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  #1  
Old 5 Feb 2008
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Bilbao to Calias

Hello

My first entry on this site, and indeed my first European tour by motorcycle. To set the scene;

I am hoping to travel from Portsmouth to Bilbao and then take in this northern part of Spain, into France, maybe touch north/west of Italy, into Switzerland, maybe Austria, Germany (Black Forest), up to the Strasbourg, then through Germany to Belgium and finally Calais - Dover ...

Now the planning is in its infancy, and I have allowed 2.5 weeks, thing is I have not as yet reviewed road maps (so any good recommendations would be helpful), nor do I have an idea of how long its likely to take or indeed the miles/km that would need to be covered. Yes I am a novice :0)

Anyways … has anyone got some suggest routes to take, places of interest in terms of natural beauty, historic towns, places to stay that kind of thing. I am aiming to do this in June / July, and would like this to be leisurely and not be under too much pressure to get the miles/km in every day.

Has anyone done similar, any advise from the more seasoned bike traveller would be very helpful and appreciated.

Cheers

Mark
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  #2  
Old 5 Feb 2008
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Europe

Sounds like a nice trip, i'd have a look at the millau bridge in france, stelvio pass when you hit italy and if you are going germany the nurburgring after the black forest. Maybe visit brugge on your way back to calais. If your using the motorway's in switzerland and austria you'll need a vignette (tax) available at or near the border, most shops etc. I know the swiss one is availabe online before you go if you are that organized. Try and keep of the m-ways and you'll have a great time, and try not to plan to much either accomodation is plentifull.
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  #3  
Old 5 Feb 2008
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Bilbao to Calias

Cheers for that, I did'nt know about the taxes so thats useful information. In terms of miles/km that would need covering per day what would you estimate. Like I said I wanted this to be relaxing and enjoy the countries visited, but unsure if 2.5 weeks would be sufficient. Anyways cheers for the information.

Regards

Mark
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Old 5 Feb 2008
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Opposite way round - that rings a bell!

Yor trip sounds good.
Im doing the same, only the opposite way round - mostly France down to Monaco then accross to Andorra via Millau bridge down to Malaga then back up through Bilbao. We go in September.

I've planned almost everyday but, who knows it could all change on day one. About 2500 miles all up. Im bringing my Trumpet back from australia just for that so it must be good.

Cant wait! (feel like kid at Christmas - Im 47)

All the best
Steven
Oh - I've posted an extract of one of the videos around Verdun gorges - see Kirk family website
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  #5  
Old 6 Feb 2008
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Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by marksmith1708 View Post
Cheers for that, I did'nt know about the taxes so thats useful information. In terms of miles/km that would need covering per day what would you estimate. Like I said I wanted this to be relaxing and enjoy the countries visited, but unsure if 2.5 weeks would be sufficient. Anyways cheers for the information.

Regards

Mark
Depends on what you want to do, do you want to have days off the bike to see the places you are visiting or just to stop for lunch, you could spend 2 weeks just riding around the french alps stopping for the odd day. I reckon to do the trip you suggest would need mileages of 230 a day on average sometimes more sometimes less. If you want to stop for a few days obviously the mileages go up. I dont like riding more than 250 in a day and ive done roughly what you are suggesting with a couple of days off. Try working out your route on via michelin that will give you a good idea of the distances you plan to cover.
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Old 6 Feb 2008
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Mark
There is a similar query and answers on the thread "Bilbao to Calais".

www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/europe/bilbao-to-calais-32842?highlight=bilbao

Andy is probably not planning as much as you but might be useful to look - or even contact him.
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Old 6 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Mark
There is a similar query and answers on the thread "Bilbao to Calais".

.
I thought I had read this somewhere else! Boy, have I been confused.
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Old 6 Feb 2008
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Seeing double Dave?

