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winter touring ideas

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winter touring ideas

Hi everyone,
Im lucky enough to get three to four months unpaid leave each winter (the unpaid bit isnt so lucky) and so I want to use this to tour. Having done SE Asia I am now looking for similarly inexpensive places to go. From the UK most non icey places involve a long flight which I would like to avoid. I have thought about riding or training down to southern Portugal/Spain but dont want to spend my time alone in empty tourist towns which are shut. Morroco is a bit scary for me travelling alone (not sure if this is well founded)...anyone got any suggestions. Anyone know what riding in the mediterrean islands is like in winter?

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Have you been to Sri Lanka?

Have you been to Sri Lanka? Yes, it would still be a long flight, but a bit shorter than to SE Asia. I found it to be a wonderful country to visit. The cycling varied greatly. Some parts were wonderful, a few parts had very bad roads. But the people, scenery, sights, and food are all superb. Prices are higher than SE Asia but still quite cheap. Other tourists I met there all said that compared to India, Sri Lanka was cleaner, the people hassle you less than in India, but that Sri Lanka is somewhat more expensive. I haven't been to India yet but hope to cycle in southern India one winter. As India has grown more prosperous, it sounds like traffic levels have gotten high in the south except in the Ghats.

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Funnily enough I have just

Funnily enough I have just started to think about southern India a possibility mainly as it is cheaper for flights and day to day existence than Sri Lanka which has long been on my luxury list (along with Bhutan)...I will look again at both as possibilities. I've also been looking more seriously at Morocco and as long as I pick my route I think it should be OK...
What sort of prices were hitting you in Sri Lanka for guesthouse/food etc?

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I was biking in Sri Lanka

I was biking in Sri Lanka about 6 or 7 years ago. My best recollection is that I was paying about US$10-$20 per night. I was not trying to find the absolute cheapest rooms available, however. There is a useful ancient rail network which I took advantage of a few times. It was fairly easy to take a bike, but there's lots of paperwork that the train employees have to fill out.

For southern India, I would suggest you check out recent trip narratives on The impression I have is that many coastal roads which used to have little traffic 10 or 15 years ago are now quite busy. The Ghats, however, still appear to have low volumes of traffic.

When I was in Sri Lanka, there was no ferry boat transport between India and Sri Lanka. I have no idea whether that has changed since the civil war ended.

I'd love to visit Bhutan, too, if the rules ever change.

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Cycling IN Morocco

I will be cycling from Paris to Morocco by way of Spain this fall/winter. I would like to cycle the Atlantic coast of Morocco but I certainly don't want to do it alone. I don't know if 2 women would be any safer than one but it's something i'd like to do this winter. My riding style is more about ambling than being in a hurry. I cycled parts of England last summer and loved it. My bike is still in London. I'm coming to get it in September and headed to France. Morocco is a far cry I know but I'm sure I do not want to spend this winter in Colorado. Anyway, drop a line.

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Hi Robin
Thanks for your post. Yes I do think two women are safer than one mainly as you can look after stuff for each other while you need to do something :)
My touring has in the past averaged 50 miles/day with rest days as and when interesting places turn up but Im happy to up this if necessary or down it for a while although if it drops much more than this it would be a bit frustrating. Average speed is normally about 12mph fully loaded over those distances [ I hit 40mph down a mountain in northern Laos :) but I dont recommend it]
I checked out your blog and found it interesting. I wonder if the timing and/or pacing is compatible for joining up on the morocco bit?

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hi robin Im finding the

hi robin
Im finding the messaging a bit hard to get used to and so losing track of who i have replied to where...pretty sure i private messaged you? I am off to cuba in january. I hope your trip goes well. I dont think it would be warm enough for me!

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I was also looking for a

I was also looking for a cycling trip in December during the holidays and was thinking of the canary islands where it is nice and warm and not very far. Keep up the posts, I like reading along.

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Hi Heidi
thanks for your post..yes I thought of the Canaries for cheap flights but thought it might be a bit expensive considering its touristy leanings. I dont know though. Have you researched it?

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Canary Islands - December 3rd through December 23rd

Hi Cindy, Heidi,

I've been monitoring your forum post perviously looking for ideas. Now my plans come very close to yours:

Regards, Martin

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