Lithuania is the focus of our Baltic cycling holidays. We think it's hugely under-appreciated as a cycling holiday destination and so we added it onto our map in 2012. Why do we rate it so highly for bike tours? For starters, it has warm, albeit fairly short, summers. Occupied by the Russians until as recently as 1990 and with a history of foreign occupation, it's perhaps surprising to learn that The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe in the 14th Century. The people are fiercely independent and since 1990 their rich local culture has blossomed once again. Many of their towns, small and large, boast outstanding architecture in their historic quarters, but thanks to funding from Europe, they also have a thoroughly modern infrastructure with good hotels. In developing and renovating their cities, businesses and buildings, they have a remarkable skill in retaining the traditional whilst adding a stylish modern twist. Traditional cooking and great service are still highly valued. Much of the landscape remains rural and unspoilt and is not overcrowded with tourists - yet! - and until they get the Euro (expected in 2015), the litas represents excellent value. So now is the time to experience this beautiful and fascinating country.

With relentlessly flat terrain and few cars, it's a wonderful place for gentle cycling holidays!