Author Topic: Touring the Continent  (Read 477 times)

Touring the Continent
« on: November 18, 2017, 05:15:31 pm »
Looking for ideas/routes:

I have been planning to ride bikepacking LeJog next May but have been wondering if using the same time that would take (or longer), riding across Europe instead. Starting somewhere on the west coast of France, riding across France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and heading back through Germany and the  Low Countries. Perhaps taking twenty days riding 100 - 150 miles a day.

I would appreciate advice from any who have ridden similar routes. Thanks. 

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Touring the Continent
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 05:39:29 pm »
The Eurodiagonales might give some route ideas, centred on the Diagonales de France.
https://www.randonneursmodeniens.fr/les-diff%C3%A9rentes-activit%C3%A9s/les-diagonales/eurodiagonales

There is quite a bit on the Diagonales themselves http://diagonales.homelinux.net/adf/?page=411&menu=4 is an example.

There are several diagonalists on YACF; T42 might be a good start.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Touring the Continent
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 04:46:25 pm »
Thanks, the route diagram looks interesting, but I am afraid the rest is all French to me.  ???

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Touring the Continent
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 04:55:55 pm »
I have the same problem and Google Translate often leads me in odd directions.

PM T42 - he is a good bloke living in France who has ridden and can explain the ins and outs of diagonales.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Touring the Continent
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 05:08:46 pm »
I can envy someone living in France, I've often meandered through the French countryside in my mind. I'll do as you suggest. Thanks.

Re: Touring the Continent
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 01:29:59 pm »
I can't offer any advice for France, but for the other countries:

Switzerland: My favourite part is the Graub√ľnden. It's certainly the wildest and most remote. However most of the mountainous parts have some good cycling, just try to avoid the traffic (Swiss drivers can be intimidating).

Italy: I'm guessing you are going to stay in the north, in that case the Dolomites are a must. Definitely the most scenic part of the Alps. The Italian lakes are worth a visit too, Lake Como a personal favourite. If you are heading out of the mountains then Verona is an obvious destination.

Austria: Leaving the Dolomites the obvious route across Austria would be the Grossglocknerhochstrasse - and a destination on itself for the sheer awesomeness of the climbing. It's supposed to be easier from the south. However it may still be closed in May and you might have to find an alternative. The Brenner is the obvious one but it is boring.

Germany: The best parts of Germany are the small towns, and in Bavaria you can't go wrong. Assuming you enter Bavaria at Kufstein or Salzburg, I'd go something like Landshut - Ingolstadt - Nordlingen - Rothenburg. If you take the Brenner I'd enter Germany at Fussen, then Garmisch-Partenkirchen and north to join this route. But you can't take a bad route through Bavaria.

From Rothenburg I'd cross the Rhine at Worms then cut across to Bingen. The best part of the Rhine is between Bingen and Koblenz, so you could follow this, or cut across to the Mosel which is even nicer.

Low Countries: From there I'd probably cut across northern Luxemburg into the Ardennes, say to Huy.

Then it depends where you want to finish. If you are heading to the Netherlands probably the most interesting route would be to head across Flanders, Brugge is the classic Flemish town but Gent, Mechelen and Geraardsbergen are all worth visiting (and climb the Muur if you go to Geraardsbergen). Then head north across Zeeland towards Rotterdam.

There's quite a few ideas there. My final advice would be to be flexible: don't follow any route too rigorously and be prepared to follow any road which looks interesting.

Re: Touring the Continent
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 04:34:34 pm »
Thanks Rod, it sounds as if you have spent some interesting time riding in those areas. Lucky!  8)