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

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Sweep
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby Sweep » 18 Sep 2018, 1:13pm

simonhill wrote: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


Good suggestion Simon - those figures sound perfectly reasonable/doable.

Can you tell us more about Malaga and its surroundings/attractions - that bit of the country etc - and for cycling.?
Sweep

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

Postby simonhill » 18 Sep 2018, 1:28pm

Can you tell us more about Malaga and its surroundings/attractions - that bit of the country etc - and for cycling.?

No - I could tell you about Malaysia or Mauritius, but not Malaga. I just compiled these stats off the web, trying to help people who ask what's it like.

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

Postby horizon » 18 Sep 2018, 2:00pm

I've spent January near Malaga. It was sunbathing weather during the day but at teatime night fell (with a bump). The temperature then plummets so it's dark and cold. In front of a toasty wood burner that's a treat. But in a small tent on a (probably non-existent) campsite or wild camping it's a real challenge.

Winters in Spain are cold and generally settled. It's in the spring and autumn that the rain and wind get up so ironically January can be the better month. Having said that, I've experienced wonderful weather (and warmer nights) in October and March so you pays your money and . . .
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

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

Postby nirakaro » 18 Sep 2018, 2:58pm

I cycled Malaga-Algeciras a few years ago in January/February. As I remember -
It was warm, but it rained a lot.
It's very over-developed – difficult to wild camp.
Hotels are available and cheap, but there aren't any camping facilities.
The main road is a fast, busy dual carriageway, and most of the way there's no alternative.

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

Postby thornie1543 » 18 Sep 2018, 3:25pm

I'm the op and yeah I was asking with camping in mind,i have cycled across france a few times and stayed in some municipal sites when they had closed and they were pretty bleak and have cycled across northern spain where campsites were few and the were posts above mine kind of hit the nail on the head why I asked really,wow imagine doing it and having the money for an hotel every night,bliss indeed :D ,thanks for the posts so far,you guys always raise interesting points and are helpful.

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

Postby eileithyia » 19 Sep 2018, 12:02pm

Going East from Malaga there is a flat coastal road that is a quite a bit quieter than the westerly DC, until you get to Nerja. Roads and routes are sparse but generally anything that goes away from the coast climbs into the mountains. There appears to be a couple of campsites open when I have been to Torre during March but can't answer for Jan.
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durhambiker
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Re: Could you tour europe in the winter and not regret it?

Postby durhambiker » 20 Sep 2018, 5:42pm

November is a great cycling month in the Top of Germany usually, snow comes after Christmas, in some years not much snow at all.Give that a miss for sure

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

Postby willem jongman » 1 Oct 2018, 9:37am

I have just come back from a weekend tour in the North of the Netherlands. It was cold: the coldest September night since 1971, with temperatures just below freezing. Riding during the day was fine, with some sunshine, though also with headwinds for much of the Saturday. I stayed at a campsite in a National Forest. Facilities were basic but included warm showers, and that is enough for me. I managed to cook dinner before dusk (at about eight), and after that could join a group of fellow campers who had started a fire in the fire pit. I went to bed at ten when it was getting too cold to sit around.
The night was cold, even though I had brought an Exped down mat and a warm winter sleeping bag that should be fine for rather colder temperatures. In the middle of the night I woke up and decided to also put on my down vest, which helped quite a bit. The reason I was feeling cold was simple: I had taken my son's festival tent, a Decathlon Quickhiker 2. I had used this before and had been quite happy. What I had not realized was that it has large mesh panels that you cannot cover, unlike on our larger Hilleberg and Helsport tents. Also, the flysheet does not quite reach to the ground in some places. In short, a great tent for summer in France, but not in the cold. So my lesson would be to avoid such tents (and that includes many US style inner first tents) if you want to camp in colder weather.
The morning presented another typical winter camping problem when I got up at eight: the long grass was very wet, so my Goretex shoes got pretty wet as well, though not my feet. But wet shoes are cold (even more so once on the bike). I left at 9.30. The first hour was still a bit cold, and I had to wear my down vest under my Goretex jacket, and a buff under my helmet, but soon enough I could take off much of the warm clothing. Unlike on the Saturday, it was and remained too cold for bare legs. When I arrived home, the first thing I did was dry the wet tent.
For my next trip I will try to find a camp site with a restaurant to spend the evening. I wil also try to persuade my wife to come along so we can take the Hilleberg and keep it warm. For the one after that I will probably book a hotel. I have added a proper cold weather solo tent to my wish list. Current favourite is the Helsport Ringstind 2.

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

Postby MarkF » 6 Oct 2018, 7:39pm

Go for it.

I was in Alicante yesterday and it was 27c, and I went (deliberately) in their historically worst week earlier this year, the last week in January. It was wonderful coming from the UK. Shorts for cycling, maybe a fleece at night, when the clouds parted I needed suncream!

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

Postby pq » 9 Oct 2018, 10:58am

I live in the south of France, and while riding here in the depths of winter is totally fine, certainly much better than the UK, I wouldn't travel here to ride at that time of year. I've ridden in Sicily and the south of Spain in December/January and both were quite warm although I didn't camp and I had rain sometimes. For me the issue wouldn't be the riding so much (because you can dress accordingly), but the camping. If you don't have the money for hotels you could use warmshowers to keep costs down.

Another option to consider is Morocco. I know it's not Europe but you can get cheap flights there. The Atlas mountains would be grim in mid winter but if you flew into Agadir there's some nice countryside within easy reach and you stand a good chance of the weather being good. Accommodation is cheap too, so maybe you could leave the tent at home.
One link to your website is enough. G

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

Postby ConRAD » 9 Oct 2018, 12:25pm

thornie1543 wrote:... or elsewhere? ...

... why not Sicily?

FEB2018-Nelle terre del Commissario Montalbano (Sicily)

JAN2016-To the bottom tip of Sicily ... ps: the bottom tip of Sicily is South of Bizerte and same latitude than Tunis !!
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