Author Topic: Europe North to South  (Read 5082 times)

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Offline kenwil

Europe North to South
« on: November 03, 2008, 05:49:02 pm »
Following my amazing ride down the Pacific Coast this year somewhere closer to home for 2009...Anyone any advice on Europe North to South ? Say, Amsterdam to Venice...

Online Westinghouse

Europe North to South
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 07:46:44 pm »
I did a tour similar to the one you mention, except that I started south nearer Calais. I went through France, Belgium, Germany to Munich, and then over the Alps by way of the Brenner pass, and down into Venice.
After that I trained to Lancashire, England from Venice. Then I (we) cycled to the English lake district, and over to Stranraer, Scotland. We got the ferry to Larne in northern Ireland. Then we cycled the coast and Antrim and around to Londonderry, northern Ireland. After several days in Derry we trained back to the ferry, took ship back to Stanraer, and cycled back to Preston, Lancashire. From there it was the train on to London, and a flight back to Florida in the United States.

Traffic was particularly heavy in Belgium. All in all it was a good trip. I crossed the Alps on a Schwinn Le Tour bike with only two chain rings on the front. In those days I was not aware they made triple chain sets. I wish I could remember more details about it, but that was one trip on which my notes were sparse.

I do have a detailed bicycle touring journal of over 108,000 words, most of which happened in Europe. One night in Czech I got pinned down by artillery fire, hand grenades, automatic weapons, and exploding mines. Strange but true. This was in 1994 when the wars of ethnic extermination were being carried out in the former Yugoslavia, very near to where I was cycling. That particular bike trip was the singular example of a very bad set of experiences, but realities at that time, not long after the fall of communism, were just all wrong. However, it is the  tour on which I have the most exhaustive description of day to day life on the road by bicycle. I am a writer, not a professional writer, but a writer.

Offline RussellSeaton

Europe North to South
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 09:30:40 am »
A long time ago, 1992, I did a south to north tour of Europe.  Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Austria, Lake Constance, Zurich, Munich, Salzburg, Prague, Dresden, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels.  I recall good riding in all of the countries.  Former East Germany and Czech were more primitive for accomodations and services than the other countries.  But that added something too.  Don't have much advice other than just ride it.  Any route you choose will be great.  I've also ridden in France so if you chose to go down through France and across northern Italy, that would be good too.  I took the train into Venice instead of riding in.  Not sure how safe the limited roads are into Venice for a bike.  Considering how many tour buses go into Venice every day.

Online Westinghouse

Europe North to South
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 04:41:07 pm »
On that tour in 1994 I cycled 660 miles from Brindisi, Italy to Milano along the east coast of Italy, and the west bank of the Adriatic sea. I thought coatal Italy was really really very nice. It certainly was several rungs up the ladder of civilization than the former Soviet republics, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Offline packer

Re: Europe North to South
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 09:32:29 am »
hello everybody,

you can no problem! If you want to come in Italy in Abruzzo Region (middle part of Italy) call me!


Offline 83nathalie

Re: Europe North to South
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 12:33:48 pm »
check this out:

i am from belgium and cycled all over europe....
always up for tips and advices....

you really have to know where you can cycle over here.
there such a good areas to go around but you have to know the good maps offcourse.
Traffic was particularly heavy in Belgium.

that's bullshit, it isn't heavy in belgium if you know the good roads.

Online Westinghouse

Re: Europe North to South
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 01:30:34 am »
There are many dedicated paths in western Europe. I think there are maps expecially for these paths. I used some of them. They were very nice, completely off the roadways, and ran through forests. Some were hardpacked earth. They were smoother than concrete and asphalt, and near enough to towns that food was always readily available. Some people advise cycling the Romantischestrasse in Germany. It is full of history. It is possible to be caught out in a very violent storm like we did in Belgium. The storm came out of nowhere. It took a minute to arrive and lasted for an hour or two.
You can cycle along the Rhine river. We did. You could get a lot of rain in the Alps, and we saw many many slugs or snails on the roads in the Alps.

Offline Juan Burro

Re: Europe North to South
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2009, 10:14:58 am »
Taking 15 days in Sept’ ’07, I cycled Rotterdam to Venice (1,000+ miles). The route was c/o Bikeline’s Radtourenbuchers: ‘Rhein-Radweg 3’, ‘Main-Radweg’, ‘Romantische Strasse’, & ‘Via Claudia Augusta’, (Nederland, Deutschland, Osterreich, & Italia). These guides/maps (& way-markings) are excellent, though we were directed onto unsurfaced trails a little too often for my road-tourer. As suggested by other contributors; there was more cycling joy the further south we got, (though this may have been due to the sunnier climes, rather than any struggling with heavy Northern traffic). Venice certainly made for a fitting goal, J’.

Offline raybo

Re: Europe North to South
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2009, 11:07:38 am »
This page has 22 links about information about bike touring in Europe.  They cover a wide range of topics and countries.  I'm sure you will find some of them interesting.

There are lots of other links if you search the site by specific country.

Visit the on-line bike touring archive at

Offline Reinier

Re: Europe North to South
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 03:14:40 pm »
A friend of mine did just that trip - from Utrecht (25 miles from Amsterdam) to Venice. He had an awesome time, so it's definitely ridable. Going from west to east or vice versa would give you the opportunity to see the differences that remain between the former West and the former East. I've done so and I enjoyed the differences in culture.