Tour

Polite

Über Member
My plan is something like this:

Starting at Nordkapp, cycling down through Finland, hugging the coast through Latvia and down towards Hamburg.

At this point I'm thinking of doing some trips to cities I don't really know (Berlin, Prague, Budapest) before I then go back to Hamburg. Or I might just keep cycling down to Romania and train back to Hamburg.

From there, pick up EuroVelo 10 up to the top of Denmark, follow the coast towards The Netherlands and from there, possibly the Pilgrim's route down to France for the Camino de Santiago.

I'm keen for some advice from all you wily, hardcore tourers who have done much more than my usual 3 weeks summer touring in France:

- best time of year to take the challenge on
- timescale ideas for a 80km a day, reasonably fit 50 something
- best starting points (north to south etc)
- any experiences of doing something similar
- I'm a fair-weather camper so probably hostels/warmshowers.org/b&bs
- any other ideas/thoughts

Thanks in advance.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Have a read of 'The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold' by Tim Moore - https://www.amazon.com/Cyclist-Who-Went-Out-Cold/dp/168177299X

It'll cover the first bit of your ride. The biggest issue appeared to be a lack of anything in Finland.
 
Oh wow! ^_^^_^
What a fantastic trip!!

For something like that, I'd be thinking in terms of sections. Each section of the route should be satisfying something for me, depending on what I'm interested in.
Personally, I'd include a side trip to St. Petersburg from Finland. 72 hour visas are possible. But that's just me. I find river routes interesting also, especially long distance ones.

Tim Moore's books are witty and informative, but you'd need more info. He also started EV13 in deep snow! He does one for the camino as well.

CrazyGuyOnABike will have lots of info.
Biroto.eu gives loads of routes in Europe, accessible from a big map.

There are many different routes to Santiago de Compostela. Most countries have an organisation that will have info from their own country. You may need to search and use Google translate, but it's there. Having said that, with a few exceptions, the practical infrastructure for pilgrims (accommodation and signs) are pretty much non-existent until you hit the south of France.
Personally, I cycled to Santiago from NL and decided to avoid the "official" routes until the south of France. I followed the Velodyssey route along the French coast and loved it.
Using EV13 as an example, there are often routes within a route, so the Iron Curtain Trail is (I think) a part of EV13, but there are books etc available for that section with far more useful detail.
A handy thing I sometimes do is to look at the big brand cycling books, Bikeline etc, for inspiration on routes. Since you're not averse to using trains you could look at linking up some really great cycling routes. ^_^
Personally, I'd avoid the Dutch option and continue down through Germany or Poland.

Nordkapp to Santiago with a roundtrip inside Denmark is ballpark 7000km. At 80 km per day that's 90 odd days. I'd calculate 60km per day to include some rest days so that's heading towards 120 days. 4 months.
Daylight is the issue up north, temperature is down south. Access is the issue for any mountains you want to cross. Looking at temps across Europe in the past 2-3 years it can get very, very hot.
At first glance, I'd consider starting in Nordkapp on June 1, arriving Santiago Sept 30. But that leaves possibly risky temps in July/August. Build in some time for extra time off and you should be grand.
However, I'd think about starting in Spain, say, April 1, and arrival Nordkaap about July 30. But that's all uphill! ^_^
(These are just top of my head thoughts)

It's really a matter of breaking the trip into sections and figuring the advantages and disadvantages of each section with respect to weather/activity. For example, there are at least two routes to Santiago from southern France suitable for a touring bike. One by the coast, one inland. One is relatively quiet, the other will be very busy.

Other general advice.
Pack a kindle. Great for carrying all the info you'll need (make your own books and send them to yourself) as well as a way to pass the time in less interesting spots.

Have a great time!
 
OP
Polite

Polite

Über Member
Oh wow! ^_^^_^
What a fantastic trip!!

