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Long off-road tour in Europe

Kevin DuffyKevin Duffy Posts: 4
edited December 2009 in Tour & expedition
Hello, I'm looking for a long off-road tour, something like a GR5 for biking or a European version of the Transamerica MTB route, which can be biked with a trailer.

I'm aiming for at least 50% off-road, or maybe a very rural, remote, fairly long trail with more roads, but linking mountain biking areas. Across Europe, down through Europe, a lot of countries of a few countries, it's all good.

Any suggestions or info. much appreciated.

Cheers,

Kev.

Posts

  • Iceland? i am seriously tempted to do circumnavigate the island as there is a road that runs pretty much all the way.
  • The ring road, Highway 1, around Iceland is all tarmac by now. If you are looking for gravel roads, unbridged rivers, headwinds and rain then the Icelandic highlands are perfect. If you are looking for singletrack and suchlike then you won't really find that in Iceland. Just be warned that Iceland is mostly up and down; very little of if is level ground, so it can get tiring. The weather can also get you down pretty quickly, with endless damp, rainy days and wind.

    Magnus Thor
    Iceland
  • ....for the info lads, but it needs to be mainland Europe. I'll be biking in Spain for Jan and Feb, then looking for a long trail after that.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    edited November 2009
    Welcome Kevin.

    Forest and mountain areas really. The Rhine or Black Forest in Germany, The Alps Switzerland, France, Italy and Austria, Croatia but none of these if you want to be able to pass along them and keep warm in January and February which is winter in the Northern hemisphere :roll:.

    Even southern Spain the in the Sierra Nevada and surrounding Sierras get snow in January/February. Can be evry cold.

    Morocco and the Atlas Mountains have long trails but again snow.

    Maybe you should think of changing the time of year you want to do this ride as most mountain forest areas will be thick with snow and unpassable :roll:. Doh!

    You will have to wait for Spring at least for the lower trails.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • While in Spain have you considered riding part of the TransAndalus, a 2000km long mountain bike route which makes a complete circuit through the autonomous region of Andalucía and runs the length of its eight provinces? There is now an ongoing english version of the site. Not sure how far you would get with a trailer. Also agree about the snow at this time of the year especially above 1400 metres
    The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    While in Spain have you considered riding part of the TransAndalus, a 2000km long mountain bike route which makes a complete circuit through the autonomous region of Andalucía and runs the length of its eight provinces? There is now an ongoing english version of the site. Not sure how far you would get with a trailer. Also agree about the snow at this time of the year especially above 1400 metres

    Interesting link and looks to be a great ride. Only prob is to time it iright to avoid the extreme cold and heat.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • Only prob is to time it iright to avoid the extreme cold and heat.
    The only part you may get snow is on the stretch around Trevelez but this can be avoided on the lower valley road. As for extreme cold, this is southern Spain, it doesn't get that cold especially if you concentrate on the eastern part of the loop
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    There are some other long-distance off-road routes (as in MTB off-road rather than cycle paths).

    Unfortunately there's very little information in English.

    In Spain there's the Ruta de la Plata (aka Via de la Plata) and the Camino Frances (aka Camino de Compostela or the Way of St James) which are both pilgrim routes leading to Santiago de Compostella. There's also the Ruta del Cid, and the the Transpirineo (guide by Jordi Laparra).

    In Spain there's the Grande Traversée du Massif Central (678 km), the Grande Traversée du Jura (380km), the Grande Traversé du Vercors (230km), the Grande Traversé de l'Herault and the traversée of the Pyrenees. www.cartovelo.com is a very useful source for guide books. You should also be able to download GPS tracks for most of these routes either from the sites themselves or by looking around on http://www.utagawavtt.com/

    In Italy there are the strade bianche in Toscana and maybe the Via Appia (although the latter looks like it might be a bit of a boneshaker). For guide books have a look around on:

    http://www.ediciclo.it/index.php?qr=cat ... d=catalogo

    And don't forget the UK. Have a look at:

    http://www.mbruk.co.uk/index.html

    the author of this site (IIRC Tim Laycock, is best known for his MTB version of the Wainwright C2C

    http://www.mbruk.co.uk/mbruk_CoastToCoast_details.htm
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Oh and to add one more - there's the via Francigena in Italy which goes from Canterbury to Rome (aka EuroVelo 5 - I'm sure it must have an English name, but I don't know it).

    For the Italian section you can download RoadBooks giving detailed directions, and GPS files, from here:

    http://www.francigenalibrari.benicultur ... news1.html

    (these are the RoadBooks for the "itinerari pedonali" - hiking routes- but all of the documents that I've checked so far say the route is doable either on a mountainbike, or on a hybrid or mountainbike).
  • Thanks for all that info. folks, much appreciated. In particular, thanks Andy, if I can't piece together what I want from that, then I'm looking for the impossible :o)

    Cheers,

    Kev.
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