Experiencing Europe on two wheels – with 14 Eurovelo Routes
How about travelling across the continent under one’s own steam? Thanks to EuroVelo, a project of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), co-financed by the European Union, cycling across Europe is now not only possible, but safe, attractive and comfortable too. With network of 14 transcontinental routes, stretching from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, the Arctic to the Mediterranean, each one has something new to offer. In 2015, the ECF is particularly highlighting EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route, EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail and EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Route.
NEW ROUTES OPENING – AND MORE PLANNED
Incorporating existing and planned national and regional cycle routes into a single European network, Eurovelo currently consists of well over 45,000 km of bike paths… and thousands of kilometres more are planned. When completed in 2020, it will total over 70,000 km. EuroVelo 13 – The Iron Curtain Trail – connects 20 countries, 3 seas and over ten thousand kilometres of formerly closed border. A lighthouse project of this scale has a clear internat ional appeal. By captivating the imagination of an international audience it can bring people outside the typical cycle tourist profile around to cycle tourism and cycling more generally.
The project is not only an attempt to change people’s habits but makes financial sense too. According to the study “The European cycle route network EuroVelo” commissioned by the European Parliament, the southern section of the Iron Curtain Trail (ICT) is expected to generate 1.5 million daytrips, more than 170,000 holiday trips and have a total economic impact of 97.7 million Euro per year when it is fully developed. Bearing in mind that the cost of the core activities of the project are set to total 58.5 million Euro for the 2014 – 2020 period, it is an investment well worth making.
Skirting the Mediterranean, Eurovelo8 passes by sparkling emerald seas, kilometres of golden sand, mysterious islands, wonderful food and ancient cities. Its opening was heralded by Christiano Radelli, the commissioner of Italy’s tourism organisation ENIT: “Today sport tourism is highly demanded and it is a fast-growing sector of the global travel industry. Eurovelo8 is indeed a great opportunity for Italy to fascinate new cycling visitors with major artistic and historical attractions standing along the itinerary. We believe cyclers will come with high expectations as Turin, Pavia, Ferrara, Venice are only some of the marvellous cities crossed by EuroVelo8. To meet their expectations we will have to take good care of them providing high standard facilities and suitable services.”
More info: www.Eurovelo.org