You dream to discover new countries in Gravel? You have an adventurous spirit and are a real bully at heart? Do you want to combine the pleasure of driving with the pleasure of discovering sumptuous landscapes?
Make yourself at home, you’re in the right place! Here is the non-exhaustive list of countries to visit in Gravel to practice bikepacking.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
At a rate of 60km per day with a difference in height up to 600m, you can discover the Isle of Skye in ten days. Between lochs and vertiginous mountains, the environment seems to come straight out of a Gaelic legend. But watch out the weather: the parka and rain pants will be your best friends! Wild camping is allowed almost everywhere in Scotland. Last tip: beware of midges, these small Highlands‘s mosquitoes. Equip yourself accordingly: we recommend you the Smidge (or for the more adventurous a very nice head screen).
☑ When? Between May and June for nice weather or autumn for the beautiful colors
☑ Where? Departure from Mailaig to join Armadale by ferry. Join Glenn Brittle, climb to Portree and its colorful houses, Uig, Dunvegan and Talisker Bay
☑ Unmissable: take a hike to the Old Man of Storr
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the beautiful Mantova will charm you for sure! And for good reason, it’s full of architectural treasures. To regain strength after a good ride exploring the surroundings, what’s better than Italian gastronomy? Dear riders, note that Mantova hosts the now famous BAM!, European Bicycle Adventure Meeting festival from 25 to 27 September 2020. A great opportunity to discover Lombardy and meet bikepacking enthusiasts. You want to know more and parli italiano? Listen to this podcast!
☑ When? At the end of summer, ideally at the end of September to enjoy the BAM!
☑ Where? From Verona, take a detour to the lake or head down south to Mantua, taking the time to explore the Mincio region’s natural park.
☑ Unmissable: enjoy a good beer (or juice!) on the shores of lake top at sunset
Located about a hundred kilometers from the famous Barcelona, the city of Girona seduces cyclists in search of sensations. Johnny Weltz and Lance Amstrong made no mistake: the medieval city is now considered a den of riders. Despite its growing popularity, Girona is still an ideal destination to practice Gravel thanks to a beautiful variety of terrain. The must? Lose yourself and explore the small villages of the surroundings. If you have time, discover the Costa Brava along the coast in 7 days!
☑ When? In the spring or fall to avoid the summer crowd
☑ Where? From Girona, descend to Sant Feliu de Guixols, pass through the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell, and head for the Montgri massif. Go back to Figueres between olive trees and vineyards
☑ Unmissable: taste the wines of the emporda’s many wineries
At the crossroads of great civilizations (Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Byzantine, Illyrian), Albania’s identity is rich in multiple influences. It is only natural that this diversity is reflected in its landscapes. Between the fresh mountain air and the gentle sea breeze, the country will charm you for sure. And the icing on the cake, Albania is still very much preserved from mass tourism!
☑ When? In May or September to enjoy a mild climate
☑ Where? Arriving in Tirana, choose the South towards the coast: Kavajo, Laguna e Karavastas, Proud, Vlor … And why not go down to Greece?
☑ Unmissable: Observing Dalmatian pelicans along Karavasta Lagoon
Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Archipelago, in northern Norway and off the arctic circle, is made up of a set of 7 islands. Kingdom of the Vikings, the Lofoten are considered by many as the jewel of Scandinavia. Before your Gravel ride, you’ll have to brave the sea from the town of Bodo. Arrive safe and sound, all you have to do is admire rocky peaks, fjords, huts on stilts … Head to Svolvaer, Henningsvaer, the beaches of Finnhamnen, and Moskenes: a short week will allow you to discover the must-sees of the archipelago by bike! It should be noted that in Norway, bivouac is allowed if you set up your tent more than 200m from a house.
☑ When? Mid-June to mid-August for its long summer days
☑ Where? Departure from Bodo and then head north (Svolvaer, Henningsvaer, the beaches of Finnhamnen, and Moskenes)
☑ Unmissable: admire the midnight sun at the top of the summit of Munken
Hi there Chauvinistic friend! Whatever we say, France is full of corners to explore on two wheels. You don’t have to go far. With its famous ”douceur angevine”, the territory can be wandered near its rivers. Troglodytes, vineyards, slate mines and islands on the Loire: your adventurer spirit will inevitably find his happiness at the turn of a path.
☑ When? In the spring to enjoy the renewal of nature
☑ Where? From Montsoreau to Varenne: you can follow the Loire to Bike route (or follow your instincts!)
☑ Unmissable: walking the paths in the heart of the vineyards of the Coteaux du Layon