During the first half of 2014, I spent most of my time on the beautiful island of Flores to assess about cycling, a sustainable way of transport as well as a new potential holiday activity in Flores. During that period I came along all eight districts on Flores and pedaled more than 3000km on or off the road.
And let me tell you, it’s great for cycling there! Even though the often changing road conditions, the climate – hot and humid – and the topography can be quite demanding, Flores is a cycling paradise yet to be discovered for fit and sporty travelers. The roads and traffics are still very unspoiled and quiet that gives a cycling experience so great that you will feel like a real discoverer. If you decide to spend your holidays cycling through Flores, I would recommend you bringing your own bike to explore the island
My cycling trip began on the western end of Flores Island, Labuan Bajo. Of course the Komodo dragons and diving are the main highlights of the district Manggarai Barat. But the area around Labuan Bajo is also worth exploring by bike as an alternative when you don’t have much time such as, on the last day before your return flight in the afternoon.
A cycling tour to Batu Cermin for example, is easy, not too long and brings you along nice countryside close to the town and maybe to the traditional market of the village nearby. If you prefer to go to a quiet beach, you can do a mountain bike tour to the end of the peninsula on the north of Labuan Bajo and you’ll arrive at Pantai Loh Mahabongi.
If time is not a problem, cycle further South towards Sano Nggoang, Mount Mbelling or Cunca Rami waterfall that is accessible by bike or in combination with car transport. A little bit further on the Transflores Highway, you are already at the junction to Tado village where you can get connected to the locals and experience Florenese cultural activities.
There are a lot of things to do by bike in Manggarai Barat besides diving, island hopping or see the famous Komodo dragons in the wild. Why not set the trend by having your Flores experience on bike? Labuan Bajo can be your starting point.
For further information about this area. check out www.florestourism.com/directory/location/manggarai-barat
Our next destination will be the mountainous area of Ruteng.
Text and photos by Oskar Ruch