I am trying to plan a cycling trip through Europe for next summer. I have never been travelling before and was hoping for any advice that could help me try and put something together.
I will probably be starting from Calais in France and hoping to visit as many different countries as possible. I was thinking of cycling somewhere in the region of 150 - 200km every 3 days then resting on the fourth, so I was thinking it could take around 6-8 weeks to see a lot of Europe.
I was just wondering if anyone has done anything similar, or if it is even a viable thing to do?? Also is there any particularly scenic cycle routes throughout central and Eastern Europe??
As I already mentioned I have never even been travelling before and I was wondering about practical things I may be over looking. For example how and where to wash my clothes, whether I could even try camping, or would the tent and camping gear be far too heavy?? Is there anywhere to avoid, maybe anywhere that would be unsafe to cycle and if I was going to cycle it, would I be able to see as much of different countries as I would if I just Interrailed it?
I know it is all a bit vague at the moment, but I was hoping to start planning the route and stop offs etc in the next few weeks and months but thought I should try and get some advice from you guys first, any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Many Thanks in advance
Weather could be a problem with heavy rains as much a problem as very hot and sunny days. You are going to need some serious training to get in shape for this.
There are small trollies you could hook onto the back of a cycle which can take a one man tent and some odds and ends.
Wild camping is OK if you don't get robbed, moved on by the police, etc but you still need a shower and to wash and dry your clothes and such. It can be rough, especially in bad weather.
You could always try this out at home first, a few days out in the country to see what you think of it. Still plenty of time this year to give it a try.
Unsafe to cycle has a number of meanings, one of which is narrow roads and bad or fast drivers. Especially trucks.
Train is OK, and comfortable but you generally don't see that much from trains.
The best way really is by car, especially if you can rope in some friends to share the expenses with you.
Thanks for your reply. I am hoping to try a trial run in UK first sometime next month, to see what its like and get an idea of things I would need to consider etc.
I see what you mean about travelling by car but I was hoping to cycle it as it is much more of a challenge and more of a unique way of seeing different countries.
I'm hoping to do this with a group of friends, so hopefully we wouldn't get robbed because there would be a few of us (safety in numbers hopefully!!!)
I was thinking that at the end of each week we would get to a city where we could stay for 2, 3 or 4 days to sort out washing clothes and rest up from cycling, sleep in proper beds etc. I'm not sure how logical this would be or if we should just try and stay in hostels each night and scrap the camping idea, although I think that would be a really cool way to travel and also make the trip a bit cheaper.
Any massive distances we would need to cover we could take the train for, or if the weather got especially bad at any point. I would imagine you can take bikes on interrail trains?
I'm planning it for next year so we I could start training now and get into some pretty good shape. It's all part of the challenge
I'd read this blog : http://viciouscycleblog.com
Gerry is a long distance cyclist ( trans Australia etc) now based in France.
He runs self guided and accompanied cycling tours in Europe. The blog contains much useful information.
He is very approachable and will give almost free advice. Offer to buy him a beer and see !