Bicycle touring Argentina

The 11 Best Bike Touring Destinations In The World (According To Long-Distance Travellers)

I recently posted an infographic outlining the favourite bike touring destinations of over 50 long distance bicycle travellers. Many of the people surveyed are extremely well-travelled, having crossed continents and experienced dozens of countries by bike. In total, 159 destinations around the world were recommended (view the infographic HERE).

When I tallied up all of the information, I found that 66 different countries and regions were represented. Nearly a quarter of all people mentioned the most popular country in this list! Can you guess where it is?

I thought it would be a good idea to run a countdown with the top-11 countries, and find out the reasons why these destinations are so popular for bicycle touring. My hope is that this resource will help you determine where to ride next! 😊

The 11 Best Bicycle Touring Destinations In The World

11. India

Cycling Leh Menali
Bicycle touring from Leh to Menali. Image: NorthSouth.cc

India is a place with a unique character. You can start by immersing yourself in the colours, smells and excitement for life that Indian cities are renowned for. The rough roads in the breathtaking mountainous regions are popular amongst bike travellers – discover quiet roads, hill tribes, clifftop monasteries and Buddhist/Hindu cultures. For a real challenge, ride at 5359m on the highest ‘motorable’ road in the world.

Where in India*?
North East (Nagaland), North West (Shimla, Ladakh, Leh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Zanskar)

*Equal with Australia, Turkey, Norway, China, France.

10. France

Best Road in the World
Lacets de Montvernier, France. Image: Steephill.tv / Sirotti

The French cycling culture is ripe for discovery. With amazing mountain roads, spectacular landscapes, small preserved villages, world-class food and great cycling infrastructure – bike touring in France is a real delight. For cycling fans, a highlight is timing your trip to watch a handful of Tour de France stages. It’s hard to find the same crowd energy and excitement anywhere else!

Where in France*?
Alps, Luberon Valley, Cannes, Lyon.

*Equal with Australia, Turkey, Norway, China, India.

9. China

Bike Touring China
Touring from Qinhai to Gansu in China. Image: BrakingBoundaries.org

The middle and western regions of China tend to be very polarising, but perhaps this part of the world is just a little misunderstood. The culture in China is unique and foreign to even the well-travelled, but should you take your trip by the horns and accept the potential adversity (yep, it’ll be a challenge), you’ll discover some wildly curious people who live in a country that operates very differently to your own. On your bike and you’ll find the views near Tibet to be otherworldly and the mountain roads around Sichuan to be simply breathtaking. Turquoise lakes and prayer flags will constantly add splashes of colour to the vistas. Are you up to it?

Where in China*?
Western China, Tibetan Plateau (G219), Sichuan Province.

*Equal with Australia, Turkey, Norway, France, India.

8. Norway

Best Road in the World
Trollstigen, Norway.

Norway has achieved bike touring notoriety through its pristine mountainous environment and smooth winding roads. You can camp anywhere, discover wild animals and food (berries) everywhere and challenge yourself on the testing terrain. With the perpetual daylight of summer, having to stop every day is probably the hardest bit!

Where in Norway*?
Trondheim, Narvic, Mo i Rana.

*Equal with Australia, Turkey, China, France, India.

7. Turkey

Cycling in Turkey
Bike touring in Turkey. Image: CyclingAbout.com

Turkey is a dream destination that offers the complete package. The warm and welcoming Turkish people offer extreme kindness to bike travellers as they invite you over to share çai (tea), food and maybe even a place to stay. In addition, Turkey has a rich history, interesting culture, amazing food and a great climate for bike travel. The Turkish landscapes are diverse too – you’ll find authentic towns and villages to stay almost everywhere.

Where in Turkey*?
Istanbul, Izmir, Cappadocia, Iran Border, North East, Anatolia.

*Equal with Australia, Norway, China, France, India.

6. Australia

Bike Touring Australia
Bike touring in Australia. Image: TBSPhotography.com

Australia is where you go to find solitude. The burning red centre offers never-ending dirt tracks, open horizons and a warm climate. Along the coastal areas, you’ll find a variety of landscapes including alpine regions with snow, never-ending beaches, coral reefs and lush rainforests. There are lots of little historic towns along the way, and if you walk into any of the pubs you’ll discover the unique Australians that frequent them!

Where in Australia*?
The Great Dividing Range, Buntine Highway, the Outback.

*Equal with Turkey, Norway, China, France, India.

5. Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan bicycle touring
Bike touring in Kyrgyzstan. Image: CyclingAbout.com

Kyrgyzstan looks like a Windows desktop image. You’ll be camping in some of the most picturesque parts of the world next to the grassy hills and mountain peaks of the western Himalayas. Locals will welcome you into their yurts to experience the nomadic culture of the Kyrgyz people. Make sure to get off the main roads to enjoy some adventures in the more remote, less-travelled parts of the country.

Where in Kyrgyzstan*?
Central region, Tosor Pass, Torkent to Kochkor.

*Equal with Tajikistan.

4. Tajikistan

Pamir Highway Cycling
Bicycle touring on the Pamir Highway, Tajikistan. Image: BraveLemming.com

Tajikistan and the Pamir Highway, in particular, are a bike touring favourite. Although a superhighway of bike tourers in the summer months, the route is still rough and testing of you and your equipment. Ride along rollercoaster sections of road, past rusting tanks and crumbling watchtowers, next to turquoise lakes and parallel to unexplored mountains.

