European road trip this summer - Where to ride?

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

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
campbellrae
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:20 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

by campbellrae

Hi,

Hoping to do a road trip round Europe this summer for a few weeks with my other half, and she has agreed that my bike can come :thumbup: Deal is something like I can ride one day for every day of tourist stuff I do with her. So my question is what rides would you recommend? Looking for rides up to 100 miles but preferably nearer 120km so that I am fresh to ride again the next day or the one after. Looking to take in some famous climbs/roads as well as hidden gems if anyone is willing to share!

I would like to do the Livingo/Stelvio loop from Bormio, but that's the only one I am certain of! That's really just because I want to ride the Stelvio, so even that route is open for change.

Thanks,

Campbell.

by Weenie


User avatar
HammerTime2
Posts: 5428
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed

by HammerTime2

Go for long rides, and alternate days between ride and tourist.

User avatar
Sjoerd
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:22 pm
Location: Les Pays Bas

by Sjoerd

I have fond memories of my stay at Barcelonnette in France. Great cols there! A nice round trip would be: Col d'Allos then Col du Champs then Col de la Cayolle. We also rode up the Bonette when we were there, as well as the Izoard. One even more beautiful than the other. Only thing I truly regret is not riding Colle dell'Agnello, so the route from Italy to France.

More nice things that come into mind: staying in Andermatt (Switzerland) and riding the passes there: Grimsel, Gotthard, Furka, etc.

Google for pics and you're sold!

Dalai
Posts: 1491
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:54 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

I guess it depends on what type of tourist things your partner would like to do? Is it walking through the old parts of towns, museums, day spas, shopping or walks with amazing scenery etc? As this would direct you to which areas would be better to visit and meet both your needs.

Bormio Italy has a couple of amazing loops - but won't take too long to walk through the old part of town and only other attraction in town is a day spa.

I was in Bormio for a couple of days last September

Stelvio - http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... -18th.html"
Mortirolo and Gavia - http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... -19th.html"

As to the French Alps - I spent a month in 2011

Barcelonnette as already mentioned has a couple of good loops. Not sure what there would be to do as a non cyling tourist other than scenic walks?

I did the Col d'Allos then Col du Champs then Col de la Cayolle loop the other direction. Due to the very rough descent off the Col du Champs I'd recommend the above anti clockwise direction. http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... ember.html"
Bonnette - via a longer loop over the Lombarde and Larche http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... e-8th.html"

Briançon is a UNESCO world heritage site. Izoard, French side of Agnel are worthwhile riding http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... ember.html"

Bourg d'Oisans is at the base of Alpe d'Huez and has a great collection of rides - cycling guide http://www.bikes-oisans.com/IMG/pdf_186 ... -web-2.pdf" I found it a nice little village, but as I was out riding every day didn't look to see what would fill a day doing tourist things.

Bourg St Maurice has more great riding - the surroundings are very scenic so would offer nice walks but not much in town:

Cormet de Roselend http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... -sept.html"
col du Petit St Bernard http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... e-san.html"
and the Col de l'Iseran http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... ugust.html"

Buis Les Baronnies is a very pretty little village below Mont Ventoux http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... ember.html" and is close to Avignon for a day sightseeing there plus the rest of the wonderful Provence area to explore?

Annecy is meant to be quite nice and recommended to me when I was planning my trip. Close to some great climbs and set on the shore of Lake Annecy.

Vercors area just West of Grenoble is very scenic with many Michelin Three starred roads. Not the big cols but very nice riding.
http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... ember.html"
http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/201 ... ember.html"

And this is just where I've been and barely scratches the surface. I'm looking forward to checking back here to see what others suggest. :thumbup:

c50jim
Posts: 977
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:42 am
Location: Calgary

by c50jim

I'd suggest some time in Corvara. It's about three or four hours from Venice, probably the same from Bormio so could fit in with a couple of things. In addition to the rides, there's a huge network of ski lifts either leaving from town or connecting to lifts in town. Take a lift up and hike to your heart's delight. There's not much else to do, although there's a WW1 museum at the top of the Valparola and a lift from the top of the Pordoi that gives a panoramic view of the Dolomites.

