Eurovelo 6: Crossing Europe on a bike - Itinerary
I provide brief information about our trip, details on individual sections, information on accommodation (campings) and catering options. Prices for campsites include a charge for two people in one tent and all taxes.
Day 1, 20. 6. 2017, Olomouc – Honětice, 66 km
Auto camping Dvůr Honětice, 220 CZK
The route from Olomouc to Kromeriz was an enjoyable, struggle-free flat ride. Considerably hillier terrain was waiting for us once we passed through Kromeriz. You can get a good meal for 90 CZK (set menu) at the Central Restaurant at Kromeriz main square.
Day 2, Honětice – Zdounky – Ostrožská Nová Ves, 43 km
Camping Slovácký Dvůr, Ostrožská Nová Ves, 300 CZK
Between the villages of Zdounky and Salaš, we had to go through a big long ascent hidden in the woods. Approximately 9 km away from Stary Mesto a descending part finally came up followed by a flat section.
Grab a cheap meal in the communist eatery at the main square of Uherske Hradiste. A set of soup (dršťková) and main dish (i.e., pork belly served with cabbage and dumplings) you can get as cheap as 80 CZK.
Panoramic view of Stare Mesto after a strenuous pedaling uphill
Day 3, Ostrožská Nová Ves – Dubňany, 42 km
Camping Josef, Dubňany, 150 CZK
An easy route without significant difficulties. It is surrounded by picturesque villages and vineyards, offering splendid views of the surrounding Czech countryside.
For resistant stomachs, there is a possibility of eating in the canteen for pensioners in Dubňany. You should order your meal in advance, but the meal number "two" was still in the pot, so we got it. For 60 CZK we got soup, pork steak with rubberlike potato dumplings dipped in an unspecified sticky white sauce (map). What a bargain!
Day 4, Dubňany – Nové Mlýny, 44 km
Camping Pálava, Nové Mlýny, 180 CZK
In the beginning, the route was quite easy. However, in the village of Vrbice, the cycle path suddenly started steeply crawling uphill through the residential zone of rural houses to bring us among beautiful vineyards. Here you will find incredible views of the vineyards and the surrounding countryside. The views are worth the struggle! Afterward, the route was Ok until the last stretch between Velké Pavlovice and Zajeci. At this point, we had to climb up another hill struggling with the strong side wind at the same time.
Having explored the entire village of Zajeci, except for a lovely church, we didn't find any open restaurant. So we did some necessary shopping at the local COOP and went downhill to the camping Pálava.
Day 5, Nové Mlýny, time off
Luckily for us, the number of people and families camping in Palava significantly dropped compared to yesterday. If you need to get some groceries, you can do so at expensive COOP in Bulgary. There's a narrow cycle path running in that direction (3 km).
Beautiful Views of Vrbice Vineyards
Day 6, Nové Mlýny – Hrádek, 56 km
Rivercamp Hrádek, Hrádek 120 CZK
We started cycling early in the morning - at 6.30 a.m. As a quick morning workout, we had to climb a long, tedious hill first. As a reward, we were given a beautiful panoramic view of the Nové Mlýny water reservoir, a few minutes later accompanied by a view of the vineyards. Near Pavlov, the elevation got even higher, but another set of amazing views delivered a great feeling of satisfaction. Once we passed through Pavlov and Klentnice, we rode downhill and then continued on a flat section - through wineries. Occasionally the cycle path led us entirely off the main roads (Jevišovka - Hrabětice), which was really nice.
Water reservoir Nové Mlýny in the morning rays of sun
Day 7, Hrádek – Zwentendorf a.d.D. (AU), 82 km
Camping Zwentendorf, Zwentendorf a.d.D., 16,6 EUR
Today was one of the most challenging days so far. Outside Hrádek we climbed up a long ascent leading up to the Austrian border. Later on, the situation didn't improve much (continuous climbing especially between Grossharras and Grossmugl). After that, hills alternated with short downhill runs. In Tulln, we connected to the famous EV6 for the first time, a well-marked route heading along the Danube river.
You can comfortably do some shopping at cheap Spar a few hundred meters away from the campground.
Day 8, Zwentendorf – Melk, 72 km
Camping Melk, Melk, 14 EUR
You can expect an easy cycling trail along the Danube river. It was predominantly a flat route with a slow, gradual decline. We got slowed down a little bit by headwind and slower rough road surface though. The EV6 on this section provides a comfortable easy-terrain ride with a possibility of many stops along the way. We cycled through various orchards (apples, pears, and peaches), vineyards, and woods.
