Eurovelo 6: Crossing Europe on a bike
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were forced to adjust our plan for the summer of 2017. We quit our poorly paid job on a farm in Ireland and, for a change, decided to explore the beauty of Europe. We left our backpacks in the corner of the room and replaced them with the cycling bags instead. This time we cross Europe by bike!
Inspired by the pilgrimage journey of St. Jacob, we decided to head out on a cycle tour following this ancient route with its final stop in Santiago de Compostela in Spanish Galicia. Primarily the idea was to cross Europe on this route mainly due to the deeper spiritual meaning and nature of this old religious pilgrimage journey. I had my reasons too. Many years back I had been living in Galicia, in the nearby harbor city called Vigo. I found this as an excellent opportunity to return there and relive some of my old faded memories.
According to Google Maps, the total distance between Olomouc (CZ) and Santiago reaches approximately 2,850 km (on designed cycle-routes). To our surprise, as we figured out later on the way, the actual total distance would vary somewhere around 4.500 km point (via EV6 and EV1). Honestly, that seemed a bit off limits. Not as much as distance wise as time wise.
Our final route was being consequently amended on the go. In the end, we cycled from Olomouc (CZ) to St. Brevin at the Atlantic Ocean (France), of which 90% we have crossed on the Eurovelo 6 cycle path.
Eurovelo 6 (EV6) is a popular cycle path stretching out across entire Europe and connecting the Atlantic Ocean (France, St. Brevin) and the Black Sea (Romania, Constanta). EV6 is intended for the general public. It is especially suitable for beginners, senior people and partly for families with children as well. Its elevation profile is easy/moderate. Except for a few steep hills the path leads through valleys, along rivers and water canals.
In France, the route runs along the river Loire (called La Loire and Velo), the river Saone and various water transport canals. In Switzerland, you will pass along the upper part of the river Rhine. In Germany, in Tuttlingen, the EV6 connects to another extensive section called Donauradweg/D-Route/D6/R1/R6 (Germany and Austria) going along second longest European river - Donau (Danube). The EV6 route terminates in the very delta of Donau at the Black Sea coastline in Romanian Constanta.
Whoever decides to cross the EV6 in all its length, must be prepared to cycle around 3,653 km. You will visit 10 European countries, many major cities (Budapest, Vienna, Linz, Passau, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Basle, Orleans, Tours, Nantes) and countless small towns as well. The path runs across forests, fields, along some beautiful orchards, vineyards, and lakes. EV6 has definitely loads to offer.
We headed off from Olomouc on the very last spring day and arrived in French St. Brevin after 43 days of cycling. During the whole trip, we decided to take six full days to rest.
In total, we cycled 2,783 km, an average of 75 km per day.
The Atlantic coastline south of St. Brevin is worth exploring. We did so, and the total distance traveled increased up to 3,100 km.