Rides in the area? Sella Ronda is my favourite but only about 55 km. You could do any of the Maratona routes, that all start with Sella Ronda and include Falzarego or Giau and Falzarego. Also near the Marmolada. It's a beautiful area and I'll be going back this year for the seventh time.

The French Alps have some great climbs. Barcelonette and Bour d'Oisans have been mentioned and Briancon is probably one of the more interesting towns in the area. The problem with mountain towns is that they're ski areas and not much more. We stayed as a family in a rental house near the base of Ventoux for three weeks in 1999. There are lots of pretty rides in the area although not much big name stuff other than Ventoux. However, there are lots of neat towns nearby such as Orange, Avginon, Nimes and Arles.

kervelo
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:58 am
Location: Finland

by kervelo

c50jim wrote:I'd suggest some time in Corvara. It's about three or four hours from Venice, probably the same from Bormio so could fit in with a couple of things. In addition to the rides, there's a huge network of ski lifts either leaving from town or connecting to lifts in town. Take a lift up and hike to your heart's delight. There's not much else to do, although there's a WW1 museum at the top of the Valparola and a lift from the top of the Pordoi that gives a panoramic view of the Dolomites.


I think there is quite much to do around Corvara, in addition to cycling. Actually the area is a one big outdoor eldorado: huge network of hiking paths, rock climbing/mountain climbing routes and via ferrata routes. You can even hike in the tunnels the soldiers dug inside the mountains during the WWI.

campbellrae
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:20 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

by campbellrae

Thanks for the suggestions so far! Will look into them over the weekend.

Will be staying in northern France/Belgium/Holland once on the way south and once again on the way back so have a chance to do a couple of rides there as well, so also looking for routes in that area! Very keen to do the Koppenberg and some of the other famous bergs.

User avatar
Sjoerd
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:22 pm
Location: Les Pays Bas

by Sjoerd

A navigation device might come in handy.

campbellrae
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:20 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

by campbellrae

Already have a Bryton Rider 50 that I can upload routes to and use as a sat nav so that one is covered thankfully!

User avatar
Sjoerd
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:22 pm
Location: Les Pays Bas

by Sjoerd

That's great, you'll benefit from it because you only have to concentrate on cycling and not on finding the right way. Are you familiar with the website www.gpsies.com? It's so convenient for finding nice routes. You can put in just about any parameter. Did a search real quick around Oudenaarde and the site came up with this: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=pos ... =trackList

Almost 130 km's of Ronde van Vlaanderen with a lot of famous climbs (Koppenberg also). Not saying you should ride this one, but it gives an example of how easy it is to search and find nice routes to ride.

campbellrae
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:20 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

by campbellrae

Thanks for the link Sjoerd, hadn't come across that site before. Had just been using Strava's explore thing! Will check it out.

User avatar
Guerdi
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:27 pm
Location: Switzerland

by Guerdi

Try http://www.bikemap.net as well. It contains loads of tours, which are all downloadable to your gps device.

Just for the town of Barcelonnette in France there are no fewer than 160 tracks (!).

by Weenie


wingguy
Posts: 3739
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

Sjoerd wrote:More nice things that come into mind: staying in Andermatt (Switzerland) and riding the passes there: Grimsel, Gotthard, Furka, etc.


Great suggestion, but for the other half you could look staying in Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen Valley under the north face of the Eiger. The hiking trails are great, there's the Top of Europe railway to the Jungfrau glacier, the immense underground waterfalls etc. For riding you'd head over the grosse scheidegg pass and then access Grimsel, Furka, Susten etc from Innetkirchen.


Could also look at the riding around the Italian lakes, like Garda or Como. You're not looking at HC climbs, but still big hills, gorgeous scenery and a bit more touristy.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post