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Eurovelo – Cross the whole Europe on a bike

By Raquel Rezende

Imagine traveling more than 70,000 kilometers, passing through 42 countries and getting to know a whole continent on a bicycle. Do you like the idea? That’s good, because it’s real. At least on paper.

The Eurovelo, a route network that proposes to discover Europe on a bicycle, is getting closer to conclusion. The most interesting is that the routes are thematic – you can travel through the capitals of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Baltic and Adriatic route, for example. It will be completed in 2020. For now, it’s possible to travel some of its sections at least.

Photo: Eurovelo.com

What exactly is Eurovelo

Currently, there are 14 routes divided into eight North-South and six East-West routes (including two circuits). So far, the most completed route is EuroVelo 6 between France and Serbia, going from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. Passing through 10 countries over its 4,448 km length, the route follows three of Europe’s major rivers – the Loire, the Rhine and the Danube.

Eurovelo 15 - Rhine Route, Photo: Eurovelo.com - François Benoy

Tourism or a daily commute, it’s your choice

The routes of Eurovelo were designed both for long-distance cycling tourists and for local people making daily journeys. Families with children who want to travel by network routes can choose the Eurovelo 15 – the Rhine route with 1,320 km (820 miles). This route is the first to be awarded with the European Route Certification Standard, ensuring an exemplary level of infrastructure.

Big ideas come with a prize tag

The European Cyclist’s Federation, which is behind the whole project, estimates that Eurovelo will cost 2.5 billion Euros to be completed by 2020. Certainly, this amount is a lot of money. And still, on the official website you are asked for a donation in return for a cycling jersey or a wall sized map. However, according to a European Parliament study, the Eurovelo can generate 5 billion Euros worth of business every year.

Cyclist on the towpath along the Doubs River - EuroVelo 6 bike route, Photo: Profimedia.cz

Indeed, the project excites any traveler and encourages people to make a habit of discovering the world on a bicycle. And in the meantime, we will keep an eye on the whole project. Let’s hope it will come to a successful finish.