Mediterranean Cycopaths


Why are you doing this?
Many reasons. Take some time out, challenge ourselves, get fit (or maintain fitness in Sean’s case), raise money for Fred Hollows Foundation, spend some quality time together, visit some fascinating countries … the question that really needs to be asked is why aren’t more people doing it?

Is is logistically possible to do the full loop?
Sort of. In theory, the only real barrier is Algeria and the fact that it’s border with Morocco is closed, but we have contingency plans for that. We are also going to island-hop through Greece from southern Turkey rather than via Istanbul. We will avoid Israel (and the associated problems with subsequently entering Arab countries) by going through Jordan and Syria. The first big challenge is Libya. Even the best laid plans (which we don’t have) can be brought undone by a border/checkpoint guard on a power trip, potentially ruining the whole trip in the form we want it to take.

Is six months a realistic time frame?
We hope so. It is difficult to estimate exactly how far the trip is, but we figure that if we average 100 kilometres a day, for 5 days a week, then we’ll cover over 11,000 clicks in 26 weeks. The hot weather could start to slow things down come June/July!

Who’s paying the bills?
We are, unfortunately. We have been saving up for a long time to do the trip and it is an expensive exercise. Thanks to Francis Berriman, Fiona Fryer and David Eynon for their tech support. If you wish to support us, please donate some money to the Fred Hollows Foundation, a very worthy cause (Click to Donate!).

I hear Sean has a number of ridiculous middle names, what is his full moniker?
Sean Eamon Padraic Killybegs Smee.

What equipment are you taking with you?
Our Bicycles are Trek touring road bikes with some modifications made for the journey. We appeciate that they probably aren’t ideal for the job (thanks to all the veterans that have provided us with advice) but we think that they will get us around pretty smartly and we will be carrying the requisite spare parts. We have no doubt things will go wrong along the way, but that’s all part of the challenge.

Aside from the bikes we will be carrying camping equipment, cameras, food, water, guide books, lights and much more.

I don’t think Jon can achieve the distance.
That’s not a question, but don’t underestimate how motivated we both are to complete the trip – suffice to say that ‘Big Greasy’, one of Jon’s many nicknames, may not be so appropriate come July.

Will you be joined by anyone along the way?
Yes. A number of personalities are keen to join us for varying lengths of time. They will be introduced as part of our adventures as and when.

I want to come and join you for a bit, or at least just high five you as you ride by, where will you be when?
Difficult to say. We will have a far better idea of the time frames once we get to Turkey, but a rough estimate is below

January: Tunisia, Libya
February: Libya, Egypt
March: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon
April: Turkey, Greek Islands, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia
May: Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, France
June: France, Spain, Morocco
July: Morocco, Algeria

Has anyone ever done this before?
We’re not too sure. There are many cyclists out there that have been going around the world, tackling far harsher climates and terrains than we will face, for years, so in comparison ours is a pretty minor project. Regardless, to our knowledge, no-one else has taken this exact route around the Mediterranean, so from that point of view we’re aiming for a world first!



  1. Superb effort fellas. Love reading the stories along the way. Feel like I am there myself. Doesn’t look like it though when I look in the mirror.

    Keep up the great work. Great cause too – Well done

    Comment by Darren Mann | March 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. hi guys
    just wanted to say keep up the awesome effort!! I am totally inspired by what your doing…thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    take care, Kristel

    Comment by Kristel | March 26, 2007 | Reply

  3. Jon, my legs are sore just from reading this!

    Give me a shout when you are getting close to Italy and if you are passing near us there will be a place to stay.

    Good luck for the trip


    Comment by Matt C | April 10, 2007 | Reply

  4. Hey guys

    I have avoided catching up too much up to now as I would get very jealous, quit my job and come chasing after – you are now far enogh ahead that I would never catch up so it is safe to read

    I have been on some of the roads you describe in my middle eastern travels – great times!!

    Little circles! Little circles!

    cheers Jos

    Comment by jos | April 20, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hi guys so I’m taking off mid April from Switzerland and Ill be going through france, italy, slovenia, croatia, montenegro, albania, greece, turkey, cyprus, isreal, and egypt. Than I will take flight to Sicily and back up to Switzerland. I’m raising funds for the Leukemia and lymphoma society. I’m still working on a blog. are there any recommendations you can give me about the experiences you had going through some of these countries? I was hoping we could talk via Email.

    Comment by aaronmoser | March 10, 2012 | Reply

  6. this group did a similar ride a decade earlier……not to take anything away from your grand achievements…more as an FYI

    Comment by TiP | May 29, 2012 | Reply

  7. Yep, aware of the bikeabout trip, but they didn’t travel through Libya if I recall correctly?

    Comment by Jon | June 5, 2012 | Reply

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