LOL
LOL
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  #9  
Old 28 Feb 2008
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Traveling more than 300k/per day is too much, in my opinion. when I first began running through Europe, I was planning 400, 500 and even 600k days. And I realized all I was doing was riding to a destination, as opposed to enjoying the places I was in. Now I give myself seven hours to travel 250-300km in a day, with plenty of time to stop and look around, check out anything that interests me and the occasional picnic type lunch (I carry bread/cheese and salami everywhere I travel). It has more than doubled my enjoyment of traveling these beautiful areas. Then again , it's been winter and camping really hasn't been an option yet. Once the camping weather sets in, I suppose limitations on riding won't be necessary as I don't need to worry about making it to a 'destination'.

Good luck on your trip, perhaps I'll see you out on the road. Look for a black Beemer with NY tags!
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Old 28 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by wile e View Post
Traveling more than 300k/per day is too much, in my opinion. when I first began running through Europe, I was planning 400, 500 and even 600k days. And I realized all I was doing was riding to a destination, as opposed to enjoying the places I was in. Now I give myself seven hours to travel 250-300km in a day, with plenty of time to stop and look around, check out anything that interests me and the occasional picnic type lunch (I carry bread/cheese and salami everywhere I travel). It has more than doubled my enjoyment of traveling these beautiful areas. Then again , it's been winter and camping really hasn't been an option yet. Once the camping weather sets in, I suppose limitations on riding won't be necessary as I don't need to worry about making it to a 'destination'.

Good luck on your trip, perhaps I'll see you out on the road. Look for a black Beemer with NY tags!
Hi wile e,

You mention on another thread that you have been riding Europe in the winter; how about putting up another thread ( not !!) telling us what the deal is with this - weather, lack of daylight, accommodation available (a lot of hotels in some countries close out of season) etc etc.

Just a thought,
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Old 28 Feb 2008
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I used the Michelin Europe (Tourist and Motoring atlas) during a three month trip of Western Europe. It has a ring binder down its spine so it is very tough.

It was all I needed to navigate.
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  #12  
Old 28 Feb 2008
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Bilbao

I am also planning a trip from Bilbao - Calais Mid june to early july. I am planning on about 20 days hopefully. The ferries booked i just need to plan the route. I have decided to just pick out several places i want to see then work the rest out when i get over there. I want to do about 250 - 300 miles per day but not every single day. I strongly agree that you need to see things and visit places rather than just be on the bike.

My rough route

Bilbao,madrid,Alicante,Barcelona,Paris,Calais

Originally i was supposed to be going with my girlfriend but we split so looks like it may be solo. Unless one of my mates can get the time off.
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Old 28 Feb 2008
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I'd make sure I didn't miss the Col de la Bonette in the French alps above Nice. If you use the Autoroutes/Autobahns you can knock off a 500 mile day in 12 hours if you put your mind to it and then rest on the ferry. This often gives you an extra day somewhere nice. As a daily mileage I usually plan on 250 miles. This is a nice day out from your campsite or a ride between campsites. If you want to go and explore a city for the day then about 100 miles round trip back to your tent is a nice day. You will find what suits you. A lot depends how long it takes you to get on the road. Some of my bike trips have turned into camping holidays when I find it hard to leave the site before midday. Don't rush, you're on holiday. Have two weeks in Spain and the south of France and enjoy the area you're in. If you're on your own you'll have to talk to the locals and I find this one of the most rewarding parts of travel. So if your a couple or a group of mates don't miss this aspect, make the effort to interact with some locals. It will make your trip. The rest of Europe isn't going anywhere. Leave some for another day.
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  #14  
Old 2 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
The rest of Europe isn't going anywhere. Leave some for another day.
Truer words haven't been written.
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  #15  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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Quote:
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...If you use the Autoroutes/Autobahns you can knock off a 500 mile day in 12 hours if you put your mind to it ..........
About 5 hours surely ? Maybe a bit extra for coffee and fuel You don't use autobahns for the scenery after all....
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