Gravel riding destinations in Europe - looking for tips and inspiration

I am looking to book a challenging gravel riding holiday in Europe. Mountains or hills plus some stunning scenery a must. Any body got any tips? A long distance trail for bike packing would be cool, but would also consider stopping at a location to explore from a single base.

Sadly, I do not have any recommendations in terms of routes. Just curious though… What kind of bikes you are planning on using? How will you transport them? Are you thinking about renting in situ?


You literally can’t find a more beautiful gravel road in Europe.


I have a Tifosi Cavazzo, which is carbon frame, with clearnace for nobbly tyre. I generally run 35s. Disc brakes. I am considering changing the group set and or gearing to better reflect off road touring over mountains.

Wow - just taken a look. Stunning… That suggestion goes straight into contention. Thanks

Rallarvegen looks awesome.

I can also recommend Italy or Spain. The Dolomites are incredibly beautiful, check out the Yolomites5000 route - if you’re looking for a challenging mixed gravel/road route that’s going to be it, this one is brutal with 5000m of climbing in 125km - that’s like 16000 ft in 75 miles. Plus the views are jaw dropping. From the Dolomites you could descend towards the Garda lake, there’s plenty of gravel and it’s a beautiful area.

Or you could plan a route in Spain from Barcelona to Girona, take a few detours on the way (I really recommend to take the gravel climb from Barcelona to Montserrat, it’s awesome). I did ride some gravel there on a road bike with 25mm tires and it was challenging at times, I ended up crashing a few times when I lost traction on loose over hard, you definitely need a gravel bike for that, your bike will be perfect.

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I can recommend the Tuscany trail route which is 600-700km, especially if you appreciate old towns on top of really steep hills! A friend just did the Torino-Nice rally which looked equally as stunning.

Also check if you’ve not already.


Just checked out the link and some video on youtube of the yolomites 5000 - looks incredible.

Torino-Nice rally is on my list (

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They are a plenty of gravel riding. You have choice.
Me, I have imagine two itineraries to go from Lille to Budapest in July 2019. It’s a valleys road.
At the same time, I imagine to use a lower itinerary. From Stuttgart, then cross the mountain of Bavaria and Austria to arrive to hungary via the Burgenland.
I will be glad to sharing this travel with person who like this kind of ride.

I ride with a minimum of luggages (max. 10 kg) to climb easily and ride long distance (100-150 km)

this guy in Switzerland posts amazing videos of gravel rides with his Diverge and Open UP.

Anywhere in Germany’s Black Forest around Freiburg. You have so many great options in Europe.

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Germany 's black forest could be interesting for my itinerary. Have you any idea for a good bike ride road to go from Strasbourg to Ulm.
I will consider your answer before to finalize the plan of my cycling trip next July.

I would really like to ride somewhere near St. Petersburg, what a great city, man. I was there just for one day, it was a tour I booked at Really want to get back there and ride.

Was in Girona earlier this summer. In addition to amazing road riding, the area is criss-crossed with converted railbeds and old farm tracks that have been converted to use for bicycling or walking. Check out for info. Very flat and non-technical - used them for recovery rides. There are many more of these paths than described in the website. They did a gravel fondo ride (as part of Sea Otter Europe) around Girona as well that is probably more challenging. As part of Sea Otter, they also did a XC marathon race that was 84km if you want something really challenging,

I can’t say enough about what a great place Girona was to ride, and eat, and visit medieval villages, and eat, and ride again.

Gravel is just starting to really gather steam over here. I moved to Austria from Sun Valley, ID in 2010 and have been blown away by how endless and good the gravel here is. are now working with OPEN Cycles to push Gravel in the beautiful eastern Alps. Check out there scheduled and private options. The hut tours last year were amazing.

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A bit left-field but you could look into the Snowdonia national park in North Wales.

I grew up there in the 80’s and cut my cycling teeth on an old school MTB (Specialised Rockhopper)

There are literally miles of gravel forest tracks and other similar type ‘b’ roads crisscrossing the entire area.