International Routes

For a map view of my international bicycle routes, please follow this link. The routes are hereunder classified by date of travel – more recent first.

Note : journey duration in days is just informative, as it depends on average speed and daily travelled distance. It will vary with every other cyclist. The number of days mentioned here excludes resting days, as I usually never stop longer than a single night.


The Wild Atlantic Tour (UK & Ireland) ; if you don’t fear wind and rain, this tour will take you into beautiful Atlantic landscapes, starting in Bournemouth and first heading to Land’s End in Cornwall, along various official cycle routes (among which NCN Routes 2, 3, 27 and 279) and some narrow countryside roads (6 days). Second leg in Wales, from Cardiff to Holyhead, mostly following NCN Route 8 (5 days). Third leg is a half tour of Ireland, from Mallow in the south to Ballycastle in the north – best sections being the Beara Peninsula, inner Iveragh Peninsula, Aran islands and Connemara (12 days). Last leg in western Scotland, from Campbeltown to Oban, then along the Outer Hebrides from Barra to Stornoway, and finally from Ullapool to Garve, where you can catch a train to Inverness (6 days). All connections by train and ferry – the little passenger boat crossing from Ballycastle in Northern Ireland to Campbeltown in Scotland is seasonal (see here). Total distance : 2339 km / Duration : 29 days / Average daily climb : +930 m / Date of travel : Summer 2016.

Ireland


Sardinia (Italy) and Corsica (France) ; short journey across two beautiful islands in the Mediterranean sea, starting with a 7 days loop in Sardinia. We’re travelling most of the time inland, on quiet secondary roads – but be aware that there will be many climbs. We then take the car ferry from Santa Teresa to Bonifacio, before riding across Corsica from south to north, via mountain roads – climbs will be even tougher than in Sardinia ! Note that on both islands coastal areas are packed with tourists in July & August, and main roads should be avoided as they are very dangerous. Slideshows of geotagged pictures : Sardinia and Corsica. 1031 km / 11 days / +1200 m / Summer 2015.

corsica


Via Francigena (Martigny – Rome) ; thirteen-day journey from the Swiss Alps to the capital of Italy, following the pilgrims route which Sigéric, archbishop of Canterbery, walked both ways around year 990. Best sections are the Gd St-Bernard pass, the plains of Northern Italy, the Cisa pass and Tuscany hills. Mountain bike highly recommended as this itinerary often runs off paved roads, along signposted paths and walkways, some of which being rough and stony. Be very careful when riding on roads : most are extremely dangerous in Italy, due to heavy traffic and irresponsible driving habits ! Moreover, the itinerary is sometimes complex and not easy to follow – if you have a GPS, take it along. Slideshow of geotagged pictures here. 1057 km / 13 days / +800 m / Summer 2015.

More information : http://www.viefrancigene.org/en/ and http://francigena-international.org/en/

Via Francigena


Dover to Orkney islands (NCN Route 1, UK) ; long journey across England and Scotland following National Cycle Network Route 1, the longest in UK. To avoid the heavy traffic on most British roads, this cycle route is often zigzagging in the middle of the countryside and also regularly goes off-road on rough tracks and paths – therefore a strong touring bike equiped with puncture-proof tyres is required. Signposting is excellent all the way but won’t prevent getting lost in several of the many urban areas the route drives through. Hence I recommend using the very handy cycle maps published by Sustrans and available as far North as Durham Coast (no maps further North at the time of writing). You can find a lot of useful information on Sustrans website and a full slideshow of geotagged pictures here. I compiled a list of accomodation available along Route 1 from south to north : you can donwload this Excel file here (reviewed June 2015, but won’t be updated later). Moreover, a copy of the report that I wrote and sent to Sustrans can be downloaded here. 2700 km / 28 days / +640 m / Summer 2014.

Scotland


Scandinavian tour ; long trip starting in Copenhagen (DK) and crossing about two thirds of Sweden, first along western coast and Ginstleden Cykelspåret bike route, then inside forest covered interior country along Sverigeleden cycle route, all the way to Lapland. If you like silent straight roads, this is the place to go ! In Umeå, I took the ferry to Vaasa in Finland, from where I cycled south along the Baltic coast route (Eurovelo 10) to Mariehamn, in the Åland archipelago. Return by ferry to Northern Germany, via Helsinki – then by train. Slideshow here. 2495 km / 24 days / +660 m / Summer 2013.