Shop at Eurospar in the Lowenpark shopping center, about 1km away from the camping. I recommend tasting delicious Lasagne Bolognese (3.75 EUR) and Schnitzel (1.66 EUR) from Billa.
Border crossing to Austria near Hrádek
Day 9, Melk – Ausee, 106 km
Camping Ausee, Ausee, 10 EUR
Again, for a few exceptions, it was a relaxing ride straight flat or slightly downhill. The EV6 didn't offer such romantic views as it did during previous days, nevertheless even the views of the river, forested hills, castles, and forts on the peaks were satisfactory enough. The ride was so relaxing that even despite the strong winds we ran over 100 km today.
Day 10, Ausee – Ottensheim, 33 km
Camping Ottensheim, Ottensheim, 14 EUR
Because of yesterday's high-performance day and today's lousy weather, we decided to have a more relaxing day. Right from the morning, there were terrible weather conditions at Lake Ausee. It was extremely windy, and the sight at the dark, heavy clouds didn't please us at all. We headed off at 10 a.m. and got in two short showers immediately. Fortunately every time we managed to find shelter. On the way towards Linz, there is a nice straight flat route along the river. Linz negatively surprised us, to be honest. As it is in some of the big cities, dirt and weird individuals were everywhere. We crossed Linz and cycled up the hill after which the EV6 led us next to a busy road.
Danube river path a few kilometers beyond the town of Melk
The picturesque Austrian village of Grein
Day 11, Ottensheim – Kohlbachmuhle (D), 75 km
Camping Kohlbachmuhle, Kohlbachmuhle, 19 EUR
Start of the ride was quite a fast pace run on a flat route leading us along the river at an average speed of over 19 km / h. The game changer occurred 1 km outside of the village of Untermuhl. The asphalt EV6 mysteriously disappeared suddenly. Luckily for us, we found some sort of a continuation in the form of stony trail climbing high up on the rocks. It seemed like there was an alternative possibility of waving down a transfer boat. Since we had no idea about the timetable and didn't want to pay for the transfer, we continued straight on with the bikes across the rocks — these approximately 860 meters of challenging terrain we had to overcome step by step. There was no other better way than to dismount the cargo from the bike, transfer the cyclo bags, then move the bikes, then move the bags again and then repeat the whole process all over again every 100 m or so. We surpassed the obstacle after 60 minutes, and this challenge took its toll - we wasted a lot of our energy. Behind the hill, in the village of Untermühl, we found out regardless our effort that we had to take the boat to transfer ourselves to the other bank to the village Kaiserhof (2,5 EUR / person) anyways. That was the only option - the EV6 continued from there.
Be aware that the cycle path after a couple of kilometers on this side ended up again. It is advisable to plan out the route of this section properly in advance. From Keiserhof up to Kohlbachmühle expect once again a relaxing ride.
You can find Edeka in the nearby village Obernzell.
Day 12, Kohlbachmuhle – Nesslbach, 75 km
Camping Nesslbach, Nesslbach, 14 EUR
The route runs along the river, through the villages, and on gravel roads. It passes through beautiful but widespread Passau followed by a path along the main road, later on, detours into the fields and villages. The terrain on this section is easy, mostly flat or slightly uphill. We stopped by the camping in Rossfelden. It was a dirty and devastated dodgy camp. Thus, we returned to Nesslbach.
The small town store closes on Saturdays after lunch and does not open until Monday. You will find much bigger supermarket Netto in Winzer. Be prepared, that on Sundays, there is no way to buy goods, neither here, nor in surrounding towns. Pre-supply yourself.
Day 13, Nesslbach, time off
Forced river crossing near Untermuhl
Slightly "improved" EV6 near Untermuhl
Day 14, Nesslbach – Regensburg, 110 km
RKC camp Regensburg, Regensburg, 14 EUR
In the beginning, the EV6 path takes you through the fields all the way to Deggendorf. The surface is mostly flat. On the way to Bogen, you will encounter recurring scenery. Expect to see green slopes from one side and mainly maize fields from another. In case you need to buy any accessories for your bike, you can do so in Straubing. If you are riding on the EV6 towards Regensburg, turn left on the first bridge. Seven hundred meters behind the bridge you will find an enormous cycle shop called Zwei Rad Centrum. Supermarket Aldi and a gas station are close by for your convenience. Outside Straubing, the bike trail often turns into a dirt field road or long sections of a gravel road. A regular asphalt road shows up again few kilometers away from Regensburg. Please mind that Camping in Donaustauf does not function any longer. Once you have crossed on EV6 the city of Regensburg, look for RKC Camp (Kanu - Club) by the river.
