No 414 – Cycling London to Athens

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Megan Cumberlidge has just returned (End October 2016) from this her first long distance 5631km (3519 mile) cycle trip from London to Athens.

Not only was it her first cycle trip of this kind, but it also introduced her to her first wild camp and first experience of using Google Translate as a way of introducing herself to people in the countries she passed through.

mc4The ultimate hangover cure?

Her schedule was flexible and as you’ll hear she was fairly free to accept offers of assistance and social invitations along the way. This in itself was refreshing to find, as so many of us plan trips without any flexibility in them to allow for ‘luck’ or ‘chance’ to be welcome at our table.

Below is her daily log and itinerary. Also you’ll find a few pictures relating to various stages in the trip mentioned in the podcast.

However do click on the below links see more directly on her blog site, Twitter or Instagram account.

Click here for the full Blog
Click here for photos on Instagram
Click here for Twitter
And click here, (you know you want to) for Bristol Ultimate Frisbee
Warm Showers website for cyclists

mc1Day 1 – Balham to Rochester – 99.83km wiggly and slow out of London
Day 2 – Rochester to Stelling Minnis – 85.08km chucked it down
Day 3 – Stelling Minnis to Grand-Fort-Philippe – 54.96km (19km in UK 35.96km in france)
Day 4 – Grand-Fort-Philippe to Nieuwpoort (Belgium not Wales) 85.83km flat as a pancake through the Belgium version of Brean
Day 5 – Nieuwpoort to Brugge 59.41km still no hills!
Day 6 – Rest day in Brugges
Day 7 – Brugges to Ghent 66.67km (17km around ghent) afternoon cycle down the canal. Once again no hills.
Day 8 – Ghent to Brussels 87.11km with two Belgian girls Emma and Yasmine for company.
Day 9 – Brussels to Namur 85.06km. Start of the hills.
Day 10 – Namur to La-Roche-En-Ardennes 110.2km so flipping hilly. Scenery similar to the UK and it rained. Could have been in Wales.
Day 11 – La-Roche-En-Ardennes to Luxembourg city 116.15km. Big day! Hilly to start, stuck to main roads in the morning to do some quick miles. Great afternoon on the luxembourg pistes cyclistes. Luxembourg like a ghost town, apparently everyone is on holiday!
Day 12 – Rest day in Luxembourg city

