Cycling

Eurovelo 8: The Mediterranean Route

The following is from the back of the ECF Eurovelo Map;

Cadiz-Athens-Cyprus 5,888km

“The Mediterranean area is very popular for tourists, but until now not so much for bicycle tourism. However, various initiatives have improved facilities, especially in Spain & Italy. And similar initiatives are in the pipeline in Cyprus and Greece. Especially springtime and autumn periods are good for cycling in the south, while summertime can be too hot.

The route starts in the biggest region of Spain, Andalusia, known for its white villages, huge fields of olive trees and beautiful green mountains and national parks. From Cadiz along the blue sea to Tarifa close to Africa at Gibraltar. The next stages go into the countryside through national parks and up to Ronda, down again to Malaga and up to Granada with the famous Alhambra at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Further to Murcia and Valencia – here the route has the theme and signs of the Via Augusta and also the pleasure of following some Vias Verdas. It is not easy to follow the coast in a straight line so up to Barcelona the route crosses inland from time to time. Here you should notice several cycle tracks and the Gaudi building, of course! Figueres with Dali Museum is the last station in Spain of a total of about 1,700 km. We pass the Pyrenees through Col de Banyuls (357 m).

The stages through France of 670 km can be divided into two very different stretches. The western part, Languedoc-Roussillon comes quite close to the sea, but the eastern part, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, is typically mountainous and quite far from the sea, since the few coast roads have quite a lot of traffic. But the advantage is to get a taste of the fantastic cycle region of Provence, before the Mediterranean Sea is reached again at Nice and into the small country, Monaco.

In Italy after climbing the southern part of the Alps (Albenga – Cuneo) we have chosen to follow the rover Po (from Saluzzo) most of the way across the northern part of Italy and with good cycling facilities and very nice towns, Piacenza, Mantova, Ferrara in between the flat landscape. The route has been signed as Destra Po. Finally Venice is reached along the Venetian Laguna and after continuing along the sea we go inland to Portogruaro and back to the sea at Grado. Total in Italy 1,270 km.

From Trieste we cross inland to a piece of the lovely Slovenia using minor roads and into Croatia down to Rijeka, close to the Adriatic Sea across the island of Kirk, Pac and Brac. The coast is very hilly including the islands, which are very popular as tourist resorts in summertime. Split and Dubrovnic are very interesting towns to visit. Approx. 600 km.

Implementation of the route is still pending in the following countries: Montenegro (180 km), Albania (460 km), Greece (580 km), but finally in Cyprus a planning process for a cycle route around the island (490 km) has been going on for some time and some parts of the beautiful Troodos Mountains have already been opened. Remember left driving. More info www.visitcyprus.org.cy

38 replies »

  1. Hi!

    So basically I’ve booked a ticket to fly into Castellon De La Plana in mid-feb and want to ride across to Malaga. But how do I do this? It seems that there is, even after 5 years, still very limited information about this particular route across Spain. Does the EuroVelo 8 even exist? If anyone can refer me to somewhere or someone that has done this or knows anything about this that would be amazing. I have never cycled long distance or had even heard of Castellon until I booked the ticket.! so yeh any help would be great 🙂 Nothing like chucking yourself in the deep in end!

    Thanks
    Matt 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I’m planning on starting in Barcelona, and riding south to Tarifa (and then to Marakech). I’m struggling to find information on this segment of the Eurovelo 8. The UV website seems to have a route laid out, but it isn’t available on the map section. I hear it gets quite hilly on certain sections. Any advice?

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  3. Hy everyone¡¡ I´m thinking to cycle eurovelo 8 this summer, but I,m not sure if i can camp anywhere along the trip. Is there to much traffic or it could be dangerous? I read in other forums there isn´t bike ways to do it. Thanks

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    • Hi Ignacio! I cycled from Florence to Athens last year on the eurovelo 8 and had an amazing trip. I can give you or anyone else on here all the advice you could need.for that section from broad things like food availability to more specific things like which roads were good and which weren’t so great.

      To answer your question, camping is pretty simple. I brought a hammock tent but a regular tent would be just as good if not better (Using my hammock tent I was able to climb 30ft into the trees in large cities to avoid having to pay for hotels there). I camped every night except a few. I felt very safe on most roads but did feel stressed on the Croatian coast. There is very little space between the road and the guard rail near Split and the wind can really blow you around (not the best feeling when cars are zooming by you). I HIGHLY recommend making your own route. Slovenia is beautiful and is more bike friendly than the northern Croatian coast. Trieste is one big urban hill and was a very tedious ride out of it. I also recommend Bosnia. Biking from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik was my favorite section of the entire route (don’t miss Kravica waterfall either way you go). The 10 mile road from Croatia to Montenegro is loose gravel with nowhere to camp so plan accordingly. I’d recommend a bus from Skodre to Tirane. The road is heavily traveled and not safe. The downhill from Tirane to Elbasan is a rush and lake Ohrid near Macedonia is worth the time. Decide which way you want to go through Greece. Wild dogs can be bad in the northern parts. I went down the East side by Mt. Olympus and Island hopped a bit (Skaithos is a great place to relax). The center of Greece has Meteora and the West is the eurovelo 8 route. Athens was my favorite city to visit because of all the history there. Athens also has a few great Hamam bath and massage places that feel great on those tired legs. My tubeless tire mountain bike faired much better than other peoples road bikes. Be careful about how fancy your bike is though. I had the air valve on my tire break in Albania and nowhere in the country had a replacement because it wasn’t a normal city bike valve! Please email me at marre@xavier.edu if you have any other questions!

