For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
Anyone done Scandinavia or the Baltic? I really want to do a loop, starting from Germany.
Thought about doing it next year, but I need more training, time and money before doing it.
Thought about flying there, buying a bike and gear and doing the ride in a relaxed manner over a few weeks camping/couchsurfing each night.
Scandinavia should be OK, not sure how the roads/drivers will be in the Baltic/Poland will be though, probably not the best from Estonia onwards.
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Morocco. Beautiful scenery, friendly people and cheap hotels, what more can you want?
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Some of places I've toured:
Japan - My most recent tour, it has everything the OP is looking for. The drivers (and the people generally) are the most friendly I've experienced anywhere. The distance between towns is not huge (even on Hokkaido), the temples around Nikko will take your breath away, and there are plenty of riding options.
Scotland - Spectacular scenery, drivers quite good for the most part, some great riding around the North West coast and the islands, also some nice riding around Inverness in the Grampian Mountains. It rained just about everyday when I was there, but it didnt' get as cold as I'd been expecting either.
New Zealand - You really need to do both islands here, just to get a taste of how different they are. If you're looking for hotels every night, you might be disappointed in some areas of the South Island. Weather is extremely variable, so prepare for everything, then expect something you weren't prepared for. I didn't find New Zealand drivers as bad as others, but that's probably only because I live on the Gold Coast and have dealt with just about everything - I dont' find drivers in other parts of Australia to be as bad as other people do either.
At the risk of thread necromancy, I just thought this article might stoke a few people's interests .. although I imagine the bicycle tourer might serve as a slightly different model for discerning a tourists needs, interest and concerns ....
A new report, put out earlier this month by the World Economic Forum, has ranked which countries roll out the welcome mat to travelers and which give the cold shoulder.
The "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013" ranked 140 countries according to attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industries.
1. Iceland 6.8
2. New Zealand 6.8
3. Morocco 6.7
4. Macedonia, FYR 6.7
5. Austria 6.7
6. Senegal 6.7
7. Portugal 6.6
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.6
9. Ireland 6.6
10. Burkina Faso 6.6
1. Bolivia 4.1
2. Venezuela 4.5
3. Russian Federation 5.0
4. Kuwait 5.2
5. Latvia 5.2
6. Iran 5.2
7. Pakistan 5.3
8. Slovak Republic 5.5
9. Bulgaria 5.5
10. Mongolia 5.5
I think there is a distinction there between "attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry" and the actual welcome of the people. The first is heavily influenced by official policies, facilities and the environment; the latter is something ingrained in a culture. Two countries stand out as ranked very lowly, however travelogues that I have read of many people touring through these countries were that the welcome from ordinary people was outstanding. These are Iran and Mongolia.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."
Last year I drove through the South Island of New Zealand I have never seen a prettier place, has all the scenery of Europe without the traffic I will be back their on my hike ASAP
And the natives are friendly. I've done two tours there, and will be going back.
can't go past France for food and wine, excellent off-road paths, courteous drivers and great scenery
I wrote a book about my cross-country cycle in 2012.
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I'd also recommend Thailand for food and the Southern beaches. Also quite cheap.
Enjoy the trip!
My favourite countries to ride in are Iran (number one) followed closely by Turkey. India is also a great country but unfortunately being female I attract too much unwanted attention and I don't do crowds well. I've cycled in Turkey five times and three times in Iran.
Iran is the friendliest country and they have THE best roads I have ever ridden on. It has a great variety of landscape from rice paddies, to green mountains, fertile farm land and desert. It is rare not to be invited into someone's house to stay or at least to have chai. Don't believe what you see on CNN about Iran. It's an incredibly safe country especially for women.
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