Eurovelo 5 (2010)

Welcome to the pages on this website dedicated to the Eurovelo 5 long-distance cycle route.

In summer 2010, after much planning – the original idea came to me while sat on the sofa watching the Beijing Olympics in Augsut 2008 – I set off on an adventure along the route. It took me and my faithful steed Reggie (my bike) from our home town of Reading all the way to Brindisi in the heel of Italy. As I cycled, I blogged…. and I am now in the process of turning my musings into a book with the hope of publishing it in late 2011. You can read some of the chapters by here. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can contact me by clicking here. I always reply to people who have been to take an interest in me and my little trip… Thanks for visiting and enjoy!

Index of posts

Summary statistics

Route planning

The destination

The others that helped


28 Comments Add yours

  1. Grace says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for all the information about EV5! I am planning to cycle from Calais to Basel on EV5. I am wondering if the paths would be suitable for racing tires? What kind of bike have you used?



    1. Andrew says:

      To the extent that it is mapped and signposted as the Eurovelo 5 I’d say you’d be OK on racing tyres but what about the weight and the rigours of travelling any kind of distance on a bike? Even on excellent road surfaces I’d think twice before not using something g more robust…
      Good luck!

  2. Richard Burton says:

    Just got back from Andermatt, after completing “phase 2” Luxembourg to Andermatt. Loved Switzerland even if a little manicured and of a different reality.

    1. Andrew says:

      Congratulations! You going over the top today or is that ‘phase 3’?

  3. santo says:

    Hi and congrats for your passion i would like to know which kind of bike is reggie? Ciao e grazie

    1. Andrew says:

      He’s a Ridgeback Panorama. Thanks for your nice comments about the site. 🙂

  4. Maria says:

    Your routes seem very thorough. Could one literally travel Eurovelo 5 by relying on them alone? I was thinking about biking in Europe and I am not sure what preparation is necessary or what route to take but I really like the Eurovelo 5 route and am considering doing a portion of it. Could you give me some advice? Thanks!

  5. Pablo Villar says:

    Just wanted to thank you for all your work and share my blog. I write one day in English and the next in Spanish. I’m about to finish the camino de Santiago and then I’m flying to London to cycle down to Siena, Italy. Thanks

  6. Joe Mcwilliams says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I am thinking about taking the Eurovelo 5 to italy then flying from rome to greece to meet my father. I am a moderate cyclist and have only started to put in the miles (about 30 a day) in the last month. I was wondering if you think i am being extremely over ambitious considering i would only have a month to train and would be leaving late in the year (after sept 10 when my masters finishes.) I suppose that if the worst came to the worst and i was really struggling i could catch a train for a bit but know i would be disappointed if it came to that. How many days did it take you to do the whole route? How many miles a day did you do? In your opinion is it too late in the year and best to plan for next year? sorry for the spanish inquisition. Thanks for the blog and will be sure to buy the book whether the trip goes ahead or not.
    regards Joe

    1. Andrew says:

      Hi Joe
      You get a quick answer as I have just sat down at my computer 🙂
      I suppose many of your answers will be answered when you read my book but to save you doing that in the next few days…
      I did the trip as a novice cyclist myself; I had only done one longer cycle before setting off along the Eurovelo 5 (from Berwick to Derby over 9 days as a ‘shakedown’ for the longer European trip in 2010) and although I was a regular cycling commuter, I wasn’t exactly in the peak of fitness. I wouldn’t worry about your current state of readiness; you are young (I assume having just finished your Masters), probably quite fit (capable of doing 30 miles) and determined by the sounds of it.
      It took me 30 cycling days to get from Reading to Brinidisi – see for full details – although I did take about 5 days off so getting to Rome in a month should be perfectly possible. I averaged about 110 kilometres a day – here are the details: . If you are into stats, you might also find this interesting:
      Too late? No! September can be a great month even in the UK for weather. I remember being in northern Italy many years ago on the 1st November (I remember as it was All Saints Day) and the weather was beautiful 🙂 Do it this year and then do something even more exciting next year!
      Hope that answers your questions; it wasn’t too much of an inquisition, don’t worry.
      Please let me know how you get on.
      Good luck & keep in touch!