The distance of 110 km is cyclable within 5-6 hours. Fair to say we had enough for today and were super happy to call it a day.
Whoever wants to go out to grab something to eat, look for a pub just outside of the camping's gate next to the football field.
Day 15, Regensburg – Vohburg a.d.D., 75 km
Vohburg Biwakplatz, Vohburg a.d.D., 0 EUR
Once we passed Regensburg, we started utterly enjoying the beautiful scenery surrounding us all the way along the left riverbank (orientation upstream). Near Bad Abbach we had to cross over the bridge to the other side of the river (to the village Poikam) due to EV6 terminating on the left riverbank (upstream). Surprisingly beautiful and romantic Kelheim is without a doubt worth a closer look. Here we crossed again back to the left riverbank and headed next to supermarket Edeka up the hill. A lovely forest path eventually compensated the sudden elevation of about 100 m. After crossing another rather steep hill, it went downhill to Weltenburg and then continued through Staubing among the fields to Neustadt a.d.D. We passed through Wohr and crossed over to the other side of the river. From there we rode on another beautiful flat section of EV6 - relaxing run along the river. Soon we reached very charismatic Vohburg a.d.D.
Baumarkt, Supermarkets Edeka & Netto you will find those all in one place in the city of Vohburg.
Trail near Hofdorf
A dusty road outside of Herrnsaal
Day 16, Vohburg – Neuburg a.d.D., 48 km
Campingplatz Donau Ruderclub Neuburg, Neuburg a.d.D., 17 EUR
Today we decided to have a bit more relaxing day. EV6 led us several times over the bridges. We didn't come across any significant ascent all day. We rode on asphalt roads and sometimes on dusty field/gravel roads. Today's views of the surrounding landscape were significantly more picturesque than yesterday. Ingolstadt pleasantly surprised us. The city was clean and easy to pass across on a bike.
In the city, there are Edeka, Penny, and Kaufmarkt. Neuburg is one of those beautiful picturesque towns, just like many other along the river last days.
Day 17, Neuburg – Dillingen a.d.D., 80 km
Camping Dillingen Donaucamping, Dillingen a.d.D., 14,7 EUR
Outside Neuburg right from the start, we faced a few hills. I suddenly got an intense flashback from the times back in South Moravia - Pálava Hills. However, views from their tops were not bad at all. The difference in the first elevation was about +100 m. The ascent was followed by a downhill forest ride and yet another climb. Well, that's how it went for some time (downhill, uphill, downhill). The final downhill section towards Riedensheim stood for all the effort. We passed through a few villages until we got back to the river near Donauworth. Instead of expected 30 km, we made 42 km on this section (Neuburg - Donauworth). In Donauworth we had some snack at Netto and continued over the bridge. We took a gravel dike road along the river's bed towards Tapfheimer See near the village of Tapfheim. We planned to camp at Zeltplatz Kreisjugendring Donau-Ries. This youth-campsite set on the shore of a well-kept pond offered everything we might need (toilets in the building of the fishing club, clean camping space, shelter). According to the notice board, camping is possible for 1-2 days after the city council grants the permit. We didn't want to go through this bureaucracy struggle, nor do wild camping and decided to keep on cycling further towards Hochstadt a.d.D to Dillingen. Worth to mention, in Germany, we generally had a bad experience with so-called Youth-camps (Jugend), since in most cases they are closed to the general public.
Outside the gates of the Camping in Dillingen, there is a caravan selling excellent grilled meats (at the JET petrol station). Half a roasted chicken you can get for 4.2 EUR (still far cheaper than in at camping's restaurant). I recommend a deliciously grilled pork hock for 5 EUR and a big serving of fries for 1.5 EUR. Lidl is just around the corner (800 m away from the camping). Today we hit the first 1,000 km of our trip. Yay!
