Cycling to Greece.

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Kevin conway
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Cycling to Greece.

Postby Kevin conway » 5 Oct 2018, 9:32pm

Hi I'm planning to cycle to paxos (Greece) next year via France and Italy and then taking the ferry from brindisi to paxos. If anyone has ideas on the best route I'd love to hear from you.

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LinusR
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby LinusR » 6 Oct 2018, 8:19pm

Kevin conway wrote:Hi I'm planning to cycle to paxos (Greece) next year via France and Italy and then taking the ferry from brindisi to paxos. If anyone has ideas on the best route I'd love to hear from you.


I did something similar in 1997 (I think some of the roads might have changed since then!). I went London to Athens via France, Italy and used the Bari Patras ferry. It took me 32 days leaving mid-August from London. I used the michelin maps through france 1:200,000 and some italian 1:200,000 maps.
Basic route: Calais, Arras, Dijon, Lyon, Gernoble then over the Alps via col de Lauteret (2000m) Mongenevere (1850m) and Sestriere (2000m) down to Turin then along to Bologna, then down the spine of Italy via Florence, Assisi and then turned to the coast to Pescara (horrible) and then south along the cost around the Gargano peninsula and coast road to Bari.

I tried to keep to a short direct route but avoiding the busiest of roads. However, with limits on time I ended up on roads that I didn't really want to be on. I was camping most of the way with some youth hostels thrown in, and a night on the beach sleeping rough. I was young, fit and skinny in those days. I t was a great trip.

Kevin conway
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Kevin conway » 6 Oct 2018, 9:00pm

Hi linus thanks for that. I was going to give myself 30 day's to get go brindisi so I'll have a shorter trip than you did. Did you pre plan your route or did take it day by day.

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LinusR
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby LinusR » 6 Oct 2018, 10:10pm

Kevin conway wrote:Hi linus thanks for that. I was going to give myself 30 day's to get go brindisi so I'll have a shorter trip than you did. Did you pre plan your route or did take it day by day.


I planned what towns and cities I wanted to pass through and the mountain passes. I booked some hostels en route in advance: Grenoble, Briancon and Turin, so I had to keep to time to make those dates. I did quite high mileage on some days (up to 180k), but allowed a lot of time to cross the alps and took a day off in Grenoble to rest before the first long climb. I originally wanted to cross from Brindisi, but Bari cut the route short by a day so I took that route as time was getting on. I think I cut out part of the journey in the Apennines and took a train to Pescara to cut a day (about 60k) out and have a rest. I took some detours en route - visited the source of the Seine, cycled up Alpe d'Huez and Col du Galibier.

How do you going to plan your route and navigate?

nirakaro
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby nirakaro » 7 Oct 2018, 12:38pm

One or two options you might consider –
I found the Calais-Arras-Reims area a bit uninspiring. If you take the ferry to Dieppe, it's a nice ride down to Orleans, then up the Loire to maybe Charlieu; climb over the watershed to around Macon, then head to Grenoble.
The col de Lautaret's a nice climb. From Briancon, an alternative to the Montgenevre is the col de l'Echelle to Bardonecchia. It's a wee bit further, 100m lower, and a very pleasant, almost traffic-free road. Nice wild camping at the top if the weather's ok.
I've not ridden the Adriatic coast of Italy (except a little bit from Bari to Andria), but I've never heard a good report of it! The west coast is nice enough, though very over-developed. If you ride down the middle, it's much less touristy, much more interesting, and as hilly as anyone could ever wish for!

Kevin conway
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Kevin conway » 8 Oct 2018, 7:52pm

Thank you for your help, I had thought about an alternative to calais so dieppe is a possibility. I'll get the maps out in the next few days and look the route you've suggested. Thanks again.

Kevin conway
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Kevin conway » 8 Oct 2018, 8:48pm

LinusR wrote:
Kevin conway wrote:Hi linus thanks for that. I was going to give myself 30 day's to get go brindisi so I'll have a shorter trip than you did. Did you pre plan your route or did take it day by day.


