With its vast size, China is home to some of the planet’s most incredible scenery – so why not take in some of the sights at your own pace on a bicycle tour?

EXPLORING far-flung destinations is on most people’s bucket list, but have you ever thought of doing it on a bicycle?

Seeing new places from a saddle offers a close-up perspective of the landscape and way of life, which can’t always be enjoyed from a vehicle.

Adventure holiday experts Explore offer more than 70 cycling trips worldwide, from a picturesque tour around Lake Constance to pedalling past the powering volcanoes in Central America, or even cycling through the rural backroads of China.

Great haul of China

They’ve just launched a new 12-day trip to China on what are classed moderate to challenging graded cycling routes from Chengdu to Guilin.

Join the trip in the sprawling city of Chengdu and visit the Giant Panda breeding centre and follow the route past terraced rice paddies and mountainous backdrops through the remote villages of rural China.

Learn to cook local delicacies before finishing the trip with cycle rides and cruises along the Li River amid stunning Karst scenery.

Trips depart this September and from next May, June, September and October, and cost from €3,105 per person.

This price includes return flights, 11 nights’ hotel and one overnight train accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, bike hire, transport and the services of an Explore leader, cycle guide, bike mechanic and driver.

Alpine adventure

Alternatively, the seven-day self-guided Lake Constance by bike is an easy graded trip set in the beautiful alpine setting of Lake Constance, shared by Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

Stop off en-route at the thermal spas and cycle through idyllic lakeside villages and huge apple orchards.

Discover the baroque town of Meersburg, home to Germany’s oldest inhabited castle, pedal through vineyards and spend time at the 15th century gothic cathedral in Radolfzell.

Departures run until this October and cost from €727 per person. This price includes six nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, bike hire and luggage transfers.

Tibetan wonders

Another trip just launched is the Tagong Horse Festival of Ancient Kham – an 18-day trip to the south-eastern area of the Tibetan Plateau which is home to striking mountain scenery and fascinating people.

Journey onwards to the Tagong grasslands for the annual Horse Festival.

This trip departs on next June 14, 2018 and costs from €3,984 per person.

This price includes return flights, 17 nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, transport and the services of an Explore leader, driver and local guides.

Hong Kong

Kunming to Hong Kong and the Buffalo God Festival offers a 16-day journey across southern China to explore ethnic minority villages and experience the Buffalo God Festival of the Miao people.

This trip departs on next May 16 and costs from €3,956 per person for return flights, accommodation, transfers, services of an Explore leader, driver and local guides.

Panama

Explore’s 14-day Cycle Nicaragua to the Panama Canal is a moderate to challenging graded cycle trip that explores the spectacular scenery of Central America and the tropical Caribbean island of Bocas del Toro.

Pedal past Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, cycle around the expansive Lake Nicaragua and visit the extraordinary Panama Canal.

While visiting Bocas del Toro, relax on the stunning beaches, snorkel or dive the colourful coral reefs and take a boat trip to one of the outlying islands.

This trip departs on October 20 and costs from €2,573 per person.

This price includes return flights; 12 nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; bike hire; transport and the services of an Explore leader, driver and cycle guide.

Flowers of the Cape

A 12-day journey from South Africa’s Cape Town to Windhoek during the wildflower season.

Trips depart on August 5 and 16 and cost from €3,088 per person.

This price includes return flights to London, five nights’ hotel, five nights’ lodge and one night guesthouse accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, transport and the services of an Explore leader, driver and local guides.