EuroVelo is a European cycle route network and is a project managed by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF). EuroVelo also works with various national and regional partners in the European Union to meet its objectives.
The idea of creating an international cycle route was born in 1995. At the time, there were no organizations concerned with the creation and monitoring of an international cycle route. However, ECF with the help of De Frie Fugle (Denmark) and Sustrans (UK) begun working on this idea. The original plan was to incorporate 12 long-distance cycle routes spanning several countries. As developments continued, ECF took over full responsibility of the route in 2007.
The main idea behind the creation of EuroVelo was to consolidate existing and planned cycle routes into a single European cycle network. This has been very successful with thousands of kilometers of international cycle routes becoming part of the EuroVelo network.
Currently, the EuroVelo network consists of 45,000 bike paths all over the continent. However, this is not all. The network plans to have a total of 70,000 kilometers of bike paths by the time it is completed. Another important aspect that EuroVelo wanted to achieve, was the inclusion of routes in different countries in its network. France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Switzerland, Slovakia and the UK are some of the countries where the EuroVelo network has spread to.
One of the goals of the EuroVelo project is the harmonization of standards and specifications of bike paths. Another objective is to start discussion about the bike routes with policy makers and users. With such a well-developed network, it is easier for ECF to market the cycle routes to potential users. The EuroVelo network also aims to encourage more people in Europe to try cycling thus promoting tourism across the region.
Currently, there are 14 routes within the EuroVelo network. One of the core objectives of creating the EuroVelo project was to have a brand that all cyclists could recognize. EuroVelo signage is present in all its routes across Europe. This makes it easy for cyclists to recognize which bike paths are certified by EuroVelo. Among the routes are EuroVelo 1(Atlantic Coast Route), EuroVelo 2 (Capitals Route), EuroVelo 3 (Pilgrims Route), EuroVelo 8 (Mediterranean Route) and EuroVelo 15 (Rhine Route) among others. The EuroVelo network has spread to over 40 countries in Europe. Cyclists wishing to have a better understanding of the routes can check eurovelo.com.