Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
timbob
Posts: 22
Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 24 Dec 2012, 4:52pm

Hello,

Just looking for some tips and help booking the following:-

Ferry with bike on Brittany Ferry can't see option for bike??

Accommodation Camping or hostel for the first few nights? Then how to book camping ad hoc?

My route is here https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid= ... 6bb5&msa=0

tatanab
Posts: 3788
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby tatanab » 25 Dec 2012, 9:00am

Search around this touring section and you will find several posts about this ride in the last year.

Brittany Ferries do not allow bicycles on the Bilbao crossing.
It looks as if you are avoiding the hilly section between Bilbao and France and starting in San Sebastian (again see previous threads). I think I would suggest you add this bit (not along the coast) then the short climb towards the western end of the Pyrenees. Including the Spanish section I rode this with a lot of meandering and made it 700 miles, so it is a quite easy 2 week tour depending of course on your abilities and how much meandering you do. Booking campsites etc - again there are many threads here about booking or not. I prefer not to, but I plan a little so that I have a list with a few campsites within perhaps a 20 mile radius for each night. I would probably cut out the detour into Bordeaux and go straight up the peninsula, but Bordeaux might be your list of places to see.

timbob
Posts: 22
Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 25 Dec 2012, 9:17am

Merry Christmas,

You say you can't take your bike on the ferry to Bilbao? What ferry can you take bike to Spain on? did a search on the forum but loads of different conflicting information.

I need to first work out my start and endpoints to get this trip underway.

Camping what books worth reading with list of camp sites? Or would it be best spiting down the route and searching each town for a list of campsites?

Thanks for you help..

tatanab
Posts: 3788
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby tatanab » 25 Dec 2012, 11:43am

You can take a bike on the Santander crossing. Look at the Brittany Ferries website and plug in your Spanish and French ports and you will see if bicycle appears or not in the vehicle options. When I went, about 4 years ago, it was P&O running an old and slow vessel that got retired because it was uneconomical, and then Brittany Ferries took over the Portsmouth-Bilbao route. If in doubt - ask Brittany the question.

Camping in France - my bible is a book that is published annually. You can buy it in the UK from https://www.vicarious-shop.com/Every-Ca ... -2012.html the 2013 version will be in print soon. No I am not daft enough to take it with me, I make a list of a few campsites within about 20 mile radius of where I expect to be each night. Only once did I try a tour with no planned campsites at all. On that trip I seemed to be in a part of France which was a desert as far as campsites are concerned.

timbob
Posts: 22
Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 27 Dec 2012, 12:37pm

looks like i'm going to try the Euro Bus to Bayonne as a Start point. I could head south then back north to add any extra distance.

timbob
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Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 27 Dec 2012, 12:42pm

Thanks for the book tips get one on order along with french travel map.

tatanab wrote: https://www.vicarious-shop.com/Every-Ca ... -2012.html the 2013 version will be in print soon.

timbob
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Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 4 Mar 2013, 6:39pm

That book is out of print can you suggest any others? Loads on Amazon but not sure what will be more cycle friendly?

bornagaincyclist
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Joined: 17 Aug 2010, 7:32pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby bornagaincyclist » 4 Mar 2013, 9:17pm

Hi- I hope this helps -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Le-guide-offici ... =8-3-fkmr1
£10.26 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. See details and conditions
In stock but may require up to 2 additional days to deliver.
Terry

tatanab
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Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby tatanab » 5 Mar 2013, 7:26am

The book linked by bornagain is the 2013 edition of the book I linked you to. I said it would be in print before long, indeed they appeared on 28th Feb. I have ordered one from Amazon myself since my 2010 edition is getting a bit tired.

timbob
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Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 11 Mar 2013, 9:12pm

Thanks guys order this and a road map too. Not long now untill euro bus to france

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BeeKeeper
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Joined: 29 Apr 2011, 6:45am
Location: South Devon

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby BeeKeeper » 12 Mar 2013, 10:02am

Appears to a problem with it on Amazon at the moment. I suspect someone ordered it and got the 2012 edition instead. No doubt it will be resolved in time.

timbob
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Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 2 Apr 2013, 2:25pm

Got my book thanks for your help.

jimt
Posts: 16
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 12:51pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby jimt » 3 Apr 2013, 11:37am

You may have already planned your trip in detail now but herewith some info from my trip last year in the opposite direction which may prove useful.

If you are still starting in Bayonne, rather than going into Spain and out again to add distance, consider coming back from Caen (It's ferry port is actually Ouistreham about 15km north) There is a fast sea cat which will get to Portsmouth in 3 hrs. I did Caen to Bilbao in 19 days with 3 days "off", so from Bayonne eminently doable (about 650 miles). If you had time in hand you could always divert to Normandy beaches for a bit of sight seeing.

Also, I see your route goes via Bordeaux. I guess you have spotted the ferry across the mouth of the Garonne, but there is also a summer time passenger ferry which will take bikes at Arcachon ( I think it starts in late June or early July) which would mean you can take advantage of the almost continuous cycle ways all up the west coast to the mouth of the Garonne. Also this coast line is almost one continuous camp site so you would have no problem finding somewhere.

Reversing my route from Bayaonne it was , roughly, : up the coast form Bayonne, via Vieux Boucau, Biscarosse, Lacanau Ocean, ferry across bay of Arcachon, ferry to Royan, La Rochelle, Sables D'Olonne , Berniere-en-Retz, then inland to Nantes, Ingrandes (on the Loire) and then north to Chateau Gontier, Domfront, Caen, Ouistreham. The section around Chateau Gontier followed about 80Km of riverside cycle ways.

If not too late I can let you have a lot more detail. Good Luck.

timbob
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Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby timbob » 3 Apr 2013, 12:06pm

Oh thanks for the information. I have alter my trip still starts at same place. Iv booked the Euro bus for June from London. Have 14 days to cycle back home. Still need to book first few nights camping.

Any recommendations?

jimt
Posts: 16
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 12:51pm

Re: Bilbao to St Malo 2 Week Trip

Postby jimt » 8 Apr 2013, 10:51am

I can’t recommend any camp sites since I stayed in hotels.

However as I said the coast from the mouth of the Garonne down to Bayonne is almost literally one long camp site. I set out on 20th June and would have passed through in early July. On every site there was frantic activity preparing for the start of the French school holidays later in July (grass cutting, painting etc . Most appeared open but with only a few tents/ camper vans so I reckon you could just show up.

If you prefer to know where you are headed, I suggest you pick a likely spot for your stays each night & google camping in that village. They nearly all have Tourist Offices with lists of campsites.

Another tip:

Michelin maps show cycle ways - they are marked as dashed red & white lines.

These don’t appear on most maps but are really useful for avoiding busy roads.

The majority of my trip was on these. If you click the link below you can see an example.

Once the map is displayed , centre it on Bassin d’Arcachon and zoom in until the scale is 2 miles / 2km in the bottom right hand corner. There is quite an extensive network of these north of the Bassin d’Arcachon.


http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Routes ... eConso=5.6


I planned my trip using the viamichelin website & took screen prints of the maps to take with me. I could up load an attachment with them in if you like.




Lastly, I found the website for the ferry from Arcachon to Cap Ferret which would mean you could avoid going into Bordeaux. The website is below. Click on Horarires to see timetable. If there isn't one running to suit you could still use cycle ways to skirt the BAssin.

http://www.bateliers-arcachon.com/TRANS ... Ferret.php