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  #1  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Europe march suggestions welcome

I have 10 days off in march,(10-20) am based in UK, can travel via ferry with my bike.
any suggestions on where to go? i dont fancy touring in the rain the whole time but i will have waterproofs with me for the inevitable.
money is a factor otherwise would look at renting something further east but appreciate advice.

edit: not off roading

Last edited by GaryD12345; 31 Jan 2014 at 14:16.
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  #2  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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South of France ? Stay off the toll roads and use Formula 1 s . Not sure what sort of state the N85 is as it can snow there . other than that its got to be South Spain , every where else will be pants weather wise .
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  #3  
Old 1 Feb 2014
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You could give the LD lines Poole to Santander Ferry a try budget permitting, head south down through Spain forra few days, not sure on ferry prices but they seem to be a lot cheaper than Brittany Ferries at the moment.
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  #4  
Old 2 Feb 2014
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If you're looking for something other than hardcore (late) winter biking you're going to have to head south. Ferry to Spain is an option but it's expensive, the timetables may not fit in with your time available and it dumps you in northern Spain with a 600 mile ride to somewhere warmish.

The south of France is a possibility but again it's a long ride through some chilly parts of the country before you get there. In March the N85 and the rest of the Alps are still in full ski mode and a lot of the interesting roads are still blocked with snow. I was down in the Grenoble area a couple of weeks ago and, picturesque though it is, you'd really want to keep going. It was very cold.

In your circumstances I'd live with the boredom (and the fees) on the autoroute and spend a day and a half riding to the Costa Brava area of Spain or maybe as far as Barcelona. I'd use F1 hotels on the route there and back and find somewhere more rustic to stay in Spain. Early March is out of the mainstream holiday season so you should have the place much to yourself.
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  #5  
Old 7 Feb 2014
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Since it's 100 years since WW1, it might be worth visiting the front line.
Start in Ypres (Belgium ), continue to Verdun (France ), and cruise in the Vosges (also France). Go down to Swiss (stay of the highways if you don't want to buy a vignet), ride the Apls to France and cruidse back to Calais.

... and hope for sunny weather ...
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  #6  
Old 8 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WimDH View Post
Since it's 100 years since WW1, it might be worth visiting the front line.
The way the weather is at the moment (and into next month as well by the look of the forecast) it might be the most realistic WW1 experience in the trenches since 1918 , short of being shot at. How did the old phrase go - "up to my neck in muck and bullets"

Probably not a good idea to come back from "The Trench Experience" Home with trench foot.

I'm saving my WW1 commemoration effort until it's a bit warmer and giving thanks that I wasn't born a few generations earlier.
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  #7  
Old 8 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
The way the weather is at the moment (and into next month as well by the look of the forecast) it might be the most realistic WW1 experience in the trenches since 1918 , short of being shot at. How did the old phrase go - "up to my neck in muck and bullets"

Probably not a good idea to come back from "The Trench Experience" Home with trench foot.

I'm saving my WW1 commemoration effort until it's a bit warmer and giving thanks that I wasn't born a few generations earlier.

You're right about the weather, but it will give you a lot of travel stories to tell the guys at te pub ;-)

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  #8  
Old 9 Feb 2014
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March is not the best time of the month to go in to Europe, if you are looking for good weather. As every one has said go south. It's not Einstein to work out the further south you go the better the weather is going to be. But then you are going to use up time in traveling. So to me it's get your hard azz on and bang out the mileage. Get your self down to the south of Spain. What are you doing camping or looking for cheap hotel's? If its hotel's have a look at one of the many travel company's on line. And book seven day through them. Just the hotel. Will get a lot better price than just turning up.
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  #9  
Old 20 Feb 2014
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If you are riding down it's gonna be a bit chilly in the North of France, as said might be better to get a ferry straight to Spain, but not sure on prices this time of year.
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  #10  
Old 22 Feb 2014
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Gary:

I think you would most certainly freeze your butt off if you planned to go riding anywhere in France in the middle of March. There's a small chance that you might get very lucky and encounter a few tolerably warm days if you were waaaaaay down south (along the Med), but the odds are not in your favour.

To enjoy a pleasant ride in mid-March (rather than a 'survival experience'), I think you would have to go pretty far south, either to the south end of Portugal or to the far southern end of Spain.

For what it's worth, I rode from Geneva to Montpelier in mid MAY last year, and it was damn cold... I encountered snow for the first 100 miles of riding in France, and the temperatures didn't get above 10° to 15° all the while I was in southern France. I gave up on touring southern France (my original plan) and beat a retreat down to southern Spain and Portugal... and that was in mid May, not mid March.

My advice to you is to either take a ferry to the south end of Portugal or Spain, or stay home and save the money for a summertime ride later on.

Michael
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  #11  
Old 2 Sep 2014
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I was having a great time dry and warm and enjoying belgium for 3 days.. Then had a 4 day cold which meant not leaving my very uncomfy b&b bed for 3 days. The journey home wasn't very fun and was rather difficult staying focused and alert.
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  #12  
Old 2 Sep 2014
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Just out of interest what parts of Belgium did you find yourself in for the three days?
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  #13  
Old 2 Sep 2014
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It's kinda too late but maybe as info for the rest of the inmates.
You can take a ride along the Croatian coast, and do some island hopping. Temps in march are around 15 degrees celsius or even higher.

ride on

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  #14  
Old 4 Sep 2014
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I first stopped in st armand les leau, it was a stab on a map and looked like a green area but I wont be going back. I went on to dinant and la roche en ardennes which I liked. It didnt help most of the stuff I planned to see was shut due to time of year. It was a lesson in how to stay positive and be flexible.
I had wanted to go and ride around Luxembourg but was sick in bed in la roche en ardennes for the 3 days. Then went ypres for a night (happened to be a 100yr anniversary and back to london
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  #15  
Old 4 Sep 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryD12345 View Post
I first stopped in st armand les leau, it was a stab on a map and looked like a green area but I wont be going back. I went on to dinant and la roche en ardennes which I liked. It didnt help most of the stuff I planned to see was shut due to time of year.
I asked because I travel through Belgium and northern France a lot - through being the key word, as it's usually in an attempt to get somewhere else. I've thought for a while I ought to explore the area in a bit more depth. I've got a list of places to go and have a look at whenever I get the chance but there's always places you've never heard of so hearing from others is helpful.

It won't be this year though; it's a high summer destination - as you found out. My next trip, probably some time next month, will be business as usual; straight through and head south.

Bad luck about the illness. There's nothing worse than being ill away from home, particularly if you're on your own.
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