This year marks the bicentenary of the bike, and there’s no better way to celebrate the two-wheeled invention than by embarking on a culinary cycling trip. Don your tightest leggings, clip on your helmet and hop on the saddle to explore the verdant fields and steep hills of some of the most beautiful regions on the planet, all in the pursuit of (what else?!) a delicious meal.
① Coastal Views and Tea Tastings in Sri Lanka
Home to a lush tea country and cerulean waters, the rolling landscape around Galle, a coastal city in southern Sri Lanka, is best seen on bike. Black Tomato lets you do just that; you’ll visit Loolecondera Tea Factory, the country’s first tea plantation (which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year) and learn about the history of tea in Ceylon, the country’s prized export.
② Fresh Lavender and Local Wine in Southern France
There’s no better way to experience the splendor of lavender season (June through August) in Provence than by bike. DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. runs a tour that includes Sault, France’s lavender capital, where you can make your own herb-infused oils, soaps and teas. Between each ride, feast on Provençal spreads paired with local wines, like Grenache from Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
③ Organic Farm Visits and Private Feasts in Cuba
Backroads' six-day journey through Cuba will take you beyond Havana. You’ll cycle to farm-to-table feasts at organic farms, dine on crispy roasted pig at ranchóns (open-air restaurants) and visit the island’s best tobacco, rum and coffee sommeliers for demonstrations and tastings.
④ Oysters and Craft Beer in Ireland
From June to September, Wilderness Ireland offers cycling tours of the Sligo Food Trail in northwest Ireland. Along the route, which begins in Strandhill and ends in Glenade, you’ll try Irish craft beer, shuck your own oysters and feast on Mullaghmore lobster and Knocknarea honey. Recharge each evening with yoga classes along picturesque back roads.
⑤ Carménère and Conger Eel Soup in Chile
Skip Napa and cycle Chile’s wine region instead with ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours. Visit the Valle de Colchagua to savor the full-bodied Carménère, a grape that grows almost exclusively in Chile. Top off your adventure by sampling caldillo de congrio, the country’s signature soup, which is made from boiled fish heads, peppers and spices.
⑥ Slow-Cooked Lamb and Foam-Topped Coffee in the Balkans
Discover the cuisine of the Balkans on a trip with Mountain Travel Sobek. Ride over the Dinaric Alps in pursuit of slow-cooked Montenegrin lamb in milk or fëgesë, an Albanian dish consisting of peppers, tomatoes, onions, cottage cheese and spices, all reduced into a stew. Top it off with a frothy Bosnian coffee.
⑦ Lobster Feasts and Slow-Roasted Salmon in Canada
TDA Global Cycling kicks off its three-month bike tour through Canada on June 3; participants can cycle the full length or join for two- or three-week portions. Expect to refuel with salmon roasted over an open fire in Haida Gwaii, fried chicken toast with pimento cheese and pickled squash in Winnipeg, and a traditional buttery lobster dinner in Charlottetown.
⑧ Craft Cocktails and Country Cooking in North Carolina
Experience Southern hospitality at its finest when you cycle the Southern Appalachian Highlands with Trek Travel. The six-day trip in September, hosted by James Beard Award-nominated chef Jonny Hunter, will include a buttery dinner of sparrow, eggplant escabeche and fall greens with fried lentils and buttermilk.
Michaela Trimble is a nomadic travel writer and photographer previously based in New York. Follow her on the road on Instagram at @michaelatrimble.
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