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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 19 Jun 2010
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First Trip Advice

Hello All,

I am in the first stages of planning a trip around europe and looking for some advice. I have 2 routes in mind and comments/advice/opinions on both would be very welcome. Also looking to spend 3-4 weeks doing the trip.

Trip 1

Ferry Newcastle to Norway, through Noway to Sweden, through sweden to finland via stockholm ferry, finland to estonia via ferry, estonia to latvia, latvia to lithuania, Lithuania to Poland, Poland to Germany, Germany to France and finally ferry back to uk. 3-4 weeks do able?

Trip 2

Through France and Switzerland to Italy. Ferry from Italy to Albania. Then loop back up through eastern europe through Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany then France and home. 3 - 4 weeks do able?

Which trip would be best for a first trip round europe with my partner.

Cheers

Richard
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Old 19 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard86 View Post
Trip 1

Ferry Newcastle to Norway, through Noway to Sweden, through sweden to finland via stockholm ferry, finland to estonia via ferry, estonia to latvia, latvia to lithuania, Lithuania to Poland, Poland to Germany, Germany to France and finally ferry back to uk. 3-4 weeks do able?
I´ve taken that ferry from Bergen/Stavanger to Newcastle and v.v., but unfortunately it hasn´t operated for a couple of years now. Nowadays a lot harder to get across between Norway and UK. Check out ferrylines.com: Europe's Ferry Booking Portal to get some idea of possible routes.

If I were you, I´d consider riding Norway´s coast to the north, and then head east to Sweden and Finland (you´ll be able to do it overland from the north side of the Gulf of Bothnia, or you can take a ferry from Umea to Vaasa). Norwegian coastline is definitely one of the biggest highlights of Scandinavia, plus in my view, both Sweden and Finland are more interesting in the north, not so much in the south.

Do also take note, that it is VERY slow-going near the Norwegian coast, and your experience will greatly depend on the weather. It does rain (a lot!) especially near Bergen. And it´ll be a good idea to obey the speed limits, as fines are astronomical in Norway. More or less the same goes for all of Scandinavia, though.

Timing your trip to Scandinavia is also one important thing... the summer is very short here, I´d say that the best time is starting right about now (end of June until around the end of August). Still the weather is not guaranteed, and it can be fine one year, and more or less terrible the next.

If you´re planning to do your first tour outside that mentioned period, then I´d probably head to southern parts of Europe first, as it´ll probably be a lot warmer. Or if you decide to do Scandinavia, make sure your rain-gear and camping-gear are up to it.

On the other hand, I just returned home from a trip to Sicily today, and we ended up skipping Eastern Europe both ways, ´cos it has been raining more or less non-stop in certain areas for over a month now....
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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a couple of years ago I did trip 1 but

ferry from newcastle to amsterdam and up thru Germany, Denmark and then Sweden.... then followed your route.

Trip was 15 days (not enough time in my opinion).

The weather was quite wet and this was in mid june

It all depends on what you want to see, I had a rally in Finland to attend so that made my mind up.

Im just back from a 3 week Europe trip. France, Germany, Luxumberg, Belgium, Holland and home.. the weather varied from being very hot to being very cold

Cheers
Geordie
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  #4  
Old 22 Jun 2010
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Avg mileage per day

Hi Mate,

One thought if this is your first trip; I came to the conclusion that if you're traveling with your lady - especially for the first time - keep your average mileage per day to between 80 and 100. Obviously some days will be longer and some days you won't ride at all, but if you want her to be smiling when you get back, don't try more than that. It's harder work on the back than the front - you've got things to think about and concentrate on - she hasn't.

I'm just planning a trip with a new lady. I've been away with two others before on trips like the one you're planning and learned some lessons. On one leg of the first I did in the Picos de Europa in the north of Spain I was severely told off for a) riding too quickly and b) taking too long to get there.

80 miles per day average - and no more that two days consecutive long rides...

Enjoy!

Z.B.
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  #5  
Old 22 Jun 2010
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Hi Richard, As others have said it's a bit of a pain to get to Norway quickly these days. 3 years ago I crossed the channel Dover/Calais and rode up north from there. I used the Puttgarden ferry to get into Sweden. I returned on one of the last Bergen Newcastle ferries. Previously I've done Harwich/Esbjerg, which still runs but is too expensive IMHO and then done Fredrikshavn/ Goteburg to get into Sweden. I'm travelling there again next month for a 4 week trip and have chosen to do Harwich/ hook of Holland this time as I got the return ferry with a cabin for £128.

Scandinavia and Norway especially is amazing and the 80kph limit is nice and relaxing as you get to see the scenery as you potter along. Whatever you do do not be tempted to speed, even a few k's over the limit. The police hide in the shrubbery and do not advertise themselves like they do over here. If you're 20kph over you can go to jail! Fines of £500 are not unheard of. Otherwise look out for Moose in the south and reindeer in the north as they just run out into the road.

It will probably take you 4 days to get to Norway and a week to get from there to the Nordkapp, if that's where you're heading, at an average 200 miles a day. Returning through Finland, although you can travel a little faster there, will take a similar time. That's 3 weeks. Once you add in rest days for washing and sight seeing you can see that you soon use up 4 weeks. Prepare the good lady for that sort of schedule or revise your route. You don't have to see it all on one trip, it will still be there next year! You could spend a week just in the fjords around Bergen. If you went up north to Lofoton and returned it would make for a nice relaxed trip with a bit of whale watching thrown in.

If you choose to do the coastal route north of Bergen be prepared for a long trip. You get off one ferry and then ride 20k's and queue for the next one. And you're always in traffic as you more or less travel with everyone from the ferry. Be prepared to drive behind campervans all day! The scenery is gorgeous though.

If the rain sets in head east. This site is good for weather in Norway...

Weather forecast for Norway – yr.no

Have fun
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