5 great cycling paths in Europe (with route)

Posted by Renato Costa In: Stuff We Like, Travel

Europe has a lot of potential when it comes to beautiful and scenic roads. If you are a fan of driving you have probably heard of the Stelvio Pass in Italy, the Transfăgărășan in Romania or the EN 222 in Portugal, named the world’s best driving route (according to Avis). We have actually suggested 13 great road trip locations in a previous blog post, featuring many other noteworthy roads in the world.

However, if you’re one of those people that have been bitten by the cycling bug, like myself, the experience of riding in one of these roads might be even better. It’s a sport that allows you to experience a unique sense of freedom on every ride. You feel a stronger connection to the road and you have all the time in the world to contemplate the sun, the sea and the countryside.
It doesn’t matter why you ride. Whether you’re doing it as a stress antidote, for competitive reasons or just to challenge yourself, riding one of these roads is a memorable experience that every cycling fan will enjoy.

In no particular order, here are 5 unforgettable cycling routes in Europe.

The Danube cycle path

The Danube cycle path is one of the most popular bike routes in Europe. It crosses several countries, starting at the Black Forest region in Germany all the way to the Black Sea in Romania. However, our suggestion goes to the Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria segment. It’s a beautiful route with paths on both sides of the river. There is a lot of space, so it’s perfect for every type of cyclist, from leisurely paced riders to the most experienced cyclists looking for a challenge. The most famous attractions along the way are the Schlögen bend, Melk Abbey and the Wachau region.

Starting point: Passau, Germany
End point: Vienna, Austria
Distance: ~310km
Altitude gain: ~2300m
Terrain: road

Click here to check the route on Strava.

More information on the Danube cycle path’s website.

The Five Ferries

The Five Ferries Challenge is a unique route for those who seek to explore the Firth of Clyde islands and peninsulas on the southwest coast of Scotland. The route is composed of 5 stages.

Stage #1 (Arran Island):

Ferry: from Ardrossan (mainland) to Brodick
Ride: from from Brodick to Lochranza

Starting point: Brodick
End point: Lochranza
Distance: 24km
Altitude gain: 377m
Terrain: road

Click here to check the route on Strava.

Stage #2 (Kintyre Peninsula):

Ferry: Lochranza to Claonaig
Ride: from Claonaig to Tarbert

Starting point: Claonaig
End point: Tarbert
Distance: 17.7km
Altitude gain: 289m
Terrain: road

Click here to check the route on Strava.

Stage #3 (Cowal Peninsula):

Ferry: Tarbert to Portavadie
Ride: from Portavadie to Colintraive

Starting point: Portavadie
End point: Colintraive
Distance: 29.7km
Altitude gain: 557m
Terrain: road

Click here to check the route on Strava.

Stage #4 (Isle of Bute):

Ferry: Colintraive to Rhubodach
Ride: from Rhobadach to Rothesay

Starting point: Rhubodach
End point: Rothesay
Distance: 13.4km
Altitude gain: 97m
Terrain: road

Click here to check the route on Strava.

Stage #5 (mainland):

Ferry: Rothesay to Wmyss Bay
Ride: Wemyss Bay to Ardrossan

Starting point: Wemyss Bay
End point: Ardrossan
Distance: 32.7km
Altitude gain: 219m
Terrain: road

Click here to check the route on Strava.

Camino Frances (Ponferrada - Santiago)

The Camino Frances is the most popular Camino route among walkers and cyclists. It is also the one with the biggest network of services in-route.
A lot of cyclists choose the Ponferrada – Santiago de Compostela segment, just over 200km, as it is enough to get the Compostela certificate. The route crosses the beautiful mountains of O Cebreiro and has plenty of cultural and natural attractions.

Starting point: Ponferrada, Spain
End point: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Distance: ~218km
Altitude gain: ~4830m
Terrain: trail

Click here to check the route on Strava.

More information on the CaminoWays website.

Ecovia Litoral (Algarve)

The Ecovia Litoral is a cycling route along the coast of Algarve, Portugal. It’s a unique opportunity to discover the beautiful sandy atlantic beaches that this reagion has to offer. The route integrates part of the EuroVelo 1 (the Route of the Atlantic Coast) that runs down from the North of Scandinavia all the way to Sagres.

The route uses cycle paths, low-traffic roads and clay trails that will take you closer to the majestic cliffs, providing you with an unforgettable look over those postcardesque beaches.

Starting point: Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal
End point: Cabo de São Vicente, Portugal
Distance: 214km
Altitude gain: 109m
Terrain: mixed

Click here to check the route.

Dutch Coastal Route

The Dutch Coastal Route is just one of the Holland Cycling Routes network. The country has a fantastic cycling infrastructure, making it difficult to pick just one. The Coastal Route is part of EuroVelo 12, starting in Sluis (Zeeland) and ending in Nieuweschans (Groningen). Simply follow the relevant rectangular signs with green lettering, signposted in two directions. It goes through the Zeeland islands and will allow you to experience the typical wide and peaceful landscapes of the region. You’ll find small seaside resorts and historic cities that provide great stop-over places along the route.

Starting point: Sluis (Zeeland)
End point: Nieuweschans (Groningen)
Distance: 570km
Altitude gain: n.a.
Terrain: mixed

Click here to check the route.

More information on the Holland Cycling Routes website.

Renato Costa
UI/UX Designer at NDrive. Runner. Weekend cyclist.