Every day a winding road
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
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IMHO a GPS is not a good replacement for maps. You really can't get a good over all view with the GPS. You can really only get that with a map.
But considering you have such a long tour a GPS is a very affordable alternative. Savings in cost of buying maps and savings in weight. I don't know about the rest of Europe but in Italy most Tourist Information offices will provide a map of their region. You could pick these up along the way to use or your planning.
Here is a list of TI offices in Italy
Consider a Garmin GPS that supports Metroguide. Metroguide is an older product so you should be able to pick all of Europe up very cheap. Metroguide does not do routing on the GPS (PC only) but there is a free program call MetroWizz that enables routing on the GPS.
So your only cost will be the GPS itself. But I would bet you could pick up a GPSMap 60 fairly cheap too and it supports MetroGuide. This is what I use and it is a great tool.
Also remember the value of a GPS for after the tour. You can upload the tracks to Google Earth an relive the tour.
I also find the recorded useful if I return to the same area at some point.
Last edited by spinnaker; 03-13-10 at 09:23 PM.