Europe Bicycle Touring
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This page last updated on: January 18, 2012
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By David May

When to Bicycle in Europe

When not to go:

Most cyclists will want to avoid European winters and the abutting weeks of fall and spring, which are cold and windy (in the north); and cool and rainy and windy (in the south). Late fall and early spring can be cool and rainy everywhere. Most bikers will avoid planning long bike trips for these seasons. They will also want to avoid southern European summers, which can be very hot. Of course, heat waves can occur in northern Europe during the summer, and warm spells can occur in the early spring and late fall, but one cannot plan a bicycle trip based on unusual weather.

When to go:

When you should go depends upon the region of Europe you have in mind. The chart, below, is a rough guide only. Remember that climate is influenced by the sea, by elevation, and by the protection of mountain ranges to the north. For example, the weather of the French, Italian and Spanish Rivieras is suitable for biking for longer periods than nearby regions, such as Provence, which is more exposed to northern cold and the Mistral wind.


Best Season for biking

Southern Portugal, southern Spain, southern Italy
April, October
Northern Portugal, northern Spain, middle Italy, southern France
May, September

Northern Italy, middle and northern France, southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland
June, July August, September
Northern Germany, Ireland, Scotland,England, Netherlands, Scandinavia, alpine regions
July, August

If you have a specific time frame during which you must take your biking vacation, my advice is to choose a trip to a region where the weather is likely to be favorable. And if this is not practical, be prepared to brave the heat, cold or rain.

Researching the Climate of a European Bike Tour Location

Go to the URL In the box, enter a major city and country near where you wish to rise. On the bottom left of the ensuing page, under "History and Almanac", enter the approximate date of your trip.   On the page that comes up click the tabs to see historical data for the day, week or month.. Below the tabular data are charts for the year that include lines for the normal levels of temperature or rainfall.

Continue to: Which Kind of Bicycle for Touring —It Depends!

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