On the open road…three of the top places for a European (motor)bike tour.

With summer upon us and people being outdoors as much as possible now is the season of the road-trip. The only difficult decision is perhaps the most important one: where do I go? With so many options it’s tough to choose where the best places to go on holiday are. And while this list of only three is in no way even remotely complete, here are a couple of the best picks for a summer road-trip, whether you want to do it with a motorbike or under your very own pedal power:

  1. Tuscany, Italy. This famous region which is home to the Renaissance hardly needs anything to be said about it. As one of the oldest regions settled in Italy, but the time of the Roman Empire it already had an ancient history and thriving populace. The region was and remains well known for its marble mines and olive groves—and of course its wine and food. The rolling hills and hilltop towns, many of the mediaeval and even older, complete the picturesque setting making it one of the most beautiful places to explore on bike or motorcycle. Though for those not so fit it’s hills can be a challenge.
  2. The Danube, Austria. The Danube has been used for trade and transport since the the Bronze Age at the least and many sections have been settled for even longer. The Venus von Willendorf is some 34000 years old and found along the banks of the Danube. Along with cave paintings in France and Spain it’s one of the earliest evidence of art production in early humans. The river in Austria embraces the entirety of that history with ancient castles, mediaeval villages, industrialised towns and an overabundance of vineyards. Ever the delight, the trip shows all the river has to offer and continues into Slovakia and Hungary (as well as Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania further downstream) for anyone wishing to extend their tour and get a flavour of how the cultures change as the river flows.
  3. Andalusia, Spain. Perhaps best known as the setting of what is often regarded as the world’s first novel, Don Quixote, Andalusia is one of the more fascinating regions in an already fascinating country. In its history Andalusia and its mountains, deserts, and beaches were under the rule of Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs and Spaniards. For 700 years the country thrived under Muslim rule and developed an impressive intellectual culture and multicultural and multi religious society. Seeing this regions diverse and subtle history is the perfect tour for those who are historically inclined. As summers can routinely get to be +40 degrees Celsius, going earlier or later in the year can make a difference.

Not only did the selection confine itself to Europe, with only three entries it’s hardly representative. For example, the UK – Birmingham run can be a good option as well. But with so many choices available these three choices, the decision can already be quite difficult.