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Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

South West England...
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Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

I see some motorbike posts and would like some views on our plans to travel from Roscoff to Santander in July. 2 up we have 15 days but would like ideas for trip itinery based on experience. Smaller roads preferred if poss. Happy to mobile home too. Thanks

Essex
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1. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

OK, here are some places I have visited en-your-route on my 2 wheels, hope this helps:

Monts D'Arree in Brittany, there are good 'riding' roads here and Roch Trevizel is an odd 'formation' to have a look at. Although it is a high point, it is near enough to the road to be able to park the steed and walk up in motorbike kit without killing yourselves!!:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monts_d'Arr%C3%A9e

The Parish Closes are unique-to-Brittany church enclaves that are worth a look. I stayed at the Hostellerie Des Enclos, which is right opposite to the Close in Lampaul-Guimilau and has a parking area that is safe enough for bikes (also good food and a very understanding landlord!)

logishotels.com/fr/hotel-Hostellerie-Des-Enc…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_close

Carnac would be my next 'stopover' with the Monoliths in the famous 'alignments'. There are many accommodation options, and it's worth spending a couple of nights here, plenty to see. This is where I stayed, again with a good (and unusual) restaurant, and decent enough parking for the Iron steed:

http://www.auberge-erdeven.fr/en/

Next 'useful' place that I have visited, that could be a good port of call for you is St Nazaire. I wanted to view the famous U-boat docks, which I did get to see, (ugly, but impressive!!) There are lovely beaches here though, and you might find yourself an Hotel on the seafront. I turned up 'late' one evening last September, with no reservation, but eventually found myself a safe haven in the chain hotel, I actually had a reasonably decent meal in their restaurant. These Hotels/Motels have tea & coffee making facilities in the rooms, which was most welcome, and plenty of safe parking, although it is a bit 'out of town' so not the easiest place for leaving the bike and your heavy 'gear' and going for a walk:

campanile-saint-nazaire-trignac.fr/en/index.…

La Rochelle is lovely to visit of course, although I have not stayed there, I have though, stopped past for lunch overlooking the sea at one of the great restaurants, and able to park the bikes 'right by' the place we chose gave a good sense of security.

Royan I have stayed at, again at aother Logis Hotel. It was a tiny Hotel, which did not have parking, BUT the proprietor helped me get my motorbike around the back and down a small 'jitty' into their back garden for safe overnight parking - how great is that?? Although I ate at this logis, there are some good restaurant options in Royan:

http://www.hotel-les-bleuets.com/

From Royan you can take a ferry across the mouth of the Gironde to Pointe de Grave, I have done this a couple of times with the old M-bike now and it is a nice journey (plus they serve 'killer' coffee on board). Last year I then took the smaller 'coast' and country roads through the Medoc down to Bordeaux. On a Michelin Map of the area you will find these roads highlighted in 'green' as scenic ones, they are!! This gave me a beautiful evening ride through the vineyards with some nice 'swinging' bends to take in and lots of amazing looking chateau and wine houses to ride past. I MUST GO BACK.

Unfortunately, when I got to Bordeaux, there was not a room to be had at the inn, anywhere - SO my last piece of advice is, if you want to stay in this interesting City, make sure that you book well ahead!!

Further south I have ridden through on the coastal road from Biarritz to the ferry at Ponte de Grave, but I did that in one "hit" in one day, so apart from remembering that it made a very nice ride, can't really tell you much more. There are some nice little resorts on that Atlantic coast that you might want to stay at though, and plenty of campsites.

Enjoy your 2 wheeled travels, you will love France, and the French will love you - on a bike!!

Essex
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2. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

PS, I have PM'd EssexGizzy for you, in case she has visited this area and has anything to add. She goes 2-up as well, whilst I am a soloista!

Paris, France
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3. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

EW - I'd like to see some trip reports of your cycle journeys. Got any (with photos, of course)?

Essex
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4. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

Nah, sorry, too busy winding the throttle to stop and take photos!!

The above posts 'encompass' a few different trips though!!

