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Top 10 cycling routes in the world

Jun 13, 2012, 6 a.m.

The world is a big place to cycle through, but the best cycling trips can be memory-making with just a little planning ahead. Make sure the required paperwork is in order before traveling internationally, and check U.S. State Department websites for travel safety warnings. Now begin a journey of the best cycling routes offering the world's most breathtaking scenery.

Victoria, Australia

If you are looking for a challenge, consider this 243-kilometer route along Australia's southern coast. An alternate 60-kilometer route can also be toured from Torquay to Bells Beach. The routes will include farmland and ocean views from the tops of cliffs along Lake Connewarre.

Udaipur City, India

Biking is the best way to explore this area and there are plenty of cyclists along this route. Passing herds of camels and goats and along old pavements, there are temples and palaces to enjoy in rural India.

The Karakoram Highway, China-Pakistan

This route is known as the highest international road anywhere and reaches altitudes of 4,700 meters along Khunjerab Pass. The roads are mostly unpaved, but the views are breathtaking. The Karakoram Mountains will stay in sight and tower over the Hunza Valley.

Hiawatha Route, Idaho-Montana, United States

This route is along an old railroad bed and is a favorite for cyclist who prefer a leisurely 24-kilometer ride. The route tours over seven trestles and through 10 tunnels and takes in Bitterroot Mountains.

Taichung, Taiwan

Cycling the skirts of Sun Moon Lake is a favorite for locals and foreigners. The clear, turquoise waters reflect the cherry blossoms in the spring. The ride takes about three hours and the curious aboriginal culture and local ecology are fascinating.

Burgundy, France

The Route des Grand Crus is about 800 kilometers of leisurely biking that will wind through some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world. Cycling is the most popular way to explore the wineries and the small, medieval town of Beaune. The area was the center of the wine trade industry in the 18th century.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Molesworth Road is for the experienced cyclist. The 320-kilometer challenging trail is not for the faint-hearted. According to The National Geographic, the route is open to the public December through April and is, at times isolated, and will take about five days to complete. The route overlooks the country's largest farming area.

Quebec, Canada

P'Tit Train du Nord is a Canadian route running 200 kilometers northwest from St. Jerome to Mon-Laurier along an old railroad bed and paved roads. The route takes cyclists through villages and across the magnificent resort of Mont-Tremblant.

The Great Divide, Canada, United States

This route has been called the most difficult in the world for cyclists to complete. Known as the Holy Grail of the bike world, the route is off-pavement much of the way, but the scenery will thrill even the most seasoned biker. The route includes a 4,418 kilometer ride with altitudes reaching 3,600 meters.

Amsterdam, Holland

Touted, Cycle Route 10 is known as the bike-friendly capital of the world, as the population are mostly cyclist. Route 10 can be run in about four hours, and includes a 42-kilometer trail traveling through city and rural areas. The rivers, windmills, and street markets along the way are 19th century.

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