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    • Hi
      I think that like many if the Eurovelo routes you simply need to take a pragmatic approach to route planning. Some routes like Eurovelo 6 are signposted from start to finish, others like the Eurovelo 8 barely at all. In some areas however the routes do follow a national or regional route (for example the Eurovelo 5 across Switzerland) which have support online and other documentation available. As for camping I think you’ll find sites in most places but it depends how desperate or willing you are to search then out. Here in Albania I’ve abandoned the idea of camping but as soon as I’m in Montenegro and Croatia (and onwards) it’s back to the luxuries of the tent! (Apart from when I’m in a town I want to explore in which case I prefer a centrally-located hotel).
      Hope this helps. Good luck with your own trip!
      Andrew
      CyclingEurope.org

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  4. planning to go from turin to cadiz in october 2013.
    any feedback from previous comment that already done their dirty works? 🙂 🙂

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  5. Hello all ! I’m planning on doing the eastern part of eurovelo 8 in August (from Greece to Montenegro) and I was wondering if anyone knew how complete this section was ? Is it doable on a roadbike ? If not, where can I find information on which of the many eurovelos are complete ?

    Thank you !

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    • Hi Helene
      You have come up against the problem that most people have; the lack of detail of the route. Some Eurovelos (Eurovelo 6 is a good if not the best example) have published material available, maps, signage etc… but many, including the Eurovelo 8 don’t. So my suggestion is simply to make it up for yourself! If you find any national or regional routes upon which the Eurovelo 8 piggy-backs (it was the case with the Eurovelo 5 that I cycled in 2010), use them and let the rest of us know where they are!
      Good luck & happy cycling
      Andrew

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  6. Hi Andrew I have friends from Bosnia and Croatia and I really want to bike from Trieste, Italy to Athens. I can’t find much about how complete the trail through anything south of Croatia. I know the above post says routes haven’t been planned but if there aren’t designated biking routes, could I improvise to reach Athens? As long as roads are good I feel like I could make it through Montenegro and Albania but I’m worried about biking Greece. Thoughts? I am on a road bike so I’m looking for paved roads

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    • Hi Eli
      The short answer to your question is “I don’t know” as I have never cycled anywhere in that corner of Europe. I’ll find out next year I suppose. Hopefully someone else can help you. Anyone?
      Cheers
      Andrew

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  7. Hello. I would like to do this route or other interesting route in Europe, but I don´t want to go alone, I wanna go with a group or at least a partner. Do you know where can I find information about? I wanna do my trip next year and I need to plan it with enough time in advance. Please, if you can help me I will apreciate it.
    I know some people in my country (Venezuela) that have done the “Camino de Santiago”, but I don´t want a short route, I want a long one, a very important experience for me, no less than two month riding. I have time to prepare myself.
    Thanks for any help you can give to me, and sorry for my English, I am learning.

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    • Hi Linyu
      Thanks for the comment. I think that given two months, you have picked the perfect route; when I cycle from Athens to Cadiz, that’s the amount of time I think I will need to cycle the whole route. My own plan is to cycle alone. I think I prefer it that way but I will hopefully be meeting lots of people along the way, both planned and unplanned as I did when I cycled from the UK to southern Italy in 2010 (see the book!). I suggest if you would like to find some people who might be interested in cycling with you, start posting to a few cycling forums like the CTC forum here in the UK or Bike Radar or Lonely Planet etc… In addition, have a look at Warmshowers.org which will put you into contact with other cyclists and at least help you with the accommodation side of things.
      Keep me updated with your plans!
      Best wishes
      Andrew

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  8. Hey,
    my self and a friend were planning on cycling from the south of france to barcelona, could you just give me a little idea of what the roads and the Pyrenees route is like, we want to have a good time as well as just cycle and do you think there is much to see on this route. i would love some info. thanks so much

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  9. I plan on leaving Barcelona and heading north around the middle of May 2012. I am not familiar at all with the area so I wish a detailed description of the route was available. Any hints to find the route?