mc6Day 13 – Luxembourg city to Trier 87.13km. Starting to get warm.
Day 14 – Trier to near saarbrucken 99.01km. Beautiful cycling through the moselle valley.
Day 15 – Near saarbrucken to Langatte 89.18km. Hot but fast down the canal.
Day 16 – Langatte to Strasbourg 90.36km. Tough with a headwind.
Day 17 – Strasbourg to near Frieburg 111.7km. Crossed the border three times (twice unnecessarily). Took so long getting out of strasbourg that I had to get a whizz on down the Rhine. Beautiful cycling in Germany at the end of the day.
Day 18 – Frieburg to Schwaningen 60km. Took a detour through the black forest. Gorgeous route despite the rain.
mc5Day 19 – Schwaningen to Basel 112.45km. Mainly along the Rhine.
Day 20 – Rest day in Basel
Day 21 – Basel to Soluthorn 88.64km. Over the passwang pass 943m.
Day 22 – Soluthorn to Corcelles-sur-Chavornay 108.54km. Next to two lakes, had my first view of the Alps.
Day 23 – Corcelles-sur-Chavornay to  Villars-sur-Ollon 85km. Reached Lake Geneva and pedalled along the northern edge to meet Stu.
Day 24 – Climbing Day. Day 25 – Rest in Villars. Day 26 – Climbing in chamonix. Day 27 – Rest in chamonix.
Day 28 – Villars to Anthy-sur-Leman 61.7km. Legs stiff from climbing so good job it was not uphill.
Days 29 & 30 – Rest days at Lake Geneva
Day 31 – Anthy-sur-Leman to Sierre 128.24km. So flat along the Rhone valley and a strong tailwind in the afternoon. Didn’t start until 11 am and still the longest day yet.
Day 32 – Sierre to Ritzingen 81.79km. Toughest day yet including 12 of the toughest ever km uphill and lots of gravel. Stunning views from the top of the valley.
Day 33- Ritzingen to Andermatt 53.52km. Over the Furka Pass 2436m. Stunning.
Day 34 – Andermatt to Cresciano 79.31km. Over the St Gottard pass, a steep descent to the valley then miles of glorious downhill!
Day 35 – Cresicano to Toricella-Taverne 46.06km. Great chilled day with Americans Robbie and Mackenzie. Explored Bellinzona market before conquering one final alpine pass.
mc3Day 36 – Toricella-Taverne to Brivio 93.81km. Lovely cycling around the Italian lakes then an afternoon on a busy road.
Day 37 – Brivio to Peschiera del Garda 132.41km. More main roads to get to Lake Garda where I can join a cycle path again.
Day 38 – Peschiera to the middle of nowhere  (about 10km from Legnago) 92.43km. Tough day with bad road conditions in the morning and a monster headwind in the afternoon!
Day 39 – Reached Chioggia and the Adriatic Sea 101.28km. More headwinds but glad to reach the sea!
Day 40 – Chioggia to Lido (near to Venice) 27.69km. Island hopping across the venetian lagoon then an evening in Venice.
Day 41 – Lido to Lugugnana 89.21km. Picked up Penny at the airport and after some dual carriageway the scenery improved drastically.
Day 42 – Lugugnana to Trieste 82.79km. Hot hot hot! Jumped in the sea at Trieste to cool off.
Day 43 – Trieste to Ljubljana 103km. Uphill all morning and downhill all afternoon. Scenery much improved now in slovenia.
Day 44 – Ljubljana to near Podkraj 73.41km. Spent the morning in Ljubljana before cycling down the sava valley.
Day 45 – Podkraj to Pudj 100.43km. A savage hilly patch in the middle of the day sandwiched by river valley cruising.
Day 46 – Pudj to Hungarian border 57.8km. Lovely cycling through Slovenian countryside after a morning at the campsite water park!
Day 47 – Hungary border to Heviz 78.10km. Crossed the border to Hungary. Rolling hillsides, forests and farmland. Not much going on!
Day 48 – Heviz to Balatonfured 75.73km. Touristy cycle path along the lake.
Day 49 – Balatonfuhred to Lepseny 65.78km. More easy but slow cycling along the cycle path. Similar to the national cycle network at home.
Day 50 – Lepseny to Budapest 10o.31km. Pleasant but nothing to write home about.
Days 51, 52 & 53 – Rest days in Budapest
Day 54 – Budapest to near Dunavecse 72.61km. Very peaceful cycling along the Danube with lots of fisherman and small houses lining the banks.
Day 55 – Dunavecse to near Osukusd 99.41km. Flat and relatively uninteresting along Eurovelo 6.
Day 56 – Osukusd to Mohacs 56.06km. Afternoon cycling and a ferry across the Danube.
Day 57 – Mohacs to Ernestinovo 89.65km. Crossed the Croatian border early in the morning and had one Hill!
Day 58 – Ernestinovo to Bosnia&Herzegovina somewhere! 98.35km. Zero hills. Dull. Crossed the border late in the day.
Day 59 – Near BiH border to Lukavac 78.71km. On busy main roads.
Day 60 – Lukavac to Solun 87.15km. Amazing cycling on secondary roads up big mountains and along gushing river valleys.
Day 61 – Solun to Sarajevo 82.87km. Tough but rewarding up steep hills with incredible views. Challenging approach to Sarajevo.
Days 62, 63 & 64 – Rest days in Sarajevo
Day 65 – Sarajevo to Umoljani 52.31km. A 20km climb out of Sarajevo into incredible mountains. Best road I have ever cycled.
Day 66 – Umoljani to Jezero 46.56km. Very cold but scenic on the top of the mountains. Some brutal climbs and a long descent.
Day 67 – Jezero to Mostar 58.76km. Long climb on unsurfaced road in the rain and glorious descent on tarmac into Mostar.
Day 68 – Rest day in Mostar
Day 69 – Mostar to Neum 82.94km. Smooth quiet tarmac roads with a couple of ups and downs and a lunch stop at Kravice Falls.
Day 70 – Neum to Mikulici 101km. Glorious views, a few showers and some stiff climbs on the Croatian coastal road.
Day 71 – Rest day at Markos natur park.
Day 72 – Mikulici to Tivat 89.64km. Around the bay of Kotor.
Day 73 – Tivat to Petrovac 48.38km. Nasty busy road most of the way but quietened down towards the end.
Day 74- Petrovac to Shkoder 69.45km. A hilly start then 20km of downhill into Albania. Quiet roads and mountains on one side.
Day 75 – Rest day to ride the Lake Komon ferry.
Day 76 – Shkoder to Tirana 113km. Mostly on quiet interesting roads but a manic last 30km!
Day 77 – Tirana to Librazhd 63.63km. An afternoon of cycling with Alaskan Tom and a very long tunnel!
Day 78 – Librazhd to Pogradec 70.86km. Through thr Albanian mountains and along Lake Ohrid.
Day 79 – Lake Ohrid to Mesopotamia 106.50km. Strong headwind, couldn’t go faster than 10km/hr in the morning downhill! Nice mountain scenery. Threat of bears meant I covered the last 30km pretty sharpish!
Day 80 – Mesopotamia to Grevena 74.06km. Unexpectedly cold to start and some pretty hilly terrain. Enjoyed riding on the old national road. Still scared of bears.
Day 81 – Grevena to Meteora 62.73km. Sweet riding over foggy hills on quiet roads and a long descent into the valley.
Day 82 – Rest day at Meteora
Day 83 – Meteora to Palamas 62.22km. Easy flat day
Day 84 – Palamas to  Paralia 88.68km. Fast day, averaged 20.85km/h!
Day 85 – Paralia to Edipsou 59.10km. A rainy morning in the clouds, a brief ferry journey and a short ride on Evia island.
Day 86 – Edipsou to near Chalcis 90.21km. Excellent riding along the coast and over mountains.
Day 87 – Chalcis to Eretria 66.81km. Wasn’t quite ready for the trip to be over so took a ride along the stunning coastline!
Day 88 – Eretria to Athens 53.74km. Busy roads but a very enjoyable final ride








  1. Jonothan Hitchen

    Really enjoyed listening to this


  2. alexander begg

    planning a similar trip this summer – and this was so helpful & interesting, thank you!


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