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Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
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  #1  
Old 24 Jun 2004
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on gravel from France to Spain

Travellers.

Need your help on this one.

I'm hunting for gravel roads in Europe. The other day I heard about a route going from Paris and down to Spain, only on gravel. Has any one of you done this one?

Are there any other routes that I might want to look at. I'm mostly looking for 1-3weeks routes with 80-100% gravel and mountain tracks.

Hope some of you can help me with this.

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  #2  
Old 25 Jun 2004
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Seems rather unlikely: anything that goes long distance in this part of Europe is a Route Nationale or a motorway.

You could try small-scale Michelin maps which will show some of the forestry and farm roads. Note that the former are often closed for motor vehicles.

Your progress will be very slow, as navigation will take a lot of time.

I'd be very surprised if there are any unsealed tracks crossing the Pyrenees. If there are expect them to be closed.

In our area off-raod driving has just been banned for the entire summer, due to high fire risk. I'm sure in due course this will become permanent.

However, in the alps there are still a few pistes open.

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  #3  
Old 25 Jun 2004
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I've heard, you'll find these gravelroads along the 'route du soleil'.(as a service-road)
If you pass the Netherlands; I have a 50% unpaved route from the north-east to the south-east, and we're working on a route to Antwerp(B)

[This message has been edited by Freek (edited 25 June 2004).]
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  #4  
Old 25 Jun 2004
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In north-west Italy You'll find Piemonte.
Here are lots of gravelroads up to 3000m.
Go to camping Gran-Bosco in Salbertrand and you will find a lot of people who can advise
you. www.campinggranbosco.it

I've been there to.




[This message has been edited by Freek (edited 25 June 2004).]
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  #5  
Old 25 Jun 2004
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You do occasinally find old military pistes all along the Italian border. In the west the famous trails are around Susa (italian side of Briancon) and north of Ventimiglia in the vicinity of the Paso di Tende.

Then a partner of BMW, Del Bondio Adventure Travel, offers off-road tours along the ridge of the Pyrenees from east to west.

Hans
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Old 25 Jun 2004
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Thank you guys.

You have been a big help.

If you have more info for me please share it with me and the rest of the bikers wanting to do the gravel in Europe.

Are gravel trails/road in Fance, Italy and Spain endangered features in rural areas?

Are there any associations, like Green lane assoc. in UK, working for the mainland Europe?


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Old 26 Jun 2004
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I suspect Freek's picture is of the Ligurian border road. It starts in France in Casterino, crosses the Col de Tende and then continues about another 80km, criss-crossing the border. I'll check it out later in the year when we both have enduros.

Yes, I think I would say that the days of gravel roads you are allowed to ride on are numbered. What doesn't get tar sealed gets closed. They had a feature on the radio the other day saying they were patrolling the trails here this summer and handing out €130 fines.

Somehow it's understandable, though: when I go hiking I don't want to have to dodge vehicles stirring up dust. It comes with the overpopulation of Europe.

Check out the Massif Central: it's fairly remote and thinly populated, so there is more offroading to be done. Plus it's not dry enough to present a fire risk.


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  #8  
Old 26 Jun 2004
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Freek's photo is taken from Mt. Jafferau fortress ...2830 mts. over Bardonecchia
there are good sites to look for dirt/gravel roads :
www.fortificazioni.com
www.over2000raid.it
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  #9  
Old 28 Jun 2004
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Thanks again for your reply guys.

Most of the areas mentioned here are not know to me. Beddhist told me to get small-scale Michelin maps, since they might show some of the forrest trails.

Where would I be able to get maps on-line showing gravel/forestry trails in the alps, France and Spain

<font color="red">Are the gravel roads being closed only due to dust and noise pollution for hikers?</font>

In Iceland we are some 10-30 years behind when it comes to closing down gravel and mountain roads. One bad day motorcycles will tho be eliminated from riding cross-country in Iceland. Are there any tips you travellers could give is to fight back this horrible problem.


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  #10  
Old 30 Jun 2004
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Quote:
<font face="" size="2">Where would I be able to get maps on-line showing gravel/forestry trails in the alps, France and Spain</font>
Try http://www.viamichelin.com

Quote:
<font face="" size="2"><font color="red">Are the gravel roads being closed only due to dust and noise pollution for hikers?</font></font>
Other reasons can be: fire danger, disturbing wildlife, erosion, lack of maintenance (if it's closed the authorities aren't responsible if you crash). The Germans close roads and tracks for the hell of it (it's in our culture).

Quote:
<font face="" size="2">In Iceland we are some 10-30 years behind when it comes to closing down gravel and mountain roads.</font>
Lucky you!

Quote:
<font face="" size="2">One bad day motorcycles will tho be eliminated from riding cross-country in Iceland. Are there any tips you travellers could give is to fight back this horrible problem.</font>
Behave responsibly when driving or riding.

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