Thanks for the vote of confidence F_M!!

Paris, France
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5. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

Put a video cam on your helmet. ;)

Essex
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6. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

Camera on the skid-lid?? Hmm, would look an even worse 'bod' then methinks!! Might consider one on the front faring though!!

Anyway Ka8, back to the thread, here's some Motorbike websites where you might get a few more ideas - you might kind-of recognise an occasional poster on this one:

www.visordown.com/forum/forumthreads.asp…

http://www.bike-stay.net/

http://www.bikersadvice.com/

http://www.motor-bike-hotels.com/en/

http://www.motobotc.co.uk/

http://www.eurapart.com/

http://www.touringeurope.org/

http://www.uem-moto.eu/

Edited: 5:39 pm, February 22, 2011
South West England...
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7. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

You are a star - its our first trip and this is really helpful. Not sure wether to stay in france or cross from Bidart into Santander for ferry back - if anyone has done that I think it was tunnels and toll roads but cant quite remember as it was way back in a car!

Essex
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8. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

As you have been before by car, I MAYbe teaching you to 'suck egg's, but just be sure that you have all the correct items that you need for travel in France & Spain with you - thus:

1) Bike insurance that covers you in the EU - check with your insurers that you also have a Bail Bond for Spain, and make sure that the insurers know you are going abroad at least a week before you go. (and you MUST carry your original Insurance Docs with you)

2) Personal Travel Insurance that also covers you for riding a BIG bike - I mean over 125cc - it is very important to check on this and not get caught out. I usually use Post Office Insurance, but even though I know they cover this, I always check each time I purchase insurance from them, to be sure. Carole Nash, of course, have travel insurance that should do this. One of my experienced touring colleagues got caught out by not checking this with insurance he bought from M.A.G though, can you believe it!!

3) You MUST carry your original V5 vehicle Logbook/registration Document

4) You MUST carry your original and current MOT Certificate.

5) You MUST carry a First Aid Kit.

6) You MUST carry spare bulbs.

I also carry a hi viz waistcoat (I don't wear it riding) but I don't think you HAVE to have one on the bike.

This website has good advice on all of this, for the various countries in Europe:

http://driving.drive-alive.co.uk/

Click on the Driving Abroad tab for all the relevent info.

Regarding travelling to Santander, well, in fact I have done the 'reverse' way, ferry from UK to Santander/Bilbao, then riding back up through Spain/France and crossing back to the UK from Calais.

There are many good routes across the Pyrenees, and crossing from Biarritz or Bayonne across the mountains you can see many 'scenic' roads marked (by green) on Michelin Maps. Just take any of them. I would 'favour' a route that goes from either 'start' to Cambio-les-Bains, then on to St Jean-Pied-de-Port (I would do an overnight here, if time allowed). Then on to Erratzu, Elizondo, Donezebe & Lietza, but it is a bit 'roundabout'

Near to Santander, Santilina del Mar is a lovely small town to stay at. I have stayed there but can't tell you which Hotel, whichever it was, it was more than OK for an 'overnighter' pre-ferry though!

I have found that 'casual' accommodation is much more difficult to find in Spain, so I definitley would say book ahead, if you want to stay anywhere there.

I hope you enjoy your travels - ambitious for your first time, but my first Motorbike tour was through france to spain, then back again on an unfaired GS500 - not sure now that I have a more comfortable touring 'steed' how I managed that - ahhh memories!!

La Rochelle
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9. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

La Rochelle is a must for bikers (am biased though as I live there) , and Royan (on sunday afternoons as theres usually some kind of unofficial gathering of bikers going on)

essex
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10. Re: Motorbike from Roscoff to Santander

Hi Ka8

EW sent me a message with regard to your ask on the Forum.

We have travelled quite a bit around the route you are thinking to take, we have also done the Santander crossing, supposed 2 x return crossings but in fact turned out to be 1 1/2 return crossings(and that's a story on it's own)

Let me look at my maps so as to jog my memory and then I will get back to you.

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