In 2016, I cycled from Greece to England. One of the planning stages of the bike tour was to choose a cycling route from Greece to England. Here's how I went about it.
Choosing a Cycling Route from Greece to England
When planning my long distance bicycle tours, I tend to use a number of resources.
I love reading bicycle touring blogs of course, as it is a great way to get information from people who have actually cycled similar routes themselves.
Google maps is awesome, cycling guides where available are very useful, and there are cycling association websites which all provide great information.
When choosing my cycling route from Greece to England though, one of the biggest helps was the EuroVelo website.
EuroVelo Routes – Cycling in Europe
The EuroVelo project aims to develop a series of long distance cycling routes throughout Europe. These routes use local cycle paths where available, and quieter roads where not. Each one has a theme, or purpose. The current list of Eurovelo routes across Europe is:
- EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route
- EuroVelo 2 – Capitals Route
- EuroVelo 3 – Pilgrims Route
- EuroVelo 4 – Central Europe Route
- EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena
- EuroVelo 6 – River Route
- EuroVelo 7 – Sun Route
- EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route
- EuroVelo 9 – Amber Route
- EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Route
- EuroVelo 11 – East Europe Route
- EuroVelo 12 – North Sea Route
- EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail
- EuroVelo 15 – The Rhine Cycle Route
- EuroVelo 17 – Rhone Cycle Route
My cycling route across Europe
When choosing a cycling route from Greece to England, it was obvious that no one single EuroVelo route would be suitable. I would have to combine different ones, especially if I wanted to see the best places in Greece.
From my starting point in Athens, there were two routes to choose from.
One is EuroVelo route 11, and is affectionately known as the Beast from the East. Whilst the entire route runs from Athens to Nordkap in Norway, it might have been possible to cycle part of the route, before ‘jumping off' onto another one. It wasn't the most direct route though, and so I had to discard it. That said, I have bookmarked it as a potential bicycle touring trip in 2017!
The second EuroVelo route which starts from Athens, is EuroVelo 8. This is known as the Mediterranean route, and actually goes all the way to Cadiz in Spain. Obviously, I wouldn't follow it all the way through, but instead leave the route in Slovenia.
This was a perfect match for me, as it would take me to a few countries I haven't yet visited. I could then also combine this with parts of EuroVelo routes 6, 7, and 4 to complete most of the journey.
The Eurovelo project issues
This is where I ran into a bit of a problem. It seems that whilst the EuroVelo route project is a very ambitious and noble one, not much actual routing has taken place!
When I started looking for specifically detailed maps of the routes, there were very few to be found. There is no official ‘guide book', and most of the routes are not signposted or marked in any way.
In short, it seems to be very much in the concept stage, at least for some of the sections I wished to cycle.
In the end though, I did come up with a route for cycling across Europe. You can find out about it here – Planned cycling route from Greece to England.
For more information on the bike tour, take a look here – cycling from Greece to England.