Author Topic: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?  (Read 2845 times)

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Offline gderita

July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« on: February 20, 2018, 06:41:27 pm »
Hello fellow Adventurers,

Being an avid bike camper, I know most of a good journey is leaving things up to chance. That said, I know there is amazing collective experience in this community, and I`d love to hear from you!

I will be traveling in Europe this summer via bike, and have almost two months of time to kill. I don't have a starting point city (leaning towards Venice), though I will be flying to Tokyo with my bike at the end of the trip.

My plan is to arrive sometime in early July (4th-10th), and ride through early September. During that time, I`m an open book.

My priorities are old towns, mountains, and history/culture (think beer, food, and traditional events). I`m 30 years old, from the USA, will be traveling with my own self-sufficient camping gear, and speak only English & some Spanish. I am comfortable riding about 50-60 miles/day, but have done 240 (just once-and hopefully never again!)

Any suggestions on routes, locations or amazing segments (ie, Basel >> Lintz on Eurovelo #6) are appreciated. I also plan on taking the train from time to time, so no matter if they are proximate areas or not. Tips on cities with good resources for bike travel also would be helpful.

Thank you for your contributions to a more bike-centric world!

Cheers,

Gabe
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 07:42:35 pm by gderita »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 07:13:00 pm »
Destination city of Venice?  Not sure what you mean by destination city.  Start town?  Or centered around that town?  Venice is a tourist town basically.  Assume it has an airport.  Not sure I would want to start from Venice.  Start at Rome or maybe even further south in Italy.  Ride up Italy and make sure to go to Pisa and see the leaning tower.  I've ridden from Rome north and assume the south is equally good for riding.  Rome north is great biking.  I'd suggest getting over to the former eastern European countries.  Czech republic and the others.  Germany, Switzerland, Austria are good places too.  But they are very western.  Similar to the US.  Assuming you are from the US.  France, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal are different.  They are western of course, but the biking is not like the US at all.  You know you are in a different country, part of the world.  Italy is unique.  The former eastern European countries are different too.  Ride the Dolomites in northern Italy.  Ride the Alps too in Austria and Switzerland.  I have not ridden the Pyrennes so not sure they are great riding.  But the Tour goes there every year so maybe they are good too.  For a route I'd say start in Rome or further south and ride north and zigzag back and forth until you get to Hamburg Germany.

Offline Triumphator

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 10:36:39 pm »
Hello. I did France last summer and can recommend some places I visited. Crossing Ardennes to Bouillon was great, lots of great views and magnificent castle. For architecture I would recommend Luxembourg - Shengen - Metz - Nancy - Toul or vise versa. Great cathedrals, and laser show in Metz, Nancy and Strasbourg is an absolute must see. Speaking of Strasbourg, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and I recommend Colmar - Strasbourg route, visiting awesome villages such as Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Ribeauville and others alongside the Vine route.

This summer I am going to visit Norway for three weeks and gosh I wish I had more time like you. You should check it out, it is nature Paradise and it's okay to wild camp there, Google allemansretten.

Offline ElBaldo91

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 05:29:54 am »
Hi! I'm writing from Italy

There are many of interesting cycling routes to discover in Europe! Coming from U.S., I think that London or Paris are both excellent starting points (I mean, easy cities to get by plane)

I suggest you to think about the Camino de Santiago (Santiago's Pathway), from Paris (FR) to Santiago de Compostela (ESP), riding on a medieval route through very old cities. The Camino was (and still it is) a pilgrimage pathway, so people usually sleep in common rooms sharing experiences and daily life. There are plenty of websites, take a look if you wish

You can think about the Via Francigena too, connecting Canterbury (UK) to Rome (IT), passing through French and Italian countriside and mountains, riding on the old Roman roads. And, if you wish, you can get Italy passing Switzerland. Once in Tourin (North-west) you can even turn to east cycling along the river Po till Venice, and then to ride south destination Rome.

Offline Galloper

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 02:00:11 pm »
A route using some of the major European cycle routes:

Start in Amsterdam, flying into Schipol.    Follow North Sea Coastal Route through Holland and Belgium into France  Lots of good beer in Belgium :)   Follow the coastal route into Normandy and Brittany and then south to pick up the Loire cycle route.   It gets prettier as you go along.   Cross the Jura into Germany and head north on the Rhine cycle route then turn off east to follow the Main/Tauber/Altmuhl cycle routes south east before eventually moving on to the Danube Cycle route.   Follow this into Austria and then strike south over the mountains to Venice.   

Goof beer, great food and wonderful scenery.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 09:59:17 am »
Everyone travels in Italy in August. Expect large crowds in places popular with vacationers. Southern Spain will be hotter than hell in July & August.  Southern Italy can pretty darn hot as well.

Offline lipsjochem

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 02:04:01 am »
Hi! I'm writing from Italy

There are many of interesting cycling routes to discover in Europe! Coming from U.S., I think that London or Paris are both excellent starting points (I mean, easy cities to get by plane)

I suggest you to think about the Camino de Santiago (Santiago's Pathway), from Paris (FR) to Santiago de Compostela (ESP), riding on a medieval route through very old cities. The Camino was (and still it is) a pilgrimage pathway, so people usually sleep in common rooms sharing experiences and daily life. There are plenty of websites, take a look if you wish

You can think about the Via Francigena too, connecting Canterbury (UK) to Rome (IT), passing through French and Italian countriside and mountains, riding on the old Roman roads. And, if you wish, you can get Italy passing Switzerland. Once in Tourin (North-west) you can even turn to east cycling along the river Po till Venice, and then to ride south destination Rome.