Day 18, Dillingen – Ersingen, 83 km
Gasthaus Hirsch, Ersingen, 14 EUR
The path leads as usual through the villages, fields, forests and along the river. It's a relaxing, fast and brisk ride. Approximately 14-13 km away from Ulm, a newly paved slippery gravel road goes through the woods. If you have narrow slick road tires, you won't be excited about that, I can tell. Take it on the reinforced strip of ground on the sides of the road - it's considerably faster and safer. We crossed Ulm without obstacles and delays. The EV6 took us there through the park along the river on a correctly marked route. Outside Ulm, you can expect cycling on a nice smooth asphalt road going towards Erbach. We bought some food at Kaufland in Erbach (next to Lidl), at the beginning of the city (still on the EV6 route). Even though we managed to find the well-marked Zeltplatz DLRG in Ersingen, unfortunately, the site was shut down. Besides, it wasn't clear whether the camping would ever open or not. We rode up the EV6 for another kilometer and stayed at Gasthaus Hirsch.
Neuburg an der Donau
Field road near Erlingshofen
Day 19, Ersingen – Sigmaringen, 88 km
Campingplatz Out&Back, Sigmaringen, 17,5 EUR
So far one of the most challenging sections. We left beautiful Ersingen behind our backs and continued on the path cycling through villages and fields. After 15-20 km appeared the first elevation, at times the asphalt surface turned into gravel. Surrounding landscape on this route was stunning, but occasional constant climbing uphill and the road winding along the river significantly reduced our stamina. Exhausted, we finally arrived in Riedlingen. We had a quick lunch on Norma's parking lot and continued on a pleasant flat road along the river, leading again through villages and fields. Around the city of Rendlingen you can see endless vast green agricultural areas. Without problems we reached Sigmaringen. In Google maps, you can find in Sigmaringen two different campsite names listed close to each other. In fact, we had a feeling those two were only one merged big commercial campsite instead.
Large two-story supermarket Kaufland is located just around the corner behind the gates of the camping. Otherwise, Sigmaringen is a fascinating little town with an impressive, opulent castle built upon a vertical rock above the river.
Day 20, Sigmaringen – Hausen im Tal, 21 km
Campingplatz Wagenburg, Hausen im Tal, 13 EUR
Originally we had planned to spend a day off in Sigmaringen, but after a disappointing bustling night at an overcrowded pricey campsite, we moved a little bit further along the river. Few kilometers away from Sigmaringen the landscape surrounding the river gets a significantly hillier character. The cycle path leads for a few exceptions on an even surface, and at the same time, you can enjoy yourself observing the magnificent views of the surrounding green hills with fortified lookout posts and castles on their peaks. It's definitely one of my most favorite sections of the EV6 in Germany, despite a high number of ubiquitous elderly tourists.
Day 21 Hausen im Tal – Wahlwies, 66 km
Campinggarten Wahlwies, Wahlwies, 20,5 EUR
The trail to Tuttlingen consists of asphalt and gravel roads and takes you on tour with a few random ascents through beautiful nature with dominant rocks formations along the river. At the outskirts of Tuttlingen, you will locate an industrial area where you can shop at Netto or Aldi. Once crossed Tuttlingen, the EV6 deviates from the Danube river and continues up a very steep hill. There was no other way than to hop off and push the bike all the way up into the forest (around km 35th). After a strenuous climb, we received unexpected rewards in the form of a gradual multi-kilometer descending run on a slick asphalt road. At the highest point of this elevation, at the peak among fields (850 MASL), the wind blew like crazy, but the views of Bodensee were excellent. After another descent between forests and fields, we got only a few more negligible hills towards the end of the stage.
After climbing up the hill behind Emmingen, view of Boden See
Day 22, Wahlwies – Jestetten, 65 km
Freibad Camping, Jestetten, 18,5 EUR
One of those easy and beautiful routes. From Wahlwies to Radolfzell the asphalt road goes mostly downhill (10 km). In Radolfzell at the square, you can buy fresh goods at Kaufland, eventually, withdraw some money from the ATM if needed. The route continues along the bank of Zellersee. Thanks to a well-maintained asphalt and gravel roads on this section, the ride is enjoyable and fastpaced (assuming good weather conditions). At the end of the lake, the EV6 connects to a path along the clear and greenish river Rhine (Rhein). Occasionally some hills appear, but the views of surrounding nature and small villages are fantastic. As the most charismatic town today, I would choose Stein am Rhein (CH) for its astonishing architecturally rich square. Another tourist highlight you will find in Neuhausen, Rheinfalls - beautiful, though somewhat too crowdy waterfalls (free entry, EV6 goes directly around). The route in Switzerland has without a doubt left a great impression on us. This cycle path took us through villages with nicely decorated wooden houses, typical for this region. Moreover, nature all around was just incredible.
