The Easter period is a good one to get away. It’s often between seasons, especially with it being late this year as it’s after ski season before the summer sun seekers get going. This means there are some great deals to be had. We’ve done a little research and put together a couple of easter getaways with a journey (plus a bike) for under one hundred pounds and a hotel for the duration at the same price.
Getting away with your bike isn’t just for the hardened roady or triathlete either. If you simply love exploring new towns and cities, the bicycle is the perfect tool with which to do this. Simple, cheap and can be left anywhere at low fuss and with low risk. Bikes can easily be locked to a nearby bridge while you head into the local boulangerie.
It’s possible to get cheap flights almost anywhere these days, especially Europe. The slight issue, is getting a cheap flight, with a bike and return for less. I have done a reasonable amount of travelling with my bike in the past twelve months and I’ve learned that the bike costs more than me – every time. The only exception to this is Jet2, with whom it’s possible to bring a 30kg bike bag for £30. My bike, kit and bike bag alone come in at just under twenty kilograms leaving me ten to play with for the post riding dinner attire. With this, we are free to fly to a huge host of destinations including Bodrum, Naples and Jersey but my favourite on this list coming in at a cool £29 for the cheapest flight out I could see was Chambery.
Chambery is a truly beautiful place to ride a bicycle. The AG2R u23 team even base their riders there. Nearby places include Aix Les-Bains as well as a huge lake to ride around. Obviously, being the alps, there’s a few climbs too. These include, but certainly are not limited to, the Col du Chat and the formidable Mont Revard climb which is an incredible 25km long! Around mid April the roads below 1500m altitude are almost completely clear. It’s a unique time to ride in the alps too, as many of the high mountain passes are cleared of snow but closed to cars. It’s worth packing kit for every weather, it can be warm, cold, snowy, rainy and everything else. The mountains that Chambery reside in are some of the most beautiful in Europe. Four time Tour de France winner Chris Froome even said that it was some of the best training roads he’s ridden last year – and he’s been about a bit.
Whenever I’m looking to explore somewhere, I head to Komoot for a bit of virtual exploration, check Chambery out here.
As for hotels, a quick peruse of booking.com finds that Chambery hosts an F1, Ibis and Premierre Classe. All of these are around the £30 per night mark meaning you can stay for three nights for under £100.
Boats are a cheap way to get about, especially if you go on as a foot passenger. It’s possible to pick up a ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe for almost bang on £50. This is the same in both directions, though you might need to cross at slightly awkward times. Ferries are generally cheaper than Le Shuttle though, so if you’re looking for a cheap way to get away, it’s the method to use. The ferry ports of northern France are well situated for a huge range of bike riding nearby. Whether it’s riding the cobbles in Flanders, the grippy lanes of normandy or the Ardennes climbs made famous by the hilly classics, all of this is within a short-ish drive from the ferry ports on the Channel cost line.
There’s a huge number of hotel and accommodation options available here – but our old friends Ibis and Premierre Classe are solid choices. One of the beautiful things about this part of Europe is that it’s so small it’s easy to do all the famous climbs of the classics over just a few days – especially if you have a car with you.
The Ardennes Classics are my favourite bike races of the year, and these being half a day’s driving from the ferry port makes them accessible and easy to get to. Quiet, cycling friendly roads, excellent cafes and some of the world’s best beer! What’s not to love? It’s easy to pick up a crossing with a car for less than £100 and, with some budget hotels, you’ve got yourself a cheap getaway with your bike.
Europe is accessible by bike only, well you also need a ferry but let’s assume you don’t have a car with you. If we give ourselves a decent ride each day but nothing silly, for a four day easter period, what can we do with just a bike? Let’s get the Ferry to Dunkirk, we can ride to Bruges and either camp on the outskirts of town or find a hotel on the first night. From here we head to Aalst, through Ghent taking in some of the famous roads of the classics. On the third day we head to the beautiful Oudenaarde, then back to Dunkirk on the fourth day. This leaves us with a very flat 325km route to complete over four days. With a budget barely touched by our foot passenger ferry ticket we can have the pick of the hotels – however with Ibis hotels costing us €30 €70 per night in Belgium we have a solid option every night that won’t break the bank if sleeping in a ditch isn’t your thing.
Since the pandemic, opportunities to travel have been severely restricted. This is no longer the case and exploring a new place with your bike is one of the best ways to use it. Embrace getting lost on the long ride, embrace using the bike as a means of getting around and finding new things. Getting away doesn’t have to break the bank either, you can easily fly to the alps with your bike for under £100, you can easily get a ferry to the finest cobbles in the world for under £100 and you can absolutely head off with just your bicycle for next to nothing! For exploring, bike is always best.
If you want to make sure you’re covered while you’re exploring out on your travels, check out Yellow Jersey bicycle insurance here to look through your options and get a quote from us.