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Drivable European cycling holiday destinations.

webboowebboo Posts: 3,274
edited January 2017 in Road general
The missus has suggested we go on holiday for 2 weeks at Easter( April 15th) I would rather drive than fly as I can then bring lots of wine home and I tend to take no end of stuff with me just in case I might need it
Looking for some where warm and sunny as the missus will wanting to sit around in the sun.
All suggestions welcome even places to stay.
Thanks
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Posts

  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    You can drive to Mallorca...
  • mike1-2mike1-2 Posts: 456
    Pyrenees or Alps, you might be lucky with the weather? I'm going to the Pyrenees in the Easter holidays this year, yes you run the risk of some of the bigger Cols still being closed to traffic but that won't stop me, just take plenty of clothing options.
  • mike1-2mike1-2 Posts: 456
    And in regards to you other half, just book a nice hotel with a spa and she'll forget about it not being really hot. Not sure where you could drive in Europe with guaranteed heat in April?
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,274
    I wouldn't want to risk the high mountains in April but I was wondering if some slightly lower southern areas in France might be ok. Also it's the later half of April.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 782
    How far are you prepared to drive? I can't think of anywhere you can guarantee sunbathing weather at Easter that's driveable.
    We drive to Pescara in Italy every summer. 20 hours in the car, on the Adriatic, but 50km inland are mountains - checkout the Blockhaus in this year's giro. Undiscovered, relatively cheap, plenty hot enough in August.
    Last year, we overnighted in Rochefort in the Ardennes in Belgium. It was stunning and very hot, but if you follow F1 you'll know it can really rain there.
    I think you'll have to fly, Majorca or the Canaries are probably the best bet. Or go in June or early July?
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639

    Takes me a few years. Have driven to Aosta from Scotland three times.
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    I have driven to Mallorca ( 2 days/3 nights) and to Rimini with bikes ( 2 to 3 days) . Both stunning drives once you get over the Channel.
  • Some good riding and generally warmer than France in spring.

    To the OP... consider Annecy... it's 7 hours drive from Calais, it's a stunning town with some world class cycling around... the cols are not too high, below the snow line in spring, so they will be open... Forclaz is 900-1000 mt and the Cret de Chatillon is 1600 or so
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,388
    There's nowhere you can guarantee good weather in April but the closer you are to the Mediterranean the better. I can recommend the Vence area west of Nice. It's only a few miles from the over-developed Riviera but the cycling is fantastic and there are lots of interesting old towns like Gourdon and St Paul de Vence. Head north from Vence up the Col de Vence and there's plenty of scope for challenging, quiet and really scenic circular day rides. If you fancy a day by the sea, it's just a few minutes drive. An easy drive from Calais down the autoroute.

    A bit further, but also close to the Med and with a good chance of warm sun is the area around Collioure and Port Vendres. A beautiful coastline with lovely ports and great cycling inland in the foothills of the eastern Pyrenees. The Corbieres region and Cathar fortresses are a particular favourite of mine.

    I've been on camping cycling holidays to both the above areas in early May and enjoyed sunny weather in the 20s C. But also experienced snow when riding out of the Med hinterland slightly north to the Verdon Gorges.
  • andcpandcp Posts: 645
    Ferry to Santander, drive to the Spanish med coast. The ferry is surprisingly OK, but I've only been on it when it's been clam.
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  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,784
    According to Google Maps, you can drive from the Midlands to the Western Algarve in 24hrs(?) Taat would be sunny in April and, if you fancy breaking the drive up with a few cheap stops, you pass through France and Spain on the way for plenty of riding/wine buying opportnities
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  • Anywhere north and there are still people hoping for snow, deeper south and you might be OK.

    That said we've been to Italy (nr Milan) in April and had decent weather but don't expect sunbathing temps.
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  • benjamessbenjamess Posts: 159
    laurentian wrote:
    According to Google Maps, you can drive from the Midlands to the Western Algarve in 24hrs(?) Taat would be sunny in April and, if you fancy breaking the drive up with a few cheap stops, you pass through France and Spain on the way for plenty of riding/wine buying opportnities

    I spent last may in Portugal.....non stop torrential rain while the UK enjoyed a mini heatwave :evil:
  • ham76ham76 Posts: 26
    I did cycle from Tours to Angers along the Loire River last year. That was just 2 days cycling. I will return there this year to cycle from Orleans to Tours. It may be an issue if you have a car hence you need to go back to where you parked.

