Skip Navigation

Some Tips? UK Visa + Eu travel... 2 years :D

Travel Forums Europe Some Tips? UK Visa + Eu travel... 2 years :D

1. Posted by Georgia86 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

Hey all!

Just looking for some advice... travel stories etc...

my b/f and i are young aussies, just got approval for a 2 year working holiday visa to the UK... yay! We are thinking of doing 3 month travel round europe... then 3 months of work in the UK to save up again repeating that for 2 years... so we will be going basically on four 3-month long trips to europe if that makes sense.

so far we dont have much planned... we r doing two of those farm stay things (u no where u get free food and accom for 5 or so hours work a day)... arrive london 23rd sept... portugal farm stay then spain farm stay takes us to early nov... then we have a place we really wanna b at on 22nd dec in crete, greece. but as to how we are gonna get urselves there, best routes etc we have no idea.... we're both pretty keen on camping/biking etc... not so much on the train thing... and we have about 5,000 euro to last us from early nov-22nd dec.... because we have 4 trips to see europe.... can anyone suggest the best way to get to greece from spain/what things to see/etc?

Anyone done something similar to this before?

We were so far considering camping and kinda bussing it maybe... just as camping mite give us a bit more privacy as a couple - although we are also best mates so 8 weeks in hostels wouldnt really faze us... couch surfing sounds abit tricky as a couple?

both of us not desperate to do the 'tourist thing'... while we'd like to see all the big touristy stuff, would much prefer to learn a bit about the culture, meet the locals etc. (hence the farm stay idea :) )

so thats my novel :p

any advice/tips etc greatly appreciated!

:D

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Camping and cycling is a great way to see Europe on the cheap. Unfortunately it is not a good idea to do this in November. Cycling and camping season is from April to October.

Camping in November (with tent and sleeping bag) anywhere north of Spain will be very chilly to life-threatening cold if you don't have the right materials. (Winter will be coming on, in Germany and France you might get the first flurries of snow at the end of November.)

Travelling cheap during November to mid-December can be done if you buy the Eurolines bus pass. The Eurolines bus pass has seasonal prices, if you travel in off-season (November) the fares cannot be beaten.

To get from Spain to Greece in November on the cheap I would look at a bunch of budget flights, try searching www.skyscanner.net Just note that the winter season flight plans will be uploaded in September, so if you get the note "no flights" now wait until then.

If you want any ideas for a long-distance cycling trip, feel free to ask me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EuroVelo

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jul-2009, at 00:58 by t_maia ]

3. Posted by Georgia86 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

yea.. well... for our second trip back to EU we were thinking of flying into denmark for the Roskilde festival.. then just working our way from there.... we will have alreade seen (hopefully) portugal, spain, italy, and greece.... but can u sugest a good route for approx 3 months cycling and camping for that time of year (exactly this time next year)? We are both pretty fit but how do u go lugging ur 20kg packs around... :s ... is it very hilly?

We have no clue really so... any advice.. anything to get the ball rolling is great :)

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jul-2009, at 06:11 by Georgia86 ]

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Denmark is mostly flat and cycle-friendly. It is almost as cycle-friendly as the Netherlands and Germany.

On top of my head I would suggest cycling from Roskilde south into Germany, maybe to Hamburg and then using the Elbe Cycling Path to get to Dresden and Prague or hitting the long-distance cycling path Kobenhagen-Berlin.

From Prague or Dresden I would then take the train to Vienna or Bratislava and cycle west along the Danube to Southern Germany. From there it would be easy to get to the German-Dutch border by train.

Or from Roskilde directly to Amsterdam along the North Sea and then back to the UK by ferry.

Depends how many kilometers you are willing or able to cycle each day.

(For absolute beginner's to cycle touring I suggest 25-40 kilometers per day, then slowly going up to about 35-55 kilometers per day in the second week of touring and up to 70 kilometers in the 4th week of touring.)

Lugging 20 kgs is not a problem if you got panniers and a good rack. I can recommend Ortlieb panniers. A good source for them is the German ebay site. If Ortliebs are out of your budgets take a look at the MSX Mainstream panniers. They are half the price of the Ortliebs, but only also only half as durable.

I am assuming you already got tents and sleeping bags? Or do you need them too? What about bicycles, are you planning on buying new?

5. Posted by Georgia86 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

hmmm well, we dont physically have the tents and sleeping bags yet, but yes we will have those very soon... the tent weighs under 2kgs as do both the sleeping bags together BUT... we r thinking of leaving these in the UK when we arrive initially on the 23rd sept anyway as we wont b needing them until we leave for roskilde in the summer of '10... if its too cold to camp from nov-dec we will hostel it... and then we will b in the UK for 6 months anyway so will b living in an apartment/house. well - thats the plan :P

our tent i dont know much about other than its super ventilated for hot climates and water/wind proof... should b ok for summer camping?

no bikes yet either as we are still in oz... hadnt really thought about new/second hand? as we were still undecided as to how best to travel... now that i research a bit more... bus does actually seem to b reasonaly cheap although not in eastern europe....

for a cycle trip (or even a bus trip)... would it b too much to start from roskilde in denmark... travel through through the eastern part of germany then onto prague... then south to vienna... and then (loosely) switzerland, paris, belgium, and finish in the netherlands? it's a bit of a circle... but with no real concept of how that would actually work in reality, it;s hard to say it it's do-able...... is that just cramming a bit too much in?

argh so many options im wondering if it's best to just totally wing it!? hehehe

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

our tent i dont know much about other than its super ventilated for hot climates and water/wind proof... should b ok for summer camping?

