Five Romantic Bike Routes in the Philippines
We think candlelit dinners are just too cliché. And we always want to take our date out to something we think is fun - a bike ride! Here are the five best places we think are perfect for any date by bike.
1. Sampaloc Lake, San Pablo City
San Pablo City, Laguna is probably not at the top of mind for most people as a romantic destination, but it’s amazing how going by bike can lead you to discover new places. Sampaloc Lake is one of San Pablo’s seven lakes.
It is at the city’s center, right next to the city hall. Residents and visitors have the privilege to enjoy the lake up close thanks to the plaza and pathways built on its shore. There’s a small stall where you can rent bikes and ride around Dagatan Boulevard, the four kilometer road around Sampaloc lake. And after a nice round or two, you and your date can stay at one of the many cafes and restaurants by the lake.
2. Jala-Jala, Rizal
Its terrain is mostly flat with several short rolling sections. We also recommend taking a breather at the tip of Jala-jala peninsula, a place called Punta. From there you can see nearby Talim Island and on a clear day, Tagaytay City. And near Punta is the storefront of the Jala-Jala Dairy Processing Center owned by the Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative. There you can treat yourselves to some of the thickest yogurt found in this side of the Philippines.
Riding around the peninsula is generally pleasant, but please note that winds can be strong. To give you an idea of the winds you can encounter, the Pililla Wind Farm is located on the mountains near Jala-jala. For an added challenge, you can also climb up to the wind farm and enjoy even more views of Laguna Lake.
3. Iloilo Esplanade
Iloilo City has been dubbed as the Bike Capital of the Philippines. With an active public and private sector partnership, the city has built the proper infrastructure, systems and more importantly, the culture which gives respect and dignity for people on bikes.
And the centerpiece of the country’s bike capital is the Iloilo River Esplanade. It is a riverside system that connects a series of plazas, walkways and skateparks on both banks of an 8.1 kilometer segment of the Iloilo City River.
Mornings and late afternoons until evenings are the best time to visit the Esplanade. Most people come at night because the entire stretch is well lit. The Esplanade also connects to multiple commercial areas that are lined with restaurants. And this makes it the perfect place for a romantic bike ride after any dinner date.
4. Calle Crisologo
If you’re looking for something historical, Calle Crisologo in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur is the perfect place for a bike tour with a feel of Philippine colonial history. The actual Calle Crisologo is just 500 meters in length, but the surrounding streets have plenty to offer to couples who want to go around town on two wheels.
Some attractions within the old city are the Crisologo Museum, Syquia Museum and Plaza Burgos. And if you want to head outside, you can also visit the nearby Bantay Church Bell Tower.
5. Taal Lake
With its cool climate, Tagaytay City is a popular destination for romantic getaways. Being about 600 meters above sea level, the city also offers amazing views of its star attraction, Taal Lake.
If you’re up for an adventure, a ride down from Tagaytay will let you get up close to the lake and the communities around it. Our favorite route heading down to Taal Lake is the Tagaytay-Sampaloc Road which starts at the Tagaytay City Rotonda and ends by the lake in the town of Talisay, Batangas. This road is also known to cyclists as the Sampaloc Climb.
We love it because the road gently slopes along Tagaytay City’s ridge, passing through dense forest. And while enjoying the quiet scenes, occasionally punctuated by passing cars or bird calls, you’ll get peeks at Taal Lake and Volcano as you make your way up or down the road.
And you won’t have to worry about climbing back up Sampaloc, all you’ll need to think about is where in Tagaytay you’ll be eating after. Any meal tastes better after working for it, especially if you work for it together 😉