Since 1996, the association CycloTransEurope works for the development of EuroVelo 3. This Pilgrim Route links Santiago de Compostela in Spain to Trondheim in Norway. Every summer since 2001, the organization offers hikes on part of the Trans-European route. But this year Covid obliges, the course will finally take place in France, on the route of the Scandibérique.
Pfor the summer of 2020, CycloTransEurope cyclists had planned to travel the Norwegian section of EuroVelo 3. They will finally set off on a portion of 1 kilometers of the Scandibérique. The French section of this European cycle route links Trondheim to Santiago de Compostela. On July 11, cycle tourists will leave from Montargis. Arrival is scheduled for July 31, 2020 in Dax. 20 days of effort et stages of 60 kilometers on average !
“Between plains and hills, towpaths, historic towns and protected natural areas… La Scandibérique is an invitation to travel. It gives everyone the time to soak up a great diversity of landscapes and atmospheres. »
A real sporting challenge
If throughout this journey, the moderate pace and the hiking spirit take precedence over competition, the challenge completed in its entirety is not intended for beginner cycle tourists. With stages of 45 to 75 kilometers - and for some in regions with steep slopes - the course is indeed a real physical challenge. Cyclists with little experience are however welcome on the route, because the split route is accessible to all. Because the whole ambition of the project is to allow bicycle lovers of all levels "to meet the territories, others and oneself".
Members of the CycloTransEurope association therefore offer everyone cycling and slow tourism enthusiasts to join the most seasoned runners for one or more stages. All you need is "a revised bike, with efficient brakes and a chain that doesn't jump all the time, saddlebags for your things and a luggage rack for the tent." Without forgetting emergency inner tubes ”, announces Cécile Nelson to the Central Republic.
To view the route, find out the details of the stages, choose your accommodation options, or even register for this unforgettable bike ride that will make you discover France from the inside, go to the site of EuroVelo 3.
A total route of 1700 kilometers
During this race, participants will travel more than 1100 kilometers of the Scandibérique which is the longest cycle route in France. But the total route of the French portion actually counts 1 kilometers, and crosses no less than 700 departments and 20 regions from North to South. Heritage, rich terroirs and remarkable sites two-wheeled adventurers await. The Scandibérique passes through many magnificent towns steeped in history, such as Noyon, Compiègne, Paris, Orléans, Tours, Châtellerault, Angoulême, Bordeaux, Mont-de-Marsan, Dax and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
From the Belgian border to Avesnois, to Oise then Paris. From Seine to Loire, from Touraine to Vienne, to arrive on the Atlantic. The route continues in Charentes, Gironde and Landes before reaching the point of arrival not far from the Spanish border. A unique adventure through the wildest and most peaceful landscapes that our country can offer. Along the way, do not miss the vineyards of Saint-Émilion, the comic strip museum in Angoulème, the spas of the Landes, the mountains of Flanders, the Moulin des Tours de Barbaste in Nérac, or the Caverne du Dragon on the Chemin des Dames.
Crossing Europe by bike
The Eurovélo network has a total of 17 European cycle paths, over more than 70 kilometers. Eight of them pass through France, or nearly 000 km!
Image credit: European Cyclists' Federation / CC BY