Sweden


Geneva (CH) – Calatayud (Aragon, Spain) – Hendaye (Pyrénées Atlantiques, France) ; great journey through southern France and northern Spain, across two fascinating mountain areas, the “Massif Central” and the Pyrénées. I was really impressed by the Spanish side of the Pyrénées : wild landscapes, silent “bush” roads and zero tourist ! Then onwards into some very arid and quiet regions of Spain (southern Aragon and Province of Soria). Mainly secondary roads. Photos in the post. 2182 km / 25 days / +880 m / Summer 2012.

France


Yverdon (CH) to Stavanger (Norway) ; long and beautiful journey towards northern lights, through Switzerland, France, Germany, Denmark and Norway, along numerous official bike routes : Route du Jura (CH), various local cycle paths in Alsace (F), Saar Radweg (D), Mosel Radweg (D), Lahntal Radweg (D), Fulda Radweg (D), Weser Radweg (D). Then, from Cuxhaven onwards, I followed the great North Sea Cycle Route (Eurovelo 12) all the way until Stavanger. I really loved cycling along Danish coast as well as in southern Norway – unforgettable ! Mainly cycle tracks and a few secondary roads. Slideshow here. 3190 km / 31 days / +450 m / Summer 2011.

Norway


Geneva (CH) to Santiago-de-Compostela (Galicia, Spain) ; some sections of this wonderful travel through France and Northern Spain follow the historical pilgrimage route, but I also went off the “official” path from time to time, looking for less crowded and more varied landscapes. Like many pilgrims, I continued from Santiago on to the Cape Finisterre, the westernmost part of Europe. In Galicia, main roads must absolutely be avoided due to mad car and truck driving ! Mainly secondary roads. Caution : bikes cannot be taken into long distance trains in Spain, but busses to France will accept them in Santiago. Slideshow of geo-tagged pictures here. 2405 km / 25 days / +1120 m / Summer 2009.

Spain


Innsbruck (Austria) to Scuol (CH) ; short distance ride along the Inn River, along two beautiful cycle routes : the Inn Radweg in Austria and the Graubünden Route in Switzerland (Suisse à vélo 6). Cycle tracks, some of which unsurfaced, and secondary roads. 159 km / 2 days / +630 m / Summer 2007.

Austria


Schaffhausen (CH) to Belgrade (Serbia) ; a trip along the Danube river, from its birth at Donaueschingen to Belgrade, following Eurovelo 6 bike route. Best part being the start through the “Schwäbische Alb” hills : from Donaueschingen to Ulm. Mainly cycle tracks in Germany and Austria, then Danube dike (surfaced or unsurfaced and sometimes tough), secondary and main roads, some of which with heavy traffic. No photos available at the moment, since they have to be re-uploaded after Google destroyed Panoramio in November 2016. 2030 km / 22 days / +210 m / Summer 2007.

Croatia


Geneva (CH) to Sevilla (Andalucia, Spain) ; my first long journey by bike. I left without any idea of where I would be heading to after Oléron Island (Charente-Maritime, France), where I had been invited by friends. At a certain time, I was thinking of travelling to Africa, via Spain and Morocco, but changed my mind in Sevilla due to extreme heat, tiredness and dangerous Andalucia roads (mad driving !). Northernmost crossing of the “Massif Central” on an east-west route towards the Atlantic. I travelled by car from Oléron to Dordogne, with friends. Then headed south and went over the Pyrenees in the fog at Larrau Pass. In Navarra & La Rioja, I roughly followed the Path to Santiago de Compostela until Burgos, then turned south towards Segovia and Madrid across the vast Castilla Plateau and the Sierra de Gredos. From the capital city, I cycled to Toledo and further west to remote Extremadura, before facing the last (and easy) obstacle : the Sierra Morena, in Andalucia. Mainly secondary roads. Caution : bikes cannot be taken into long distance trains in Spain (I sent mine by Regular Post and came back in 2 days by plane, bus and train). No photos, because I didn’t have a camera. 3695 km / 48 days / +630 m / Summer 2005.