Dreaming of a family vacation in Europe? Love bicycling as a way to explore new destinations? Consider combining the two. If you've been fantasizing about your family exploring Europe on two wheels, there are plenty of great bike tour companies offering options for different budgets, interests, fitness levels, and children's ages.
One of the big upsides of taking a trip like this is that parents are off the hook when it comes to planning and managing logistics.
These trips are all about taking it slow and enjoying the immersion into the local culture and history.
High-End Family Bike Tours
Thinking of splurging on a luxury bike trip? These tours include a full support van, luxurious accommodations, three daily meals, bike rentals and helmets, and additional recreational experiences. Expect prices to start at $900 or more per person/per day.
Butterfield and Robinson: For more than half a century, this well-regarded company has offered luxury bike trips that manage to be both active and genuinely plush. On its family bike trips, different age levels are accommodated on different itineraries. A Holland biking trip might be perfect for kids as young as 3, while a hilly Ireland trip might be better for kids 12 and up. Of the many options, two of our favorites are:
Backroads: This well-established tour company (established 1979) offers a wide array of family-only Europe bike trips of various difficulties and interests.
Some offer multi-sport add-ons that are appealing for older kids and teens. There are dozens of options, including:
- 5-Night Holland and Belgium Family Tour (Holland/Belgium)
- 5-Night Stockholm to Copenhagen Family Bike Tour (Sweden, Denmark)
Mid-Priced Family Bike Tours
Go with a mid-range tour operator, and you'll likely pay around $550-750 per adult/per day.
Kids typically get a discount of 20 percent or more. Expect guided tours with support vans, mid-range accommodations, meals (but perhaps not three per day), bike rentals and helmets, and some additional recreational activities.
Austin Adventures: This reputable company was founded in 2000, and has made a name for itself as a solid choice for families looking to combine an active biking trip with a cultural adventure. Two solid picks that are super kid-friendly are:
Ciclismo Classico: A boutique tour operator since 1988, Ciclismo Classico is known for providing unique and authentic biking adventures that combine culture, food, and history. Families will love:
Budget Family Bike Tours
These tour operators offer self-guided tours featuring family-friendly 3- and 4-star accommodations, luggage transportation from hotel to hotel, bike rentals and helmets, and daily breakfast. Prices are reasonable at around $100 per person/per day.
BikeTours.com: This tour company offers several options for families in Europe, including self-guided tours.
If you're worried about road traffic, you can choose a trip that sticks to dedicated bike paths. Solid kid-friendly options include:
- 7-Night Danube Family Tour (Austria)
- 6-Night Connemara Lazy Days Cycling Tour (Ireland)
Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher