In the August/September issue of Adventure Cyclist, we ran a short introduction to the EuroVelo route network as the first in a series of articles about our European counterparts’ bicycle travel infrastructure.
This list of frequently asked questions and answers is a great starting point for learning about the EuroVelo network.
EuroVelo offers a wide variety of routes for all types of cyclists. Whether you’re planning a day out or a three-month expedition, routes can be found at eurovelo.com/en/eurovelos.
The most complete route to date, with full signposting between France and Serbia and with detailed mapping available throughout, EuroVelo 6 – from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, is the perfect choice for a first long-distance tour. Passing through 10 countries over its 2,764-mile length, the route follows three of Europe’s major rivers — the Loire, the Rhine, and the Danube. Its naturally flat topography, combined with the highest-quality cycling infrastructure, ensures a safe and pleasant ride.
Many EuroVelo routes incorporate a historical theme — EuroVelo routes 3 and 5 follow ancient pilgrims’ trails, and EuroVelo 2 links some of Europe’s great capital cities. For the most poignant reminder of Europe’s recent history, we recommend following a section of EuroVelo 13 — the Iron Curtain Trail, along the border that divided the continent between East and West for half a century. EuroVelo 13 is also the longest trans-Europe route at 6,462 miles.
If you’re traveling with young kids, then look no further than EuroVelo 15 — the Rhine Route. At 820 miles, the entire route is very manageable in a month-long summer holiday. In this time, you’ll follow the Rhine through four countries from source to sea, taking in some magnificent scenery on the way. The route is the first to be awarded the European Route Certification Standard, ensuring an exemplary level of infrastructure throughout.
Then put on your reading helmet.
In many cases, substantial sections of EuroVelo routes are already complete and signposted, but gaps still exist. The Eurovelo website provides a color-coded overview of each route itinerary. Green sections are cycle routes with signposting in both directions. Yellow sections are undergoing work to meet EuroVelo standards but follow existing cycle infrastructure. Red sections are still in the route planning phase.
There are endless blogs available online by cyclists who have taken on the EuroVelo routes. A good idea is to check out #EuroVelo on Twitter and Facebook to hear what bloggers are saying about their rides.
For the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF): ecf.com
For more information about cycling the EuroVelo: eurovelo.com
For more information on the development of the EuroVelo network: eurovelo.org
Hi Jdri, I'm thinking of doing some of the Eurovelo 4 or 6 but after trawling most of the websites, the infuriating thing is that I can't get a sense of whether these 'paths' actually exist. I had the impression that Eurovelo is a network of mostly dedicated cycle paths that keep off busy roads, but someone posted in one forum that the network 'doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense'. Does that mean it's just a network of roadsigns with icons of bicycles on them? Or is it network of cycle paths? Any idea what proportion is main road / cycle paths on the stretches you cycled? Thanks.
Thank you for this information. The Eurovelo site makes it seems it's a well marked path but I wonder now if that's really the case.
Search for "Bikeline" maps. They are outstanding. Some are in English, but most are in German. The maps are turn by turn and you will easily be able to understand them all. They are very well done.
I would like the long version of the route testing manual.
I would like to know how often there have to bee a Eurovelo sign when I am signposting, is it every 5 km?
Hi there...we are planning our first cycle tour over in Europe next summer. It will be a bit over a month long and we used the basic Eurovelo routes to map out the route. The problem is that as far as we can find, there are no definitive maps for these routes and have learned that many areas are planned, but perhaps not completed. We also learned that different countries are better at marking the routes than others. Any advice to us? Do we just plan on attempting to find signage along the way but be ready to hop on a main highway? There must be something that we are missing! Thanks for any help with this!
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I am posting this since this site comes up for Eurovelo searches and this info should be available: I just rode long sections of Eurovelo 3, 5 and 12 in Northern Europe (Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway). The routes are NOT what I envisioned. They are not for thin tired road bikes (there were sections literally on beach/single track hiking trails and went through sand/dirt/streams) or for people who are looking for the most scenic routes (there were sections on big highways with no shoulders) and they are NOT necessarily well marked. They are not the most efficient or most scenic routes either, It really seemed to me that many sections were mapped out over whatever long distance routes already existed, by some well meaning people early on and then left largely untended. They might be good as general guidance but you would be well advised to spend time mapping routes to places you would like to visit on smaller scenic roads taking into account topography traffic and possible bike paths. If you want the quickest bike routes Google routes were much better - but also not necessarily scenic or even accurate. There were more times than not that I abandoned the Eurovelo routes in order to see something scenic nearby, avoid some bad traffic, dirt trails, dense urban settings and just because signage was so bad I got lost (and yes, I had downloaded official KML mappings and used a GPS). You really have to do the work and plot/plan your own best way for your needs.