EuroVelo

You can visit the EuroVelo Planning website at www.eurovelo.org

You can visit the EuroVelo website for tourists at www.eurovelo.com

EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, is a project of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF). 

The aim of the ECF EuroVelo project is to promote and coordinate the creation and operation of a complete European cycle route network, the EuroVelo network, crossing and uniting the whole European continent. This is the truly sustainable Trans-European Transport Network.

If you would like to know more about cycling one of the EuroVelo routes visit: www.eurovelo.com.  For more detailed information about the development of the network itself, make sure you go to the website: www.eurovelo.org

Objectives

The objectives of ECF for the EuroVelo project are:

  • To ensure the implementation of very high quality European-grade cycle routes in all countries of Europe, carrying the best European practice across borders and harmonising standards
  • To communicate the existence of these routes to decision makers and potential users, promote and market their use, and provide an important port of call for information about cycling in Europe
  • In this way, to encourage large numbers of European citizens to give cycling a try, and so to promote a shift to healthy and sustainable travel – for daily trips and as cycling tourism.

Network

EuroVelo is made up of 14 routes, totalling over 70,000 km, of which about 45,000 km is already in place. The EuroVelo routes are made up of existing and planned cycle routes at regional and national level.

The development and operation of the EuroVelo routes are carried out by national, regional and local governments, commercial service providers and NGOs in all the European countries. ECF is ready to be a partner in projects on developing EuroVelo routes and promoting their use. EuroVelo is a registered trade mark of ECF, and only routes approved by the ECF have the right to call themselves EuroVelo; this is an important badge of quality for both the cyclist and the route promoter.

Management

The EuroVelo project is managed by the ECF. The highest decision making body is the board of the ECF, the ECF Board. The ECF EuroVelo Management is based in the ECF Office in Brussels. The ECF Management Committee has created the ECF EuroVelo Council to act as an advisory body for the ECF in implementation and operation of EuroVelo.

ECF published in May 2009 a brochure (16 pages) named EuroVelo The European cycle route network available as a pdf file: EuroVelo-The_European_cycle_route_network-May2009.pdf

Websites

ECF has created 2 websites related to the European cycle route network.  EuroVelo.com is for people wishing to cycle the EuroVelo routes and also provides information about cycling in Europe generally.  It’s sister website, Eurovelo.org, is aimed more at professionals working on the development of the network. 

5 top tips for Planning a EuroVelo trip

You’ve booked your leave, bought your panniers and cancelled the milk delivery but you’re still a little unsure what to do next?  Never fear; the ECF may not be a travel agency but we can give you some ideas for planning your next cycle holiday.  Set out below are our 5 top tips for ensuring that you make the most of your precious time off:

1.       Planning

Make sure that you plan your route in detail in advance.  Whilst it may sound fun to head wherever the wind takes you, such an approach can lead to difficulties – and long diversions – out on the road.  The EuroVelo Map can be a good starting point, as this is based wherever possible on national and regional cycle routes.  The ADFC also provides useful overview information on cycle touring in different countries on their website

Once you have decided on which area you would like to visit, you should then plan your route in more detail.  For this type of information it is worth visiting EuroVelo.com which provides links the network of National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators who often have up-to-date information on their cycle routes and in some cases have developed their own GPS information, which is available for downloading. 

In addition, some cycle routes have their own dedicated websites, including EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic to the Black Sea, EuroVelo 12 – The North Sea Cycle Route and EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Route.

It is also worth booking accommodation in advance wherever possible.  Again, EuroVelo.com should be able to help with this.  Many of our National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators operate bed +bike schemes that recognise service providers that make a special effort to cater for cycle tourists (e.g. Fietsers Welkom in the Netherlands).

2.       Safety

Although a night in a foreign jail might provide some good anecdotes to tell your grandchildren, you ideally don’t want to have brushes with the law on your holidays, so be aware of the national road codes in the countries through which you are travelling.  Unfortunately, there is no one-stop-shop for this at the moment, so you will have to check country by county but the ECF’s Member Organisations [see www.eurovelo.org] should be able to help point you in the right direction. The European Commission also has an interactive map with road regulations in the EU27 that may be of use. 

It is also worth getting in some practice in beforehand, particularly if you do not ride regularly.  Start with some short daily rides and build up to longer weekend trips that will cover the kind of distances that you will cycle on tour.  The average cycle tourist typically covers 50-60km a day, taking into account refreshment breaks, sightseeing stops etc. 

3.       Equipment

Many of our Member Organisations provide advice on purchasing the right equipment (e.g. CTC in the UK).  It is important to do a little research before you buy otherwise you can make an expensive mistake, which could cause you problems (and pains!), invariably when you’re miles from the nearest settlement. 

4.       Combining Bike with Train

One of the many benefits of cycle tourism is that it typically has very little impact on the environment.  What impact it does have is reduced even further if you travel to and from your cycle trip by public transport.

Taking your bike to your destination by train is the ideal combination for environmentally friendly mobility in both short and long distance traffic.  Most locations in Europe are accessible by train and by booking in advance you may be able to find some cheaper fares.  Many trains are now equipped with bicycle areas but not all, so it is best to check with the rail operator before your journey.  See also if you need to make a reservation. 

Some of the best websites for planning a train journey with your bike are Deutsche Bahn, SBB and SNCF.

5.       Visit EuroVelo.com

For more information look know further than EuroVelo.com – the website for people interested in going on a cycling holiday in Europe.  It is jam-packed with ideas and suggestions with heaps of information relating to each of the EuroVelo routes, including route overviews and summaries of the sections through each country.  It also provides practical information for cycling holidays in every country in Europe.  The website is constantly being updated enabling you to access the latest news related to each route.  There are also direct links to the best sources of information at a national level.

Last Updated August 6, 2014