anyone cycled from Barcelona along coast to Provence

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by mongoose2, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. mongoose2

    mongoose2 New Member

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    Is it worth it?

    Nice sea views and towns to stay in along the way?

    Is it hilly?

    What should we avoid?

    Thanx for any help.


     
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  2. ishiwata

    ishiwata New Member

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    I rode between Barcelona and a town south of Montpellier in 2003. Getting out of Barcelona was a pain, but once you escape, the riding becomes pretty nice. There are some canals you can ride along in Languedoc, near Narbonne, I think, that connect to Canal Midi.

    I recall a long, gentle climb as I approached the French border, but nothing too difficult.

    I think the area north of Barcelona is called Costa Brava. There are some pretty ugly hotels and box stores near the coast, but some nice beaches, and it was pretty affordable when I was there. The terrain once you leave the ocean is mostly wooded and pretty lush.

    Perpignan and especially Narbonne are charming towns. I didn't get as far as Provence, but the Languedoc is enchanting.
     
  3. mongoose2

    mongoose2 New Member

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    Where exactly did you ride?

    I looked on Google maps and it looks like you can ride most of the way hugging the coast. Is this what you did?

    Then in France do the langeuoc and Provence area.

    We could take the train out of barcelona and start the ride further up the coast.

    What were your highlights?

    appreciate any help on this.

    Great towns. hills to avoid etc etc

    Cheers
     
  4. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    When are you going?
    how long do you have?
    What accomodation are you using? camping ?

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  5. mongoose2

    mongoose2 New Member

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    We are going at the end of sept for 5 days then into France.

    Intending to stay at little B&B's along the way (Not camping unless there are cabins or caravans etc)

    Have you done this?

    If so what was your route and what would you reccomend or avoid.

    Appreciate any help.

    We also intend to do France along to Provence.
     
  6. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    We rode around the Dordogne, caught the train from Cahors to Carcassonne.
    Then cycled across to Avignon, through the Haute Provence and the Maritime Alps to Menton then back to Nice to catch the plane home. This took 5 weeks.
    We used the Lonely planet guide and found it excellent for when we were there (2005). We also used the Michelin 1:200,000 maps.
    There seemed to be plenty of accommodation available although we camped except for the **** hotel in Nice ).
    The only place that we didn't like was Nimes. There is no quiet road to access the town centre. The Gorge Verdon was a bit overrated too as it's a long ride with only one shop along the way. Everything else was fantastic and we'd love to do it again.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  7. caracol40

    caracol40 New Member

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    I can comment on part of the trip. From Roses northwards along the coast, hilly but very cute until the French border, then flat and less interesting until Narbonne (dull beach resorts) - unless you head inland through Perpignan. Some nice stretches though from Port-Leucate through La Palme, Sigean, Bages (beautiful étang with dried salt) to Narbonne. Probably the most interesting (and most demanding) route from Perpignan to Béziers will be through the Corbières (D611 through Tuchan, or even more inland if you are ready to climb to the famous ruins of the cathare castles like Peyrepertuse or Quéribus) - but this last suggestion is only one of my dreams, never done it, alas...
    From Narbonne to Béziers, there is no road along the coast, and the only direct road is N9 which is really dangerous and no fun, so what you have to do is take the minor roads in the backcountry, which will be nice and double your mileage. Beyond Béziers I can't comment except to warn (again) against N9 and recommend a beautiful road along the Gorges de l'Hérault, from St-Guilhem-le-Désert to St-Bauzille-de-Putois - but this is not directly heading towards Provence.
     
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