Edeka and Penny are just around the corner near the camping in Jestetten.
Stein am Rhein
Crystal clear Rhine near Diessenhofen
Day 23, Jestetten – Mohlin (CH), 79 km
Campingplatz Bachtalen, Mohlin, 20 EUR
Tarmac road along the river, through the fields, forests, and villages. Our freshly washed bicycles at the Jestetten swimming pool stayed completely clean after completing today's stage. On the way to Waldshut expect slightly hilly terrain, but once you have crossed Bad Sackingen, you can enjoy relaxing ride along the river again. If it weren't for the strong winds, it would have been a chill out route. We started running low on energy. Initially, we wanted to make it as far as to Basel. However, due to exhaustion, we called it a day and crossed over the bridge across the dam to the Swiss side to the village of Mohlin where we found decent camping.
Day 24, Mohlin – Mulhouse (F), 72 km
Camping Le Safari, Mulhouse, 10 EUR
Today was about easy cycling on a flat road, except for several random small hills. We had asphalt surface all the way long, everything was well marked, and in big cities, to our convenience, we had dedicated bicycle lanes. On the way to Basel, you will pass through many charming villages. I recommend riding the EV6 on the Swiss side (albeit a bit longer). It goes slightly downhill on a quality road. At times leads you to through garden colonies (peculiar settlements of tiny houses with allotment gardens). In beautiful but extensive Basel you might be forced to use GPS to get the right direction towards St. Louis. Outside St. Louis a few hundred meters away you will connect to a path along the water canal that will take you to Mulhouse (completely flat section).
Note: In France, against all expectations, in supermarkets, we were negatively surprised by steep prices of food. In Basel and Mulhouse, the prices are generally even higher. In theory the further west you go the lower the prices fall, but it is still incredibly expensive for an average Czech dude, I have to say. Our food budget stayed reasonably low thanks to shopping at Lidl during our stay in France. At Lidl, we could get good quality products at very reasonable prices. If you travel lowcost, I'd recommend a little planning and all you need should you purchase at Lidl.
There's a large Carrefour shopping center a 10-minute ride away from the camping gate.
Day 25, Mulhouse, day off, 9 km
Given the fact today was the national day of Bastille (banking holiday), most of the businesses were closed. Thus we decided to spend a relaxing day around the camping. There was no Wifi connection in our campsite, so we rode out to the nearby closed shopping mall Carrefour, where we managed to catch a free Wifi signal outside the building. Fast Food Quick located next to the mall is open 24/7 and serves standard burgers with french fries. Prices are decent (6.5 - 7.6 EUR per menu). Every day, after 18 p.m., you get the same menus even cheaper - for a mere 5 EUR.
Sunflower fields outside Rafz
Day 26, Mulhouse – L´Isle sur le Doubs, 96 km
Camping Les Lumes, L´Isle sur le Doubs, 13,2 EUR
We've enjoyed today's ride very much indeed. No headwind whatsoever and straight flat road along the canal all the time. We've made approx. 100 km without major issues. Easy level of the route redeemed monotony of the landscape. The path runs either along the canal or between the canal and the railway.
Look for cheap supermarkets Lidl and Intermarché mall (open on Sundays) in L'Isle sur le Doubs.
Day 27, L´Isle Sur le Doubs – Chalezeule (poblíž Besancon), 65 km
Camping de la Plage, Chalezeule, 19 EUR
A cool ride, mostly along the canal (river), literally no climb. Since there are no shops right on the EV6, it is wise to pre-load some food upfront.
Carrefour and a public swimming pool you'll find behind the fence of the Camping de la Plage.
Le Gué de Ponton
Outside Baume les Dames
Day 28, Chalezeule – St. Jean de Losne, 106 km
Camping Les Herlequins, St. Jean de Losne, 14,5 EUR
The character of the route has not changed fundamentally in a few past days. The EV6 led us on a fine-asphalt road along the canal, along the rails, occasionally through day by day more beautiful villages. A few miles before we crossed the finish line this amazing asphalt road turned into a dusty field road. Repeated themes underlined the monotonous character of the ride: a canal, a crossing, a bridge underpass, overflowing water chambers, maize fields, etc. Thanks to the absence of headwind and supermarkets on the way, we rode over 100 km and reached St. Jean de Losne (we could do shopping there). This town resting on the riverbank is just as much charming as the town Dole.