I planned what towns and cities I wanted to pass through and the mountain passes. I booked some hostels en route in advance: Grenoble, Briancon and Turin, so I had to keep to time to make those dates. I did quite high mileage on some days (up to 180k), but allowed a lot of time to cross the alps and took a day off in Grenoble to rest before the first long climb. I originally wanted to cross from Brindisi, but Bari cut the route short by a day so I took that route as time was getting on. I think I cut out part of the journey in the Apennines and took a train to Pescara to cut a day (about 60k) out and have a rest. I took some detours en route - visited the source of the Seine, cycled up Alpe d'Huez and Col du Galibier.

How do you going to plan your route and navigate?

I'm not sure if honest what route I'll be taking I've only just started the planning stage. I'm hoping to get suggestions from people like yourself who have actually done the trip. As for navigation I'm going to have to catch up with modern technology and see what's available.

willem jongman
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby willem jongman » 9 Oct 2018, 9:11am

This site has many (Dutch) long distance routes: https://www.europafietsers.nl/fietsrout ... sweb#kaart They have (usually free) gps tracks that you can use even though the booklets are less than useful if you do not know Dutch. What is stil lacking is routes south of Rome.

pq
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby pq » 9 Oct 2018, 10:59am

I haven't done that route, but I'd be very tempted to go via Corsica and Sardinia.
One link to your website is enough. G

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Oct 2018, 11:12am

My preference would probably be to head up the Rhein then across the Alps and down the Adriatic coast. But it all depends on what you want and how you're inspired.

Kevin conway
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Kevin conway » 10 Oct 2018, 8:46pm

Not sure how to thank everyone individually so thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

Mattie
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Mattie » 14 Oct 2018, 1:59pm

I did St Malo France to Athens.

Across France, through centre of Paris. Then Champagne region of France, over the Vosges mountains across the Rhine into Germany.

Freiburg and the Black Forest. Titisee, on the lake, Schafhausen in Switzerland, along Lake Konstanz, then south to Chur and the start of the climb over the Julier Pass, the Maloja Pass and down into Italy. The original plan was Austria but expense and rain forced me to head south to the warmth !

Lake Como, Lake Gardia, Verona, Venice, Trieste to Croatia. Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnic. Very very hot at the time.

Ferry from Dubrovnic to Bari Italy, then Bari to Patras in Greece. For some reason it had to be this way via Bari.

Patras, Greece to Athens. Bike was boxed up by a big cycle shop - they charged me EUR 20 to box it up (bargain !) and the rest of the luggage was bagged in cheap bags bought from street vendors. Flew home business class because of the greater weight allowance was much the same the penalty for the extra weight. This was summer 2011.

Edit - found a picture !

Top_of_the_Julierpass.jpg

nirakaro
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby nirakaro » 15 Oct 2018, 9:47am

Kevin conway wrote:Not sure how to thank everyone individually so thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

Come back and tell us how it went!

Kevin conway
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Kevin conway » 16 Oct 2018, 10:10pm

Thanks mattie that was an interesting route you chose. My original route was going to be across Italy and down the east coast of the adriatic but a Greek colleague at work advised against cycling through Albania, he didn't think the roads made for safe cycling. Thanks.

Mattie
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Re: Cycling to Greece.

Postby Mattie » 17 Oct 2018, 9:08pm

I did not fancy cycling through Albania either. So took the ferry all the way out to Bari, and then back to Patras - just to avoid Albania. This was a bit of an expense, but also saved some costs

Greek roads were a bit rough as well - had the biggest fat tyre I could on the rear just to soak up the bumps !

My route was based on the availability of campsites. Apart from the long slog across rural France, the route took in tourist spots as that is where campsites tend to be.

I am sure I read somewhere that Italy has a lot of road tunnels which can be a bit tricky or dangerous for a cyclist - which was another reason for not choosing the Italian route south. But that probably depends on the particular route !

Broken chain in Split, Croatia - 9 Speed Shimano chains not that common it seems - so if you go that route maybe an idea to carry a spare !

Replacing_chain.jpg