Top Ten Bike Tours for Foodies

What better way to sample the culinary delights of a region than by pedaling along its backroads, enjoying the scenery and working up an appetite for the next meal.
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Top Ten Bike Tours for Foodies: Cape Winelands, South Africa
Vineyards in South Africa's Cape Winelands region  (courtesy, Butterfield & Robinson)
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10) The Cape & Winelands, South Africa
Beginning in Cape Town, explore the Cape Peninsula coast before heading inland to the Franschhoek Valley, with its French roots and magnificent vineyards, and the Shamwari Game Reserve. On the way, taste a medley of Cape Malay, Indian, Afrikaner, and European culinary delights, such as springbok loin in balsamic broth.

Planning: Spring and fall are the best times.,,

9) Basque Country, Spain
The region’s cornucopia of ingredients combine to create some of the best cuisine in Spain: including aged beef grilled over hot coals, and bacalao (salted cod)—washed down with Basque cider or Riojawine. Cycling tours take in fishing villages along the area’s rugged coast, the cultural delights of Bilbao, and Haro and the Spanish plateau, where Rioja wines are produced in all their glory.

Planning: Tours are available tailored to your interests and fitness level.,

8) Burgundy, France
With lazy lanes, picturesque canals, farmland, and vineyards galore, Burgundy is a biker’s delight. Discover the abbeys at Cluny and Vézelay and the historic cities of Dijon, Mâcon,Tournus, and Beaune, with architecture funded by wealthy wine merchants. Taste the likes of Vosne-Romanée, Gevrey-Chambertin, and Puligny-Montrachet along the way.

Planning: A network of linked cycle routes covers the region, providing services and facilities for cyclists.,,

7) Piedmont, Italy
With robust wines (Barolo, Barbaresco) and singular gastronomy, Piedmont is a gourmet’s paradise—a typical meal consists of at least six courses, accented with some of the world’s finest truffles. Pedal along quiet but hilly country roads, visiting red-roofed villages, such as Alba, and the five towns of Barolo.

Planning: Moderately difficult.,,

6) Mediterranean Turkey
For centuries Ottoman chefs crafted dishes for sultans, creating a rich culinary tradition in the process. On this tour of epicurean discovery, you will cycle through the citrus-perfumed countryside and along the Mediterranean coast, exploring the seaside towns of Bodrum and Datça, and ending with a three-day cruise on some of the world’s most dazzling blue waters.

Planning: A challenging route for intermediate and advanced cyclists.,

This Top 10 List is just one item on the menu in FOOD JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe. This beautiful new book from National Geographic presents hundreds of delicious destinations—spotlighting specialties and ingredients, markets, seasonal delights, great food towns, kitchen secrets, ultimate luxuries, and the best in desserts, wine, beer, and more.

Published: 10 Nov 2009 | Last Updated: 21 Sep 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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