For something like that, I'd be thinking in terms of sections. Each section of the route should be satisfying something for me, depending on what I'm interested in.
Personally, I'd include a side trip to St. Petersburg from Finland. 72 hour visas are possible. But that's just me. I find river routes interesting also, especially long distance ones.

Tim Moore's books are witty and informative, but you'd need more info. He also started EV13 in deep snow! He does one for the camino as well.

CrazyGuyOnABike will have lots of info.
Biroto.eu gives loads of routes in Europe, accessible from a big map.

There are many different routes to Santiago de Compostela. Most countries have an organisation that will have info from their own country. You may need to search and use Google translate, but it's there. Having said that, with a few exceptions, the practical infrastructure for pilgrims (accommodation and signs) are pretty much non-existent until you hit the south of France.
Personally, I cycled to Santiago from NL and decided to avoid the "official" routes until the south of France. I followed the Velodyssey route along the French coast and loved it.
Using EV13 as an example, there are often routes within a route, so the Iron Curtain Trail is (I think) a part of EV13, but there are books etc available for that section with far more useful detail.
A handy thing I sometimes do is to look at the big brand cycling books, Bikeline etc, for inspiration on routes. Since you're not averse to using trains you could look at linking up some really great cycling routes. ^_^
Personally, I'd avoid the Dutch option and continue down through Germany or Poland.

Nordkapp to Santiago with a roundtrip inside Denmark is ballpark 7000km. At 80 km per day that's 90 odd days. I'd calculate 60km per day to include some rest days so that's heading towards 120 days. 4 months.
Daylight is the issue up north, temperature is down south. Access is the issue for any mountains you want to cross. Looking at temps across Europe in the past 2-3 years it can get very, very hot.
At first glance, I'd consider starting in Nordkapp on June 1, arriving Santiago Sept 30. But that leaves possibly risky temps in July/August. Build in some time for extra time off and you should be grand.
However, I'd think about starting in Spain, say, April 1, and arrival Nordkaap about July 30. But that's all uphill! ^_^
(These are just top of my head thoughts)

It's really a matter of breaking the trip into sections and figuring the advantages and disadvantages of each section with respect to weather/activity. For example, there are at least two routes to Santiago from southern France suitable for a touring bike. One by the coast, one inland. One is relatively quiet, the other will be very busy.

Other general advice.
Pack a kindle. Great for carrying all the info you'll need (make your own books and send them to yourself) as well as a way to pass the time in less interesting spots.

Have a great time!
Thank you, exactly the kind of comment I was looking for.
I did consider going from south to north.
Also, I might have the luxury of time so could be able to do it in segments, i.e. 6 weeks at a time, but then there would be additional costs and logistics to factor in doing it that way.
Thanks again.
 
Thank you, exactly the kind of comment I was looking for.
I did consider going from south to north.
Also, I might have the luxury of time so could be able to do it in segments, i.e. 6 weeks at a time, but then there would be additional costs and logistics to factor in doing it that way.
Thanks again.
It's probably just me, but unless medical issues were involved or a serious mechanical/environmental issue, I'd rather do something like that as one trip.
If you have the luxury of time, it may be an idea to meet up with family/friends for a long weekend at a few points along the route. A change of focus, some familiar faces can be a shot in the arm on a longer tour. Rather than going home, let home come to you. :smile:Logistically, though it can add a layer of difficulty.

On a typical 2/3 week tour the half way point arrives relatively quickly and thereafter you're on your way home. On a longer tour like this, you're still heading away even after a month. Psychologically that can be very liberating, but it can throw up its own difficulties.
 
Back in the late 80's I cycled down from Kirkenes to Helsinki, frankly overall I found it boring to many long straigh undulating roads which went on and on, back then some of thee roads were rough, though I guess that they are much improved these days. In Norway you need to check out the tunnels, cos they also go on and on and cyclist are not allowed to cycle through some of them.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
You lost me a bit. Northcape to Hamburg through the Baltic states. Will you then go by train to the north of Denmark before heading South to the Netherlands?
 
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