The city of Besancon can be easily bypassed through a pedestrian tunnel which spares you a good few kilometers compared to the route along the river.
Supermarket Lidl, about 1.3 km away from the camping, offers a wide variety of goods at affordable price.
Breaking news: For the first time in our trip we spotted a sign pointing to Nantes (729 km). In reality, the total distance to Nantes added up for another 400 km later on.
Day 29, St. Jean de Losne, day off, 5 km
Sign to Nantes in Aveney
St. Jean de Losne
Day 30, St. Jean de Losne – Chalon sur Saone, 77 km
Camping du Pont de Bourgogne, Chalon sur Saone, 22,7 EUR
Quite rested after having a day off we hit the road again. The road was flat, and the landscape was repetitive. Strong headwind during the whole trip was of a big annoyance and made sure we reached the finish completely exhausted. In Chalon, we stayed at the campsite by the bridge.
Aldi supermarket you will find behind the roundabout at the bridge near the camping.
Day 31, Chalon – Palinges, 92 km
Camping du Lac v Palinges, Palinges, 19 EUR
Initially, we wanted to cut the EV6 by cycling from Chalon straight to Montceau les Mines on a district road. However, when we checked the elevation profile of this alternate route, we immediately revert to the original plan. I.e., taking the whole course on the EV6. We didn't want to climb up 250 meters on 15 km. The EV6 goes first from Chalon up north to Chagna. The road is absolutely flat and runs along the water canal. Then the route will take you back south. Cut the EV6 between the villages of St. Bérain sur Dheune and St. Julien S. D. comfortably on the D974, a flat road copying course of the water canal. From Montceau les Mines continue via flat and fast D974 which takes you along the canal straight through Génelard to Palinges (traffic is Ok). This way you will avoid slow roads through small villages (original EV6) and heaps of extra miles.
Note: Be informed, there is literally no shop in the vicinity of the camping. We did some shopping at Aldi in Montceau.
Day 32, Palinges – Diou, 56 km
Camping Gué de Loire (Municipal), Diou, 10,9 EUR
From Palinges, the EV6 goes downhill & uphill through the hills like crazy. So we deviated from EV6 and took the flat road along the canal. This not really busy road led us straight to Paray le Monial (17-18 km in total) and saved us 4-5 km against the EV6. From Paray to Diou, the EV6 continues on a flat road next to the canal.
Water canal over Loire near Digoin
Romantic scenery behind the camping in Diou
Day 33, Diou – La Charité sur Loire, 134 km
Camping Municipal la Saulaie, La Charité sur Loire, 13,6 EUR
Today we have beaten our old DST record. From Diou the path took us a few kilometers along the canal, then EV6 deviated from its course. Unfortunately, even though we wanted to carry on riding along the canal, a proper cycle path wasn't in place - a muddy, grassy track wasn't suitable for cycling. So we continued on the EV6 instead (D15 has been quite busy in the given section). I recommend taking a shortcut on D15 and D116 between Gannay S.L. and Decize. This route takes you for an 18 km ride between corn fields, mostly flat/slightly downhill (zero traffic). In Decize the road sleekly connects to the EV6. We rode along Nevers and planned to stay in Fourchambault. The local camping wasn't operating any longer. Apparently, shut down forever. The only way was to keep cycling on the EV6. After another 20 km, we pitched the tent in the beautiful camping set on an island between La Chapelle Montlinard and La Charité S. L.
To get some cheap groceries, go to the unbeatable Auchan in the city behind the bridge (La Charité).
Day 34, La Charité S. L., day off
After yesterday's workout our bodies were calling out for some rest, so we took advantage of the pleasant camping's environment, and we spent all day chilling and having a feast from the large supplies we had picked up at huge Auchan the day before.