  7. gemma says:

    hello andrew,
    we justcycled a section of ev8, from near guastalla almost to the coast. it was some of the most unpleasant cycling we’ve done, and we’ve found our way through many a winding english route, climbed some dolomites and alps and rolled down the rhone (don’t get me started on ardeche v. drome) in the last 3 months, and the worst part was this. i had been so pleased and releived to have found it, and the signage and surface is excellent; however the scenery is endlessly flat and dull, there are no visible campsites, and the amount of mosquitoes makes life virtually unbearable. added to this we had only just realised that drinking the tap water in italy wasn’t agreeing with us so rough camping by the path, although convenient was very unpleasant. we needed 3 days by the sea to heal ourselves afterwards, and i thought i would write to recommend you take a mosquito net and research your places to stay beforehand!
    i will also say that everyone was very friendly and helpful along the way, one man even donated his insect repellant when he saw us!
    good luck with your next trip, and thanks for the blog because its the only info we have to plan our route back home along the ev5! i think we will go dunkerque-dover (which is the way we came over in april); does the ev5 signpost you to boulogne?

    1. Andrew says:

      Thanks for the info Gemma; the glories of the Po Valley! I can sympathise with the mozzies – little bastards they are (they attacked me from Pisa to Rome in a way that would make you think eating flesh was going out of fashion). Autan does the trick; expensive but effective repellant. Glad the blog (and book?) have been of use helping you find your way. You’ll be delighted to know that the Eurovelo 5 doesn’t direct you towards Boulogne but disheartened to find out that the Eurovelo 5 doesn’t sign post you anywhere; there are no signs (at least none that I saw en route). I’m sure you’ll find a way. Happy cycling!

  8. Freddie says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I’ve read some of your blogs about your EuroVelo 5 trip in 2010, something which I’m really keen to do. I’ll definitely be buying the book, but in the mean time I was wondering if I could ask your opinion on an idea I have for next summer. Instead of biking to southern Italy, I’m interested in shipping my bike to Athens, Greece and then biking back up through Macedonia, Monte Negro, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, France to London. I’m loving the idea of biking up the coastline of the first 4 countries. Google maps tells me it’s about 2000 miles long, and as an experienced cyclist I wanted to know what your thoughts are on such a journey. Have you biked in these countries and do you think this is too far for the month and a half I have? I’ve never done a bike tour before but I’ve got a year to practice and bags of ambition so I hope it’s achievable. Your EV5 blog inspired this plan!
    Thanks very much

    1. Andrew says:

      Hi Freddie!
      Thanks for the comments about the Eurovelo 5 and I hope you are enjoying the book (if you have bought it yet!). Your route is quite interesting as it combines the Eurovelo 5 (Italy, Switzerland, France back to the UK) and the Eurovelo 8, and strangely enough, my plan is to cycle the Eurovelo 8 in 2013!! The complete route goes from Athens to Cadiz in Spain along the Mediteranean coast and should be spectacular. My planning hasn’t got very far so far – you can visit the Eurovelo 8 pages of this site to see what I have done so far – but it is along the lines of what you are planning; fly out to Athens with my bike and then cycle north and the west all the way to Spain. Obviously you would turn right at Switzerland. I have never biked or even visited the counties along the east coast of the Adriatic but they have a reputation for being spectacularly beautiful. The country that does concern me a little is Albania (although I presume your route would skip that out as you wouldn’t be following the coast as I plan to do)…
      You call me experienced; I’m not that experienced!! Just a couple of long-distance routes, one in England, the other across Europe but don’t be put off by the people who would like to make you think it will be a challange for only a finely-tuned athlete. I’m not one and I’m seem to do OK!
      Let me know how you get on with your trip. It will, I guarantee, be fantastic; go for it!

