Choosing to drive on a holiday comes with its benefits. You can easily cover large distances and can travel whatever the weather.

Compared to biking, however, it’s just a little, well, dull. Travelling by car means you’re almost guaranteed to be stuck on the same-old tourist route, while getting on a saddle can lead you to pretty much anywhere. And that’s half the fun.

Check out: Why Backpacking Can Ruin Your Life

If you’re still not convinced that getting up close and personal with mother nature is right for you, we’ve come up with a list of seven reasons why you should hire a bike on your next holiday, below:

You See Every Hidden Gem

One of the joys of being on a bike is that you can stop whenever and wherever you please. Whether that’s to marvel at some spectacular scenery, soak up the atmosphere of a local village, or just to go for a drink, the power is in your hands (well, your legs). Travelling through the backstreets and off the beaten track will ensure you soak up every bit of culture a country has to offer.

You Speak To More Locals

Travelling by bike forces you to ditch the sat nav and to get out into the real world. Conversing with locals is an easy way to find out directions or even information about a place you’re visiting. If you’re in a country that speaks a different language, then it’s always fun to see just how good you really are at charades. At the end of the holiday, it’s often these short, fleeting interactions with strangers that shape our opinion of a destination.

You Get Some Exercise

We all overindulge when we’re away from home, so a little bit of daily exercise is likely to do our waistbands the world of good. It will also lessen those all too familiar feelings of guilt when you tuck into a calorie-laden pudding.

Biking every day will also help to keep your fitness levels up, something that you’ll be thankful for when you’re facing a thousand step climb to the top of an ancient ruin.

You Develop the Legs of a Roman God(ess)

Scrawny legs will be a thing of the past after just a couple of weeks of cycling. Just make sure you don’t waste too much of your spare time showing off your new tree-trunk thighs to your friends on Instagram.

You Save Money

Hiring a car is often one of the main expenses of a holiday. Once you factor in fuel, things can quickly get expensive.

With biking, you have two cheaper alternatives. Travel with your bike to the destination or hire/buy a bike after you arrive. Once that outlay is out the way, there are no extra costs to worry about. Just make sure that you’ve got a reliable all-weather cycling jacket to help keep you dry should the weather take a turn for the worse.

You Spend Time Outdoors

Nothing beats breathing in the fresh, country air. If you’re one of the billions of people that spend the majority of their day staring at a laptop screen, a biking holiday is the perfect chance to rediscover your love of the outdoors. There’ll be frill and spills along the way, but one thing we guarantee – it will never be boring.

You Get to Experience the Thrill of Going Downhill

Driving can quickly become monotonous. The same can rarely be said for a bike ride. After a long slog to the top of a summit, there’s nothing more exciting than coasting back down.