La Charité sur Loire
Farmer's market in La Charité sur Loire
Day 35, La Charité S. L. – Gien, 92 km
Camping Touristique de Gien, Gien, 15 EUR
A peasant flat stretch along the river and various fields. We picked some groceries at Lidl in Cosne Cours S. L., after about 38-40 km of cycling. The EV6 continues as usual along the canal, through forests, occasionally turns into a gravel path. You will connect back to the canal road in Bonny S. L. It was another pleasant and unpretentious run offering classic scenes - villages, cornfields, canals, and river views. The EV6 surface was mostly tarmac and occasionally gravel.
Auchan is located right by the river in Gien and Intermarché in the village next door.
Day 36, Gien – Jargeau, 59 km
Camping de I´Isle des Moulins, Jargeau, 15 EUR
Today we struggled a bit with a strong headwind and chilly rainy weather. In Poilly Lez Gien we got some breakfast at the village Intermarché shop. The route led us mostly along the river, sometimes with great views. During this stage, you might encounter a few campings on the way. We docked at Camping de I'Isle des Moulins.
You can do some minor shopping in the village or at Carrefour and SuperU 7 km away.
Day 37, Jargeau – Blois, 91 km
Camping Val de Blois, Blois, 15,38 EUR
The character of the landscape did not change much. Again, fields or the river kept us company all the time. Right from the start, we rode on a tarmac trench road, later on, the surface turned into white gravel, and then we got back on regular tarmac roads again. We did some shopping at SuperU in the village of Sandillon which was well-connected to the EV6 via a field route. All day, the sky was overcast with occasional drizzle and rainfalls. Thanks to today's difficult conditions, we experienced one of the most challenging days of the entire trip.
Day 38, Blois, day off, 10 km
Despite the continuous rain, we were forced to stay in Blois one day longer. You can shop at cheap Lidl, accessible by bicycle following a footpath along the main road, about 5 km away from the camping.
Magduš at the atomic plant in Belleville
Forest path to Chatillon sur Loire
Lovely section of Loire near Les Boutrons
Day 39, Blois – Savonnieres, 99 km
Camping de la Confluence, Savonnieres, 16,4 EUR
The first part was a struggle-free ride to Amboise (approx. 50 km). After another 25 km, we arrived in Tours. EV6 took us on a short "Sightseeing tour" through the city center on the go. Do not skip stopping at the cathedral in the very city center (EV6, EV3 go around) - it's stunning! The EV6 takes you through the city center, and after another 5 km, you ride out of Tours. It takes another 20 km to reach Savonnieres. The route led us all the way on flat asphalt and gravel roads, passing through the fields, villages, woods and along the river. For the first time, we spotted authentic French vineyards in all their beauty. That's what we were waiting for! Finally, we experienced similar spectacular views to those in the Pálava hills in the Czech Republic a few weeks ago. We observed beautiful little hills dotted with romantic vineyards, just a few miles away from Tours.
Field flowers outside Artigny
Vineyards near Artigny
Cathedral in Tours
Day 40, Savonnieres – Gennes, 86 km
Camping Au Bord de Loire, Gennes, 16,4 EUR
It was another typical flat cross-country ride. A new speedy asphalt road starts a few kilometers away from Bréhémont. Later on, the trail traditionally turns into the forests and fields. In Avoine we did some shopping at expensive Carrefour. In the end, we found shelter at Camping Au Bord de Loire - in a small and pleasant town called Gennes.
Shop at SuperU, 1 km away from the camping.
Note: The environment is gradually changing into a even more beautiful and well-preserved landscape featuring adorable vineyards and sunflower fields. In the region of Tours, we finally started liking France for the first time.
Day 41, Gennes – Montjean S. L., 82 km
Camping de la Promenade, Montjean S.L., 18 EUR
This EV6 is endless! We struggle to reach our goals again. We have not even approached Nantes yet. Today we saw another sign to Nantes (with 106 km on it), so as of now we have approx. 65 km left. The landscape along the route does not vary anymore. Anticipate the expected - you will ride along roads and rivers, through the fields and villages. We got a little tangled near Angers when we headed off back in the opposite direction towards Angers. Fortunately, we noticed our mistake after 5 km. Outside Angers, the route runs along the river on gravel and asphalt surface. We began to observe noticeably more tourists and families cycling on this part of the EV6.
Day 42, Montjean S. L. – Le Migron, 110 km
Camping du Migron, Le Migron, 8 EUR
Finally, we arrived in desired Nantes today! Le Migron is located mere 25 km off the coastline.
