Touring - Amsterdam to Barcelona route
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02-21-10, 10:43 AM
This summer (July 20 -August 19) me and a friend are touring from Amsterdam to Barcelona, we hope to arrive in Barcelona after three weeks of riding. We are planning on staying in hostals/camping along the way.
My question is, does anyone have any suggestions of a route to take, we are not picky about where we go but would like to stop in Lyon (again really not a huge priority and with good reason we can abandon that idea).
We are both new to touring but I am an avid cyclist and we are both uh, 'strapping young lads' as my dad says (who has been giving us lots of information as he toured down the Rein(?) valley when he was our age.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
We followed this route in 2006 http://www.cartostudio.nl/fiets/barcelona/overzichtskaart it was great unfortunatly the book is in Dutch. But following the map (with route elevation included) would be easy enough to follow.
We have some details from out tour here (http://www.bike-journeys.com/2006%20Maastricht%20to%20Barcelona/first_page/first_page.htm).
I biked in France in 2008. I started in Paris and ended up in Avignon a month later.
I rode from the pretty town of Sarlat along the Dordogne, Lot, and Tarn river gorges. They are all fabulous and, in that order, get more beautiful. The town at the north end of the Tarn gorges is St. Enimie. It is a beautiful and about 30 miles (as the crow flies) from Lyon.
I'd suggest that however you get to Lyon, you ride "over" to St. Enimie, down the Tarn Gorge (1 day - out and back), then up, over to, and down the Lot and Dordogne rivers. You will see the best first, but either way it is beautiful country.
I wrote a journal of this ride (http://www.biketouringtips.com/showJournalPages.php?jid=17). I was in the Gorges du Tarn on Day 24 (http://www.biketouringtips.com/showDailyEntryDetail.php?entryID=38).
France is a wonderful place to ride bike. It would be hard to pick a bad route through it!
Have a great time!
02-22-10, 04:59 AM
I haven't ridden that route specifically, but I do know the shortest, most direct route from holland to france. It follows a river from Maastricht to the French department of Ardennes. The river is the Maas in Dutch and the Meuse in French. It is extremely flat and not very scenic, especially in northern Belgium, though it is the fastest route, about 100 miles from maastricht to the french border.
If I were you I would make my way through Belgium and ride a bit in the Belgian and French Ardennes. Honestly I cannot help you much on a route from the north of france to Lyon, but the riding around the Jura and Bourgogne would be excellent, especially the Jura. From Lyon take raybo's advice and hit up the gorge du tarn and cevennes.
Maps of belgium, and the RaVel network. In french.
You can buy cycling maps at the tourist offices in Belgium and they are pretty decent.
As far as France goes I like to just pick up the map and select a route on backroads through scenic areas. Using this book:
Let me know when you are in Lyon.
02-22-10, 08:18 AM
I took the cyclable towpaths along Belgian rivers (e.g. la Meuse, de Maas) and canals and former railway tracks to create an extremely dense and cycle friendly network. It covers also a small part of northern France and the southern parts of the Netherlands: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Belgium-cycling-routes-by-Fietslogies-summary is a rude map showing the covered area. The link in my signature leads you to 59 individual tracks, to be combined the way you want.
The Dutch long distance cycle network:
The Flemish long distance cycle network (LF):
The walloon Randovelo network: http://www.randovelo.org/fr/veitin.php
The walloon RAVeL network: http://ravel.wallonie.be/opencms/opencms/fr/parcours/itineraires/index.html
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