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If you ever feel like embarking on an enormous, country-to-country cycle, Europe is well-equipped for that thanks to its 14 EuroVelo routes. Encompassing almost the entire continent, there are no other cycling trails quite like them.
But just what is EuroVelo, where can you go and how long do their routes generally last? All of this and more will be answered below…
What is EuroVelo?
EuroVelo is – at the time of writing – a network of 14 long-distance European cycle routes, as part of a project by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF).
These EuroVelo routes are comprised of both existing national bike routes, like the Dutch LF-Routes, the German D-Routes, and the British National Cycle Network, and existing roads for pedestrians, connected by new cycle paths.
The idea initially came about in 1995 when the ECF, De Frie Fugle (Denmark) and Sustrans (UK) original planned to make 12 long-distance cycling routes, though the project has been under the total control of the ECF since August 2007.
Changes to the network in recent years include the addition of two new routes; EuroVelo 13 (Iron Curtain Trail) and EuroVelo 15 (Rhine Cycle Route) in September 2011, which are the longest and shortest EuroVelo trails respectively.
How Long is EuroVelo?
As of May 2013, the EuroVelo routes covered more than 45,000 km. The network is scheduled for completion in 2020 and, when finished, its total length will be greater than a staggering 70,000 km.
As mentioned in the previous section, the longest EuroVelo route is the EV13; the Iron Curtail Trail, which covers a huge 10,400km. By contrast, EV15, the Rhine Cycle Route, is a mere 1,320km long and is the shortest of the 14 routes.
- EV1 (Atlantic Coast Route) – covers Norway, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal (8,186 km)
- EV2 (Capitals Route) – covers Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia (5,500 km)
- EV3 (Pilgrims Route) – covers Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway (5,122 km)
- EV4 (Central Europe Route) – covers France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine (4,000 km)
- EV5 (Via Romea Francigena) – covers United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy (3,900 km)
- EV6 (Rivers Route (Atlantic – Black Sea) – covers France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Romania (3,653 km)
- EV7 (Sun Route) – covers Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Malta (6,000 km)
- EV8 (Mediterranean Route) – covers Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Greece (5,388 km)
- EV9 (Baltic – Adriatic) – covers Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia (1,930 km)
- EV10 (Baltic Sea Cycle Route (Hansa Circuit) – covers Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (7,930 km)
- EV11 (East Europe Route) – covers Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, North Macedonia and Greece (5,964 km)
- EV12 (North Sea Cycle Route) – covers Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom (5,932 km)
- EV13 (Iron Curtain Trail) – covers Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bulgaria (10,400 km)
- EV15 (Rhine Cycle Route) – covers Switzerland, France, Germany and Netherlands (1,152 km)
Where to Buy EuroVelo Maps
You can buy maps of most routes, some visible online and some downloaded straight to your Apple or Android device, from the EuroVelo website by clicking here. Just click on the route you want, then click ‘Maps & Guides’ and take your pick.
Elsewhere, a number of books consisting of EuroVelo maps are also available for you to buy over at Amazon.