Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
mrkwr
Posts: 4
Joined: 6 May 2012, 1:04pm

Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby mrkwr » 11 Feb 2017, 4:39pm

I'm planning to cycle across France (one-way) this summer, starting St Malo, ending Nice. Aiming for a nice gentle pace, about 20 days cycling for total ca. 1000 miles. I'm aiming to camp for the majority of nights, using B&Bs etc. every now & then for a break / recovery / drying out as necessary. Only my second ever cycle tour

For work reasons, I can either (1) start approx 15 May arriving 5 June or (2) start approx 19 June arriving 9 July

Any thoughts on which would be the better option for a cycling tour? I wondered if (1) might be a bit wet & chilly overnight at start, but (2) could be rather hot cycling towards the end (S of France in July).

Maybe I'm just over-thinking this, but any thoughts/experience?

Silverdorking
Posts: 59
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 8:04pm

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby Silverdorking » 11 Feb 2017, 8:05pm

Left St Malo May 15th last year routing 'France en Velo' and had a great trip, climate wise! Fresh in the North and although getting warmish down South, still very comfortable. Camped all way although probably half suggested municipal sites were closed but still usable. One advantage of this time in late spring is that the tourist hot spots were acceptably quiet! Good luck with your trip!

biciclista1
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 May 2013, 6:54am

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby biciclista1 » 11 Feb 2017, 9:07pm

I have done St. Malo to the South (not Nice) 3 times. All trips we done starting about the 6-10th June. On 2 trips the weather was perfect for cycling all the way to Sete (near Montpellier) where we finished. It was quite hot on the last day or two but as this is generally downhill it was nothing that we couldn’t easily cope with. Two years ago it was a different story. We had very strong winds for the first 2.1/2 days and would have struggled putting up a tent. This was followed by a week of fairly frequent rain, very heavy at times. We had made a last minute decision not to take the tent which was just as well as we would have struggled putting it up in the wind and rain. We are late 60’s and early 70’s and are now only happy camping in good weather.
We followed the route in the book France en Velo on the last trip as far as Figeac and then picked up another route we had done before to Sete. We didn’t always have the same nightstops as in the book. I can highly recommend this book as it was quite the best route we have done.,and we are planning to do it again late June this year hopefully camping all the way and having different nightstops to last time so we can explore different villages in the evenings. We did stay in some of the recommended hotels/chambre d’hotes but some were full or too expensive for us which is always a chance you take with not pre-planning. On one occasion we had to do a big diversion to find a hotel with free rooms due to an event going on. The advantage of going mid June is that all the campsites will be open and even if the campsites are busy space is found for cycle campers. Many of the smaller municipal campsites don’t open until June. Enjoy your trip!

mrkwr
Posts: 4
Joined: 6 May 2012, 1:04pm

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby mrkwr » 12 Feb 2017, 11:28am

Many thanks biciclista1 and Silverdorking. Yes, I was also inspired to do this route by picking up a copy of France en Velo in the local Waterstones, the route looks fabulous. It seems either option has its pros and cons, but since you each had good times starting in May and June respectively it's probably less important than just having good luck with the weather on the day!

nirakaro
Posts: 1062
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby nirakaro » 12 Feb 2017, 11:34am

Thing is, French weather is no more reliable than English weather. You pays your money and takes your choice...

JBB
Posts: 38
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 8:39pm

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby JBB » 13 Feb 2017, 11:35pm

I think the important thing - especially with the distances you are contemplating is that if you start in May very few campsites will be open. We cycled fro Brittany to the Pyrenees last year, leaving on May 5th . Less than a quarter of the sites on our route were open.

mrkwr
Posts: 4
Joined: 6 May 2012, 1:04pm

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby mrkwr » 14 Feb 2017, 4:58pm

That's a point I hadn't considered, thanks. I'd been focussing on the weather, but this sounds at least if not more important.

Cheers

nirakaro
Posts: 1062
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Best days for StMalo–Nice tour?

Postby nirakaro » 14 Feb 2017, 5:06pm

Touch and go, I'd imagine. The year I arrived in France on May 11, the first night I had to climb under the barrier of a closed campsite; just as I was leaving, I bumped into the people arriving to open it up for the season, who were quite surprised to see me. After that, I didn't have any problems