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France and Spain out of season, accommodation

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by robjh, 27 Dec 2017.

  1. Regulator

    Regulator Not a SPM snowflake.

    Another web-site that's worth bookmarking is Hostelling International.
  2. aegis

    aegis Senior Member

    I would expect the weather would be fine for camping.

    I did the opposite direction from Roscoff in France to Alicante a couple of years ago beginning in early April. I only had one cold night in northern France waking up to find frost on the tent. I was perfectly snug inside with an Alpkit Pipedream 400 sleeping bag. I had a couple of nights in cheap-ish Ibis hotels but that was more a function of arriving in a big town at night or it peeing it down all day than the cold.

    I went through Pamplona, Zaragoza, Teruel, Valencia and didn't find many campsites though that's not exactly the most touristy of routes. Most are essentially trailer parks. Turning up with a bike and a tent is seemingly unusual. France is much more tent friendly though that early on and you're possibly out of season for the municipal camp sites.
    robjh likes this.
  3. mmmmartin

    mmmmartin Random geezer

    Three are few campsites in Spain because in the winter there are no tourists and in the summer it's too hot for a tent. France is very different, loads of campsites and the municipal ones are designed to encourage tourism so are in towns, which is convenient.
    You might find with Warmshowers that the hosted tend to want to sit and talk about your journey, or their journeys rather than merely let you wash eat and sleep, which you can do in a hotel. Maybe download the Accor app and look at the F1 hotels for cheap sleeping, they let you take the bike into the room. They do tend to be on industrial estate places but there is usually a place nearby to eat. GPS unit needed to good them, obvs.
    The Fridays rode Caen to Bordeaux a few years ago, you could pop into France then head to Bordeaux (by train if necessary) and reverse our route. It's bound to be on the internet somewhere, if not ask on the Facebook group and someone will have a track.
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2018
  4. OP

    robjh Guru

    My thoughts are now focussing on a trip just across Spain, from Valencia to Santander or Bilbao and pick up the ferry from there. I'll be passing (hopefully) through some rather hilly and back-of-beyond parts of Spain en route, and am tending towards a mix of cheap rooms and wild camping. I still wonder whether the extra weight of camping gear will really be justified for just a few nights, but it will give me a lot more flexibility and freedom.

    I get what you say about warmshowers - I've even read online hosts complaining that their guests didn't want to sit up and tell stories. And as someone said upthread, the time for people to respond may be a poor match for spontaneous and ad-hoc route planning.
  5. maxap

    maxap Well-Known Member

    I've used warmshowers a few times and the hosts have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome. I am sure they would all have been perfectly fine about me going to bed early if I needed to, however I am not sure I would have felt comfortable staying with someone and simply scoffing their food and then heading off to sleep straight away.
    robjh likes this.
  6. OP

    robjh Guru

    I've been reading up on wild camping in Spain on Spanish cycle touring sites. Consensus : it's (basically) illegal, you just might get fined, but loads of cycle tourists do it anyway and swear that with a bit of discretion you'll be fine. Which is good news as I've now got my bags packed including bivi equipment.

    For non-camping nights, booking.com is looking quite useful, with a wide range of hotels including the occasional hostel at under €20 and quite a few small hotels in the €25 to €40 range.
  7. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Nr Cambridge
    Yes Booking.com is quite good. There's also AirBnB. I don't know of any cyclists that have been fined for wild camping in Spain. I guess it is location dependent. Rock up in the centre of Barcelona and stick your tent up on a patch of grass in the centre of town you might get fined or robbed ..................
    robjh likes this.
  8. MarkF

    MarkF Guru

    It's big place as you know, how unlucky must you be to be discovered and moved on around any of the old roadhouses on rarely used old A roads? Plus, there are always the cemeteries..........you'll be alone.........I've paid as little as 15eu for very good rooms above bars.

    And you'd get no sympathy from me seeing as a good room can be had for 25 euros 5 mins from Las Ramblas.

    I am cycling in Holland the last week in March and room prices are making me cry for Spain.
    robjh likes this.