Europe for Newbies- Where?
Relatively new to the site- thanks for looking!
My partner and I are trying to do a 3 month bike tour in Europe this summer (May-August). That is basically all we have planned- we have looked at the Eurovelo routes, and we like numbers 1, 5, 7,and 8. I have read many threads on this site from people who tour Europe, so hopefully someone can help me!
We have both travelled overland extensively all over the world, most recently across Asia (Mongolia to Thailand) and Africa (Ethiopia to SA). We both really want to try a bike tour!
1. Is it really necessary to plan out a route for this trip? For my non-biking overland trips I usually just fly into the country and travel aimlessly for a while, then leave from wherever I end up. Is that realistic on a bike trip?
2. And suggestions for routes for two people (22 and 24) who have never been on a bike tour?
3. My partner really wants to bike around either Ireland or along the Med. coast, but I have heard that it is very difficult biking there (Ireland). I found some information on Eurovelo 6 and it seemed more straight forward. Any thoughts on these Eurovelo routes?
Last edited by echartier; 01-19-13 at 05:32 AM.
Reason: Added information
Long Distance Cyclist
1. Rowan and I just spent about 3 months meandering around Europe, as a part of a longer tour. You can read our adventures here: http://www.machka.net/RTW_2012/RTW_2012.htm ... check out the Europe - UK and Europe - Mainland links.
2. Highly recommend the Velodyssey Trail on the west coast of France ... beautiful! http://www.velodyssey.com/litinerair...tres-in-france We only did the bit from Lacanau-Ocean to La Rochelle (with an extra bit from Bordeaux to Lacanau-Ocean), but would love to do more of it. But then, we really enjoy beaches.
3. We haven't been to Ireland, and only to a part of the Med. As far as a comparison with the bit of the Med we saw and the west coast of France, mentioned above, we definitely preferred the west coast of France. But perhaps other parts of the Med are better.
Originally Posted by Machka
(1) Fantastic! I will look at those links right now. Thank you for the info!
(2) I did read a post on the forum about that trail. Looking into it right now.
(3) Wow, great comparison. You are selling me on the W coast of France!
Pre internet & digital everything, [no links/pix] I found the arrival Easiest at Shiphol AMS airport ,
because its a bike friendly country. And airfare to get there is low cost [vs like CPH]
and if you dont want to start your cycling at the front door, on the NL bikepaths, the National Rail Station ,
Is in the Lower level of the Airport, itself.
Dublin is like a small sub airport in the states, north of the City.. I used a connecting flight out of LHR Heathrow, after the 747 got me to London.
[clock on tourist visa started in 1st landing, Ireland not separate from UK on that.]
after having a General Grasp of some European Geography .. & a target direction..
I plan as far as bringing my Bike N Stuff, getting there ,
Buying a Paper Map and riding to the edge of it, then Buying another one.
Last edited by fietsbob; 01-21-13 at 12:31 AM.
I'm made of earth!
I imagine you'll be camping, no? Where are you from? What languages do,you speak?
1. No, it's not really necessary to plan. Pick general destinations and get decent maps.
Originally Posted by echartier
2. See #1.
3. The Med. coast can be crowded (your choices are often a crowded road along the coast, or mountainous roads inland). Never been to Ireland.
My partner and I toured Europe for 4 months over 8 countries. We had a general overall plan of how we were going to travel through each country but made our final decisions shortly before, sometimes the night before. This gave us lots of flexibility. You may want to consider joining together some of the river cycle routes in Germany and Austria, as well as other countries.
My wife and I completed a 3 month trip using much the same philosophy and planning methods Steve0000 used. We knew the places we wanted see and just figured out how to get there; with plans sometimes changing daily. When we left Lisbon at the start of the trip we only had a plan of how to get out of the city heading for Seville. Our plans changed before we even got out of town when we talked to the ticket agent at the ferry terminal. We covered 2900 miles on the bikes. Over 400 miles of the route was over gravel dirt, or unpaved roads and tails, and a little over 500 miles on cobble stone or other type of paver stone roads and trails. It was a fun and challenging ride.
I suspect that with your experience, you might enjoy the less structured touring format.
Excuse the poor picture quality. It is a copy of a Power Point slide from one of our presentations, but it may give you an idea of the general route.
Three hours into our 90 day tour, and our plan for the day is about to change
Eurovelo Route 8 was just a conceptual route along the Mediterranean when we were there. We never saw a sign or route marker. We think we rode what would make a pretty good route from Valencia to Montpellier, France. We turned inland there toward Dijon, trying to get to Paris for the finish of the Tour de France. We did make it in time! While some consider the Med route busy, busy is relative. There are some really nice stretches. However, we were there before the "official" holidays begin in August when the coast really does get busy.
There is a lot of information on Eurovelo Route 6. We are seriously thinking about doing it either next summer or in 2014, starting the the French Atlantic Coast and ending on the Romanian Black Sea Coast. We cycled a small portion of it in 2011 when we accidentally ran into it riding from France toward Switzerland. It was well marked an a nice route. However we only did a very small section of it, about 200 km, before we diverted in order to enter Switzerland a little further south than where Route 6 enters. If you can pick up the EFC Eurovelo Map it shows a little more detail that their website. There are many maps and guidebooks for cycling along the Danube.
Last edited by Doug64; 01-21-13 at 01:33 PM.
Long Distance Cyclist
That's something I need to do ... create a map of our route. Our 3 months in Europe was, quite literally, meandering ... but we did follow several cycling routes:
In Scotland, we followed some of the North Sea Route
In The Netherlands and Germany, we followed the Rhine Route
In Switzerland, we followed the Rhone Route
In France, we followed the Velodyssey Route.
And we did a few extra bits and pieces as well.