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Cycling your first EuroVelo route: tips for beginners

mercredi 28 février 2024
You see lovely pictures of people on cycling trips all across Europe. You are also wondering how they are doing that and have no idea where to start. We got you covered!

Trying something new is scary, sometimes even overwhelming, but we all have been there! Every cyclist remembers their first EuroVelo cycling adventure. The best memories come from an exciting journey, and it is something we want you to experience: the world of scenic routes and cultural exploration.

So, let's get started! For beginners eager to experience the EuroVelo routes, proper planning is key. The EuroVelo Management Team shares the best weekend-doable and the most beautiful EuroVelo parts of the routes, so it will be easier for you to navigate and find your perfect route for beginners.

Choosing the right EuroVelo route

Choosing EuroVelo for your first ride is a smart move. Why? Because EuroVelo is more than just a network of cycle routes; it is a quality-based option made for cyclists. Moreover, the EuroVelo website offers information about facilities and services along the route across Europe, sometimes not far away from your home (surprise-surprise!). You can even easily plan your trip with the EuroVelo Route Planner, which provides detailed information on each route, helping you choose the one that suits you best. You can find information about the elevation level, total length, and approximate time needed to complete it. And there is more, as those routes aren't just for cycling. It is a real treasure hunt. Look for signs showing nature spots, jaw-dropping UNESCO World Heritage Sites, places for good food, services and public transportation. It all can be downloaded on your phone or routing device with the EuroVelo GPX tracks!

Selecting suitable segments

Breaking down your chosen route into manageable segments is crucial, especially for a weekend trip. Opt for sections that match your cycling capabilities and allow time for exploration along the way. You are not riding the Tour the France, just enjoy what is around you. Look for picturesque landscapes, cultural landmarks, and cycling-friendly facilities to make more out of your first cycling experience. For a beginner, we recommend no more than 50 (flat) kilometres of cycling a day – enough to let you enjoy the day and the surroundings without too much leg pain or fatigue. If you choose a hillier route, aim for less kilometres and give your body a good rest.

The EuroVelo map has a legend, with different colours representing different levels of development. We recommend going for green – EuroVelo 15 - Rhine Cycle Route, certified with the highest quality level on the EuroVelo network – and/or the stretches marked in yellow – developed routes with EuroVelo signs. Currently, 66% of the EuroVelo network is developed, so you can be sure to find a developed stretch around you.

Unsure or want more details? Ask your questions to the community on the EuroVelo discussion group on Facebook where more than 30,000 experienced cyclists share their insights and tips.

Itinerary inspirations for beginners

Uncover the hidden gems of EuroVelo on your weekend! Take a ride through the sections that promise a perfect blend of scenic beauty and cycling comfort. Those segments are not just rides; they're mini-vacations waiting to be explored.

EuroVelo 1 - Atlantic Coast Route in France

La Vélodyssée is part of the EuroVelo 1 - Atlantic Coast Route. It is fully signposted, so you will not get lost! It is a real dream for cyclists, as 80% of the route is car-free. Get ready for an extraordinary adventure with stunning views of the French Atlantic coastline, a good mix of land and sea. Totally Insta-worthy!

La Tremblade © La Vélodyssée, J. Damase
La Tremblade © La Vélodyssée, J. Damase

EuroVelo 6 - Atlantic-Black Sea in Germany and Serbia

The beautiful Danube! This stretch is one of the most popular of the EuroVelo network. Between Germany and Serbia, you will find an exceptional route, following the second-longest European river through scenic capitals like Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. The route is well-marked, with essential amenities like campsites, supermarkets, and bike shops along the way. Discover Lauren Pears’s inspiring story, her experiences will provide valuable insights into discovering new horizons, even as a female solo cyclist. Let the Danube be your guide!

Serbia, CC Friedbert Gunnar Thiess
Serbia, CC Friedbert Gunnar Thiess

EuroVelo 10 - Baltic Sea Cycle Route in Poland

Poland, often underestimated as a destination, surprises with its breathtaking landscapes. Cycling along EuroVelo 10 - Baltic Sea Cycle Route offers well-maintained cycle paths, and charming coastal roads, especially in and around Gdansk. Choose this route if you are a foodie! The affordability of fresh and homemade food allows you to explore new flavours without spending too much money. Another huge advantage is affordable and efficient train travel if you need to rest. And the last cherry on top is safe and exceptionally easy wild camping in Poland.

Pleśna-Mielno bicycle path, Poland
Pleśna-Mielno bicycle path, Poland

EuroVelo 14 - Waters of Central Europe in Austria and Hungary

This is the ideal route for those who enjoy beautiful landscapes close to the water. The highest density of rivers, lakes, and spas across central Europe is on EuroVelo 14. Check out the Lake Balaton to Budapest stretch, along a newly built route. Exploring further, you can go through Őrség National Park, picturesque villages, and vineyards. With well-connected train services, your adventure becomes hassle-free. It does sound like a short and sweet cycling escape through the heart of Central Europe!

So, if you are still confused, we created a simple formula: certified or developed (green or yellow) part of the EuroVelo network + next to the river/sea/ocean + use the resources on and national or route websites. You will not make a mistake by following those three little tips!

Rest assured that there are many other extremely beautiful and interesting EuroVelo route stretches, too. River routes, such as EuroVelo 15, 17 and 19, are always a safe bet for beginners because they offer good infrastructure and a flat and easy terrain. But stretches along rivers are also part of other routes, such as in the case of the Po river in the Northern Italian stretch of EuroVelo 8 - Mediterranean Route.

Use the wealth of resources available on the EuroVelo website to guide your planning process, get inspired by the stories of fellow travellers, and make the most of your weekend getaway journey. By selecting the right route, breaking it into manageable segments, and planning thoughtfully, one can ensure a memorable and enjoyable cycling trip. Get ready to pedal your way!

Over the years, we have created lots of articles with more practical recommendations to get you ready for your first memorable and enjoyable weekend cycling getaway. Here are a few:

Don’t forget to tag EuroVelo if you post the pictures of your trip on social media. We can not wait to see you in our community!

Article by Sofiia Osovska