Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

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thornie1543
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Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby thornie1543 » 15 Sep 2018, 11:43am

Random post I know but just humour me:),say for instance you were having a bit of a hard time and just needing to go cycling to get away but didn't have a lot of money (but enough for ferry to france and careful living for a bit after).Where would you head? Is southern france still warmish in winter? or southern spain? or elsewhere? .Yes I know I am being lazy and all temps etc are available at the stroke of my keyboard but I an just thinking/rambling aloud.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Sep 2018, 12:00pm

I was lucky in that with different employers I had a weeks more leave than the wife, so for some 15 years I used to get a week in January of February to cycle tour. I went all over the UK and apart from one trip at Inverness and one in Leamington/ Warwick I never had any problems with the weather that affected my enjoyment
Last edited by Cunobelin on 15 Sep 2018, 12:05pm, edited 1 time in total.

brynpoeth
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Sep 2018, 12:04pm

You mean "the mainland"? :wink:

November is a great cycling month in the Top of Germany usually, snow comes after Christmas, in some years not much snow at all

In Nederland cycling as transport is surely popular in winter too, the paths would be cleared early mornings, +1
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willem jongman
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby willem jongman » 15 Sep 2018, 2:09pm

I have done some of it and the problems are not insurmountable with some precuations:
1 I would mount Conti Topcontact Winter ii tyres for better grip.
2 On the clothing side you need warm stuff, including a buff under your helmet and warm, gloves, and good rain protection, including warm waterproof shoes and even so rain covers for your shoes. Once I am off the bike I have a down vest under my Goretex jacket.
3 You will need a warm matress and a warm sleeping bag, of course. Ideally the sleeping bag should have a water repellent outer.
4 A somewhat larger tent is imperative, to have room for all the extra clothing, and because you will spend more time in it.

The two biggest problems are, first, finding campsites, although more and more campsites are open through the year, and, second, deciding what to do in the dark and cold evenings. Fortunately, in Western Europe it gets dark a bit later than in the UK.

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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby simonhill » 15 Sep 2018, 4:40pm

I'd buy a cheap ticket to Bangkok. If you are going for a few months it probably won't cost any more than Europe.

You would then have most of S E Asia at your feet. Good weather, cheap accommodation, great food, smooth roads and wonderful people who often speak a little English.

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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Sep 2018, 5:48pm

What to do in the long dark evenings? What do other winter campers do? Seek a witherspoons or a bar?
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby eileithyia » 16 Sep 2018, 5:16am

Southern Spain would be my option, indeed I knew of a couple who used to spend 2-3 months of the winter (along with a lot of other northern europeans) in their camper van in southern Portugal. But as said it would be the longer winter evenings that might be more tedious to deal with
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Sweep
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby Sweep » 16 Sep 2018, 7:28am

willem jongman wrote:.
4 A somewhat larger tent is imperative, to have room for all the extra clothing, and because you will spend more time in it.



Excellent point william - thought i was sorted for tents but you may have sparked my interest in a 3 person dome for solo use.
Sweep

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mjr
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby mjr » 16 Sep 2018, 9:50am

Southern France is often warm until well into November but when the winds and rains arrive, they arrive hard. IIRC Southern Portugal is typically warmer than England in winter but wetter.
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nirakaro
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby nirakaro » 16 Sep 2018, 2:47pm

I've been having similar thoughts to the OP. Any views on southern Italy? Greece? Turkey?

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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby Vorpal » 16 Sep 2018, 3:20pm

The best places for winter camping tend to be farm fields (as long as it isn't muddy). Few farmers are averse to making a little money for a spot in a field and a warm shower. Most campgrounds are closed in winter.

You can also use warm showers, couch surfing and similar sites. Hostels are more likely to have places, as well, as long as you avoid winter half term.
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MrsHJ
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby MrsHJ » 16 Sep 2018, 4:06pm

Southern Spain ie Andalucia would be ok. I’ve holidayed there in January before but not camping. I would guess there are some campsites open in that part of the world though for northerners looking for some sun.

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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby simonhill » 17 Sep 2018, 1:19pm

nirakaro wrote:I've been having similar thoughts to the OP. Any views on southern Italy? Greece? Turkey?


Have a look at a good weather site such as accuweather. You can get detailed historical weather for most towns/areas. average max and min temps are useful, but I always look for sunshine hours, rain days and wind strength and speed as well.

The Eastern Med isn't always balmy hot as it is greatly influenced by the large adjacent (cold) continental masses.

As an aside, I have shivered in Jerusalem in March.

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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby horizon » 17 Sep 2018, 1:29pm

thornie1543 wrote: and just needing to go cycling



Dear OP: most people are assuming you meant camping. Could you enlighten us as to accommodation as it is IMV the key factor. I've done multi-day rides in the winter (e.g. at Xmas) and was grateful for a B and B/YHA or whatever at the end of the day. Camping is a different ball game.
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby simonhill » 17 Sep 2018, 4:38pm

Malaga:

January 15th 2018

Sunrise 08:29
Sunset 18:25

Max temp 15 C Historical average max 17C
Min temp 6C Historical average min 8C