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No doubt a well-deserved rest. Photo: © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesNo doubt a well-deserved rest. Photo: © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesPerhaps the best way to discover the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park is to hop on a bike and use one of the many cycle routes, ranging from relaxed trails beside the canal to challenging hikes through the mightiest of Welsh mountain ranges.

On top of a long list of trails within the Brecon Beacons there are two National Cycle routes that stretch the length of the country and cut through the park at various points, providing yet more choice.

You'll also find that green holiday providers such as Drover Holidays are offering a variety of guided and self-guided cycling holidays so you can experience the park as part of a larger group.

>> Read Lucy Symons review of Drover Holidays Wye Valley Meander.

Cycling trails

Head on over to cyclebreconbeacons.com and you'll find a long list of traffic-free, full-day and Tywi Valley routes that vary in length and difficulty, catering for everyone from small children to even the most experienced cyclists. Here are a few of our favorites...

  • Usk Reservoir Cycling Trail - A 6 mile circuit of the beautiful Usk Reservoir. Largely flat, the trail is perfect for families and offers great views out over the water, as well as Carreg Cennen castle and the Red Kite feeding station at Llanddeusant.

  • Llanthony Priory and Gospel Pass - A massive 52-mile adventure that starts out slowly as you pass from Brecon to Crickhowell, but then picks up the pace as you push on up into the Black Mountains, through the stunning Vale of Ewyas and on towards the Gospel Pass.

  • Golden Hills - One of the Tywi Valley routes, this 28-mile trail that starts off with a slow ride towards Tywi Bridge (plus a chance to take in the Dinas Nature Reserve). From here, a steep climb will bring you to the high point at Bwlch-y-rhiw and then down into Pumpsaint where you can visit the Dolaucothi Gold Mines.

Some areas are perfect for mountain biking. Photo: © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesSome areas are perfect for mountain biking. Photo: © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesNational Cycle Routes

There are also two National Cycle routes that cross the Brecon Beacons National Park, considerably longer trails that will require a few more days of pedalling, but will also take you through the most remote and picturesque sections of the park, including the Gospel Path and the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal. These are...

  • The Taff Trail - Stretching from Brecon to Cardiff, the Taff Trail benefits of being mainly off-road, instead following a disused railway line along the river Taff towards Merthyr Tydfil and then out into the mountains at Torpantau, down onto the Merthyr-Brecon railway line, through Usk, along the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal and then into the centre of Brecon Every Sunday from May - September, a special Bike Bus transports cyclists and their bikes from Cardiff to Brecon so that they may take the taff Trail back again. Sustainable transport charity Sustrans provide a downloadable map of the Taff Trail

  • Lon Las Cymru - This trail enters the National Park just outside of Abergavenny, which means you can get some fantastic local food in you before the climb up into the Black Mountains. After following the River Usk, you'll head up into the Vale of Ewyas and come close to the ruins at Llanthony Priory before reaching the Gospel Pass and then dropping down into the Wye Valley.

Sustrans Route 49, which opens in March 2016, follows the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal towpath along the river Usk for 20 miles from Abergavenny to Newport.

Green Cycling Holidays

A little group motivation can do wonders. Photo: © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesA little group motivation can do wonders. Photo: © Crown copyright (2011) Visit WalesHaving been awarded Gold by the GTBS, Drover Holidays is perhaps the greenest choice for a cycling holiday in the Brecon Beacons. Choose from a variety of guided and self-guided cycling holidays that will allow you to enjoy the best landscapes that Wales has to offer, as well as countless historical and cultural sites. From a 2-day guided tour along the famous Taff Trail to a 3-day exploration of the Black Mountains Triangle, these cycling trips are the perfect choice for ethical travellers looking to make the smallest possible impact during their holiday.

You can also rent bikes from Drover Holidays' base in Hay-On-Wye, or have a bike delivered to a number of collection points and accommodations across Wales. Standard mountain bikes start at £27.50 for a full day (2015 price), or you can rent an electric bike for £45 per day (2015 price) to make the journey that little bit easier. All rental prices include helmet, repair kit, route maps, water and you can even opt to have a local packed lunch made using local ingredients for £5 per person.

Llanthony Priory

Black Mountains Triangle 3-Day Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

Ancient abbeys, delightful churches and Britain’s best book town – this scenic tour of the Black Mountains allows you to see plenty even if your time is limited. The circular tour is a great way to explore the eastern fringes of the Brecon Beacons.

£260 per person based on two people sharing

3 days
Available year-round to start on any day of the week
Spend the weekend in Wales cycling

Wye Valley Meander South 2-Day Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

reviewed by greentraveller
A perfect weekend ride which begins in the Mid Wales town of Builth Wells, then follows the River Wye on a journey southwards to the book town of Hay-on-Wye. On the second day you will tour Herefordshire's picturesque Black and White villages.

£165 per person based on two people sharing

2 days
Available year-round to start on any day of the week
In Snowdonia near Dolgellau

Lôn Las Cymru - Escorted Cycling Tour of Wales

A challenging tour from Anglesey to Cardiff Bay and a perfect introduction to the varied landscapes of Wales. Journey through two National Parks and see the cultural, culinary and linguistic character shift as you head from North to South.

£795 per person based on two people sharing

8 days
To be confirmed. This holiday is available on demand for a minimum of 4 people.
Elan Valley Cycle Trail

The Best of Mid Wales Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

Discover the rural beauty of Mid Wales on this fantastic circular tour from the Welsh border town of Hay on Wye through the Radnorshire Hills and the Brecon Beacons. Interesting small towns combine with wonderful scenery on this unforgettable tour.

£565 per person based on two people sharing

7 days
Available year-round to start on any day of the week