Introduction page of our cycling trip from the Netherlands to Barcelona. The route we cycled. travelogue + photographs, part 1. travelogue + photographs, part 2. travelogue + photographs, part 3. travelogue + photographs, part 4. What did we think of the trip? Our gear: what kind of bikes etc do we have? The fun and not-so-fun parts of cycling trips. A tour through Belgium, 11 days, 810 km. From the Netherlands to the Italian Riviera (near Nice, France). Animated movies, 3D Studio Max stuff, VRML About me, email address Travel Home, travels sorted by activity Annapurna Base Camp trek, Chitwan, rafting, Kathmandu & around Road trip through Sweden in march Canadian Rockies + Vancouver Island A weekend with friends on the Dutch Wadden Island of Ameland Sydney, Fraser Island, diving Great Barrier Reef, Outback, Kakadu, Litchfield Granada, Barcelona, and Portuguese Algarve Total solar eclipse in Turkey, 2006 Cycling trip around Belgium - in Dutch only Cycling from the Netherlands to Italy - in Dutch only

Trip to Barcelona:


Other cycling trips (in Dutch only):

Cycling route Eindhoven (Netherlands) to Barcelona (Spain)

We cycled from Eindhoven to Barcelona, but we didn't pick most of the route ourselves. There's a Dutchman, Paul Benjaminse, who must have spent an incredible amount of time finding a pleasant cycling route to Barcelona. He tried many different roads, and picked the smallest, or the ones with little traffic. He also planned his route so that it's through beautiful landscapes, wherever possible.

Who are we to think we can do better than that? So we bought the two booklets he wrote, and followed his suggestions. The books are named Amsterdam naar Barcelona, Amsterdam to Barcelona, parts 1 and 2, written by Paul Benjaminse. Unfortunately, they're only available in Dutch (as far as we know). The books are crammed with high-detail maps, and there's also information on the history, sights to see, places to stay, and restaurants. The books were published by Carto Studio. In the map above, the red lines show Benjaminse's proposed routes; the blue line is the one we chose (we didn't start in Amsterdam, but in Eindhoven).
On this page:
  • Our route (and why we chose these options)
  • What we thought of the route, and what parts we liked best
  • An example page (map) from Benjaminse's books
  • For cyclists: our comments on Benjaminse's route
  • For the freaks: daily cycling distances
  • For the stinges: where we spent the nights (including prices)
  • For the nerds: internet locations along the way

    If you have any questions, please send me an email through my home page.
  • Our Route
    We followed Benjaminse's route, except for the first bit; we only joined the route in Suxy, near Bertrix. We started cycling south from Eindhoven, along the Zuid-Willemsvaart canal (towing path), to Maastricht. We continued past Luik/Liege, into the Ardennes, passing Remouchamps, Houffalize, Bastogne, and Neufchateau. The reason we took this route is that we wanted to cut off a bit, and go through Houffalize.
    If you're interested in reading more about our trip, without too many specifics on the cycling route itself, please take a look at our diary.
    On the other hand, if you're interested in specifics on the cycling route, if for example you're thinking about cycling it yourself, and therefore might want to read about our choices or comments, I'm going to assume that you probably understand Dutch. In that case, please refer to my Dutch route description, with lots of detail. If you are interested in the specifics of the route, but don't understand Dutch, please send me an email from my home page.

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    What we Thought of the Route
    Our opinion on Benjaminse's route: excellent! We're very grateful to the author, for having found such a fantastic route. It was picked wisely, using mostly very quiet country roads. The description of the route is clear, the maps are in very high detail, and the height profiles are useful for mental preparation. Plus, there's information on the history of the region. We're convinced that this method works very well, and if we're ever going to do another long-distance cycling trip, it's likely to be to Italy, as the same author also wrote a description for cycling from the Netherlands to Rome.
    If a route description is successful, there's a risk that you're going to be cycling in a procession of other cyclists. This was absolutely not the case for us, although we were a little out of the season. We met only six other "Benjaminse" Barcelona-goers, three of whom were cycling the other way (northward).
    Some of the highlights:
  • To Remouchamps (Belgium)
  • The road through the forest, leading to the Orval Abbey (Belgium)
  • The quiet and the yellow coleseed fields in the Lorraine (France)
  • The bit right after St. Mihiel (France)
  • Along the Marne-Saone canal (France)
  • Villages in the Bourgogne (Burgundy, France)
  • The Loire canyons (France)
  • The plateau just south of Le Puy (France)
  • The 40 km long descent beyond Langogne (France)
  • Cycling along the Herault (France)
  • Cycling along the Canal du Midi (France)
  • The view from the Pyrenees (France)
  • The cliffs between San Feliu and Lloret de Mar (Spain)

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  • Example
    Benjaminse's booklets consist mainly of maps; there are additional text pages, for extra descriptions. An example of one of the map pages is shown below. There are two successive sections of the cycling route, shown in great detail. An altitude profile is given along the bottom of the page, and a rough sketch of the area, showing your whereabouts, is shown on the right. The entire route is described this way, and it worked very well for us. Take a look at the same example page, but in more detail (legible) (97 kb).

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    Comments on Benjaminse's Description
    Hotels go out of business, campgrounds are washed away in flash floods, and new roads are built. Therefore, there are bound to be changes to a route description, over time. We noted a couple of comments, and hope they'll be useful for others. However, if you're going to be using Benjaminse's books, we once again assume that you understand Dutch, so please refer to our Dutch route description for more information, or email me via my home page.

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    More information on long-distance cycling routes, and other travelogues (mostly in Dutch) can be found on this page.
    Daily Distances
    The distances are in kilometers, and speeds in km/hr. The "distance" does not include any additional cycling we did, when we went shopping in the evening, or scouted the region on a resting day. These extra kilomters are included in the "total distance," however, which explains why the "distances" don't add up to the "total distance." We cycled in the Netherlands (NL), Belgium (B), France (F), and Spain (S).
    daydestination disttot dist en routecycling time ave speedmax speed
    1Maastricht (NL) 7878 13:15-18:154:15 18.234.0
    2Remouchamps (B) 78156 10:30-16:304:25 17.744.5
    3Houffalize (B) 65223 9:45-14:454:04 16.046.0
    4(rest) -- -- --
    5Neufchateau (B) 47283 11:15-16:003:07 15.042.5
    6Vilosnes (F) 78363 9:30-16:304:37 17.052.5
    7St Mihiel (F) 71434 10:15-15:454:00 17.343.0
    8Neufchateau (F) 114555 9:45-18:306:16 18.355.0
    9Vittel (F) 46603 10:45-13:452:30 17.750.0
    10Chaudenay (F) 116723 10:15-18:456:30 17.861.0
    11M-M V s V* (F) 48771 10:15-14:302:45 16.337.0
    12Beaune (F) 102873 8:45-17:156:06 16.746.5
    13(rest) -- -- --
    14Cluny (F) 85972 10:00-16:304:35 18.539.5
    15Charlieu (F) 721046 11:00-16:004:14 17.142.0
    16St Germain Laval (F) 731121 11:15-18:004:24 16.657.5
    17Aurec sur Loire (F) 831204 9:15-16:004:30 18.540.5
    18Le Puy en Velay (F) 691278 10:15-16:004:03 16.755.5
    19(rest) -- -- --
    20Langogne (F) 651352 11:00-18:004:50 13.442.5
    21Les Vans (F) 641416 11:00-15:453:31 18.242.0
    22St Hippolyte du Fort (F) 1001519 9:30-18:006:20 15.847.0
    23Pezenas (F) 881607 9:15-16:155:14 16.853.5
    24Colombiers (F) 591672 9:45-15:303:41 16.236.5
    25Tuchan (F) 841760 10:15-17:005:06 16.445.5
    26Maureillas las Illas (F) 671827 10:15-17:004:30 14.846.5
    27Figueres (S) 581885 9:15-14:004:08 14.147.5
    28(rest) -- -- --
    29San Feliu (S) 971982 11:30-19:306:13 15.561.0
    30Mataro (S) 752056 10:45-17:305:02 14.944.0
    31Barcelona (S) 462102 10:00-13:002:51 16.038.5
    32(rest) -- -- --
    33Eindhoven (NL) 262128 -1:49 14.031.0
    * = Montigny-Mornay Villeneuve sur Vingeanne

