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Velodyssée to Camino Frances

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I'm in the planning stages of a charity cycle to Santiago from Kildare (Ireland) in 2022.
I'm faced with a bit of a dilemma as to where to join the Camino Frances. The Vélodyssée route leads me to Hendaye.
Would I be better of to go from there to St.-Jean-de-Pied-de-Porc on the French side of the Pyrenees or go straight to Pamplona from Hendaye?
 
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Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I did this route on my bike in 2018, but in reverse, Santiago to Cork via Roscoff. I decided to end the Frances in St Jean, taking the Valcarlos road, and then continued directly to Bayonne.
The coastal route is has a lot to recommend it, mind you. But I just got a kick out of going via St Jean.
The Vélodyssée is a cyclists dream. The Canal Nantes à Brest is just beautiful. I recommend heading for St Nazaire and crossing the Loire by the stupendous bridge. The last section along the beaches of the Landes coast from Royan, (by ferry across the Garonne), is wonderful if you go in the warm months.
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I did this route on my bike in 2018, but in reverse, Santiago to Cork via Roscoff. I decided to end the Frances in St Jean, taking the Valcarlos road, and then continued directly to Bayonne.
The coastal route is has a lot to recommend it, mind you. But I just got a kick out of going via St Jean.
The Vélodyssée is a cyclists dream. The Canal Nantes à Brest is just beautiful. I recommend heading for St Nazaire and crossing the Loire by the stupendous bridge. The last section along the beaches of the Landes coast from Royan, (by ferry across the Garonne), is wonderful if you go in the warm months.

Thank you!!
Current plan is to leave mid August, reach the Pyrennees early September and take it from there.
Where did you overnight when in France if I may ask? My current plan is to tent it using camping grounds. Would Gites/guesthouses be a better Idea?
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
First let me say that if this is your first camino, you are in for the experience of a lifetime. Getting to Santiago from your own front door in Ireland - I presume - under your own steam will be extraordinary.
Give me a little time and I will pass on what I can to help you with planning.
Just to orientate me, what is your age and gender, and what type of bike are you intending to use? I am assuming that this will be a solo ride.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Oh. and by the way, as I've pointed out occasionally on this forum, I'm not a cyclist, I'm an old guy on a bike.
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I really appreciate your help.
It's a solo ride, though company is always welcome
I'm male, in my early 50s and will be using a hybrid commuting/touring e-bike (pedelec) with front suspension. It can handle some off-road, grass , dirt tracks and moderately rocky trails just fine. Not great with mud, the tyres being 38mm, possibly 40mm if it'll fit. Because it's an e-bike I'm planning to do a round trip; these things are difficult to ship.

I'm not a cyclist either, just an commuter choosing a 2 hour bike ride over a 90 minute car drive ;-).
I have walked the Primitivo twice and cycled the VdlP once.

The plan is to go to Santiago, head down to Cadiz - or take a shortcut via Cordoba depending on weather and time constraints - onto Narbonne to Bordeaux, and then Roscoff - Home
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
A few issues here. I assume you are contemplating the new ferry route Rosslare- Roscoff.
The fact that you intend using an ebike alleviates the concern I had about the extra weight in carrying camping equipment - I'm thinking mountains in Spain. However I cannot comment on what problems you might have recharging at campsites. Is it worth the hassle?
Since you are contemplating a very ambitious round trip, the cost of accommodation will presumably be a big factor - I, for example, made liberal use of AirBnb in France, which although economical, makes me wonder how practical your budget might be to include accommodation like that other than camping over such a long journey.
If you have the time and resources, the route you propose is exceptional.
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Ferry is to be to Roscoff, either from Cork or Rosslare, depending on what the sailings are next year
The e-bike is what I have at the moment. Worth the hassle? Maybe...
The option to camp is more for enjoyment than anything else (driving the cost down is an ancillary benefit). I need access to an electrical outlet to power my CPAP machine, so I need official campsites that facilitates that. What I've seen so far price-wise per night at the sites in France along the coast is not encouraging though and I may abandon that idea. Hadn't thought of AirBnB! thank you!
Time wise, I expect this to take around 10 to 11 weeks. I'm lucky my employer allows for this. Resources: am working on it, it's a bit of a pinch atm
 

