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The World’s Most Picture-Perfect Cycle Paths, According To Instagram

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 autumn 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 kilometres.

The results revealed the cycle paths with the highest number of photo shares per kilometre, with the Blue Ridge Parkway in the USA topping the table, raking in 823 image shares on Instagram for every 1,000 metres of its 755 kilometres.

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 kilometre. Lake Ohrid in Eastern Albania takes third place with 691 shares per kilometre.

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 NameLocationInstagram
Images per KM
Blue Ridge ParkwayNorth Carolina & Virginia, USA832
Going To The Sun RoadMontana, USA734
Lake OhridEastern Albania691
The Shimanami KaidoHiroshima & Ehime Prefecture, Japan582
The South Downs WayHampshire & Sussex, UK488
Kinderdijk Cycle RouteSouth Holland, The Netherlands486
Simpson’s Gap Bicycle PathQueensland, Australia445
Carretera Austral (CH-7, Southern Way)Patagonia, Chile372
Nova Scotia’s Cabot TrailCape Breton Highlands, Canada337
Crater Lake LoopOregon, USA185
The Katy TrailMissouri, USA173
Romantic RoadBavaria & Baden-Württemberg, Germany99
The Camel TrailCornwall, UK82
Cape Point Nature ReserveTable Mountain National Park, South Africa77
Cilento National ParkSalerno Province, Italy76

1. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina & Virginia, USA

Blue ridge parkway

Running across North Carolina and Virginia, Blue Ridge Parkway has captured the hearts and cameras of cycling aficionados.

Taking travellers through the Appalachian Mountains, it’s nicknamed ‘America’s favourite drive’ but cyclists are welcome to take in the beauty and wonder of the region as they pedal amongst the diverse vegetation and glorious ascents and descents of this picture-perfect route. 

2. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana, USA

Going to the sun road

With 730 photo shares per kilometre, 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 photography opportunities.

3. Lake Ohrid, Albania

Lake ohrid

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-kilometre 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

The shimanami kaido

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

The south downs way

Welcoming cyclists to the British coast via pretty countryside trails, the South Downs Way is a several-day bike journey amongst 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

Kinderdijk cycle route

Shortest on our list so far at only 43km long, the Kinderjijk Cycle Route tallies up an impressive 486 photo shares on Instagram per kilometre.

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 are happy to guide you along the way.

We’ve had lots of fun compiling and analysing 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 kilometre can be found here: https://www.explore.co.uk/blog/most-picturesque-cycle-routes

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