Still quite a few long gaps in the journey, notably nothing marked in Albania & Montenegro and a long stretch between Barcelona and Valencia but hey! That’s half the fun… The map is interactive so zoom in and out, change from ‘terrain’ to ‘satellite’ etc… and above all, give me your advice! Do you live somewhere along the route (or not far from it)? Do you have interesting suggestions for places to visit? I do need to make this journey as eventful as possible (hopefully in a positive way but I imagine there will be some ‘issues’ along the way) as the success of my next book, Good Vibrations 2 (working title) depends upon it. Please let me know what you think either via the ‘comment’ button or directly via email. Thanks.
Athens: The starting point. Clearly I will have to fly to Athens from the UK
Igoumenítsa: Most northerly town on the Greek Adriatic coast. I could take a ferry across to Corfu or… (see below)
Georgios Farfaras writes: “Good news. Greece is having a coordination centre for Eurovelo! Very soon EV8, EV11 and EV13 will have more details about geographic information for starting and stop points, route infrastructure and more in the EuroVelo Overview Route Database.”
Albania & Montenegro
I could avoid Albania & Montenegro altogether! How? Well, I could take a ferry from either mainland Greece or Corfu to Brindisi, then visit my good friends Basil & Liz (who I stayed with at the end of my Eurovelo 5 trip) who live in Cisternino (only 50 kms from the port). I could then cycle to Bari a little further north from where I could catch a second ferry to Dubrovnic in Croatia.
But that would be cheating and it would be a shame to miss out the potentially most adventurous bit of the journey…
Slovenia: a very fleeting visit!
Italy: It looks as though the Eurovelo 8 follows the Italian cycle route number 2, the Via del Po e delle Lagune.
Venice: It would be good if I could once again visit Simone. I stayed with him on the Eurovelo 5 trip when he was living in Pavia. He is now living in Venice however. Very convenient!
Pavia: The symbolic crossing point between my two great European cycling journies! I stayed overnight in Pavia with Simone (see Venice, above) in 2010.
Italy into France: Pieman Pete’s suggestions
Col de Banyuls (357m)
Ronda: I have relations who live in Estapona, just south of Ronda on the coast so it would be good to take a small detour to visit them.
Cadiz: The finishing line for me! A train ride to Seville would see me hop back on a plane to return to the UK. That said, Cadiz does have an airport of its own and Ryan Air fly from Jerez de la Frontera to London Stanstead.
That’s the plan…
I have written about the maps required for the route in this post on the website.
Just reading your first book – and seen the St. Gotthard pass on GoogleEarth:-) Great!
Your upcoming journey sounds great…I´m going to ride my recumbent-bike from St.Nazaire (next to the Loire river) along the coast down to Bordeaux, taking the Canal du midi and then along the coast of the mediteranian sea to Nice…it will be the first 3 weeks of june…after that I would have some ideas for your trip! Best wisches! Michael (Germany/Bavaria)
Good luck with your own trip and yes, please let me have your advice later in the summer.
A very worthwhile detour from Arles would be the Camargue. Head south in the morning to the salt pans at Salin de Giraud. Then take the sea dike to Saintes Maries de la Mere. In this pleasant sea-side town the Gypsy pilgrimage church is well worth a visit and you get the chance to see flamingos, wild horses, cowboys and flamenco. Tourist information and provisions are plentiful and by early evening you should reach the peaceful camping a la farme about 6Km dead south. Next day Aigues Morte is only a couple of hours. http://www.languedoc-france.info/07020201_camargue.htm
Thanks for this recommendation Lawrence; I’ve added your comments to the Google map!
…uups I just read more carefully, you would ride from Albania to Montenegro. Quite as nice; come across the border at Subotin beteen Lake Skadar and the coast, and continue on the Top Trail 5, and then go OUT there. Take a train in between too if you like. I’ll mail you a decent bunch of infoa & alternatives. Happy planning, K.
Hi A. You are sooo right stating “would be a shame to miss out the potentially most adventurous bit of the journey”. Yes you would. So let me help with a bunch of ideas and infos, maps, GPS data too, e-mail? We have in the past 5 years been developing in Montenegro a network of some 3,000km for cycling (MTB or trekking bicycle), maps, signposting, Bed & Bike places…and it still IS adventurous, uncrowded and breathtakingly beautiful. This is a stunning country to travel. And do continue across Albania…take the Skadar lake trail (our Top Trail no. 5) but before you do, don’t miss the Bay of Kotor, and the backcountry…spend some days across Montenegro. The nature and the people out there will reward you with lovely stories to tell…!
As your in the area I wouldn’t bypass the Istrian peninsula, which your route seems to be suggesting you will. Rovinj and the surrounding areas are stunning and worth a visit….and if you wanted to cheat a bit you can ferry or hydrofoil direct to Venice 😉
Thanks for that John; info very much appreciated. It is only a little off the route of the Eurovelo 8 so there is no reason why, if it merits it, I shouldn’t investigate it a little more!