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Best camino for family to cycle.

1684riley

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning portugal
Hi folks, a little introduction as this is my first post.

I am not religious but I am attracted to the spirit of the camino, the routes perplex me and I struggle to keep up with the many new ones I find when researching and the different names for them.

I am looking to find a good family friendly route for the wife and I with our 8 and 4 yr old in August. We depart the ferry in Santander with a car loaded with bikes.

The 8 yr old races circuit and cyclocross and unweighted will probably out perform us parents to the tune of 25-35k maybe more and the little one is on a single wheel weehoo Igo trailer. The three of us riders will be on cyclocross bikes. We plan to camp but eat local.

I have been looking at the Norte and Portuguese routes due to them being coastal, and also a section of the west coast of france. We have to do a circular as I'm sure we will encounter issues taking 2 trailers and 3 bikes on public transport and we need to get back to the car, although I could complete a day solo to retrieve it.

The eldest is safe on a road but I would like a safe route that is predominantly off road to relieve the worry over 2 weeks.

So my request is for information and suggestions for suitable sections of around 200km (or the minimum pilgrimage distance)which would fit the bill, and please don't be offended if I seem to have have no ultimate desire to complete the pilgrimage as believe me I do, and if a route prevails as the most suitable then it would be fantastic to do so however the intention is to get the kids into it for further trips in the future.
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
The best for a family on cyclocross bikes would be the Donauradweg -- the Danube cycle path in Germany, perhaps from Rebensburg. It is indeed part of the Pilgerweg, complete with the blue and yellow muschelkalk shell markings.

We rode it on our Prague to LePuy route. and it is a great bike path, one of the most popular in the world, with wonderful facilities...right down to ....vending machines selling innertubes! The route is a mix of canal paths, some gravel, some paved, lots of historic towns etc.
 

stratophile

Active Member
The best for a family on cyclocross bikes would be the Donauradweg -- the Danube cycle path in Germany, perhaps from Rebensburg.

This is a great suggestion! The route is very flat (if I recall correctly there is never more than a five degree grade - ideal for kids). Beautiful chateaus, churches, etc., to stop and explore along the way. Excellent infrastructure. The path is part of the 4,400 km EuroVelo 6 route that runs from Nantes, France to Constanta, Romania following rivers and canals the entire way (except for one very small stretch). Definitely worth considering.
 

1684riley

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning portugal
Thanks for the suggestion, I have thought about one of the central waterway paths but I still feel pulled toward the coast, seems the place to go for a summer holiday and when the kids are bored the sands are never too far away. What's it like for bathing in the river, is it a murky polluted cocktail ?
 

1684riley

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning portugal
I have just looked at the Danube, its a little too central Europe, A lot of driving and couped up kids. Im sure someone will recommend a means of public transport and if it was a case of bikes and panniers then i would consider but its the 2 trailers in tow also. We need to do a shakedown and indeed buy some gear for the trip yet so the cargo trailer may be surplus to requirement but I'm almost certain that we will need it for the camping gear at least.

We are not hill averse but I am getting risk averse in my old age(34, i used to be a real hair-raiser, no handers and all sorts :) so i would take a reasonably hilly track than a flat road. The 8 year old knows the benefit of a hill to his training and the 4 year old just puts his feet up. As long as its not repeatedly undulating we should be fine.

Has anyone don't the stretch of EV1 from from Hendaye northwards, I know its not camino but we are among well travelled people.
 
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nic.anywhere

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Cycled Nov 2011 plan to walk Sept 2015
I have just looked at the Danube, its a little too central Europe, A lot of driving and couped up kids. Im sure someone will recommend a means of public transport and if it was a case of bikes and panniers then i would consider but its the 2 trailers in tow also. We need to do a shakedown and indeed buy some gear for the trip yet so the cargo trailer may be surplus to requirement but I'm almost certain that we will need it for the camping gear at least.

We are not hill averse but I am getting risk averse in my old age(34, i used to be a real hair-raiser, no handers and all sorts :) so i would take a reasonably hilly track than a flat road. The 8 year old knows the benefit of a hill to his training and the 4 year old just puts his feet up. As long as its not repeatedly undulating we should be fine.

Has anyone don't the stretch of EV1 from from Hendaye northwards, I know its not camino but we are among well travelled people.
To be honest I think you would struggle in Spain and Portugal have cycled these myself. This part of Europe has many hills/mountains, the EV1 route which runs along the coast north of Hendaye would be a good option it is very flat for much of it and has many cycle paths, you do not see that much of the sea if that is what you are thinking. You do see miles and miles of trees along very straight flat roads which can be boring. Have you considered the Loire valley cycle path this is very beautiful with much of it right along the river and it is flat and easy. We saw many family's while cycling this route. If you are camping then the campsites are good and much cheaper than the Spanish ones.
But what ever you do have a wonderful time.
Buen Camino
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
And what about the path alongside the Canal du Midi? Historical landscape (Carcassone!) but albeight a bit flat also. SY
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
And what about the path alongside the Canal du Midi? Historical landscape (Carcassone!) but albeight a bit flat also. SY

That is a nice path. When we hit the canal on the route from Arles we took it into Toulouse. I couldn't believe the medieval pilgrims would have gone running all over the place like the trail did when such a practical way existed.

canal.JPG
 

nic.anywhere

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Cycled Nov 2011 plan to walk Sept 2015
That is a nice path. When we hit the canal on the route from Arles we took it into Toulouse. I couldn't believe the medieval pilgrims would have gone running all over the place like the trail did when such a practical way existed.

View attachment 16102
You are right it is flat and although the path along the Gironde is good from Bordeaux it is not so good after Toulouse. Many tree roots and floods easily making it alot less enjoyable. Have cycled around Europe clocking up over 25,000 miles through 17 countries from Spain to Norway I have cycled most of the long distance paths. The Mosel is also very easy and beautiful there is a lovely canal path that runs from Brest to Nantes which is much better maintained for cycling than the midi. So many beautiful choices which is half the fun.
 

Gerry & Heather O'Neill

Heather & Gerry
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2014
Hi folks, a little introduction as this is my first post.

I am not religious but I am attracted to the spirit of the camino, the routes perplex me and I struggle to keep up with the many new ones I find when researching and the different names for them.

I am looking to find a good family friendly route for the wife and I with our 8 and 4 yr old in August. We depart the ferry in Santander with a car loaded with bikes.

The 8 yr old races circuit and cyclocross and unweighted will probably out perform us parents to the tune of 25-35k maybe more and the little one is on a single wheel weehoo Igo trailer. The three of us riders will be on cyclocross bikes. We plan to camp but eat local.

I have been looking at the Norte and Portuguese routes due to them being coastal, and also a section of the west coast of france. We have to do a circular as I'm sure we will encounter issues taking 2 trailers and 3 bikes on public transport and we need to get back to the car, although I could complete a day solo to retrieve it.

The eldest is safe on a road but I would like a safe route that is predominantly off road to relieve the worry over 2 weeks.

So my request is for information and suggestions for suitable sections of around 200km (or the minimum pilgrimage distance)which would fit the bill, and please don't be offended if I seem to have have no ultimate desire to complete the pilgrimage as believe me I do, and if a route prevails as the most suitable then it would be fantastic to do so however the intention is to get the kids into it for further trips in the future.
Hi,
W did the Portuguese Camino by bike last year, our blog is http://portugalcaminobike.blogspot.com.au/ this may help in your planning.
 
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