Favourite country?

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Favourite country?

Postby cyclingnomad » 31 Oct 2014, 8:09am

We have just finished a 2 month tour through the length of Japan. It is an amazing country definitely our favourite so far. http://www.cycling-nomads.com/japan-is-number-one/ We didn't meet any other long distance cycle tourists whilst we were there. We would recommend it highly for that slightly longer tour. What is your favourite country and why?

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby b1ke » 31 Oct 2014, 8:49am

Different countries for different reasons I think. France for safe riding and croissants, Spain for the landscape, Holland for cycling infrastructure, Morocco for the desert, Italy for the people. If I had to stay within national borders for a long tour, I'd probably choose France. The alps, the med and plenty of beautiful landscape, all under one flag. That said, there are so many countries I haven't visited.
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby foxyrider » 31 Oct 2014, 11:23am

Germany - huge range of scenery/terrain, great food at affordable prices, friendly people, great transport infrastructure and the weather is generally pretty good! :lol:

I forgot to mention the beer!
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby craign74 » 31 Oct 2014, 4:01pm

Another vote for Germany from me, followed by The Netherlands.

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Gearoidmuar » 1 Nov 2014, 7:46am

Don't know! Places have pluses and minuses.

My own country, Ireland. Pluses: Huge road network, terrific choice of accommodation, great coastal scenery, very friendly people: Minuses: Roads can be rough, weather can be patchy, not the cheapest place.
Britain: Pluses: good road surfaces, good pub grub, very pretty villages and towns, some Sustrans routes great: Minuses: aggressive drivers, expensive, very hilly minor roads.
France: Pluses: good network of well surfaced quiet roads, great scenery, great food if you find it. Minuses: World's most useless breakfast. It never changes. I've done too much of it. It's dead at night.
Germany: Pluses: Cycleroutes great. Great breakfast. Fantastic trains. Fantastic pubs. Cheapish: Minuses: In areas scenery not great.
Spain: Pluses: Cheap, great scenery, good drivers, great food and wine and music: Fab at night. Minuses: Roads sparse in areas. Can be very hot.
Italy: Pluses: Fabulous history, towns etc. Good scenery. Very friendly people. Minuses: Drivers bad on main roads. Food can be very boring or brilliant.
Portugal: Pluses: Cheap, some lovely places. Minuses: Drivers can be lunatics.
Corsica: Pluses: Fab scenery, towns, mountain passes, road surfaces, gradients, weather (usually); Minuses: Food is boring, expensive.
Scotland (as against Britain): Pluses: Fantastic scenery, quiet roads, great food (well I love it), uisce beatha: Minuses: Sparse accommodation, patchy weather, midges (never really bothered me). Dead at night

Conclusion: Don't know!

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby eileithyia » 1 Nov 2014, 8:20am

Like so many, so many plusses and minuses.
iceland; glorious scenery and birdlife, expensive and bad roads, long distances between facilities in some areas.
Britain; great scenery, some terrible roads, weather and drivers. (and midges if in Scotland)
Ireland; glorious scenery and people.
France; depending on where you go, glorious scenery, food and people
Germany; Great scenery, people.
Netherlands; great cycling infrastructure (it was only a part cycle trip part long birthday weekend celebration so not extensively tested)
Italy; great scenery (well Dolomites are outstanding) friendly people can be expensive to eat out.
Spain; great scenery depending on where you are of course, people and weather.
Corsica; Beautiful island, but expensive.
Poland; Great scenery but again we headed to the Tatras, great people. some restrictions on where you could go ie we could not cycle to the highest point, though you could hike or take horse-drawn cart.
Slovakia also visited on same trip; so again Tatras, nice people, poor amount of food in shops but probably improved.
Greece; great scenery, nice people, Hostels or their ideas of cleanliness therein:- err quaint.....!!
New England: great scenery, friendly people, Dunkin Donuts, great for lunch time snacks... not good for waistline. Sunday Brunch for $6 (at least when i was there) as much food as you could eat....... at least i did not need to buy evening meal that night lol.....
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby shane » 1 Nov 2014, 9:14am

Namibia for the scenery
Zambia/Zimbabwe for the people
The Netherlands for living and commuting 8)

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby simonhill » 1 Nov 2014, 10:29am

I'm currently cycling in Japan, Osaka to Shikoku, Western Honshu, Kyusho and back. I have done about 1500 kms so far.

I am ambivalent about Japan. At times I really like it here, it is certainly very easy and not nearly as expensive as most people think. I am not camping and a good budget (business) hotel usually costs about £30.

My main problem is that I seem to be doing a lot of busy highway riding and also urban riding. The nature of the country means that most transport is restricted to the valleys and the coastal plains, so to get anywhere you have to follow these. The density of population is such, that they are normally busy. I have ridden some wonderful quiet roads, but always seem to end up back on the highways, then there is the long drag into the city centres.

The Japanese are incredibly polite and I normally feel very safe on the road although some of the trucks sometimes cut in a bit too soon. I know many roads have a path next to them, but these are usually not what I would call good enough for day long touring. I would rather ride on the road at a decent pace.

From what you say you don't seem to have been riding the highways like I have. How have you managed to keep off them?

I do like it here and plan to come back next year. Its just a shame that the riding hasn't been as good as I would like.

Back to original question.

The best place I've toured recently is Taiwan. Similar in lots of ways to Japan, but much better.

My favourite countries are in SE Asia: Thailand; Vietnam; Cambodia etc. Apart from the weather, scenery, culture, etc, the people have a vibrancy that I love. Completely the opposite to the polite and respectful ( which can comw across as cold and distant) Japanese,

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby cyclingnomad » 1 Nov 2014, 12:56pm

My main problem is that I seem to be doing a lot of busy highway riding and also urban riding. The nature of the country means that most transport is restricted to the valleys and the coastal plains, so to get anywhere you have to follow these. The density of population is such, that they are normally busy. I have ridden some wonderful quiet roads, but always seem to end up back on the highways, then there is the long drag into the city centres.

Northern Japan is much quieter and we found the people seemed more laid back and open. It was easy to stay of busy roads and stick to smaller towns and villages. Parts of Hokkaido had virtually no traffic and coming through Northern Honshu it was easy to stay off main roads. We kept away from the coastal roads for the same reasons. It was only when we hit southern Honshu Gifu, Kyoto and Shikoku that the roads got busy.
We didn't enjoy cycling through the metropolis but in our 2 months that was only about 4 day of cycling. Western Honshu was mountainous again and quiet we camped our last night in Japan at an empty campsite with no traffic to be heard. Camping does allow you to keep away from the urban areas, and in Japan it is easy to find somewhere to camp.

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby MarkF » 1 Nov 2014, 5:02pm

Spain, it's dry, and when it's not, you soon are after, meaning minimal weight is needed and carried.

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Audax67 » 1 Nov 2014, 5:13pm

I'm living in it. Good food, good drink, wonderful scenery and PBP.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Nov 2014, 7:03pm

Audax67 wrote:I'm living in it. Good food, good drink, wonderful scenery and PBP.

I'm with you, but I also have a lot of love for The Bahamas. Rubbish for cycling, but the best place in the World for these:
That's not me, BTW :lol:

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby ConRAD » 1 Nov 2014, 10:04pm


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Re: Favourite country?

Postby mercalia » 2 Nov 2014, 11:31am

and now the worst places to visit? there must be some?

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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Sweep » 3 Nov 2014, 6:43pm

I think that should be a new thread.

I was enjoying the positive vibes on this thread and I'm sure it's still got some mileage in it.