mont Aigoual
Apparently Mont Aigoual marks the intersection of the Atlantic and Mediterranean weather, and on a clear day you can see the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees and the Alps.
The climb to Mont Aigoual allows people to drive to the other side but like, Mont Ventoux, most people drive back around rather than over. This means a network of wide roads for cyclists with little traffic.
The Tour de France may visit this area to race again, but the scenery is so rewarding and the roads are there for cyclists to enjoy at slower pace. The idea is to introduce the road and its place in the world, whether as part of cycling’s racing history or to enjoy the route on a day without racing open to all.
The Tour de France crossed the summit in 1987 when Silvano Contini was first over the top. It was during a stage from Millau to Avignon, 239km long and over six hours. Despite the climb it ended in a bunch sprint won by Jean-Paul Van Poppel, today a manager at Vacansoleil-DCM. Contini’s not a big name but still he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1982 and the now defunct GP du Midi Libre, a tough week-long stage race in the south of France. And this year the Stage 6 of the Tour de France is coming back here .
If you want discover the area before, register for the Cyclo’Aigoual Challenge 2020 and the final uphill miles of the stage the Pro will tackle in the Tour.
3. Drenthe, Netherlands: Cobbles and Smooth Asphalt
Here is you opportunity to realize your own cobbled Gan Fondo experience in the region, “The cobbles and tough terrain make Drenthe very similar in some ways to the men’s one-day Classic, Paris-Roubaix.” but at your own rhythm.
Nowhere else in the Netherlands will you find as many kilometres of dedicated cycle paths as in Drenthe. No wonder Cyclists just love its vast heathlands, its dreamy villages, its characteristic Saxon farms and extensive peat moors. But Drenthe has much more to offer! Cycling in Drenthe is discovering the megalithic tombs on Hondsrug ridge. These boulder tombs were made by prehistoric people.
Road cycling in Drenthe is exploring National Park Dwingelderveld where countless cycle paths take you across forests, rolling heathlands, sand drifts and meres. This is the largest wet heathland in Western Europe. BIt is the scene of the “Ronde van Drenthe” race which takes place in the province of Noord-Brabant, about 200 kilometres to the south of Assen. Characterized by cobbles and its marqued climb, a hill on top of landfill. It’s only a short climb of a few hundred metres long, but it is steep in parts (nudging 15%) and is paved with cobbles towards the top.
Gran Fondo Drenthe offer you the option to discovert this amazing destination!
4. Andorra: Pyrenees Country
Cycling in Andorra is an intense experience. The Principality has 21 mountain passes! This is why the Vuelta de España and Tour de France choose the country roads to organise their blue ribband stages, with climbs of all categories, including first category and Haute category (beyond category). Discover some of them at La Volta als Ports d’Andorra.
Andorra’s roads are well marked with informative signs. You will be surprised how much Andorra’s motorists respect cyclists and pass at a safe distance. Safety and comfort are two factors that can really make a cycling trip more enjoyable!
This is real cycling country with more than 40 Pro WorldTour Cyclists living and training here. Cycling has arrived in Andorra, to stay. Not in vain, more and more are professional cyclists in Andorra, who settle in Andorra and professional cycling teams that train in Andorra.
One obvious sign of the popularity of cycling in Andorra is the variety and quality of services for cyclists. In our country you’ll find numerous Hotels adapted for cyclists, where you can rest after a tough stage.
This is the official cycling guide in Andorra, where you will find each and every one of the possible riding routes in Andorra, with the technical sheet of each cycle route of Andorra indicating the mileage, altitud gained, difficulty, % average gradient in each section, and even curiosities of the route to enjoy the landscape.
Also, included is QR codes to download the routes. Click here to download the official cycling guide in Andorra.
5. Catalonia, Spain: Costa Brava and Costa Durada
From the rolling Costa Brava coastline to the Pyrenees Mountains, the May Girona Experience has it all.
Cycle the numerous roads of Girona and Costa Brava and experience the amazing diversity of Catalunya. An iconic cycling destination, you will share the road and see why many professional cyclists choose Girona as home for its many benefits including quiet roads, great people, wonderful food and a welcoming culture. The Sea Otter Europe Festival, a cycling enthusiast dream this year scheduled for september, may be the perfect excuse to move to this region.
There is no discusion that Girona City may be the center of Cycling Gran Fondo culture of Southern Europe and surprise you with so many unique places to ride on road and complementing with gravel paths too.
The weather is generally relatively warm, and as a result the surrounding country tends to be greener than the southern areas. You’ll find the lowest average temperature is two degrees centigrade in December, January and February elsewhere, while the highest average in the same months in Girona is 13 to 14 degrees centigrade!
Costa Daurada – Tarragona
There are some great routes in the Costa Dorada. We would describe it as a middle mountain region. The climbs top out at about 1,000m, but with 330 days of sunshine a year, quiet roads and beautiful countryside, this is one of our favourite palces to ride in Spain.
La Mussara is the highest point in the area and the loop from the coast winds it’s way up to the base of the climb, before there is a conserted 10km climb, a brillaint ridge ride and then a fast and furious descent back to the sea. Costa Daurada lies south of Girona and the Costa Brava, allowing it a fantastic climate that makes cycling in shorts possible for all but a few months of the year.
The long climbs of the Prades mountains, hills covered in almond and olive groves, the Priorat vineyards, Montsant National Park, UNESCO protected 12th Century monasteries and dramatic, deserted villages.
Ideal mix of Cycling and Roman culture Heritage, Tarraco city (former Roman name) and their surroundings at “Costa Daurada” will offer a combination of secundary roads across small vilages , with flat and midle mountain hills routes. And all complemented with a city with nore than two thousands os History heritage where Greeks and after Romans created one of the reference harbour ports of Mediterranean and keep the Anphiteather, Circ, Theater and other historical sites to visit.
The city become a gastronomical reference last years on the old town neighbour, where you can find diferent restaurants with the bes local fish and mediterranean food offer.