Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

First time tour - Bordeaux to Rome advice

smbarnardsmbarnard Posts: 2
edited March 2008 in Tour & expedition
Hi there, after university finishes this summer a small group of friends and i intend to spend 2-3 weeks cycling across europe, possibly from Bordeaux to Rome. Seeing as none of us have ever tried long-distance cycling before we are in desperate need of some advice! I was thinking about cycling across to the French Riviera and then following the coast around through Liguria and Tuscany down to Rome. Do people think this would be practical? Is it possible to cycle round the coast without being on a main highway? Do people recommend camping/hostels/hotels?

Any help would be much appreciated,
cheers, sam.


  • if you've just finished university, you're likely to be fairly skint, so i'd be inclined to look at campsites. they are good, mainly and cheap. i'm on a tour myself this year but looking at staying in formule 1's along the route. this is mainly as i'm looking to cover a good deal of ground each day and would like to keep gear to a minimum.

    a piece of advice that i ignored on my first tour related to the amount of gear you take. you will most likely ending up taking way too much. i did. i don't anymore. remember if you're away for 2-3 weeks, you're going to have to carry everything you take around with you. if you're staying in campsites this means tents, sleeping bags etc.. think about it, look at what you're taking and make cuts wherever you can.

    route planning is not going to be a huge issue for you if you've got time, bordeaux to rome in 3 weeks will be doable if you're of a reasonable fitness i reckon. have a look at some maps though and in the main avoid the bigger cities, especially genoa. some of the roads along the coast, whilst stunning are very hilly, but you should be able to handle these by the time you get there.

    also, although it may be difficult whilst on tour with mates ignore the golden rules of cycle touring at your peril. get on the road early. absolutely essential for covering distance. get on the road at 6:00 with the sunrise, you'll enjoy quieter roads and not be forced to cycle in the heat of the day. you can also cover a lot more ground and will have more freedom in your scheduling of stops.

    finally drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry. you get through a lot of water and eat a lot of food on the road so ensure you've always got something to eat and drink on you. i've bonked before in the mountains and it was not a whole lot of fun.

    enjoy yourselves and good luck.
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