Tips for routes in Baltic States, Russia, Belarus

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Baltic States

Estonia - the best cycling routes can be found here http://loodusegakoos.ee/where-to-go/search-options

Itś the safest and most beautiful route (away from big roads). Little hint also - it´s allowed to make fire and camp anywhere on this route (in marked places), but it´s quite popular and a bit crowded in the summer

Friends accounts of travelling by bike in the Baltics:

I took an unconventional route in some places. I discovered Poland's bike routes are all made of sand, so avoid those. Lithuania was tricky--some sand, some deep gravel (just across the border from Poland), some busy highways (I took a horrible route into Klaipeda). It was also tough to get in and out of Vilnius--I recommend doing that early in the morning. In Latvia and Estonia, I was often on Eurovelo 11 & 13, which are well-developed--surprisingly, getting into and out of Riga was really easy! I ran into my usual trouble finding accommodation because the campgrounds were still closed, but I think they all open by June, and there are a lot along the coast (don't recall seeing any inland). The entire Baltic coast (that I saw) is gorgeous, but built-up enough that wild camping as a group will be difficult. I took a national road through the centre of Estonia and ran out of food. The distances were shorter in Latvia and Lithuania, but it could be hard to find supplies if you take a weird route.

I have route maps and more details in my journal: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/nomoretaxis You can also read other people's journals, just search for the country names in the Journals section.

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Lat/Lith/Est were all lovely to ride through though. Definitely no record of where I rode, but it was almost along the coast from Tallin down to Riga. Then I think I just went cross country on relatively major roads to Kaunas, before getting a bus to Warsaw where I was meeting someone. Sorry, not much to report - I mostly wanted to cover the ground rather than go anywhere particularly lovely. At least a bit of the coastal cycle track/road between Parnu and RIga had been washed away (a nightmare: I had to carry bike over a couple of miles of beach/rocks). Otherwise all was happy. I never had any problem finding a lovely wood to camp in, and getting food, etc, was always easy.

Belarus

There is this new site in Russian: http://eurovelo.by which has good information about cycling in Belarus. In a few weeks the English version should be completed. Until then: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Feurovelo.by%2F&edit-text=

Some important points to remember:

  • In cities you may not cycle on roads! Use sidewalks instead, otherwise you might get fined by the police! It is not so strict in small towns.
  • You may not cross the road on bike unless there is a special sign (velopreezd). Most of the cyclists ignore it but watch out for the police.
  • The countryside roads have generally a good quality. It is not recommended to cycle on M class roads (especially M2-M6 and M9) because of the safety. The roads through fields without proper coverage should be avoided.
  • Not all border crossings are available for cyclists. Below is the list of good ones.


List of border crossings for cyclists (data from Jan, 2016):

POLAND: Bruzgi, Berestovitsa, Domachevo break.

LITHUANIA: Kotlovka, Kamenny Log, Benyakoni, Privalka, Losha.

LATVIA: Grigorovshchina, Urbana.

Russia