Jan 5, 2011 at 8:08 am #1267310
So this year I'm turning 40….ouch. So I want it to feel like an accomplishment instead of a step closer to my grave. I've never been to Europe so I'm going to make that my present to myself.
I'd like to get some Backpacking in while I'm there so I can really feel the natural atmosphere instead of just seeing the popular sites(which I plan to do that too).
I haven't decided if the BP part of the trip will be 2 days or up to a week. Just depends on how promising it is.
I've always wanted to go to Ireland and I'm bias to that, and I've heard great things about the Alps too.
I would love to hear some peoples suggestions from previous experience to help me decided.
Thanks in advance.Jan 5, 2011 at 8:12 am #1680693
@kat_pLocale: Pacific CoastJan 5, 2011 at 8:28 am #1680699
Ireland is a lived in landscape. Most of its upland areas can be walked across inside a day. I see it as a place for bike 'n' hike. Cycle quietish roads to the foot of a shapely mountain, pitch camp and then hike next day. Cycle on next morning. Macgillycuddy's Reeks have a fantastic ridge for anyone who enjoys a bit of a scramble. On the way west, you could take in the Galtees. Then head north for Mweelrea and Ben Bulbin. The roads are much smoother north of the border, where the Mournes offer great hiking. By the time you got back to the plane, at least three weeks would have gone on this itinerary and it omits islands, which would be a crime if making just the one visit to the Emerald Isle.
Consider the Pyrenees. They used to be much less crowded than the Alps (in the time of Franco). That's less true now (that Spaniards have money to spend) but they still have some wild bits. If it must be the Alps, the Vercors, just south of Grenoble would provide lovely backpacking, with bags of WWII history and some decent culture, for somewhere between 2 days and a week. I particularly enjoyed the Ferme de Lente Gite. Very friendly.Jan 20, 2011 at 10:29 am #1686259
John D StevensonMember
The best two-week has got to be Tour de Mont Blanc. Crowded but so beautiful, you'll burst into tears coming over a col.
Pyrenean routes are nice, too. The GR10 goes up and down every day and after a few weeks gets a little monotonous. Haute Route parts are more stunning and there is less ascent/descent.
GR5 from Chamonix to Nice is a little easier and very pretty but you really like cheese and meat as they're served a lot.
Corsica GR20 has fewer refuges and villages so you need to carry a little more, especially going form N-S, but stunning and almost always a day or two fro the beach no matter how mountainous.
Italian Alps — Via Alti — very pretty.
Euro-dollar exchange rate makes it much dearer than it used to be and camping is illegal in much of the mountain regions though usually loosely enforced or ignored.
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