Three week tour in Europe - suggestions?

memoman

Active Member
Location
Tiverton, Devon
Hi there. As the title suggests myself and a couple of friends will be doing our now annual European tour in the summer and I've started looking at possible routes. We're not serious cyclists and will be carrying all of our camping stuff so will be looking at no more than a 700 mile/ 35 miles a day trip over about three weeks.

Any suggestions as to where we should go in Europe would be greatly appreciated. Looking for quiet roads with not too many hills. We'd also like to start at Calais or a ferry port if possible. :thumbsup:
 

tournut

Active Member
Location
altrincham
Head north. Belgium great place.
 

andym

Über Member
Other ferry ports are available: especially if you're in Devon - why schlepp all the way to Dover when you've got the Plymouth-Roscoff ferry on your doorstep? Unless you've already cycled in Brittany or you are boycotting Brittany Ferries, it would make a perfect choice.

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ferry-routes/ferries-france/plymouth-roscoff

they have a suggested route around Roscoff that looks pretty good - at least as a starting point.

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/guides/cycling/roscoff-cycle-tour-route
 
OP
M

memoman

Active Member
Location
Tiverton, Devon
what do you want to see along the way?
how far afield do you want to go?
do you want north, south, or east?
also where do you need to end up? back at Calais?
Thanks for the replies. Open to anywhere in Western Europe really. Did France & Belgium last year so would quite like to explore The Netherlands and Germany / Spain & Portugal.

Don't have to end at Calais. Just anywhere where we can take our bikes back to Blighty via public transport and ferries.
 
Location
Devon & Die
Other ferry ports are available: especially if you're in Devon - why schlepp all the way to Dover when you've got the Plymouth-Roscoff ferry on your doorstep? Unless you've already cycled in Brittany or you are boycotting Brittany Ferries, it would make a perfect choice.
You could also do the Portsmouth-St Malo crossing, if you wanted to do France but not so much of the lumpier parts of Brittany. You could always loop east and then come back via Calais.
 

Hill Wimp

Fair weathered,fair minded but easily persuaded.
@hople and i are touring Holland, Belgium and France over the month of July.

We are going over to Holland with our bikes via Harwich in time to catch the start of the TDF in Utrecht. We then go onwards across Holland, down the German border following the river Maas into Belgium where it becomes the river Meuse dropping down into the Champagne region in France, back up padt Robaix, Ghent and Brugges then back to blighty via Calais.

The route, thanks to many tips on here, will be mainly parts of long distance cycle routes. If you are considering Holland strongly suggest joining a home stay organisation with the initials SV ( i cant hope to spell it but there are others on here that use it ) who send you an excellent map of The Netherlands with all the cycle routes on it.
 
Thanks for the replies. Open to anywhere in Western Europe really. Did France & Belgium last year so would quite like to explore The Netherlands and Germany / Spain & Portugal.

Don't have to end at Calais. Just anywhere where we can take our bikes back to Blighty via public transport and ferries.
Well that rules out some of my suggestions because we really enjoyed eastern Europe!

The Netherlands is very nice, but camping is expensive in our experience. We also really enjoyed Germany and with both countries managed to find a network of smaller campsites rather than the bigger ones. With the Netherlands you will need to remember to take your own toilet paper and in some cases soap and hand towels because they are not provided in the toilet blocks on campsites.

I have heard that Luxemburg is very good to cycle in. I've only ever been driven through it (which by itself tells you how long ago that was!) but do remember it being quite pretty.

I guess I would be looking at a route through France, Belgium, into Luxemburg maybe into Germany and ending to in the Netherlands coming home via Rotterdam...

Just a thought.
 

andym

Über Member
You could also do the Portsmouth-St Malo crossing, if you wanted to do France but not so much of the lumpier parts of Brittany. You could always loop east and then come back via Calais.
Or Condor Ferries from Poole or Weymouth.

You could go from St Malo and finish at Roscoff.

Harwich is an even longer schlepp than Dover - although there's not much in it.
 

MarkF

Legendary Member
Location
Yorkshire
Santander, then ride across Spain and then fly back from Malaga. It's relaxing due to low (extremely low off N roads) road traffic, it has cheap food and drink, wild scenery and history everywhere. I keep going back because you have to take so little "stuff", only minimal clothing is needed, you don't have to worry about the weather and no, it's not too hot, your heat problems only start when you stop pedaling. ^_^
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
Harwich my be a schlep from Devon, but it has the advantage of an a very nice overnight ferry with cabins and depositis you in exactly the right place to start..
You arrive early in the morning and can either start the ride at Hook of Holland, or jump on a train and personally I'd head for the excelent German river/cycle network

Check this map out to see what i mean, there are part of the 10,000 KM surfaced and signposed long distance cycle touring routes they have.
http://www.esterbauer.com/uebersicht_d.html
They put most of the rest of Europe to shame (and makes you realise in the UK we are not even in the game, like the Germans had Autobahns in the early 1930's we did not even start building ours until the late 1960's, and in the 50 years since we still have not caught them up)

Or as somebody above suggested head down the Muse, but you could turn left and then head down the Mosel and join up with the Rhien which would take you back to the start.

Or head up the coast to Hamburg, hang a right and up the Elbe, with a possible deviation to Berlin

The world is your Oyster - I'd start by taking a very close look at the Bikeline Esterbauer books, there are a number in English (including Elbe, Rhien, Danube, and more) get the books and then work out how to get there, remember taking bikes on trains is (mostly) a lot easier in Europe (not TGV or ICE though)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=bikeline&tag=googhydr-21&index=stripbooks&hvadid=25762122296&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2710738127212708723&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_9mo9axl67l_e
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=bikeline&tag=googhydr-21&index=stripbooks&hvadid=25762122296&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2710738127212708723&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_9mo9axl67l_e

http://www.esterbauer.com/db_liste_int.php?land_id=XE&reihe_id=RB
The books are worth getting (even in German) just for the maps. The text is a bonus if you can read enough to fathom it out
 
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