I walked the Camino two years ago, and as an avid cycle tourer (my partner convinced me to walk it at that time!) I can tell you that I would definitely NOT want to cycle that route. Mainly because you'll be a second-rank user, after all the walkers. Albergues (local pilgrimage hostels) will fill up quickly (especially in the most popular months of July and August) and tell you to keep on moving. No problem, you're camping, right? Well, the route is still not well sign marked for bikes either (judging from wat I heard from cyclists around the time I was there), often forcing you to take long ways around and sometimes disappearing all together. If you want to do a Camino-like route, I would recommend making your own and do it in the shoulder seasons to avoid the crowds.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend the OP to try out southern Italy. I was there just two weeks ago on my bike, just for a few days, and the landscape and roads are amazing. There are so many tiny roads that lead to the next town that it's easy to avoid most traffic, food is good, people are great (many speak English), and prices are low. Might be hot in the summer though so definitely head up north to the Dolomites or Alps to cool off a bit before/after  ;)

Offline Woods cycling adventures

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Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 06:28:59 am »
Hi we are from England and did our first independent bike tour last year - we cycled in Europe as it's easy for us to get to and actually finished in Venice (although not with our bikes)

Venice is amazing, but not really possible to cycle as so very busy - no cars, just pedestrians and lots of bridges with steps. We cycled in the north of Italy, starting in Bolzano. It is great to visit the major city centres - Florence, Verona etc, but be aware that they are very busy again with tourists and pedestrians that you might want to explore these on foot - there are a lot of cobbles too! Some of the smaller towns we visited and loved were Ferrara and Mantova - you will really get a feel of Italy here.

We also cycled in The Netherlands - an absolute dream for navigating, Belgium - again a cyclists dream country and great beer and Germany - along the Rhine route, also great beer! In fact  the hotly anticipated part of our facebook posts were 'Beer of the Day' -of which there was a different one every day!  We are only beginners to touring (although as you might suspect not to drinking beer)  and it was very easy to follow your nose in these places - unlike the UK bikes are king and all the towns we visited had a cycle path network.

 We have also cycled end to end in the UK, a great way to see our country and Scotland was amazing.

We are planning on the Trans America Trail next year! Happy touring

Offline Theflyingkiwi

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 09:53:57 am »
Go to Eurovelo.com foe a heap of routes. Switzerland is amazing.

Offline gderita

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 04:53:27 pm »
Thanks, everybody, for the great insights here! To clarify my OP, by 'destination city' I meant starting point in Europe...apologies for the confusion.

 I`m getting closer and closer to my trip, and have settled on flying in to Rome to start my tour, in the first week of July. My plan is to ride north from Rome through the Dolomites, and play it by ear from there! If anyone has additional feedback on bike travel in the Balkan countries I`m strongly considering heading in that direction (something like Munich, Vienna, Budapest then south & west towards the Adriatic)

Before July, I`ll be biking around the USA, starting San Francisco to Los Angeles in California, then roughly following the ACA Underground Railroad route from St. Louis MO to Cincinnatti OH, then on to Philadelphia PA. If you want to follow along I`ll be posting updates on Instagram @funngabe

Thanks for all the suggestions & insights, hope to see you on the road!

Offline PeanutButterShammyCream

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2018, 09:08:39 pm »
Thanks, everybody, for the great insights here! To clarify my OP, by 'destination city' I meant starting point in Europe...apologies for the confusion.

 I`m getting closer and closer to my trip, and have settled on flying in to Rome to start my tour, in the first week of July. My plan is to ride north from Rome through the Dolomites, and play it by ear from there! If anyone has additional feedback on bike travel in the Balkan countries I`m strongly considering heading in that direction (something like Munich, Vienna, Budapest then south & west towards the Adriatic)

Before July, I`ll be biking around the USA, starting San Francisco to Los Angeles in California, then roughly following the ACA Underground Railroad route from St. Louis MO to Cincinnatti OH, then on to Philadelphia PA. If you want to follow along I`ll be posting updates on Instagram @funngabe

Thanks for all the suggestions & insights, hope to see you on the road!

I cycled from Rome to Amsterdam in 2016. I rode through Tuscany and then cut east towards the Dolomites. I always wanted to cycle "The Stelvio Pass", and rode over mountain pass that to arrive in Switzerland.

Then I cycled West into Central Switzerland. Switzerland was my favorite country to ride in. After taking a break in Switzerland, I rode east into Lichtenstein and Austria. The cycling infrastructure was GREAT!

After checking out Austria, I took a train to Frankfurt, Germany. From there, I followed the Rhine River north and arrived in Amsterdam.

Besides parts of southern Italy, all of those countries' infrastructure was GREAT for cycling.

The Swiss Alps were BY FAR the best riding I have ever done. Those mountain passes were incredibly beautiful. Austria was the biggest surprise of the trip, because it was a lot more beautiful than I imagined. Personally, Germany was just OK. Nothing really stood out to me, and if I could do it again, I would have skipped Germany.

I used google maps for most of my routes, but it DID pay off to ask the locals about any bike paths. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Offline Rob Fullnorth

Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2019, 10:29:52 am »
Hello,

I would recommend you EV10 and EV13  if you are still considering this. I can give you many advices of cycling in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland.