Amsterdam to Athens: On Touring Bicycles. 52 days, 8 countries, and over 2,000 miles.

“We’re going to ride our bicycles from Amsterdam to Athens.”  I heard Ralph proclaim to my husband Ron.  Ralph quickly followed with “you should ride with us.”

We get to!

We get to ride from Amsterdam to Athens.  We’ve spent the last year and a half gathering our equipment and putting the final touches on the arrangements. 

Plane tickets are bought, equipment is laid out and ready to be packed, utilities are set to autopay.

We leave for Amsterdam on September 1st, and plan to depart Athens November 2nd.  How do we plan to get from Point A to Point B?  One day at a time. 

Several specific logistical events will occur once we arrive in Amsterdam such as reassembling our bikes, organizing our panniers, and purchasing food supplies (COFFEE), and camp stove fuel (for the COFFEE).

The first actual ride or day one will be from the hotel in Amsterdam to a campsite near Gouda, Holland.

That’s all I want to know for now.  I personally need to take this trip one day at a time. Each day is a blessing, and we get to ride our bikes.  Does life get any better?  

We have the entire journey marked on the map in red, but we do not have each day over planned or well defined.  We do however, plan on making stops in the German towns in which the four of us lived during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  The Oktoberfest starts as we pass through Munich – a definite stop.

More specifically, we get to stay in campgrounds as well as the occasional hotel and or guest house.  We also hope to use a free worldwide hospitality exchange for cyclists known as Warmshowers.

Budget

After some serious saving and planning we get to ride!  We have a daily budget in mind, but realistically we know we will have to adjust as we go.  Prices will vary country to country and there will be places and days where we will spend more, and there will be places and days where we will spend less. 

Hopefully it will balance out.  Meanwhile, we’ve been practicing splitting meals and sharing drinks.  

Are you ready?

Seriously are we ever ready?  

I prepped this article the week before we left in anticipation of releasing it when we landed in Amsterdam.  In reality it was several weeks before I was even able to catch my breath.  

I had planned to blog the trip on a weekly basis.  Then we started to pedal and the reality of bicycle touring set in.  

Bicycle touring and experiencing a country behind the postcard deserved and required my full attention.  

Long story short – We Did It!  We rode our fully loaded steel frame bicycles (weighing about 70lbs) from Amsterdam, Holland to Athens, Greece.  

We started at the North Sea, we rode the Rhine and crossed the Alps, we saw the Dolomites, we took a ferry across the Adriatic Sea, we experienced the Balkans, explored the Albanian coastline and the Ionian Sea, we smiled through Greece, and cheered in Athens and the Aegean Sea.  

Every day was just enough, never too much, and oh so much fun! 

I’ll be back over the next few weeks and months to share what I learned, what the trip looked like, and share some takeaways.  

Meanwhile, here’s a few pictures of our group as we left Amsterdam followed by a picture upon our arrival in Athens.  

We started and ended our trip with stays at the coolest hotel – the Moxy.  We were so impressed with this hotel chain and found one in Germany as well.  

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you. I try to stay active. I enjoyed your blog as well. We really feel in love with Albania. It’s beautiful and rugged and the people are so kind. I’ll be following you as you continue to teach in Albania.

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