Vorpal wrote:I can recommend Norway for combining train, bus, ferry, & bike touring. Most trains and buses take bikes (there is a fee on most routes) without reservation. Long distance (regional trains) can be booked in advance, but except for a few popular routes. they aren't generally required. Ferries take bikes--usually for free, though foot ferries often charge a small fee--generally without reservation. Though it's a good idea to book groups, especially on small ferries. It has become my preferred way to travel, and I have sometimes done something like... Take a train to the starting point, ride my bike a day or two, take a train part way back, ride my bike for a few days and do some touristy things, bus home. Or train to starting point, ride my bike for a couple of days, ferry, ride my bike home. Some areas, for example the scenic west coast, it is necessary to use ferry or bus at some points.
Sounds perfect to me. I’m moving towards this sort of travel in Europe too. Partly enforced when I got an ear infection and vertigo 18 months ago but also embraced enthusiastically to miss out boring/busy bits or to fill in gaps to match my available time or to keep the family engaged.
The only draw back can be the baggage logistics. One bike, two heavy panniers (try to have straps so they can go on your shoulders), bar bag, steps to the platform and sometimes steps into the train can be tough to manage especially if travelling by train due to being unwell. Luckily the kindness of strangers often kicks in- usually the teens in a hoodie or the women in a headscarf, not the smart suit brigade.
Eg Lyon station has a gentle ramp leading to the platforms from the concourse so that’s a good one but the trains in the region are sometimes older ones with narrow and steep steps to access.