Departing next may, I plan to fly into London where I will start a 4 (or so) month visit in Europe.
I plan to follow the eurovelo routes from London up to the Netherlands, where my girlfriend is currently studying. After spending a while there I would like to hop on the euroroute R1 and cross Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia where I will ferry over to Helsinki and get back on the euroroute. From Helsinki I plan to head south to Denmark and eventually arriving back in the Netherlands.
I have been researching but unfortunately I can find very little information about euroroute r1 or even the eurovelo routes.
Has anyone experienced these routes first hand, or know where I can find detailed information and maps? How about cost of accommodations? Security in campsites by country?
I have never done a bike tour of this length before, but I have spend 4 months traveling in Europe, 5 months in south America, a month in Nicarauga, middle east, etc - so I do have some experience travelling.
Having ridden some of those routes, I can tell you that at least some are not marked by their EuroRoute number. The EuroRoute designation is kind of a guide, but not necessarily a 'route'.
Though it's more work, you're better off digging through the various countries' national bike systems. Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland all have good information out there. No experience with Finland. Not sure if you're planning on going to Norway (that's where Route 1 goes, I think, but wasn't clear from your description).
[Actually, now that I think of it, the Baltic Sea Route is marked in Denmark, though by name only ('Østersøruten'), not its EuroRoute number. See, for example: http://www.bikeandsea-denmark.com.]
In most of these countries (Sweden and Norway excepted), you are not allowed to 'wild camp', though many people do. Denmark has several open air/private campsites specifically for bikes, but you have to know how to find them. Otherwise, regular campgrounds will average maybe 8-10 euro a night (equivalent), with lots of variation. Sometimes a shower is worth it.
As for security, you'll be traveling in some of the safest countries in the world. Common sense should see you through fine.
Unfortunately the ECF website doesn't really have any information. I get the impression that the Euroroute is far less establish than I first believed.
Pedaleur, thanks again for the reply.
I think you may be right about digging into the various countries national systems. Luckily (or actually, unfortunately) I still have 8 months or so to plan!
The security questions were more so about Latvia, lithuania, and Estonia. I have spent some time backpacking in poorer areas in the past (Bolivia, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Oman..) so I understand the value of common sense.
Judging by your destinations, it would seem you'll be riding from Helsinki towards Turku / Åland isles, then Stockholm, then south towards Denmark? You will need the Finnish cycling GT map number 1, which, unfortunately, is out of print right now. Been trying to get one myself. They're running a new batch come spring, but they don't have the exact date nailed down yet. Here's the map shop: http://www.karttakauppa.fi/workspace...e=true&theme=5. You can get by using normal GT maps, but those are less detailed and do not show the designated cycle routes. I would definitely prefer the cycling map instead.
Turku Archipelago trail and the Åland isles are not to be missed. IMO they provide some of the best cycle touring scenery in Finland, with nice terrain, good roads and very little traffic. If you want to spend a rest day or two there, I can give you pointers to my favorite tourist islands there.
You won't log in a lot of mileage in the Archipelago/Åland stretch, it's basically island hopping from one small island to another, connected by ferries and terminating at the autonomous Åland main island between Finland and Sweden. From there it's just a short ferry connection to Sweden. I'm not sure if the GT1 cycling map covers Åland, but they have their own cycling map available. I don't have the details of the map with me, but I'll have a look when I get home.
About ferries, some of them run continuously, some of them run a couple of times per day, and some of them run a couple of times per week. Main routes are well served, but you should educate yourself about the connections you will be using, to avoid any surprises. Whichever map you use for the Archipelago/Åland part, make sure it has ferries marked on the map.
 uhh, forgot: "wild camping" is perfectly legal in Finland in rural areas (which we have no shortage of). In Åland isles it is "restricted" meaning they want you to support local economy through the use of commercial camp sites. Nothing wrong with that, but they might as well say it out loud. From what I've seen, you can get by wild camping there as well, just keep low profile and stay out of sight. [/edit]
Last edited by Juha; 10-13-11 at 05:36 AM.
To err is human. To moo is bovine.
Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?