Med to Manche - best route

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
maxglide
Posts: 180
Joined: 19 May 2013, 5:35pm

Med to Manche - best route

Postby maxglide » 6 Jun 2015, 10:07am

For a solo Med to Manche in Sept with a time budget of a month (I've read this is doable in 3 weeks, 2 in a push).

Starting off at Narbonne/Montpellier or thereabouts, these are the 3 roughed out candidate routes. Since ease of cycling takes priority over best scenery I'm guessing #1 is probably the winner. Suggestions?

Thanks.

West Route
1. Toulouse - Limoges - Tours - Cherbourg

Central Route
2. Clermont-Ferrand - Bourges - Blois - Cherbourg

Easterly Route
3. Lyon - Bourges - Blois - Cherbourg

pwa
Posts: 13694
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby pwa » 6 Jun 2015, 10:47am

Route 1 seems the most obvious, and still with plenty of scenery. Part of the fun will be splicing together a route that keeps you mainly on small, quiet roads without having to go too far out of your way.

Near Limoges (not a very attractive city) is the martyr village of Oradur sur Glane, where more than 600 people were massacred by the Nazis in 1944. The French left the village as the Nazis left it, with ruined buildings lining the streets. As you enter there is a sign requesting that you remain silent, and visitors from many countries walk quietly around the streets reading the plaques that state who was killed where. At the centre of the village is the church where hundreds of women and children were locked in and burnt to death. And nearby is the cemetery, with pictures of the victims. It is profoundly moving, and if you are passing you should go there. It's not a "tourist attraction", but a visit will make anyone a wiser person.

ossie
Posts: 1155
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 7:52pm

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby ossie » 6 Jun 2015, 11:17am

On route 1 Id recommend Toulouse / Bergerac (to avoid some really lumpy bits ) then decide if you want to head towards Limoges or Niort / Cholet.

A St Malo / Poole crossing is an option on the latter route, NCN 25 out of Poole northwards is a lovely quiet route that will help you on your way back north without any fuss.

maxglide
Posts: 180
Joined: 19 May 2013, 5:35pm

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby maxglide » 6 Jun 2015, 12:14pm

that will help you on your way back north without any fuss.



Winchester, actually... hence Cherbourg - Pompeii.

Yes, I've heard of the ghost village; worth an hour or two. Will consider.

tim_f
Posts: 248
Joined: 12 Oct 2009, 10:37pm

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby tim_f » 7 Jun 2015, 10:00am

I did a similar trip a few years back the other way around starting from Dieppe.

My route was 'inspired ' by the route this holiday company use - http://www.bikeadventures.co.uk/product/channel-to-med-15-days-june-2016/?

Which I think is closest to option 2) central route.

Highlights were the Cevennes and the Tarn Gorge.

Have you thought about going North South as then weather will stay warmer as you get towards end of September and if you have any spare time at end of trip you will spend it in the warmer south with interesting riding. For example on my 2 week trip I had time to ride over to Month Ventoux and do that before returning home.

What ever way you go it will be a good route.

Tim

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50718
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby Mick F » 7 Jun 2015, 6:17pm

Manch?

Are you suggesting to cycle from the Mediterranean to Manchester? :lol:
Mick F. Cornwall

maxglide
Posts: 180
Joined: 19 May 2013, 5:35pm

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby maxglide » 8 Jun 2015, 3:03pm

My route was 'inspired ' by the route this holiday company use


That route looks worth nicking, at least adapting (£1,765!) I prefer travelling towards home rather than away - drop off at max distance & potter back - just feels better & avoids the bother of worrying about arrangements for the return.

tim_f
Posts: 248
Joined: 12 Oct 2009, 10:37pm

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby tim_f » 8 Jun 2015, 11:56pm

Was also inspired another year by Cycle Skedalles St Malo to Nice routehttps://www.skedaddle.co.uk/classicroad/holiday/Road_Cycling/France_-_St_Malo_to_Nice_-_16_Days_Road_Cycling_Holiday/432/view.rails

which made a good 14 day camping trip and another great saving on £2600 !! But I did amend the route to go over Mt Ventoux.

You are right about being simpler to do travel at start.

Tim

manybikes
Posts: 300
Joined: 9 Apr 2007, 10:21am

Re: Med to Manche - best route

Postby manybikes » 9 Jun 2015, 7:07am

I did this with my wife nearly 10 years ago, but Cherbourg to Narbonne. To plan we drew a straight line on map of France between the two points. Then transposed that line onto individual sheets ripped from Michelin road atlas. Only diversions were for campsites or hotels or occasionally to avoid a big town or major road.
We nearly always managed a coffee stop and lunch. Took 28 days but our pace was very gentle with 4 rest days.
Fantastic trip with very little traffic on many days.