Once outside the cities, the roads in Cuba, even the motorways, are remarkably free of traffic, making it a fantastic country to cycle around. This week-long tour is based on a pace of between 40 and 90 kilometres a day. Flip the order around to avoid the headwind.
1 Playas del Este
A gentle start to the tour allows you to get used to cycling in the humidity with a short hop from the capital to the nearest beaches, where you can cool off and relax before the longer leg tomorrow.
2 Matanzas via the Yumurí valley
It’s around 80km from the beaches to the provincial capital of Matanzas, a tatty but culturally interesting city on a bay with a colonial past – but the real pleasure is cycling through the idyllic Yumurí valley on the approach to the city.
An easy ride along a coastal road leads to the country’s largest beach resort, where there’s an abundant spread of excellent casas particulares and paladars.
4 Península de Zapata
Head south, down through Matanzas province, via the forgotten, picturesque village of San Miguel de los Baños through the sugar cane fields and citrus orchards to the northern tip of the Península
5 Playa Girón
This leg of the tour takes in most of the Península de Zapata’s sights and ends up at the Bay of Pigs, where a modest beach and museum mark one of the key events of the Revolution.
Around 85km from Playa Girón, either along a coastal track and then a ferry at the Castillo de Jagua or along country roads, is the laidback, bayside capital of Cienfuegos.
Follow the Circuito Sur along the coast to Trinidad, Cuba’s most intact colonial town. With beaches just down the road, mountains not much further away and a glorious nearby valley,you can do some day-tripping if you have any energy left before popping your bike on a bus back to Havana.