Because spoiling your other half doesn’t have to cost the Earth…
By Jamie Rycroft
So we all know the famous song about a man named Harry who courted his partner Daisy with the promise of riding on a “bicycle built for two” (in the version I used to hear as a child, there was a response verse from Daisy herself; where it turns out that Harry really should have checked whether Daisy could cycle before planning such crazy ideas).
Nevertheless, cycling has always been a romantic activity, especially when you’re going through pretty, new landscapes. So we’ve drawn up a list of five fantastic places in Europe, (all easily accessible by train, natch) where you and your loved one can rent bicycles, explore new places, and do all those exciting and adventurous things you do when you’re caught up in the swoons of love, and not thinking about the leg-cramps you’ll be suffering later that evening…
It’s pretty much impossible to use the word “cycling” in a sentence without saying Amsterdam somewhere as well. And it’s not difficult to see why: the Dutch capital is the perfect example of a city that has given up the shackles of cars and fully embraced the freedom of roaming by bike and by public transport.
There are so many opportunities for bike rental in the city that it would be impossible to name them all, but we recommend MacBike, where you can glide straight in via train to Central Station, and then ride off by bike. There are a great range of exciting urban tours to follow, including an art trail and film trail, or you can simply wander and see where the roads take you…
Milan, the home of sweltering sun, amazing architecture and fearless fashion, is also home to a lot of major congestion issues. It is literally impossible to drive through the Italian city in a measure of time that seems any way reasonable.
So why not bypass all that nonsense and have a romantic cycle instead? With Bikemi, you can easily pull in at Cordona station and then get on your bikes to tour around the multitude of culture and beauty that Milan has on offer. Added benefit: it’s notoriously difficult to carry large amounts of clothes on a bicycle, so this may cut down on her fashion shopping spree a little…
There’s a great hotel named the Panorama Suite, only a bus journey away from the town centre of Helsinki, where you can rent out bikes to explore the surrounding forest and countryside. The trail is a stunning one, filled with nature and fantastic views, and is right next to the sea too.
So if you want to try somewhere different to go these summer holidays, try this little Finnish piece of paradise, and if the tranquillity gets dull at all, you’re extremely close to the thrills of the country’s capital.
What place in the world is more romantic than France? However, if you want to explore a place less frantic and a little more historic than Paris, then you should check out the beautiful city of Avignon. With a huge and ancient cathedral, and even larger Palais de Papes, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find something amazing to see or to do as you cycle around the town.
Bikes can be rented from Avignon’s TGV station, more information on which can be found here. If you want to discover even more of France, then you can travel to other cities such as Lille and Nice, where you can also rent out bikes at the station, so you get the maximum opportunity for exploration and adventure.
Prague is a fascinating and unpredictable city, with historic buildings residing right next to ultra-modern ones, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever get bored there. Luckily, the Czech capital also has a fantastic bike rental service, where you can follow several tours through well-chosen landmarks, or simply choose to ride where you want to ride.
If you want to pull in at Praha Masarykovo Nádraží station and get cycling straight away, then you can also arrange to have your bike delivered to the train station: visit the Praha bike website for more details.
Here comes the science bit…
GC articles show you one of four ways (the one in bold) to live greener…