    How about using this service called "AutoTrain" ?

    http://autotrain.uk.voyages-sncf.com/en/
    or
    http://en.voyages-sncf.com/media/pdf/uk ... 016_en.pdf

    You drive to Paris, you can upload your car in Paris-Bercy Station. You then cycle your way to the destination !
    For example, you leave your car in Paris and send your car to Avignon. You then take TGV with your bilke to Lyon and cycle your way from Lyon to Avignon where you can reunite with your car.
  • ham76 wrote:
    I did cycle from Tours to Angers along the Loire River last year. That was just 2 days cycling. I will return there this year to cycle from Orleans to Tours. It may be an issue if you have a car hence you need to go back to where you parked.

    How about using this service called "AutoTrain" ?

    http://autotrain.uk.voyages-sncf.com/en/
    or
    http://en.voyages-sncf.com/media/pdf/uk ... 016_en.pdf

    You drive to Paris, you can upload your car in Paris-Bercy Station. You then cycle your way to the destination !
    For example, you leave your car in Paris and send your car to Avignon. You then take TGV with your bilke to Lyon and cycle your way from Lyon to Avignon where you can reunite with your car.

    I like the Loire and cycle extensively around Saumur... bit flat though... meaning the topography is very similar to southern England... more vineyeards, fewer cattle and sheep
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,504
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  • ham76ham76 Posts: 26
    I like the Loire and cycle extensively around Saumur... bit flat though... meaning the topography is very similar to southern England... more vineyeards, fewer cattle and sheep

    Yes, it was flat along the Loire with picturesque village every few miles. That’s exactly what I and my partner wanted. Stop at lovely village, have a coffee and ride again for 10 miles. Detour to Chinon and wine tasting along the route was added bonus !
  • FlâneurFlâneur Posts: 3,027
    drive down to Nice? 10 hours including stops from Calais. always throw a night in Reims for a case or two.

    Don't get me wrong it isn't going to be hot but it should be a good degree of warmth (high teens)
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  • Cycling in Europe around April? Go ride and see some of the classics! Paris Roubaix, Amstel Gold, Liege - Bastogne - Liege. Send the missus to the sun ;)
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Urtrecht - hire a couple of city bikes and cycle between bars and cafes sampling all the beer and cakes
  • We stayed close to Beziers (SW France) last summer. Beautiful part of the world, weather should be reasonable as you are close to Med. Hilly but not mountainous. Cheaper than SE France/Riviera and less busy

    Was about 10 hr easy drive from Eurotunnel

    Have been in May before, temperatures low 20s so quite pleasant
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  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,859
    Not sure wuite how warm it will be, but I can heartily recommend Tuscany for beautiful buildings, countryside, cheese, wine, and nice roads to cycle on.

    Specifally I know Lucca very well, and we used to cycle regularly down to Camaiore on the coast, really pretty down there, but plenty of places we never got to explore properly sadly.

    Quite a few decent climbs around there too, saw plenty of pro's out training, with team cars in tow.

    It was a fairly long old haul to get down there, seem to recall it was around 12-14 hours with fuel stops, but I for one enjoy a long drive, and my girlfriend and I would share the driving duties - driving in Europe is a pleasure anyway.

    Makes me smile just thinking about it!
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  • davep1davep1 Posts: 782
    We avoid the French tolls by going Belgium Luxembourg Germany. It's further so more fuel, and might not be convenient for Val d'Aosta and there are probably issues I haven't thought of or have chosen to overlook...
  • Agreed with the above, Nice or Menton would be a good bet.

    Girona could be done in a day and a half if you managed to make good progress.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,274
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have been to some of the places mentioned, Nice, Verdon, Tuscany and the Loire but to climb not cycle and usually in August or September.
    So it looks like driving to Italy might be the best bet, which we fancied doing after going to Tuscany a couple of years ago.
  • webboo wrote:
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have been to some of the places mentioned, Nice, Verdon, Tuscany and the Loire but to climb not cycle and usually in August or September.
    So it looks like driving to Italy might be the best bet, which we fancied doing after going to Tuscany a couple of years ago.

    I drive to Piemonte every year via the Mont Blanc tunnel and Valle d'Aosta and if you live in the South of England it is doable in a day. Just leave early to avoid the inevitable traffic on the M25.

    The drive through France is dull until you reach the mountains (after Bourg En Bresse), but little traffic... tolls are very expensive, especially the tunnels (you can choose Mont Blanc or Frejus or Gran St Bernard).

    If you choose to head to Italy via the North East and enter via the Brennero, it is a longer journey, more traffic, but cheaper
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,849
    Garry H wrote:
    You can drive to Mallorca...
    I just put that into Google Maps for interest and it gives the following "warnings" about the route:
    • This route includes a car transporter (train).
    • This route has tolls.
    • This route includes a ferry.
    • This route crosses through France.
    The last one being the most important one :mrgreen:
  • The ferry to Majorca is surprisingly expensive.
  • The ferry to Majorca is surprisingly expensive.

    Except Dover-Calais, all ferries are stupidly expensive
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