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10 Great Long-Distance Cycle Routes in Europe

Posted by Dina Llabore on

european electric bike route vacations

Winning tip: Passau, Germany, to Vienna

For a one-week first cycle tour, I’d recommend flying to Linz then catching the train over the German border to Passau, a beautiful city where the rivers Inn, Danube and Ils meet. Rent bikes from Matthias Drasch at Fahrrad-Klinikand pedal off along traffic-free paths beside the Danube. Esterbauer publishes a guide in English for this classic route: maps are excellent, with accommodation listings and places of interest along the way, like Melk and the Austrian vine and fruit growing areas. Fahrrad-Klinik has an arrangement with a hotel on outskirts of Vienna where you leave the bikes. Spend a day or so in Vienna before catching the train back to Linz and flying home.

Philip Moore

Via Francigena: the Pilgrim Route from Canterbury to Rome

In AD990 Archbishop Sigeric walked the 1,800km from Canterbury to Rome to collect his pallium (his “stole” of office) from the pope. On the return journey he helpfully recorded his overnight stops – all 80 of them – which form the basis of today’s Via Francigena. Much less well-known than other pilgrimages, like the Camino de Santiago, this route is still taken by more than 1,000 people each year. Cycling it over 20 days is perfectly feasible – I did it in June this year – but be aware it involves crossing the Alps (the 2,469-metre Saint Bernard Pass) and the Apennines (the Passo della Cisa at 1,041 metres). Pilgrim accommodation (€10 a night on average) is sparse in France but much more common in Italy. More information at

Cycling the River Loire, France

We did the first section of the EuroVelo 6 route from Orleans to Nantes. We took our bikes over on the car and parked in Nantes using the ZenPark app. We then took a train to Orleans – it has a special bicycle carriage – and started our ride back to Nantes. The route is well-signposted and uses a mix of dedicated cycle paths and minor roads. It works its way along the river and the scenery is stunning. The route is flat but there are worthwhile diversions inland – involving moderate hills – to visit chateaux. There is plenty of good accommodation (B&Bs, small hotels) along the route: we pre-booked it all online. Nantes is a great place to finish as it has Les Machines de L’Île and the amazing giant mechanical elephant. We covered about 400km over two weeks.

Andrew Spencer

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