A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Italy – The Dolomites vs The Pyrenees

Comparing these two mountainous regions in two of Europe’s biggest and most alluring cycle touring destinations is difficult so we’ve broken it down into several categories and within each picked our personal favourite.

Scenery

This is probably the most difficult category to judge as both regions are stunning as you can see from these pictures:

Brill Climb

Brill Climb

Stunning

Stunning

However, the odd formations and more striking vistas in the Dolomites just win the day for us… just.

Riding

Admittedly we didn’t do as many big climbs in Italy as we did in France, but from what we did, the differences were:

• Gradients – You found more steep sections in France and more gradual climbs in Italy; what you’d go for comes down to personal preference but we found the French climbs more rewarding.

It got Steep

It got Steep

• Road surface – France wins no question; Italian roads are by contrast – shit. This doesn’t make much difference on the climbs but on the descents it really limits your speed.

• Traffic – Again, this one has to go to France. French drivers have, by law, to stay 1.5m away from you and generally do, the climbs are also generally quieter and have less trucks, (probably due to the higher gradients). Italy by contrast has mental truck drivers and a more ‘macho’ driving culture, (read, people acting like twats on the road).

• Tunnels – France, I don’t remember any; Italy, loads, and they are not always well lit or safe.

So, France wins here.

Camping

France wins. Sorry Italy, but the abundance of cheap well situated campsites all along the route beats your hard to find relatively expensive alternatives hands down.

Breaking Camp

Breaking Camp

Food

Another hard one to judge – for self-catering I’d say it was a tie as both countries have an abundance of really good fresh produce to cook with. France has much better bakeries whereas Italy wins the coffee game and its restaurants are, on balance, cheaper and better than France, (I’m not knocking French restaurants, but we did find the Italian ones better value). Hard call, but I’m giving this one to Italy

Trento Local Pasta

Trento Local Pasta

La Fromage

La Fromage

Conclusion

Honestly, they are both fantastic destination with great riding and stunning views; so in summary – do both ;)

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>