  9. Lee Shaw says:

    Hi Andrew

    Purchased your book from Amazon and am now about half way through (you and Reggie are in Milan). Really enjoyable read and will put comments on Amazon when finished. Good luck with your EuroVelo 8 trip and if you get a real hankering to do more EuroVelo trips and select Route 4 you can contact me as I live near Brno, Czech Republic (I’m a Yorkshireman abroad :-))

    Best Wishes

    1. Andrew says:

      Hi Lee
      Great to hear from a fellow Tyke! 🙂 And delighted you are enjoying the book. Just looked up Eurovelo 4. It seems to be one of the other neglected routes of the network; you could become its champion. Or, of course number 9… At some point soon I’ll have to start thinking about the Eurovelo 8 trip. I seem to be spending far too much time at present living off my past glory along Eurovelo 5. Biggest problem will be persuading my employer to give me a few weeks off work just before the summer holidays to make it possible in one 9-10 week cycle. Otherwise it might be a 2013 and 2014 adventure! Keep following the blog and spread the word in the Czech Republic about the book. You can’t be the only Yorkshireman in town!

      1. Lee says:

        Hi Andrew

        I’ve written a review and this is now on (5 stars).

        I’ve also looked at EV9 and that is a possibility for me as Brno is midway between Gdansk, Poland and Pula, Croatia. I’ll be in touch 🙂


  10. Tom Whitlam says:

    Hi again Andrew,

    I emailed you earlier in the year in regard to the route.

    I have booked the flight now but am thinking of doing it backwards. I just had few questions about the trip itself: I’m planning to do the trip independently and wandered if you ever wild camped? If so, do you have any tips ( best places, where it is legal, did you put bike in tent, how to keep it secure) if not other options?

    When going through Italy did you encounter any toll roads? How did you face these? Do you pay the normal fee?

    In regards to getting a hold of water and food – I’m doing the trip in July, so it is going to be extremely hot, hence I will probably be drinking 4-6 litres day if not more. Is it quite easy to get water, did you just buy it from a shop etc?

    Please excuse any silly questions; I’m quite new to the whole idea of touring but can’t wait to get out there.


    1. Andrew says:

      Hi Tom.
      I’ve just answered your questions in a new post on the homepage. If you need any further info, don’t hesitate to get in touch again & good luck with your trip! See the post here:
      Best wishes

  11. James says:


    Im contacted you a view months ago in regards to a charity run to rome from canterbury. I have planned a route roughly in line with the euro velo 5, but heading into Geneva and into Torino rather then Bern. I have only visited France for holidays and all I remember of it is long motorways and lots of fields! As I will be running I will need a source of food/water/accomodation every 25 miles or so.

    If I stray of the Eurovelo route in favour for my own personal route will this effect this condition? I assume the route is biker friendly so would have hotel/food outlets every 25-50 miles. Is this the same scenario with Italy?

    Thanks again.

    1. Andrew says:

      Hi James
      Yes, I remember you getting in contact. I hope I replied at the time – I try to reply to anyone who expresses an interest in the route. I think you’ll be absolutely fine. Even the the most remote parts of Western Europe are never very far from civilisation so I don’t think you’ll ever get to a point where you won’t be within a days run of anything else, certainly every 25 miles. If you are fairly confident as to how many miles you are going to run per day then you could plan a route that put you at a particular hotel on a particular day but I have to say that I quite liked the flexibility (and sometimes the scaryness) of not knowing where I was going to be on the evening of the day when I set off. That said, with a bike you are more flexible than on foot.
      Sounds an amazing challenge. Let me know how you get on. Happy to post about you and your charity on the blog when you set off.
      Good luck!

  12. Tom Whitlam says:


    Planning to do the Eurovelo 5 in the summer, and I was wandering if anybody who has done or planning to do it, has mapped it out on a Garmin as a track? on or something like that?


    1. Andrew says:

      Hi. Thanks for passing by. If you Google George Jemmot he has a website where he attempted to map a route from Milan to Belgium. I have to say that in the end I quite liked not having a detailed route to follow; I ended up picking my way from town to town across the continent and the journey was all the better for taking that approach. Good luck with your trip and let me know how you get on 🙂

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