Small group adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide has researched over 100 popular cycling routes across the world to reveal which ones are being photographed and shared on social media the most.
To provide some fall cycling inspiration, Explore analysed the number of hashtags each of these popular bike routes has amassed on Instagram and divided it by each route’s length in kilometers. The results revealed the cycle paths with the highest number of photo shares per kilometer, with the Blue Ridge Parkway in the USA topping the table, raking in 823 images shares on Instagram for every 1,000 meters of its 755 kilometers.
The remaining top five most picturesque routes take cyclists on a journey across the continents; in second place is Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana, USA, with 734 photo shares per kilometer. Lake Ohrid in Eastern Albania takes third place with 691 shares per kilometer. The Shimanami Kaido across Hiroshima & Ehime Prefecture in Japan (582 shares) and The South Downs Way in the UK (588 shares) complete the top five.
The 10 Most Picturesque Cycle Routes in the World
|Cycle Route Name
Images per KM
|Blue Ridge Parkway
|North Carolina & Virginia, USA
|Going To The Sun Road
|The Shimanami Kaido
|Hiroshima & Ehime Prefecture, Japan
|The South Downs Way
|Hampshire & Sussex, UK
|Kinderdijk Cycle Route
|South Holland, The Netherlands
|Simpson’s Gap Bicycle Path
|Carretera Austral (CH-7, Southern Way)
|Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail
|Cape Breton Highlands, Canada
|Crater Lake Loop
|The Katy Trail
|Bavaria & Baden-Württemberg, Germany
|The Camel Trail
|Cape Point Nature Reserve
|Table Mountain National Park, South Africa
|Cilento National Park
|Salerno Province, Italy
1. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina & Virginia, USA
Running across North Carolina and Virginia, Blue Ridge Parkway has captured the hearts and cameras of cycling aficionados. Taking travelers through the Appalachian Mountains, it’s nicknamed ‘America’s favorite drive’ but cyclists are welcome to take in the beauty and wonder of the region as they pedal among the diverse vegetation and glorious ascents and descents of this picture-perfect route.
2. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana, USA
With 730 photo shares per kilometer, Going-to-the-Sun Road is a cyclist’s paradise in the spring months as all motor traffic is forbidden. While exploring Montana’s Glacier National Park, be prepared for twists, turns, and jaw-dropping views. Logan Pass and the Weeping Wall are two unmissable stops along the way for cyclists looking for gorgeous photograph opportunities.
3. Lake Ohrid, Albania
Can’t decide between mountain biking and road routes? The path around Lake Ohrid gives you the best of both worlds in a scenic 92-kilometer cycling journey. With small towns, traditional fishing villages, and crystal-clear water, Lake Ohrid’s circular loop is certain to fill your camera roll.
4. The Shinanami Kaido, Japan
Connecting the main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, Japan’s Shinanami Kaido route offers memorable views to any cyclist who is ready to make the 70km journey across the smaller islands that lie in the Seto Inland Sea. But it’s not just sea views you can expect: each individual island offers an array of cultural attractions, so be prepared for a path that will quickly fill your Instagram feed.
5. The South Downs Way, England
Welcoming cyclists to the British coast via pretty countryside trails, the South Downs Way is a several-day bike journey among traditional English towns, rivers and chalk downs. Those who make the journey are recommended to prepare for some rainfall, depending on the time of year, but whatever the weather the ride will deliver some spectacular views between Winchester and the Seven Sister cliffs.
6. Kinderjijk Cycle Route, The Netherlands
Shortest on our list so far at only 43km long, the Kinderjijk Cycle Route tallies up an impressive 486 photos shares on Instagram per kilometer. Taking cyclists along the River Lek, this bike path guides you to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site at Kinderdijk, home to 19 historical windmills, making up the biggest collection of functional windmills in The Netherlands. The roads are flat, the scenery is beautiful and the Dutch happy to guide you along the way.
“We’ve had lots of fun compiling and analyzing this research, which highlights some of the most breath-taking places in the world that provide a truly memorable biking experience” said Michael Edwards, Managing Director at Explore. “We’re big fans of cycling in Albania and Italy and it’s great to see them feature so high on the list. We know these routes are popular with the cycling community and it’s fantastic to see both longer, epic tours across countries and some less-challenging routes that still provide cyclists with awesome scenery.”
The full findings and further information on the most picturesque cycle routes per kilometer can be found here: https://www.explore.co.uk/blog/most-picturesque-cycle-routes