Touring - Amsterdam to Copenhagen along North Sea Cycle Route - Done it? Advice?
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05-27-11, 03:35 PM
Hey there touring community,
My girlfriend and I are planning our first substantial tour for this summer, planning to head from Amsterdam to Copenhagen mostly by way of the North Sea Cycle Route. As a touring newb (but a total bike geek) I have many questions for you, some of which are below:
-Is this a good route? Have you done it? How was it?
-What's the ideal shelter solution for this area? How much should we plan to camp?
-From what I can gather, the prevailing wind direction will be at our backs. Is this true? Any climatic or environmental concerns I should be aware of?
-Any must-see spots, must-take side routes, must-skip suburbs, etc?
Thanks for any advice.
05-27-11, 08:05 PM
- Flat to gentle rollers. Maybe a little monotonous compared to other routes. Probably a good choice for a first trip.
- Camping will run from free to 10 euro (or more in some places) or so. If you ask around, you'll probably be able to find farms or something in NL to camp. I'd guess less likely so in DE. wild camping frowned upon, but doable. In DK, you can either find free camping places or special places where people offer cheap camping for cyclists (20 crowns a head, max). Go here:
click on overnating and zoom the map. Frie teltningsområder means free camping. Primitive overnatingspladser are private places with max 20 crowns. I don't see an English option, but you can click and get a phone number and most people will speak English just fine on the phone.
- it will be windy and often rainy (unless you get lucky and find a week of sunshine).
- Nothing to 'skip'. The 'burbs will all have cycle paths to get you in and out. Bremen, Hamburg are common destinations. Ribe in Denmark is cool (Viking living history). Roskilde has a great Viking museum. I don't know where the route goes, but Als - Ærø - Langeland - Lolland beats Jylland - Fyn - western Sjælland.
05-28-11, 03:28 AM
No, but a well signed route, get in touch with the NL bike vacation
information facilities when you get there, Hostels a good overnight stop.
Hot showers and such.
I've had some serious headwinds coming off the North Sea,
headed North, before in the low countries.
but, you know, .. YMMV.
05-28-11, 04:35 AM
Route: Well signposted, plenty of other riders. Best map is the blue spiral bound series by Verlag Esterbauer.
Roads: Lots of dead straight concrete road alongside high dykes and flat marshland with sheep.
Much of the Danish section is on unpaved/gravel roads but they are easy to ride.
Dont miss: Trips out to the islands, Texel, Vleiland, Sylt.
Do Miss: some of the concrete straight roads by visiting old towns inland, esp in Germany.
Some of the large bays and rivers can by crossed with ferries.
Accomodation. There are some hostels but you will need a tent most of the time. Plenty of campsites of various grades from primitive to fully commercial marked on the route map.
In Denmark there are lots of wild campsites not marked on the route guide. You find these using a guide book (http://www.teltpladser.dk/) avaialble from Danish tourist information shop (in Tonder). Min facilities are a water tap and a drop toilet, sometimes a wooden shelter, farmyard sites often have hot water showers and some have kitchens ! Cost is from 0 to 3 euros.
I experienced one day of horizontal rain coming off the sea in Denmark. It is more fun than it sounds.
Any 2-3 person tent will be sufficient. Cooking kit will give you more freedom and less cost. I saw people with trailers full of 15kg gas bottles and 2-burner stoves which in my opinion is overkill.
You can use any kind of bike, whatever you have.
05-28-11, 05:20 AM
Thanks for the advice. Given that sections of this route are boring, do people have a suggestion for a better route? Amsterdam is really just a starting point and what we're looking for is an interesting European tour. We speak only English and have relatively little international travel experience. Do you have a favorite ten to fifteen day route with lots of small towns, comfortable riding, and memorable scenery?
05-28-11, 06:27 AM
I still think the North Sea cycle route has its charms, and you can easily avoid the boring bits by deviating 5-10km inland to explore the towns or out to the many small islands. The scenery of big sea and big sky and changeable weather can be very painterly and one of the islands has a series of big picture frames to show where the Old Master paintings were done. As a first big tour it has a lot to recommend so you shouldnt dismiss it because of the odd section of concrete road..
Most of the other easy-riding routes are along big rivers.
05-28-11, 08:14 AM
I did near enough the same route last month. It was a pleasant ride with the wind mostly at my back. Riding through the sand dunes in Holland was some of the best riding I've ever done. I kept a journal which may be of interest http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/8315
05-28-11, 11:39 AM
You find these using a guide book (http://www.teltpladser.dk/) avaialble from Danish tourist information shop (in Tonder).
Note, this is the same info as the interactive map that I linked to, but in convenient book form. Probably a bit easier than lugging a laptop... ;-)
The picture with the huts from MichaelW is a typical "frie teltingsområde".
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