Where in Tajikistan*?
Pamir Mountains, Wakhan Corridor.

*Equal with Kyrgyzstan.

3. Argentina

Bicycle touring Argentina
Bike touring in Argentina. Image: Bicycle-Junkies.com

Argentina offers a truly unique high altitude landscape. The harsh environment combined with the low traffic volumes and perfect gravel roads results in the overwhelming feeling of isolation. Argentina is wild camping galore and you’ll find mountain passes for days along the Chilean border!

Where in Argentina?
San Pedro de Atacama to Cachi, Patagonia, Paso de Agua Negra, Paso de San Francisco, North West.

2. United States of America

Bike Touring USA
Bicycle touring in the United States. Image: Eddie Clarke

The USA is an incredibly rich network of stunning landscapes. The environment is everything from rock formations to vast desert expanses to redwood forests. There are enough low-traffic roads to keep to yourself, or alternatively, you can pick popular bike routes such as the Pacific Coast to bump into like-minded bike tourers. The climate is always mild somewhere in the USA and you’ll find lots of infrastructure (eg. campsites and food stores) for bike travellers.

Where in the USA?
The Great Divide, Mojave Desert, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, Pacific Coast, Mississippi River Trail, Dalton Highway (Northern Alaska), Redwoods, Vermont.

1. Chile

Bicycle Touring Patagonia
It’s a very tough decision between cycling in Torres del Paine National Park (shown) or the region near San Pedro de Atacama.

This is a place where nature rules. Chile will throw wild weather at you as you ride along quiet gravel roads, through forests, past giant lakes, across mountain passes, through desert landscapes and next to snowy mountain ranges. But that doesn’t matter because Chile is wild camping nirvana in unbelievable scenery and it’s isolation at its best. Visit Chile and you’ll never feel more alive.

Where in Chile?
Patagonia, Lake District, Sico Pass, Carretera Austral, Puna de Atacama.

Check Out The 159 Best Bike Touring Destinations Infographic HERE

  1. Yeah, I love the photo too.. brings back some great memories (and a lot of very windy ones in this part of Argentina! 😉 )
    You should go, it’s beautiful!

  2. Not to be pedantic but…there are no pine forests in Chile. In fact, there are no pine forests south of Honduras, which is the southern limit of the range of the genus Pinus. There are pine plantations in Chile, but those are non-natives such as Monterey pine (a narrow endemic in California) that have replaced native forests. There are some native conifers in Chile, and Chileans may refer to all conifers as “pinos,” but those rarely dense forests. The most notable are the stands of alerce (“false larch”), found in Argentina and Chile, which in some ways resemble the California redwoods; and the Araucarias (“monkey-puzzle trees”), also found in both countries.

  3. Hola Alee, gracias por poner a Chile en 1º lugar, de hecho soy Chileno, soy un ciclista novato y me estoy armando una bicicleta para “touring”, yo vivo en Puerto Montt, Region de los Lagos, y recomiendo la carretera Austral, que tiene su origen en mi ciudad, mi sueño es recorrerla al igual que la ruta 40 en Argentina, tambien es interesante la ruta hacia la region de los Lagos (“Lake District”) y los Rios (desde Puerto Varas a Valdivia hay paisajes espectaculares pero por las carreteras mas pequeñas, no pavimentadas que unen los Lagos , hay enormes formaciones volcanicas, rios abundante agua y bosques de Alerces y Araucarias. En fin , te felicito por tu pagina , siempre estoy consultando los detalles tecnicos para poder armarme una bicicleta de cicloturismo (“touring bike”) gracias por todo y saludos desde el fin del mundo.

    p.d : Tambien es recomendable par los mas extremos el paso villa O higgins- El chalten (Chile- Agentina, zona sur de la carretera austral) y Tierra del fuego (Chile – Argentina , Cordillera de Darwin , Ushuaia, Yende Gaia Puerto Williams, Wulaia)

    p.d. 2: soy muy malo para escribir en ingles asi que escribi en español , por favor aplique traductor de Google para leer en ingles con mas comodidad

    un abrazo y saludos!!

  4. Well, be careful, riding a bike in Chile you have many possibilities to have a big accident, cars and drivers don’t respect at all cyclist

  5. I have been in 102 countries cycling since 2001. Even I am part of the Infographic as Alvaro Neil, the biciclown, the final list of Top destinations for World touring cannot be more inexact. Just saying USA great nat parks but you pay for that instead Mongolia, big wild free camping. Cuba is also a cycling paradise despite the fact you cannot do free camping. And Africa? the hospitality continent should be there somehow. And Norway? Well have a look what happend to me in Norway https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw_zqi0XudI&t=19s Regards

  6. Dear Alvaro Neil, “The Biciclown”
    Being a Norwegian myself, I was deeply ashamed when I saw the way you were treated in Norway. I can assure you that this woman’s behavior is not typical in this country. Please give me a line if you are ever in the Oslo area, and I will be pleased to offer you a beer and let you camp in our garden (or in our house if you prefer). Jorn

  7. I’m glad to see my country, the United States,on here. But I’m going to be honest with you, as much as I love it, there are large chunks of it that are not great for cycling.

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