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  1. #1
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    Oct 2008
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    Trip around coastal Europe?

    Hey i am interested in riding along the coast next spring. I might want to start in Paris, go to Brest, France and then south untill Lisbon, and along the coast to Barcelona and beyond. I plan to camp on the beach and to stay in hostels when i reach big cities. I havent yet decided if i should do this on a bike or maybe on roller skis? I dont know much about the latter. But i thought 1 advantage would be that if i become bored it's always easy to catch a train or a bus, even for short 50km trips. While taking a bicycle on a train is really problemmatic. But one disadvantage of rollerskis are the boots. Ski boots become very sweaty when it's >0 and they are not waterproof, so i might be in real trouble when it rains.

    So please assume that i'll go on a bike. I'm looking here for anybody else who might be interested to make company. I dont have set dates but I intend to go to europe for at least 2months starting in either March or April. And if i go alone, im looking for some tips!

    Does it rain a lot in normandy, coastal spain, etc in spring? is the whole coastal area of europe covered with sandy beaches where i can sleep every night without any problems? and if it's a blue flag beach, i can even take a shower?
    thanks!

  2. #2
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    Sep 2008
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    Does it rain a lot in normandy, coastal spain, etc in spring?

    Yes. Though it depends on what you mean by 'spring' and 'a lot'. May will be drier than March. Normandy and the Asturias will be wetter than Andalucia.

    is the whole coastal area of europe covered with sandy beaches where i can sleep every night without any problems?

    No and no. Wild camping is almost always discouraged, if not actually illegal, because of the environmental damage it does. Campervans (RVs) are the worst culprits, but even solo bike campers contribute to that damage. Sand dunes are fragile environments - tread lightly if you have to tread at all.

    You should normally be able to find a decent campsite for less than 10€ (I've paid less than 5€ for a beachside campsite in Corsica).

    and if it's a blue flag beach, i can even take a shower?

    No. In France, Spain and Italy beach facilities are generally provided by privately-owned businesses who don't take kindly to freeloading. Yes you might get away with it, but why not just pay for a place in a campsite and avoid the hassle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    The Hague, Netherlands
    My Bikes
    Two Robin Mather custom built tourers
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    There are many places in Portugal and Spain that are very built up along the coastline and it would be worth detouring. The Algarve is really just a string of holiday resorts along the southern Portugese coast, then the first part of Spain coming in from Portugal is nice but by the time you get to Malaga and from there all the way up to Barcelona things are very built up. It really isn't nice cycling for the most part, although there are a few exceptions. Overall, I would far prefer an inland route with dips out to the coastline. Once you get about 100km north of Barcelona things get nice along the coast again, far less developed and you can easily follow it all the way into France and beyond.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

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