In the morning, we started on a flat and swift asphalt road, which later turned into dirt roads. In Ancenis, we stopped by Lidl for lunch (about 1 km away from EV6). Outside Oudon, we crossed the river over the bridge and continued along the opposite riverbank. The EV6 heads to Nantes on both riverbanks, it's up to you whichever side you choose. On our side of the river, we rode through the woods and fields on a car-free cycle path. Somewhere near Sainte Luce S. L., we returned to the right bank of Loire and entered Nantes. Now, our dream, the city of Nantes, something of the higher symbolic meaning to us - as the final line of our trip, was extremely disappointing. Terror! It is another of those big bustling cities full of people and rumbling traffic — a dirty place filled with modern but strangely constructed houses, with many weird looking people strolling in the streets (many immigrants and homeless hobos). Without losing a minute, we crossed Nantes as quickly as we could and headed out through shortcuts bypassing the EV6. Beware, once you cross Nantes, the EV6 runs on both sides of the Loire. On the right riverbank, the bike trail ends near Coueron, and you might see yourself obliged to take the boat transfer service. We chose the south (left) riverbank instead. We crossed over the Beaulieu Island into the Rezé district. From there, a cycle path runs along the main road towards Bouguenais. Continue through Rue de Beauvoir, Rue Beau Soleil, Rue des Coteaux to La Montagne. Connect to the D58, which will take you comfortably to Le Pellerin (cycle lanes marked everywhere). From Le Pellerin, you can take a route along the water canal.
Approaching our target, signboard in La Daguenniere
Few km away from Nantes
Day 43, Le Migron – Les Rochelets, 50 km
Camping Le Pas du Gu, Les Rochelets, 13,5 EUR
Today we beat the remaining distance of 26 km separating us from the Atlantic coast. In Paimboeuf we had breakfast at big SuperU. From Corsept we swung it on D77, in the narrow emergency lane. A few minutes later, we reached Mindin, where we finally had a chance to see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in our long journey.
We paid a visit to a few campings within the area - Camping de Mindin (18 EUR, swimming pool), Camping la Courance (18 EUR, swimming pool), La Fier (42 EUR, 5 * swimming pool), Camping des Rochelets (32.5 EUR, pool). In Les Rochelets we discovered an affordable family camping Le Pas du Gu near the lake of the same name.
We spent a total of 6 nights at Le Pas du Gu. After such a long trip we enjoyed our stay pretty much. Wifi was fast and free, although switched off during the night. What made us happy was the large green spot for our tent and everyday morning coffee for 50 cents.
Behind the river, in St. Nazaire, we purchased tickets for the TER train to Paris (61 EUR per person). On TER trains, it is not necessary to obtain a bicycle reservation at all, bicycle transportation is free and allowed in the unassembled state as well (hung up or secured in a designated compartment). As opposed to TER trains, the transport on TGV trains may look problematic. Only a small number of TGVs allows transport of the bikes without the necessity of folding them into a special carrying case. In most TGVs, you will pay an extra fee for a bicycle reservation. At the time of purchase of our TER ticket to Paris, the price of a TGV ticket (incl. bike) was around EUR 160 per person.
If you have some time left, definitely go exploring the south coast of Mindin. The entire coastline is just beautiful providing plenty of pretty natural non-touristy beaches. An exception is the touristy Pornic, but there is not much to see anyways. The ride from Les Rochelets to Pornic took us one afternoon, and we ran about 50 km in total.
After 2.783 km in St. Brévin les Pins
Day 49, Les Rochelets – Pornichet, 25 km
Camping des Loriettes, Pornichet, 17,9 EUR
Due to the precarious 4 km long bridge transfer over the Loire delta from Mindin to St. Nazaire (Pont de St. Nazaire) on the way to the railway station, we decided not to take the risk and cross the bridge one day prior our departure. We have crossed this monstrous bridge and cyclist's nightmare three times in total. While doing so, we have gotten into a rather dangerous situation only once. On that day, an incredibly strong wind was blowing so hard that it was rolling my T-shirt all the way up to my neck and we barely could maintain balance on the bike.
On top of that, heavy traffic was passing by at 70 km / h. There was no other option left than hopping off and walking the bike down the narrow micro path. Otherwise, with the gusts of winds, we would end up under the wheels of passing cars for sure. If the weather conditions are good, crossing the bridge on a bicycle is Ok.
You can do some shopping at Lidl, conveniently 3 km away from the camping.
Pont de St. Nazaire