Cycling trip 2020 & 2021
Our current cycling trip - Europe and more in 2020 & 2021
Originally we planned to cycle in 2020 from Germany to Thailand. Due to the Covid Crisis we had to turn around in Hungary in March 2020. After one year of waiting we are on the road again.
August 2021 - Norwegian coast to the Lofoten & remote Sweden
From Alesund we continue our way North along the Norwegian coast, with constantly amazing landscapes. The coast is punctuated by:
-ferries: most of them are free for cyclists, there is a "saloon" where we can seat, warm up, charge the phone, toilets. A nice break!
- tunnels: it's quite scary to cycle inside, especially when they are a few kilometers long, as the noise of the cars is impressive. But you do get used to it, and most drivers are careful. Not all are open to cyclists: https://www.cycletourer.co.uk/maps/tunnelmap.shtml
The Lofoten islands are especially stunning. They are very popular for tourists but most stay on the southern part. We've done a few hikes, and only Reinebringen was crowded (but with that view, it's understandable!). Weather can change fast in the Lofoten, as they are quite far out in the sea. We were quite lucky during our week there as we had no rain and quite some sun. The temperature is only 11/12 degres during the day, and will stay like this until Southern Sweden.
From Sortland we went back to Nesna with the Hurtigruten (that we want to thank again for supporting us with a voucher). If you travel with them less than 24 hours you don't need to book a cabin, therefore the price is quite affordable and it's a unique experience to see Norway from such a ferry.
We cross the border into Sweden a few cycling days later around Mo i Rana to start our way South. Our itinerary was inspired by JB's route (https://freewheely.com/north-cape/) and we've loved this very remote part of Sweden, lots of gravel roads and sometimes a car every 30min only. Wild camping is super easy, and usually nice quiet spots next to lakes. Thankfully we're more or less out of the mosquitoes season! We spend our last day of August cycling up to Flatruet (highest road of Sweden, 975m), very nice road. Unfortunately without any shelter up there and a very strong wind, we have to go down to find a place to wildcamp.
Atlanterhavsvegen, Atlantic Road
Start of a 3km long tunnel
Top of Reinebringen
Hello you nice reindeer!
Five starts Jacuzzi on the Hurtigruten
Wild road in Sweden
The bear road (unfortunately we haven't seen any)
July 2021 - From France to Norway (Paris to Alesund)
On 14th of July 2021 we leave Paris by train to join the North of Germany (it is quite late to cycle all the way to Norway and be there in summer + Tiphaine has already cycled this part 4 years ago). As international trains mostly don't take bicycles (or prices are very high in summer), we took regional trains for 2 days from Paris to Flensbourg. Quite an adventure! Day 1: train Paris to Maubeuge then cycling to Erquelinnes (Belgium), trains to Charleroi, to Liège, bus to Verviers (because of flooding some trains were cancelled so we had to take replacement buses), bus to Welkenraedt, train to Aachen. Day 2: bus to Herzogenrath, bus to Geilenkirchen, train to Düsseldorf - Osnabrück - Bremen - Hamburg - Flensburg
From Flensburg we cycle the beautiful West coast of Denmark. Unfortunately the wind is mostly North/North-West, so constantly against us, and very strong. We can't afford slowing down as we've booked the ferry to Norway, a few days later. Thankfully, days are very sunny, we find some amazing free shelters every night and meet some other cyclists. The coast is quite wild and very nice so it is still a good memory.
On 21st of July we take the ferry from Hirtshals (DK) to Larvik (NO). 3h30 and 56€ pp (incl. bicycle). From Larvik we cycle inland, it is quite hilly but weather is incredibly wonderful (27 degres everyday!), it is not touristy at all and very beautiful, especially the Rallarvegen, a 63km trail next to mountains and glaciers, open only for hikers and cyclists. Probably the most beautiful road we've ever cycled! Before joining the coast in Alesund, we stop a few days at a Warmshowers host (they are rare - but exceptional!) to sit out the rain and have a rest, after 12 nights wild camping in a row and long cycling days.
Gare du Nord, Paris
Amazing free shelters in Denmark
Beautiful roads despite the wind, West Coast, DK
Ferry from Hirtshals to Larvik (NO)
Wild camping, Norway
Rallarvegen under a blue sky
Canoe on the lake thanks to our warmshowers hosts
Gaularfjellet, after a cold swim
June 2021 - France : the Mediterrannée, the Pyrénées, the Atlantic & to Paris
We enter France in Menton on 22nd of May 2021. No control at the border regarding Covid-19 for bicycles. We cycle the Mediterranean Coast all the way to (a bit before) Perpignan. The Eurovelo 8 passes a bit more inland and is probably less busy. But we're happy to see friends on the coast and discover Marseille from the Col de la Gineste (amazing view on the city but the road is busy).
We're enjoying the Pyrénées, on small roads with no traffic, following the Veloroute V81 (not always signed but we foung a gpx track on internet so we know which roads to take). The highlight is when we do a detour in the high mountains and climb 4 passes with our fully loaded bikes : Port de Balès (1755m), Col de Peyresourde (1568m), Col d'Aspin (1493m) et Col du Tourmalet (2115m). There are very famous passes of the Tour de France and we were very proud to cycle them.
