Where to Live in Europe?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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OJ
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:25 pm
Location: Winterpeg

by OJ

Bit late to the party, but I like the area between Luxembourg and Swiss border, France or Germany is quite nice. No mountains right on the border, but good areas with rolling hills, Vosges not far and in my opinion lots of nice roads. Many towns to choose from and tons of stuff close for day trips.
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by Weenie


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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

OJ wrote:Bit late to the party, but I like the area between Luxembourg and Swiss border, France or Germany is quite nice. No mountains right on the border, but good areas with rolling hills, Vosges not far and in my opinion lots of nice roads. Many towns to choose from and tons of stuff close for day trips.
That’s a good one!
Between Luxembourg and the Swiss border is a large area...

But if I would go there will be based in the Vosges as it is in the middle of many great rides and hilly like the OP likes (but of course much less than the Alps). So my experience of the region.

mattr
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

As no one seems to have mentioned it, would an option be a renting a mid sized camper van and using campsites? At least to narrow your choices down for later on.
A modern 3-4 berth one with a garage would actually be relatively comfortable and give you some home comforts, while still being able to up sticks and follow the good weather, or go and try some different mountains.
Or even just shorter term rental to travel from a fixed base.
i.e. rent for a 10 day period to try out somewhere different (you can pretty much drive across the cycling heartland of europe in 2 days, unless you want to do something daft like the artic circle to Athens.)

It'd definitely be on my plan if i was in your situation. Rent a smallish/cheap/basic villa somewhere in central/eastern france (Metz or Vosges area maybe?) then travel from there.

Tom14
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:07 pm

by Tom14

Luxembourg!

Lots of (excellent) roads and nice climbs. Luxembourg City is a nice city. Speaking English isn’t a problem.

I like the French Alps, but the downside is that it’s hard to make routes of 80km over there.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

The downside of the Vosges and Metz is that the cities are not that vibrant as the OP wanted to have.

Except in the summer with some attractions for the tourists in the Vosges. Tourists din’t really stay in Metz.

Mr.Gib
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

mattr wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 9:44 pm
As no one seems to have mentioned it, would an option be a renting a mid sized camper van and using campsites? At least to narrow your choices down for later on.
A modern 3-4 berth one with a garage would actually be relatively comfortable and give you some home comforts, while still being able to up sticks and follow the good weather, or go and try some different mountains.
Or even just shorter term rental to travel from a fixed base.
i.e. rent for a 10 day period to try out somewhere different (you can pretty much drive across the cycling heartland of europe in 2 days, unless you want to do something daft like the artic circle to Athens.)

It'd definitely be on my plan if i was in your situation. Rent a smallish/cheap/basic villa somewhere in central/eastern france (Metz or Vosges area maybe?) then travel from there.
It definitely makes sense to be able to move around. I still think I want a nice base though, so renting a house would be my preference. If I want to transfer to another region, I would just rent a vehicle that can fit our gear and spend a week in hotels in various spots. So mixing a bit of home living with hotel living. I find when I am cycling it's nice to have someone else serve me dinner and breakfast. Intrigued my Wingguys' photos around Lake Garda. Been around that area but not quite there exactly.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

Now May...Where did you finally decide to stay?

Mr.Gib
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

TonyM wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 4:01 am
Now May...Where did you finally decide to stay?
It's not so much about a "stay" and it's not this year. My wife and I spend a few weeks in the mountains each summer and I was asking about places where one could spend longer periods of time. It is my intention to scout out and research some of the suggestions while we are in Europe over the next couple of years. It's part of our early retirement plan: maybe six months per year just hanging out and riding/travelling. This year we are in Provence (which is a serious candidate) and the Southern French Alps for a few weeks, and next year we will be in central Italy. After that we'll settle on a spot. Ultimately I think we will choose a few areas and spend a few weeks in each unless we establish a clear favourite.

Thanks for your interest and much gratitude for all the suggestions from forum members.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

Thanks for the feedback!

(This was what I meant with „stay“. Sorry for my English)

Multebear
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by Multebear

I live in northern europe, and I do at least two training camps every winter in southern europe. I always travel with guys who do training camps for a living, taking cyclists to southern europe for a week or so, and the next week another crew and so on. And when they want to do some serious training, they travel with me and my guys.

These guys always prefer the same 4-5 spots:

- Spain: Mallorca, Calpe, Girona

- France: Nice/Monaco

- Italy: Lucca

If we're talking pure cycle terrain, Mallorca probably has the best cycling in all of Europe. You have mountains, the flats, and you can ride a variety of different routes.

Calpe and the whole Alicante area is very good as well. Lot's of options for different terrain. Kwiato and a lot of other pro's live there.

Girona is very good as well, for the same reasons.

Nice/Monaco is a little more to the north, and thus the season is a bit shorter there. But very good and varied terrain as well. And since this is France, the options for food are even better.

Lucca is where a lot of pro's live as well. The town is smaller, and you're further away from bigger towns. But very good and varied cycling terrain as well.

I would't aim for areas with famous climbs from the grand tours or other races. They often only have those famous climbs and don't necessarilly offer varied terrain or bigger cities are far away, and you have to live in the countryside.

If you want something completely different, then go to Belgium. Very interesting region, and cycling is obviously very big there. If you like to race, they have kermesse races severel times a week on mixed terrain almost all year round.

These are the most popular cycle destinations for northern europeans for training camps. If weather is really bad in europe, we go to the Canaries. Gran Canaria is the best of the Canarie islands. Most varied terrain, and the island is not just a dessert like Fuerte, or just one big mountain like Tenerife.

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

My experience in Europe is limited but I have been to Mallorca twice, Girona four times, French Alps, Provence, Pyrenees and done some back roads trips in my 30's. Without a doubt I'd hav to say Girona for the moderate weather, varied routes, lifestyle and great food.
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campagowlo
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:05 pm

by campagowlo

I am considering buying a property in the vosges to stay in 12 weeks a year until I retire and then 6 months a year at least. It's easy to get to the Jura, Swiss/French/Italian Alps within 3-4 hrs. You can ride from March to Nov easily and the ballons/cols are open. Plus good cross country skiing in winter. Train and plane links are great.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

campagowlo wrote:I am considering buying a property in the vosges to stay in 12 weeks a year until I retire and then 6 months a year at least. It's easy to get to the Jura, Swiss/French/Italian Alps within 3-4 hrs. You can ride from March to Nov easily and the ballons/cols are open. Plus good cross country skiing in winter. Train and plane links are great.
And housing is not expensive.
You just don’t get some of the features that the tourists want, the sun/ hot weather and attraction/ night life.

I used to go quite there as I was living in Europe and loved it.
They also have a good cuisine and excellent cheese etc....

campagowlo
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:05 pm

by campagowlo

I don't like nightlife or attractions. Peace and quiet and hills. I'm asleep by 830 most nights!

by Weenie


Dan512
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:13 pm

by Dan512

You guys should move to Luxembourg. There is a reason why we have a great history of bike champions. Great roads, great food, great wines and in the middle of Europe.

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