Lovebubble

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2010, 2012, 2014 Baztana 2018 Portuguese 2019
If you hope to begin your Camino from St. Jean then there are two options. You could take the regular roads from Hendaye; not challenging and not too much traffic. Alternatively you could follow the Voie de Bidasoa which begins in Hendaye and continues on to St. Jean. More challenging as there are steep climbs and tracks as well as roads.
If you plan on starting your Camino in Pamplona then the Voie Verte on the Spanish side of the Bidassoa from Behobia to Pamplona would be a good option. Very safe and very flat until Belate.
I live in Henaye and during Lockdown I walked the Voie de la Bidassoa in both directions, walking in loops, Covid oblige. Whichever route you choose will be memorable for the sheer beauty of the Pays Basque.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
...What I've seen so far price-wise per night at the sites in France along the coast is not encouraging though and I may abandon that idea. Hadn't thought of AirBnB! thank you!
Time wise, I expect this to take around 10 to 11 weeks. I'm lucky my employer allows for this.
The time you have available looks good. A simple calculation of rough distance divided by time gave me about 60km per day which is obviously very doable, especially with e assistance on the climbs. For comparison with my own experience (on a very good carbon frame mountain bike) my reverse camino Santiago - Roscoff took me 23 days. That's also an average of about 60/day, but I usually did much more than that, as I included, I think, 3 rest days. My first Plata took 21 days, but I have done it in 16 days as a personal challenge, (in my 70's).
Being older, I usually stayed in private accommodation, albergues or hostals, and tried to average my spend to around 40E per night, but that's not always been possible. In the south of France I did use surfer hostels, which were fun. You are obviously familiar with the accommodation set-up in Spain, so I'll confine my remarks to France. It's getting very late this end, so tomorrow I'll detail some of the accommodations I used on the Vélodyssée.
 
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Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
...My 23 day S-R was done largely on the bitumen in Spain, and maybe 50% on the Vél.
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Planning is coming along.
three routes depending how it progresses.
the full one via Cadiz - Via de la Plata: +/- 6800km
"Medium" via Cordoba - Camino Mozarabe: +/- 6400km
"Short" via Valencia - Camino del levante: +/- 5700km
The common stretches are the Velodyssee/EV1 from Roscoff, Camino Frances and on the way back the stretch from Valencia the Canal des 2 Mers , velodyssee (from Royan to Domfront) , the Veloscenie to Cherbourg.
I'm currently allowing for 1.5 rest days a week, roughly making it match with places of cultural interest, covering 100km/day. I'll be relying on the tourist office websites to locate cyclist friendly campsites in France, while relying on the albergue network is Spain
I'm training by cycling with the ebike with the motor switched off on flats and mild inclined. It's comparable to chugging along on a 25kg bicycle with the drag good old cheap bottle dynamo being used, at least it doesn't stop you on the downhill bits. I'm considering a getting gravel/touring hybrid bike for shorter trips in Ireland to build up stamina.
Second battery for added range with the e-bike arrived, should allow for 40km of actual steep climbing before being stuck. (I really hope I'll lose weight in equal measure to the weight of the gear I'll bring along.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Planning is coming along.
The planning is half the fun!
I'm biased, and a bit of a VdlP nut because it is a wonderful route for a bike with lots of stretches on well packed dirt tracks, and easy access to the fairly quiet main road when you need it. The albergues are not too busy, and I don't think you would have a problem recharching.
If you did choose the VdlP, what route would you then follow follow to France?
I cycled the Midi and the 2 Mers in 2019, with a bit of a detour to include Carcassonne. A real joy.
I stayed in a few campsites in France, (and liked them) but always rented their smallest cabins. Never saw any other cyclists or true campers, so I can't comment on that aspect.
You should give consideration to avoiding some of the challenging walker's trails on the Frances. With a heavy loaded bike and large numbers of walkers it can be stressful to you and to them.
Whatever decision you make, it sounds like a dream trip. I wish I was coming with you!
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
The planning is half the fun!
I'm biased, and a bit of a VdlP nut because it is a wonderful route for a bike with lots of stretches on well packed dirt tracks, and easy access to the fairly quiet main road when you need it. The albergues are not too busy, and I don't think you would have a problem recharching.
If you did choose the VdlP, what route would you then follow follow to France?
I cycled the Midi and the 2 Mers in 2019, with a bit of a detour to include Carcassonne. A real joy.
I stayed in a few campsites in France, (and liked them) but always rented their smallest cabins. Never saw any other cyclists or true campers, so I can't comment on that aspect.
You should give consideration to avoiding some of the challenging walker's trails on the Frances. With a heavy loaded bike and large numbers of walkers it can be stressful to you and to them.
Whatever decision you make, it sounds like a dream trip. I wish I was coming with you!
The Eurovelo 8 route starts/ends in Cadiz and follows the coast to Narbonne for 2000km thereabouts. It's being developed a bit more every year. All 3 options meet the EV8 at some point.
I'm going through a number of guides re cycling routes on the Frances, which parts are practical for a bike and where to stay on the roads. The last thing I want/need is to be a nuisance to walkers, or cause an accident. Having a good chat on the way is part of the fun!!
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Part of planning process: Question re tyres.
I'm planning on sticking to the camino trail(s) as much as possible and taking the road only when it would be impossible or truly impractical.
Current tyres are a general purpose tires: They hold their own for road, gravel, grass, rocky and dirt. They're atrocious for mud. Is it worth considering actual MTB - All terrain tires?
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Part of planning process: Question re tyres.
I'm planning on sticking to the camino trail(s) as much as possible and taking the road only when it would be impossible or truly impractical.
Current tyres are a general purpose tires: They hold their own for road, gravel, grass, rocky and dirt. They're atrocious for mud. Is it worth considering actual MTB - All terrain tires?
Glad to hear that your trip is still going ahead.
My bikes have always had chunky MTB tyres, but I really can’t comment on the mud problem. I’ve never encountered it. When I had bad weather I stuck to the bitumen. If you’re confident that your tyres will cope with the sometimes very stony sections, you should be OK.
 

