cycle return from Santander

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
newbootclimbco
Posts: 104
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

cycle return from Santander

Postby newbootclimbco » 12 Jul 2017, 6:57am

So only about 7 weeks left before my mate and I cycle from Wimborne to Portsmouth then a ferry down to Santander, spain on 2 sept. As the ferry docks late afternoon we are in a hostel for the night in Somo. Early start up and along the coast with a couple of days climbing over the Pynanees through Bilbao , picking up the Eurovello 1 and on to Roscoff. I'v just seen the small tent from Lidl for £13 one kilo lighter than the one I intent to take, has anyone got one of these tents ? any good ? we would prefer to hostel / B and B most of the trip but taking tents only [ no cooking gear] just in case we don't find digs. Anyone else doing this trip, any last minute advice?. Hopefully we shall have a decent breeze up our backs. cheers T.

bikepacker
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:08pm
Location: Worcestershire
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Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby bikepacker » 12 Jul 2017, 12:32pm

There a quite a few on this forum who have done the same or similar tours. I have done similar (Santander to Caen and Cherbourg to Santander) rides. It is such a long ride to cover all what you might encounter but if there is anything specific ask away. Or do a forum search on the topic and you will probably find all the information you need.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

DGG1941
Posts: 38
Joined: 7 Jul 2011, 5:45pm

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby DGG1941 » 12 Jul 2017, 2:44pm

Here's a link to the trip I did May last year from Bilbao to St Malo, giving the headlines along with the route I took. I was using B&B and hotels most of which are described. Very enjoyable trip, enjoy yours!
https://davidggalloway.wordpress.com/20 ... headlines/

crazydave789
Posts: 111
Joined: 22 Jul 2017, 10:21pm

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby crazydave789 » 24 Jul 2017, 2:06am

I looked at that then fainted at the ferry costs, did you look at bike express? they go to bayonne I think, just short of santander anyway. I've done those 30 hour coach trips but it's 300 quid cheaper and has many stops.

climo
Posts: 314
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby climo » 24 Jul 2017, 7:33am

Flew Bristol to Bilbao. 2 people, 2 bikes, 3 checked in bags = £249. Ferry was well over £300 + food on board + took 24hrs.
Hired car for 2 days in Bilbao to sightsee along the coast & dropped that off in San Sebastion, £60. Train to French border and cycled from there. Great route once you get north of Biarritz. South of that I found the route varied from quiet coastal roads with steep hills to fast and horrible roads with aggressive drivers. Once you get on the EV1 proper the path is mainly fantastic and where you meet cars the drivers get better the further north you get.
Surprisingly we had a lot of headwind.
Signage is very good but a gps is a good idea in places.
Forget Biganos as its a dire part of the route and catch the ferry from Arcachon to Cap Ferret.
Many campsites are expensive and some of the more expensive ones are poor value.
France is expensive.

newbootclimbco
Posts: 104
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby newbootclimbco » 24 Jul 2017, 8:37am

Thanks guys for the replies regarding the above, Our ferry is costing us £208 shared, plus £125 for a 4 berth cabin that's only for us 2, Total cost £333 which I though was ok. I have looked at the coach before but the pick up points are so limited, I decided against it. At least by having a B and B in Porstmouth near the dock its an easy little ride onto the ferry the morning of departure. Yes its a long trip to Santander but a relaxing one, i'll take a book and read , speak to other travellers etc. Once we leave Somo that's across from Santander I'm hoping to stay close to the coastal road up and through Arnuero,Argonos,Baranda ,Castro Urdiales then Hendaye where I expect to pick up the Euro 1. I may be wrong but I don't think that will be too busy. If that's a [inappropriate word removed] route please someone let me know. My only real map is the Michelin 1 in x15.8 mls or 1:1,000:000 I wanted one with more detail but the only one i'v seen is in French. I have put some info into my phone but I think we'll be looking for way markers half the time. I'm just hoping for a rear breeze dry weather no bike problems and no physical injuries. Anyone else about ?. Cheers T.

tatanab
Posts: 3121
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby tatanab » 24 Jul 2017, 9:10am

newbootclimbco wrote:My only real map is the Michelin 1 in x15.8 mls or 1:1,000:000 I wanted one with more detail but the only one i'v seen is in French.
Michelin Zoom series at 1:150,000 for the Spanish bits and then IGN 1:100,000 or Michelin 1:200,000 for the French bits.

climo wrote:Many campsites are expensive and some of the more expensive ones are poor value.
Because much of the EV route is through or very close to French holiday areas. A bit inland camping is very much cheaper, but of course then you are not on the EV.

mullinsm
Posts: 95
Joined: 9 Sep 2011, 2:00pm

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby mullinsm » 1 Aug 2017, 10:13am

I did this trip a few years ago, with the ferry back from St.Malo. I camped pretty much all of the way and found the French campsites cheap, plentiful and usually really nice just as I always have when touring France.

I avoided the coastal route because, as someone else pointed out, it's full of holiday makers and was told it's pretty featureless for much of the way. I went north between Bordeaux and Bergerac, through Poitiers and Tours before taking the Loire valley to Angers then Rennes and St.Malo. It's a nice route with plenty of variety. Also, if you time it right you can get a night ferry from St.Malo for about £60 including a cabin and you don't waste a day travelling.

For the section of the trip across northern Spain, I would recommend that you search fro Bikepackers very useful post from a few years back which details how to avoid a massive hill and how to avoid Bilbao itself.

As for maps, I never use them in France. As long as you have a smartphone with Google maps you'll be fine. I do take a Garmin for navigating through cities, but if you can mount your phone and use the turn by turn on that, you wouldn't need anything else (apart from a back-up battery)

newbootclimbco
Posts: 104
Joined: 3 Feb 2012, 8:18pm

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby newbootclimbco » 13 Sep 2017, 8:46am

Hi people, I said I would let you know how out tour when regarding the above. Well it didn't. The week before my mate [Paul ] and I cycle a few miles from Wimborne to Crossways found a nice little campsite £18 for two tents and us, they also have a decent bar and did good meals. Next day cycled into Weymouth for breakfast at Weatherspoons then up to Dorchester for tea and cake. Back to Wimborne a round trip of about 80 miles. We both felt ok and ready for our trip.
Unfortunatly 5 days before we were due to sail Paul complained of chest pains, result on Monday 11 sept he had a triple heart bypass, poor bloke. so end of trip. Rather than lose all of the Ferry expence I have managed to rebook the ferry, cabin etc for May 2018, wether Paul will be fit or not only time will tell. I may be looking for another cycle buddy. So as they say, the best made plans etc. Thanks T.

climo
Posts: 314
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby climo » 13 Sep 2017, 9:19am

At least it didn't happen in France. Not that the medical system is inferior but its difficult to get back. Great case for having insurance.

bikerwaser
Posts: 258
Joined: 26 Aug 2012, 9:50am

Re: cycle return from Santander

Postby bikerwaser » 13 Sep 2017, 11:27am

Sorry to hear about that but as climo says, at least it didn't happen in the middle of nowhere.

As has been said, there's a few threads on this route here.
I've done this a couple of times the other way round. From St Malo to Santander. Hopefully you'll find the info helpful.

http://biker-waser.blogspot.co.uk/2014/


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