Joe Durnall has emailed;
I hope you don’t mind me emailing. I intend to ride the Eurovelo 5 to Rome this coming summer, and wondered if you could give me any indication of the costs of such a venture? I have all the kit (Bike, tent, etc..) and will be doing a mixture of self catering, and eating at cafe’s.
Apologies for the delay in replying to your email… No excuses!
It sounds to me as if you already have most of the things that will in any way be expensive like the bike & tent. Over the course of the five weeks that it took me to cycle from the UK (Reading) to Brindisi, I spent about half of the nights in my tent, about a quarter of the time with people who I knew or who had contacted me via the website and offered accommodation and the remaining quarter in hotels. Obviously staying with people is the cheapest option (although I was most likely to go out for a proper meal on those nights and would offer to pay for the person or people I was staying with so you could argue that it actually wasn’t that cheap), then comes the campsites and then hotels. Campsites were pretty good value all the way. The minimum I paid for a night was at the municipal campsite in Metz where I only had to pay about 6 euros. Switzerland was a little more expensive – perhaps 15-20 euros (no point changing any money btw to Swiss francs as everywhere accepts the euro) – and the prices stayed in that price range down through Italy. The campsites near the coast in Italy can (so I’ve heard) be very expensive but the route I took was mainly inland apart from the bit just north of Pisa. I could have done the whole thing under canvas if I’d planned a bit better in advance and found out where the campsites were. I stayed in (cheapish) hotels when I was in a bit town / city – Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Como & Matera – and wanted to be central. So, missing out the hotels, I reckon you should budget on average for about 15-20 euros per night for a campsites (a few will be cheaper, a few more expensive). Food can be as cheap or as expensive as you decide I suppose. Buying bread, cheese etc.. from a supermarket won’t set you back too much; perhaps another 10 euros per day for food. Other costs were having the bike repaired – I had problems with my spokes – and I paid probably about 150 euros in total for repairs. And another cost was Wi-Fi access. I wanted to update the blog on a daily basis and Wi-Fi via my iPhone was the best and cheapest way of doing it. Most campsites and hotels had Wi-Fi but most charged; budget around 3-5 euros for that if you plan on doing something similar. So adding all that up, I reckon if you budget on 40 euros per day you would be able to make the journey easily. Others will have done it on a shoestring (wild camping etc…), others in luxury (staying in good quality hotels etc…). My journey was a half-way house I suppose but with a bit of better planning regarding the campsites I think I would be able to do it more cheaply if I were to do it again.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!
Eating in Switzerland is cheaper if you look for a Migros or a Co-op. There are different levels of these supermarkets the larger they are the more likely that they will contain an eatery. You can sit in and get a decent priced meal or you can take away to your campsite. I found they did nice take away salads (with chicken), with salad dressing, bread roll and juice for a few swiss francs. When in the supermarket I would buy a yoghurt, milk chocolate drink and croissants for my breakfast the following day and a few bits of fruit so I could head off without too much delay orneed to go to the shop again in the morning. I think the larger Migros shops have three large M’s (the smaller have two or one) and there is a similar indicator on the co-op shops. Outside the supermarkets there are loads of bike locking up stands as loads of people cycle! I found they don’t take Visa (not even my HSBC Switch/Visa current account card) in these supermarkets but will take switch/maestro – kind of like Aldi shops in the UK because of the bank charges on the Visa transactions.
I think your estimates are spot on. I camped most of the time (only 3 nights in hostels?) and your campsite prices were the same experience as me- about 5E in France and up to 20E from Switz down!
There was a discount available from the campsite in Sienna for a campsite in Rome if you cycled.
I didn’t ditch my stove and, especially in expensive Switzerland, I cooked for myself most nights which was nice and cheap (although basic). 10E a day on food.
I needed fewer repairs (how did that happen?)
Pretty cheap holiday over all I reckon! 5 weeks for about 1000E!!