From Biarritz to La Rochelle we cycle along the Atlantic Coast (Eurovelo 1 / Velodyssée) a very good cycling path, completely off the road and never far from the ocean. The coast is quite wild (except in high season: July/August).
From La Rochelle we follow the Velofrancette. The first day to Niort is stunning throughs swamps and small channels, then the 2 days to join the Loire in Saumur are a bit boring and the route is constantly up and down.
La loire à vélo is a great cycling route following the river and through the villages. We leave it in Orléans to follow the Canal d'Orléans to Montargis, where we join the Scandibérique (Eurovélo 3) to Paris. Entering the capital from the South along the Seine is surprisingly pleasant and very safe. It's a great feeling for Tiphaine to cycle into her hometown (after cycling out of Paris by the Canal de l'Ourcq in June 2017).
View on the see and over Marseille (col de la Gineste)
Bivouac with flamingoes in Camargue
Cycling 2 days with Juri
Gorges de Galamus
On the Vélodyssée in les Landes
The mythic Col du Tourmalet
Port de Balès
4 days with Tiphaine's parents and brother
May 2021 - the Alps in Austria, the Dolomites in Italy and the Po river towards France
After the Bodensee, we enter Austria without any control - we are on a cycling path to cross the border and no one is there. We are excited about cycling in the Alps! We wait 2 days next to Feldkirch for a good window and we cycle the Arlbergpass (1800 meters), beautiful and rewarding, and the Reschenpass (1460 meters). This second one is a bit more challenging as we have strong headwind. The cycling route we're following (Via Claudia Augusta) goes through Switzerland and as we don't want to have another border crossing (always annoying with COVID rules), we stay on the Austrian side, where there are many tunnels to pass. Not too much traffic but a bit scary!
To enter Italy, the cycling path is closed at the border and so we pass in the middle of the police, but no one stops us. And so we are ready to cycle the beautiful Dolomites! The cycling routes that we follow (The Via Claudia Augusta, München/Venezia and Lunga Via Delle Dolomiti) are really good, and the landscape is amazing! There is still quite some snow but the road is free of it.
We cycle the islands around Venezia (Lido & Pallestrina) from Jesolo to Chioggia and are amazed by the Delta del Po.
From the Delta we then follow the Po towards the West to join France. It's the Eurovelo 8, not always signed but quite pleasant cycling. In Italy they call it the Via Francigena (mostly a hiking route). From Voghera we join the coast by some small but hilly roads, part of the Milano-Sanremo cycling race. We join the busy coast in Savona to go to France (only the 24km cycling lane from San Lorenzo al Mare to Ospedaletti will give us a break from the cars).
Lago di Landro
In the Italian vineyards
Cycling lane next to the Po
Birds in the Delta del Po
Visiting Venice without the bicycles
Island of Pallestrina
Nice bivouac along the Po
April 2021 - From Berlin to the Baltic Sea and down to Lake Constance
Beginning of April, we set off towards the Baltic Sea along the Berlin - Usedom cycling path. We had some great days and camped a lot on the way. Then winter came back, and together with the heavy winds of the Baltic sea, cycling got tough. Nevertheless, we had some good days along the Baltic Sea, and sunny days changed with snow and hail.
From the beautiful city of Bremen we crossed Germany from North to South along the river cycling paths Weser, Fulda, Main, Rhein and eventually through the Black Forest. We met many friendly people along the beautiful cycling paths and arrived eventually at Lake Constance.
Wildcamping along the Peene river
Reaching the Baltic Sea in Usedom
Winter comes back
The Weser river
Skyline of Frankfurt
Crossing Lake Constance on a ferry
Our great bicycles in Lake Constance
March 2021 - Next try... Cycling towards Berlin
Beginning of March, we start again in Germany, and we will see which countries will let us pass.
First we take the beautiful 5-Flüsse Cycling path to Nürnberg, then cross the Thüringer Wald, and take the Saale Radweg and Leipzig-Berlin towards the German capital. We met a lot of lovely people, saw great landscapes, and had cold temperatures.
Snowy Thüringer Forest
Castles along the Saale cycling path
Forests in Brandenburg
Brandenburger Gate in Berlin
Summer 2020 - Picking up the bicycles and cycling back from Hungary to Germany
10 days from Hungary to Germany via Austria. All our equipment was safely stored in Hungary, and we pass the Lake Balaton as well Neusiedler See. Great times!
Lavendel field around Lake Balaton
Camping in a vineyard
Nice cycling lanes
March 2020 from Germany to Hungary - then Covid starts...
21 days through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary along the Danube and the Tisza River. With the start of covid, we decide to go back to Germany and leave our equipment in Hungary. Cold cycling, stopped by a pandemic.
Break along the Danube
Donau-Auen National Park
Arrived in Bratislava
Happy days on the Tisza river