Ouch, that is not a good idea for Denmark. Ok for Spain and Italy, but not elsewhere. For most of Europe you need a tent that is super rainproof and moderately ventilated.

I am assuming you bought this tent in Oz? (What is the brand and type?) If yes, try to sell it again and get a tent that is more suitable to the cooler and more rainy European climate in Europe.

Summer in Europe north of the Alps is hit and miss, you can get 30 C and sunshine but also 15 C and rain. It is impossible to predict.

no bikes yet either as we are still in oz... hadnt really thought about new/second hand?

If you buy new plan on spending around 500 pounds(!) for one bike. Cycletouring is not much fun if something essential breaks on the bike that you just bought new and cheap from Tesco's. So shell out some more cash and buy something decent from a good bicycle dealer. The bikes you can get at supermarkets and such will not be up to the grueling abuse cycle touring puts bicycles through.

Used would be an alternative, but I have no clue where you would get decent used bikes in the UK.

If you want new I would buy the bicycle in December/January in the UK and then use it as soon as it gets warm enough. Maybe some of the UK residents can suggest a bicycle-friendly city where you could rent an appartment for cheap?

for a cycle trip (or even a bus trip)... would it b too much to start from roskilde in denmark... travel through through the eastern part of germany then onto prague... then south to vienna... and then (loosely) switzerland, paris, belgium, and finish in the netherlands? it's a bit of a circle...

That is a bit much kilometer-wise. And you wanted "mostly flat" if I understood you right. There is only one route through Switzerland that fits that criteria, Southern Germany to Geneve along the lakes. France - Northern France is ok (say Aachen to Paris or along the Atlantic coast), but the French Alps are nothing to laugh at. Cycling trails usually follow rivers, so take a look close look at a map of Europe. But from Roskilde to Prague and then from Vienna to Amsterdam or Paris and then the UK should be do-able. (I need to take a closer look at the distances involved and do some calculations, I get back to you later.)

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Distances:

Roskilde to Prague via the Elbe Cycling Path, covering about 40 kms per day and sightseeing a few days will take you about 4-5 weeks. (I would cycle only as far as Usti nad Labem and then take the train to Prague from Usti, the trail between Usti and Prague goes over very busy roads.)

Hamburg-Dresden is approx 2-3 weeks, depending how much distance you cover per day. Some Lance-Armstrong wannabes have done it in 4-5 days, covering around 200 kms per day in Tour de France-style with only their credit cards as luggage, but I doubt you are up to it at this stage.

Bratislava via Vienna to Passau along the Danube Cycling Path is approx 1-2 weeks, again depending how far you cycle per day and how many days you spend sightseeing in Vienna.

From Passau it is easy to follow the Danube into Bavaria and then later connect with the Limes Cycling Path (using the Altmühltal and Kocher-Jagst cycling trails that are incorporated into the Limes Cycling Trail) to the Rhine. Then you can go over to Paris, following the Aachen-Paris Cycling Trail or over to Amsterdam.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jul-2009, at 01:29 by t_maia ]

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

The Limes Cycling Path in Germany:

http://www.limesstrasse.de/index.php?id=177

Elbe Cycling Path in Germany:

http://www.elberadweg.de/

Danube Cycling Trail:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donauradweg

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

for a cycle trip (or even a bus trip)... would it b too much to start from roskilde in denmark... travel through through the eastern part of germany then onto prague... then south to vienna... and then (loosely) switzerland, paris, belgium, and finish in the netherlands? it's a bit of a circle...

That is a bit much kilometer-wise. And you wanted "mostly flat" if I understood you right. There is only one route through Switzerland that fits that criteria, Southern Germany to Geneve along the lakes. France - Northern France is ok (say Aachen to Paris or along the Atlantic coast), but the French Alps are nothing to laugh at.

I would like to amend that. You should take a closer look at the EuroVelo 6, it goes from Saint Nazaire in France to Constanta in the Black Sea. It is interesting to you because you can go from Vienna to the French Atlantic Coast on it. You'd be using the Danube cycle trail to Ulm, then down to Lake Constance, touching Switzerland (around Basel) and then go on through France.

http://www.eurovelo6.org/

If you want Paris, you could connect from Dijon or Orleans to Paris.

But think hard whether you want to do this, you might need more than 3 months to cycle this distance.