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    • Hi Bob. Thanks for the comment. Err… ‘not yet’ is the answer! Keep watching this space and if you find one before me, please let me know.
      http://www.bikely.com/ might be a good place to start… As might the CTC website mapping section (but you have to be a member of CTC to acces it).
      Good luck
      Andrew

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  10. Hi,
    Just found this site while planning a trip from Barcelona to Rome. I had no Idea this network existed until now and I only have 3 days until I set off. Im planning on using an interrail ticket to get me there and home again and possibly speed things up allong the way if Im a bit slow. I cant wait to do the baltic circuit but its a bit cold for that right now.

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  11. Does anyone have any detailed info about the Cadiz to Malaga section? I’ll be in Cadiz in April, and would like to do some touring.

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    • Hi Jim,
      I’ll also be there in April and plan to bike from Cadiz (April 5 or 6th) along the Southern coast mostly to the Pyrenees and eventually to Istanbul. If you find anything on the Spain section, please let me know. And, maybe we’ll see each other on the road!
      -Rachel

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      • Sorry Jim, I haven’t knuckled down to start the detailed research yet (will I ever?) but it’s great to see you guys chatting on here and swapping plans! CyclingEurope.org is coming to life 🙂
        Andrew

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      • I attempted to ride this section last spring… It was very stressful riding into Cadiz, you basically have to use a section of ‘motorway’, there was no sign of a bike route. I spent the night on the beach and the next day rode east looking for any bike route signs. The roads are either sandy tracks or 2-3 lane major roads. I ended up abandoning the eurovelo route half way through the day and continued my trip in the mountains.

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        • Thanks for that Mike. My plan is not to stick religiously to the Eurovelo 8 route; for my it will be more of a guideline… But very useful to know about the difficulty of cycling in and around Cadiz. I’ll note your comments on the Eurovelo 8 interactive Google map (see link in the side bar on the right).
          Happy cycling!
          Andrew

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          • That was my plan too. I began my trip in Faro and planned to follow the route from Cadiz to Italy and then to ride to Paris. After a confusing and somewhat stressful couple of days around Cadiz I gave up and instead planned my own route staying around 60km from the coast as far as Valencia, then turning north towards Biarritz and into France. I was worried that the entire coast would be the same as the area around Cadiz. Further Inland I found amazing roads through beautiful villages, lakes and valleys. The only thing is that they were roads that passed over and with some detours around the mountains of southern Spain. That meant shorter distances and colder weather; my trip was in March/April/May last year. The Spanish section of my trip took almost 2 weeks longer than planned.

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  12. Hi,

    I’d like to cycle along the eurovelo 8-route in Albania, but I don’t seem te find a route description/printed map.

    Did you find some?

    Thanks

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  13. I’m hoping to bike-camp the Eurovelo8 route in 2012. I have 4 months off work. When do you recommend is best? April-July? I’m an avid bike-tourer, but have never done it outside of the U.S. Any advice would be great!

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    • Hi Rachel
      Thanks for your comment. You are the first person I have heard from who is intending cycling the whole of the route!! Congratulations. I’ll add you to the ‘others’ section of the Eurovelo part of this website.
      A couple of factors you need to take into consideration when thinking about when to cycle in Europe; the weather and when everyone else is on holiday. The weather can be fairly changeable at the best of times so going in July and August won’t necessarily guarantee hot dry weather but that said, especially in southern Europe, that is what you will probably find in those two months. I didn’t mind cycling through the heat of the summer last year when I went from the UK to Brindisi (and it was very wet and sometimes cold on many days before I arrived in Rome; it was only day after day of blue skies south of the Italian capital) but if prefer cooler days although with the probability of more rain, travel during April/May/June if you can.
      The other factor – when others are on holiday – is more predictable. If you want to avoid excessively busy periods, go in April/May/June. In July and August the roads will be busier, the camp-sites fuller and any accommodation more expensive. I am a teacher so my holidays in the summer are from the end of July to the start of September so when I do the trip in 2013 I will have to go during July and August (taking perhaps a month off school to add to the six weeks of holiday that I have).
      Please, please, please keep in contact as I’d love to know how you get on in the planning and then the cycling. Post your comments on the Eurovelo 8 section of the site – http://apsykes.com/the-next-adventure-201/ – so that all can benefit.
      Good luck with everything!
      Best wishes
      Andrew

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      • Thanks Andrew! I’m so excited! I’m hoping to add the loop around the Bodensee Lake to the route, but that may not be possible. I’ll definitely keep in contact. Thank you again!

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        • Hi Rachel
          Wow! That’s quite a detour from the Eurovelo 8 but if you have the time go for it! It will take you into the heart of the Alps and that will be well worth the deviation. Have you decided upon a date of departure yet?
          Andrew

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    • The Eurovelo 5 route looked hot and hilly but it turned out to be wet and have two big hills! Not sure about the Cyprus bit. I would imagine it was an add-on to keep the Cypriots happy and part of the “ECF family” (typical European fudge). I need a big, iconic place to start and a big, iconic place to finish so Athens and Cadiz seem to fit the bill. Not sure about the direction though… The description says avoid summer but hey! That’s what people told me about cycling in Italy in August. Crazy? Probably…

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