Uncover natural wonders and secrets along the European coastline

7/23/2023 – Lauren Wolff

Uncover natural wonders and secrets along the European coastline

On ROUVY, there are many unique and magnificent coastlines around the world just waiting to be explored. In this article, I'll suggest a few famous European coastlines you can ride on your trainer to soak up each shoreline's unique and natural characteristics and beautiful scenery and 'smell and feel' the sea breeze along the water's edge. Let's take you on vacation!

We'll begin in the North Sea in the icy cold waters of the Atlantic and then take you to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, where each coastline has, over time, defined that continent, shaped its history, established its communities since ancient times, inspired and fast-tracked exploration since a bygone era, encouraged trade conditions and attracted tourists and cyclists who make it their dream to enjoy the wonders of its spectacular landscape and scenery. Let's enjoy them too!

Nusfjord Nordic fjord meander

Norway has the third longest coastline in the world and the longest in Europe. The coastline is rugged and indented and regarded as its most remarkable feature attracting tourists worldwide to view the magnificent fjords, islands, and fishing villages, each with characteristics that add to the beauty of the coastline.

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On a magnificent narrow and winding coastal road in Norway, we meander from Nusfjord to Haukland Beach with its sheltered bays and coves, deep fjords surrounded by spectacular, dramatic, rugged mountain scenery, dense forests, and deep valleys. In summer, when the sky is clear, the fjords take on a rich azure blue reflecting the sky and contrast against the rugged cliffs and deep green vegetation and forests, completing a masterpiece of a landscape unique to Norway.

Nusfjord is a small fishing village in Norway that lies on the southern shore of Flakstadøya Island in Lofoten in the north. Glaciers created the fjords of Norway that, over 2,5 million years, changed and altered the landscape by carving deep valleys into the coast below sea level. Nusfjord is one of the most famous of many fjords found on the coastlines of Norway. The word fjord comes from an ancient Viking phrase for 'crossing over point.'

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As you ride along, you will spot here and there the characteristic red and ochre houses and buildings nestled beneath the majestic Lofoten mountain range along the Vestfjorden. The red colour used for the homes and buildings allows the wood to breathe and dry quickly. The minerals of this natural colour preserve the wood, and it helps it to last longer in this very damp climate.

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From Nusfjord, located on the western fjords, with its mountain backdrop appearing chiselled out of the sea like enormous towering sculptures, to the northern islands under the midnight sun, there is a lot to discover as you cycle on quiet and peaceful roads in this magnificent and picturesque region of Norway. While you are touring the North Sea, you may also like to cycle along a stretch of the well-known Atlantic Road route, an engineering marvel and a unique stretch of road which takes you right out to the seashores and is known to be one of the world's most scenic drives.

Surf and turf in Sardinia

On the edge of the breathtaking coastal stretch of Costa del Sud, you'll ride from Teulada to Chia in southern Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean below Corsica, just southwest of Italy. Sardinia has 1,800km of coastline to explore, and we can ride there virtually along the coastline in this beautiful natural region on ROUVY.

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Teulada is home to several important archeological sites, including the Phoenician and Roman ruins of Nora, found just a few kilometres south of the town. Other points of interest in the area include the Church of Santa Maria di Porto Salvo, which dates back to the 12th century, and the Su Portu Beach, a popular spot for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

Chia is a town in the province of Cagliari, a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful white beaches, such as Chia, Cala Cipolla and Cala del Morto Beach. The historic Chia Tower is a 16th-century Spanish watchtower built to defend against pirate attacks.

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Take on this rolling route, suitable for hill interval training with some short but tough little climbs over a quick 20 km with 332m of ascent, where your rewards will be the views at the top of each climb. The route in the opposite direction from Chia provides more stunning views of the unspoiled coastline from the other side on a traffic-free road.

Naxos - Island of the Greek gods and giant of the Cyclades

We travel next east along the Mediterranean coastline on our virtual European coastal journey off the Greek mainland, and we will be riding along the coast on the Greek island of Naxos. Naxos is one of the 227 inhabited Greek islands forming part of and in the heart of the Cyclades, the most famous island group in the Aegean Sea and the most prosperous as far back as 500 BC until today. The island is rich in culture and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the group of islands and is famous for its fascinating ancient ruins and medieval structures.

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Ancient Greek folklore on the island is rich with classical mythology: The legendary tales of the god Zeus, father of the Olympian gods and Dionysus, the god of wine, are known to originate here. According to the Greek Myth, the god Dionysus met Ariadne, the Minoan princess, on the island, where she was abandoned by Theseus, the Athenian prince, at the time of his return voyage to Athens. Also, the Portara ruin, the island's most famous landmark, a marble gate, forms part of an ancient, unfinished temple dedicated to the god Apollo.

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The ride leads you on a 27 km rolling terrain on the east coast of Noxa island heading south, beginning on a long sweeping descent with spectacular views while hugging the beautiful coastline with its pristine white beaches, aquamarine blue-green waters and dazzling white breakers along the shoreline. If you love the deep blue waters and white beaches, you'll enjoy riding along Andros Island's coast, the Cyclades' northernmost island.

Tossa de Mar to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain

Another beautiful route to explore virtually on ROUVY is along the rugged coast of Spain on a rolling up and down coastal meander from Tossa de Mar, a historic seaside town in Catalonia, located on the Costa Brava, taking you 20 km with magnificent sea views further to Sant Feliu de Guixols which is also a sandy beach town with a tree-lined avenue leading from the rocky headland to the south to the marina.

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The Tossa de Mar shoreline has breathtaking panoramic views across the Mediterranean Sea and is well-known for its sandy beaches, lighthouse and historic fortified medieval village and castle.

Join the European Coast Challenge and make a mini cycling summer holiday of your unique seaside journey!

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