The best way to see and appreciate a place is by cycling. You will be spoilt with choice with the cycling here in Calabria. There are trails for everyone. If you are just a beginner cyclist and only want to go at a leisurely pace, then most of the cycle paths along the seafronts are ideal.
But if, on the other hand, you are looking for something adventurous, Calabria has many spectacular mountain trails to explore. You will not be disappointed.
I have visited many towns in Calabria and have seen that most of them are well equipped for cyclists. There are cycle paths mostly on the seafront where you can cycle admiring the turquoise blue sea and there are cycle paths which lead you to nearby towns along the coast.
It is wonderful to be able to cycle and not have to worry about cars behind you and you can always look at the sea.
Explore Calabria by bike
You can see so much on a bike, incredible landscapes, spectacular mountains opposite you with trail paths and dirt roads zig-zagging up to hill top villages. Calabria gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sea, countryside and mountains. The scenery is so diverse wherever you go. There are many medieval villages to discover.
Castles and palaces
You will see many fields with olive groves, citrus trees and beautiful wild flowers. Cycle past ruins, Saracen towers, monuments and imposing castles, stopping at your leisure to explore what you want to see, palaces once inhabited by rich, powerful noble families.
Cycling for everyone
The coastal towns are ideal for families to go cycling. You can see many families cycling along the promenade.
Some towns are on the flat which makes it really easy to cycle. Other towns may be hilly so might be a little tiring. This of course depends on your experience and how fit you are.
I often cycle to reach nearby towns and most of this ground is flat so it is not so tiring, but pleasant. I go at my own pace and have to say that each cycle is an incredible experience.
I only have a road bike and have no skills to be able to climb mountains, but I have seen many MTB riders head up to mountain villages and cover long distances on their bikes. They always look so well prepared with their special bike clothing and protection wear.
I usually just wear something light, depending on the weather. It is a complete new world being able to see places on the bike. I would like to share with you one of my cycling days in Calabria.
One of my bike trails
This is one of the trails I enjoy riding on my bike with my friend. We usually take the short cut from my home onto a hilly road. Unfortunately, this is the difficult part of the ride as you have to go uphill, but then the fun part comes when we cycle down it.
It is like flying through the air until we reach a narrow tunnel, which is not used very much by road users.
Olive groves and citrus trees
There is a long track after the tunnel. We go along this track passing many fields with olive groves and citrus trees. We can smell the oranges as we cycle past the orange groves.
Being up high on the saddle allows us to see over some stone walls bedecked with jasmine into those lush green fields with rows of fruit trees. This trail takes us over a couple of footbridges until we can see the beautiful turquoise sea ahead of us.
We cycle alongside a beach sometimes stopping and going for a swim until we come to a shaded wood with pine trees. After a short ride through this wood, we reach the seafront and cycle along a cycle path reserved only for cyclists.
As we cycle, we can see the soft white sand and the sea always in view. We pass beautiful villas with flowers everywhere until we come to a very pretty square where it is time to relax and fuel up for the journey back.
As we sit and have our coffee and cake, we can see a Saracen tower and noble palace in the distance. There is a pretty park opposite us with monuments and benches. The square is lively as everyone is relaxing in the outdoor cafes enjoying the sun.
We are ready to continue our journey back. This is only a taste of what one can do on a bike if you are a beginner. It is a easy bike ride and lasts for two hours. We cover about 10 km. There are so many bike trails in Calabria so if you enjoy cycling you can bring your bike with you or rent one in the town you are visiting.
Bike-friendly towns in Calabria
There are bike shops in almost every town. You will also see the elderly riding their bikes as it gives them great exercise and most of the bikes have baskets to carry back the daily shopping. You will see many of them at the markets pushing their bikes to give them support and balance, and then off they go with their goods laden in their bicycle baskets.
Many towns in Calabria are promoting the use of bikes and e-bikes so they are becoming more and more bike-friendly towns. You can enjoy the fresh air or sea air as you cycle around.
Most experienced riders will bring their own bikes with them, but if not, some hotels will offer a bike rental. There are also e-bike tours. You will love the trails Calabria offers. Some of them will take you up to waterfalls, through nature, ancient monasteries and other interesting places.
You will be able to use all your skills and really discover Calabria. More and more Bike Operators are setting up in this region as they realise this is a biker’s paradise not only for experienced riders, but for everyone.