Friday, December 5, 2014

[Cycling Route] Euro Velo: Donauradweg from Switzerland to the Danube (Donau)


Estimated cost: Money for food, depending on the time you want to travel. As soon as you have passed Vienna, things will get remarkably cheaper. If you would use € 20 per day for food, add € 10 to be safe and multiply it with the number of days you'll travel. Add the train tickets to the total and perhaps - depending on the way you travel - your accommodation. You need strong willpower to keep a budget though. I will show how you can make a budget on this page.

Means of transportation: Bicycle and perhaps a train ride to the route itself

Min. duration: At least 10 days for a short trip along the Donau route.

In case you want to go along the whole donau per bike, it will take you 55 days, should you ride 80 km on average and it will take 148 days, should you cycle 30km per day.

Sights to see: Depending on where you start. I will start the route from the Atlantic sea and we will reach the black sea. You will pass beautiful cities and amazing landscapes.

Accommodation: Either in a tent, airbnb or by couchsurfing. You can combine many methods.

Season: Spring/Summer

How to prepare for the holiday (requisites): This part can be split in things that you ought to buy and things you ought to plan.

What needs to be purchased:

quechua long distance cycle trip
Large Pop Up Backpacking Camping Hiking Tent Automatic Instant Setup Easy Fold back - Blue

Explorer Giant Tactical Backpack, 24 x 18 x 8-Inch, Olive Green

What needs to be planned (more extensively explained on the bottom of the page):
  • The cycling route (distance, duration, budget, camp sites/hostels/bnb, ...)  

    • Based on your budget, duration, distance, etc., you can make a GPS track of the route and plan it thoroughly

  • The train ride from your home to the city of departure; and from the final destination back home

  • Determining when you will depart is very important. As soon as you know when to do this cycling trip, you have to book a train ticket and some camp sites / hostels on your way

What you can expect: An athletic cycling trip that will push you to your limits and will make you a lot more fit. It will give you time to think while cycling for hours; it will enable you to make friends in some regions that aren't overran by tourists* and to see a very different part of a European country. *Note: in tourist areas, you will - without a doubt - meet interesting people, but these people are much adepted to the tourists. It is very different to meet people that aren't adapted to tourism per se. A direct consequence of visiting more remote areas is the greater language barrier. Most Europeans - even in remote places - speak English or can at least express themselves in a limited manner.

How to plan a low budget long distance cycling trip

Step 1: determining YOUR route to the Danube

Duration I only got time off from 28.02.2015 at 5 PM (17:00) until 11.03.2015 (I have to get back on that day)

Distance I do not want to cycle every day and will travel a maximum of 50km a day. I live in Basel and I want to cycle to the Donau in order to cycle along it for a few days. I cannot determine the exact amount of km, yet I can make an accurate estimate of the distance. I want to cycle 6 out of 12 days, so that will result in 300 km. I will get back on this later in the guide.

Budget I live in Basel and have a max of € 350,- for 10 days available. 
10 x (15+10) = € 250
I have the other € 100 for accommodation and a train ticket back. Let's see what is possible with this strapped budget. I will get back on this along the guide.

Accommodation You cannot plan too far ahead. Just decide what type of accommodation you can afford / - are willing to pay. I will go for camping spots. Let's keep it really low-budget.

Sights   I definitely want to see the "Donaueschingen", "Ulm" and the beautiful nature.

I have already made a first route (28.02.2015): 

Albruck to basil

If you look at the trip here, you'll see the distance. Unfortunately it's a bit more than the maximum distance a day. I've looked for a camping and found one here (near Albbruck).

albruck camp site spot

Step 2: plan per day

Second day (01.03.2015) route is also made on bikemap already:

Cycling map donau route

Third day (02.03.2015):

The fourth day (03.03.2015):

Donau campspot
Fifth day (04.03.2015):

(a small note here: we still have a while to go before reaching Ulm. This means I'd have to adjust something)

Sixth day(05.03.2015):

I've already planned a ticket in advance because you will get it cheaper. Click here to go to the site where can get your bahn tickets cheaper!

I actually have to get back on the 11.03.2015, but the soonest date I could go back would be 05.03, assuming I would cycle every day.

Only € 29,00 back! That means we only have to spend € 30 out of € 100 on transportation. The average price of a camping spot is around € 6 - and I have to say that it is a rather high average. 9 days x € 6 = € 54,- for accommodation. € 84,- is being spend on transport and accommodation. Add up the € 250 you were to spend on food and you've got yourself a really low-budget holiday!

Step 3: evaluate the cycling trip as a whole and fine-tune where it is needed

What we basically have now is a strucure where we can built our trip upon. We can not just cycle some time and sit on a bench staring the rest of the time. You start fine-tuning by deciding a few things. Where do I want to stay for what time and what do I do there?

After the third consequetive day peddling, I will reach Donaueschingen. Googling that place and after opening the wiki entry in German, I have actually found a manion / castle there: "Schloss Donaueschingen" and rather interesting sights to see ("Donauquellen"). The date is 02.03.2015. I want to stay here on the day of arrival of course and want to depart on the fourth of March in the morning. That means that I will stay in Donaueschingen for one entire day and depart on 04.03.2015. I want to keep cycling until Ulm for the next days. I will now reach Ulm at 06.03.2015 in stead of 05.03.2015.

I can stay in Ulm for 6 days before departing back to Basel or I can plan another few "days off". Maybe I want to visit Riedlingen as well for a day. Anyway, that is how you plan a low-budget-cycling-vacation!
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