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Ugly Tours Through Europe

by Angelique Platas

Apr 25, 2019

Martini314 – Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Finding the beauty in an iconic city like Rome, London Prague or Paris is easy — just look around. See the jaw-dropping sites of the Coliseum or the Sistine Chapel on a summertime trip; take an obligatory photo on the South Bank with Big Ben in the distance; savor the Prague Castle visits; or stroll the stunning streets of Paris in the springtime. For something with a little different perspective, but still with a scenic view, U.K.-based cycling tour company Freewheel Holidays has options for your active family.


Offering European bike tours through all the traditional must-sees, Freewheel Holidays offers something for those looking for a little twist. Affectionately called the “Ugly Tour,” it’s really just a cheeky way to say travelers have the opportunity to see all the most-visited tourist destinations in the area, but with add-ons and swap-out options if the sites are just too busy. You’ll be within a stone’s throw of crowds visiting a 17th-century Reuben House in Antwerp, but will instead stop at the more modern Port House on a Belgian Beer Tour.


While all the warm-weather crowds flock to the most-visited destinations in Europe, you’ll be nearby at some of the lesser-visited locales. See more of the alternate stops your family can make on your next cycling tour through Europe.

Cycle Path.

Cycle Path. Photo: Björn Wylezich – Dreamstime.com


Florence to Rome 

On an eight-day, self-guided tour of Italy, travelers can see the uglier side of the country’s famously beautifully cities. Your family will ride through stunning architecture sites from an ugly time, Fascist Italy under Mussolini rule. Learn all about the interesting history, sorted past and still-standing and stunning buildings in Rome and Florence. Read more about the specific stops here and get ready for an epic family trip, beginning at $1,048, per person, based on double occupancy.


Prague to Dresden 

Another eight-day, self-guided bicycle tour takes families travel through Czechoslovakia and Germany along the Elbe (River) cycle path. Stop at sites famously left over from Eastern Europe’s blended and ancient past. Stop by Prague’s Nuclear Bunker Museum to view Soviet-style paranoia.


Other “ugly” tours include the shorter, seven-day itinerary with Brussels to Bruges via Ghentis; cable-car rides from Innsbruck to Munich; parliament visits in Basel to Strasbourg; and the sciences of Geneva to Lyon. Check out other trips and availability here


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