EDIT: okay, so I'm now due to arrive in Venice on the morning of 20/10, and I have just under three weeks to get to Utrecht so I'm going to cycle all of the way there, if possible.
Could anyone recommend me a route over the Alps? I'm open to anything but I have no idea about difficulty in cycling over them, especially at this time of year.
Is it a stupid idea? Would I be better getting a train over the worst bits?
Thanks in advance!
So I'll be arriving in Athens in a few weeks after 3 months on the road, and looking at returning to NL (specifically Utrecht) in time for a music festival on 8th November.
I'd really like to not fly so I'm exploring other options. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about getting from Greece to Northern Europe by road, rail, or boat? I've found a ferry from Patras to Venice which seems sensible, so really just need information on getting from Venice to NL.
Many thanks in advance!
Look at http://seat61.com. Everything you need to know about train travel the world over. Also info about boats. I used it to travel from Athens to Ireland (via Netherlands!) a few years ago - absolutely outstanding website!
You can travel by road by hitch-hiking, which I did a lot of in the past. My technique was to get on the road and put my thumb out!, but there might be websites around that give tips and info.
Great, thanks for the advice Robert.
It seems sensible for me to get the ferry to Venice which will eat up a big chunk of the distance, as I need to be in Utrecht for 8th November. I guess cycling through the Alps will be a no-go at that time of year.
How did you find hitching with a bicycle?
I rode up into Valle d'Aosta one November on the highway and the gradient was not noticed at all - only the cold. Then I got a lift thru the Mont Blanc tunnel.
Or, going south - My bike was refused the train south from Turin - after I'd bought the ticket with it standing between me and the counter! - so got the boat from Genova down to Sicily:
so if you can get to the southern end and ride across to a suitable port on the west I'd recommend, as then you could reach France by the sea; fro some reason France proved remarkably easy to hitch with a bike. BUt once near the Rhone, it's easy to ride up along it.
If you get across on the eastern side into Germany, yuo can get a cheap day pass fro regional trains and cross the country.
Sorry, Adam, I misunderstood your question. I didn't hitch with a bike, just a bag! I know people in Australia who've done it, but it's a lot slower.
I'd take a train if you have the cash - seat61 has lots of advice about cheap fares, as well as about taking bikes, and some links to people who report on their own experiences.
There is an afternoon train from Venice to Innsbruck (13.50-18.xx) and then in Innsbruck you can take the night train to Dusseldorf (every night, departure about 20.40, arrival around 8 am). From there there is a train to Arnhem every 1 or 2 hours (takes 2 hours), and from there you can take a normal train to Utrecht. All trains take bikes. I travelled this way in July, only had a lot of problems because there were construction works on the railways everywhere, but I think they are over now.
never did it, but heard that people liked it: CICLOVIA ALPE ADRIA from Grado which is near Venice to Salzburg.
There is a train transfer in the Alps.
Michaela and Herbert