davis2001r6

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
This looks like an awesome plan. I rode the Vélodyssée over two weeks in the fall. It was my first bike tour.

One week in September and another in November. My only tricky part was finding open campgrounds. Much was already closed in September. For November I basically stealth camped as nothing was open. I know this doesn’t help you for planning any since you need electric.

I live in Bordeaux so it was fairly easy to do the Vélodyssée using public transport to and from start/end points.
 
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pepi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Last: 2021, next: ???
You could take the N2 route in Portugal asa change to Spain.

🤣 "Saint Jean Pied de Porc" = Saint Jean pig's foot, hahaha. That "C" instead of a "T" in the ending gives the place a whole new meaning.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
The spanner in the works is going to be Brittany Ferries policy of no foot passengers or bikes. It came in with Covid and no sigN yet of it changing. Best laid plans … including mine.
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
The spanner in the works is going to be Brittany Ferries policy of no foot passengers or bikes. It came in with Covid and no sigN yet of it changing. Best laid plans … including mine.
Now that's odd
I booked online with Brittany Ferries, specifying bicycle travel.
I did book a cabin though
1646649083199.png
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Great news. I’m glad I’m wrong.
 
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Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
The spanner in the works is going to be Brittany Ferries policy of no foot passengers or bikes. It came in with Covid and no sigN yet of it changing. Best laid plans … including mine.

correction, depends on the route.
the french routes is possible, the Spanish ones is not

I'm booked UK - Santander for September. Wanted to travel in March but the earliest they allowed cycles on the Spanish routes was April. Did part of the VdlP instead.

You might want to play around with dates and routes or call but their call centre is a bit slow.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I am enjoying this thread. I am not a cyclist, or even a "guy on a bike..." my lovely bike is in the woodshed gathering dust. I just prefer walking.
But I find these routes really breathtaking! How ambitious, how adventurous! I hope you have an unforgettable trip!
I walked my first Camino from SJPDP to Santiago way back in another century. It always nagged at me that I should have started from home in the UK instead.

A few years ago I started from home in west Wales and walked to Portsmouth, took a ferry to St Malo, took river and canal towpaths most of the way through Rennes to St Nazaire, then mostly followed the Vélodyssée route (crossing the Gironde on the Royan-Soulac ferry). A route planned to include a visit to my grandfather's grave in a war cemetery in Pornic near Nantes. So much of my route overlapped with the OP's plans. At Bayonne I headed towards SJPDP along a river towpath and then minor roads. I was on my planned final day when I fell and injured a spinal disc just 20km short of my destination. Not a happy camper. I did return a few months later to walk that short stage and then to complete the journey from home by walking the Frances for the third time. Including a memorable stay in Moratinos :cool:
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
You could take the N2 route in Portugal asa change to Spain.

Thank you,
Having cycled the VdlP It may make for a challenging change. I hope my (very poor) Spanish can help me in Portugal
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I am enjoying this thread. I am not a cyclist, or even a "guy on a bike..." my lovely bike is in the woodshed gathering dust. I just prefer walking.
But I find these routes really breathtaking! How ambitious, how adventurous! I hope you have an unforgettable trip!
Thank you
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I walked my first Camino from SJPDP to Santiago way back in another century. It always nagged at me that I should have started from home in the UK instead.

A few years ago I started from home in west Wales and walked to Portsmouth, took a ferry to St Malo, took river and canal towpaths most of the way through Rennes to St Nazaire, then mostly followed the Vélodyssée route (crossing the Gironde on the Royan-Soulac ferry). A route planned to include a visit to my grandfather's grave in a war cemetery in Pornic near Nantes. So much of my route overlapped with the OP's plans. At Bayonne I headed towards SJPDP along a river towpath and then minor roads. I was on my planned final day when I fell and injured a spinal disc just 20km short of my destination. Not a happy camper. I did return a few months later to walk that short stage and then to complete the journey from home by walking the Frances for the third time. Including a memorable stay in Moratinos :cool:
Happy you completed your travels
 

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