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    Where We Stayed
    The table below shows the places where we spent the night, with the price (euro; 2 persons, 1 room or 1 tent, per night). "Camp Mun" = Camping Municipal, public campgrounds. These are usually not the most luxurious ones, but they're relatively cheap.
    We tried to camp whenever it didn't rain. In our opinion, the campgrounds were always good enough (but that's rather subjective). We usually stayed at simple campgrounds, without swimming pools etc. Just before we crossed the border into Spain, our second tent pole broke, and we stayed in hotels from then on; the hotels got more and more expensive as we approached Barcelona. It was difficult to find a hotel on short notice in Barcelona, and the one we did find was very expensive (although brand new and very luxurious as well). Therefore, we strongly suggest that you book a hotel in Barcelona way in advance; you can always change or cancel your reservation. And don't forget to ask whether they have room for storing your bike!
    I added a link to hotels and campgrounds if I could find them.
    dagdestination accomprice breakfast?notes
    1Maastricht (NL) Hotel la Colombe75 ycentre
    2Remouchamps (B) Camping Ideal10 nbasic
    3Houffalize (B) Hotel du Commerce 74 ysuper, sauna
    4Houffalize (B) Hotel du Commerce- --
    5Neufchateau (B) Pension la Potiniere 60 ngreat food
    6Vilosnes (F) Camp Mun Vilosnes6.1 nmobile homes
    7St. Mihiel (F) Camping Base de Plein Air6.6 ngood
    8Neufchateau (F) Camp Mun Neufchateau6.8 nin centre
    9Vittel (F) Camp Mun Vittel6.1 nexcellent
    10Chaudenay (F) Hotel No Man's Land30 yfriendly
    11M-M V s V (F) mayor's yard- nhomely!
    12Beaune (F) Camp Mun les Cent Vignes11 nmany Dutch
    13Beaune (F) Camp Mun les Cent Vignes- --
    14Cluny (F) Camp Mun Saint-Vital9.1 ngood
    15Charlieu (F) Hotel le Relais de l'Abbaye53.6 ngood
    16St Germain Laval (F) Auberge des Voyageurs26 ngreat food!
    17Aurec sur Loire (F) Camp Mun Port Buisson6.95 nfine
    18Le Puy en Velay (F) Camp Mun de Bouthezard7.5 ngood, friendly
    19Le Puy en Velay (F) Camp Mun de Bouthezard- --
    20Langogne (F) Grand Hotel de la Poste40 nfine
    21Les Vans (F) Camping les Chateigniers9.87 nvery basic
    22St Hippolyte du Fort (F) Chambres d'Hotes "orange front"40 nfine, antique
    23Pezenas (F) Camp Mun Chatelsec7.95 nfine
    24Colombiers (F) Camping Peupliers10.8 nfine
    25Tuchan (F) Camping Peiriere11.5 npool
    26Maureillas las Illas (F) Camp Mun le Tourou6.35 nfine
    27Figueres (S) Hotel Trave50 ngood
    28Figueres (S) Hotel Trave- --
    29San Feliu (S) Hotel Placa60 ngood
    30Mataro (S) Hotel Colon84 nfine
    31Barcelona (S) Hotel Vincci Maritimoexpensive as @#$% nluxurious
    32Barcelona (S) Hotel Vincci Maritimo150 nvery fancy
    33Eindhoven (NL) Home Sweet Home? y!
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    Internet Cafes
    This list is not exhaustive: it lists only the internet locations that we happened to run into. We weren't looking for them if we'd already found one the day before, so we undoubtedly missed a couple. The best way to find an internet cafe is to approach a youngish person wearing glasses in the centre of a town, and to ask for an internet or cyber cafe. Campgrounds or hotels can also help you out sometimes. By the way, the Belgian and French keyboards are different, Azerty, which can be a serious pain in the behind when you're a fast touch-typist!

    TownName/location remarks
    Luik/LiegeCentre -
    MaastrichtCentre closes at 18:00
    BastogneCyber Cafe -
    Verduncentre, next to river open after 16:30
    Toulcentre -
    VittelMediatheque 14:00 - 18:00
    BeauneCyber cafe, centre -
    Cluny- (temporarily closed)
    Charlieucentre -
    Le Puycentre At least 2
    Les Vansrestaurant La Rose des Vans good food, too
    Pezenascentre -
    Figuerescentre At least 3