route des cols

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route des cols

Post by Juljam44 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:09 pm

couple of us are planning to ride this route in mid June when hopefully all the passes are open the rough plan is the night ferry to st malo and a quick blast down to Carcassonne for 1st night and on to the perpignan area the following day to hopefully pick up the route des cols, we intend to travel all the way over to San Sebastien and catch the ferry from either santander or bilbao and home, were thinking of making it an 8 day trip which I'm hoping is long enough and itl be our 1st euro trip so looking for any advice on routes and accommodation etc if anybody has ridden this route or even a gpx of it if anybody has one Tia Julian

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route des cols

Post by tempesc » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:06 pm

Hi Julian

8 days is fine, St Malo to Carcassonne isn’t!

I’d take a couple of days to get down through France. Some many great options on the way.

Try the Pyrenees part of this (ignore the diversion to Toulouse - long story!):

Some good roads here on the way down:

Look up Oradour sur Glane and Rocamadour as interesting places on route through France.


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Re: route des cols

Post by Spike941 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:04 am

Carcassonne in a day is just asking to pick up some speeding fines. I did it in two days and still managed to pick up a €45 ticket. Your route is certainly achievable in 8 days, plus time spent on the ferries on top, but you’ll want to stop and eat and take a few photos I guess. Done the trans Pyrenees (on Road) east to west on both the French and Spainish sides, both great riding routes.

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Re: route des cols

Post by spangle » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:34 am

Agree re St Malo - Carcassonne. You’re looking at 13 hours with fuel/food stops with 600 miles of mind numbing roads.

I’d make the journey part of the holiday and plot a route that bypasses/dissects/avoids towns & cities using D roads, which often gives a higher average speed than A & N roads due to less traffic & speed restrictions.

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Re: route des cols

Post by vRSG60 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:10 am

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Re: route des cols

Post by daveuprite » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:37 am

Carcassonne in one day is really gruelling, iron-butted stuff. Be sure to wear a hair shirt and thrash yourself with birch twigs at every stop... You would have to maintain a pretty high motorway speed, just to offset the time spent refueling (unless you have some kind of 500 km range tourer I suppose). It would be dull, tiring, boring and I doubt you'd do it without speeding fines - as said above. Plus you would bomb past some of the best biking roads in France, especially south of Limoges, Dordogne, Lot, Tarn etc.

Personally I would take 2 days off of your Pyrennees mountain pass riding and add them on to your trip down. Stop at Motobreaks in Haute Vienne on the first night, enjoy all the Dordogne roads on day 2, stay at Jax Shak on the second night, and then have a good time exploring the Tarn gorges etc on Day 3. That gets you to Carcassonne easily and you will have seen and ridden some great scenery.

Then cut into the Pyrennees south of Foix, and follow the passes West from there. 4 days in the mountains will feel like plenty and get you to the Atlantic coast/ northern Spain, no problem.

Whatever you choose to do, have a great time.... :)

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Re: route des cols

Post by chunky butt » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:09 pm

As others have said that's a big hit for one day, especially with so many cameras about now, and there talking to Swansea. You might be better off doing le Havre, dieppe, or caen? I know newhaven / dieppens gets in at 4am, which gives you a good head start, but it would be Autoroute all the way!!!

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Re: route des cols

Post by Scott_rider » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:17 pm

+1 for 2 days ride to Carcassonne.
We've done it several times from Calais and we don't hang about ( :oops: ). We usually go over on the tunnel, have an overnight stop off in either Bourges or Moulins, and it's still 2 days of hard (ish) riding. You can, of course, cut it down if you just go on the motorways.

2 days to Carcassonne, 1 day to the Pyrenees, then back to San Sebastian in as many days as you plan for, so 8 days in total is definitely do'able.
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Re: route des cols

Post by gbags » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:49 pm

+1 for not doing St Malo to Carcassonne in one day!

I’d also tweak the trip or add a couple of days if you can to get at least a sniff at the Picos de Europa, an hour or so past San Sebastián.

Have a great trip.

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Re: route des cols

Post by Scott_rider » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:48 pm

...and another +1...this time for adding on the Picos.
2 or 3 days there is enough. It's like a giant Scalextric track 8-) :oops: or you can take it easy and enjoy the scenery.
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