The extension of the EuroVelo network
During 2019 there were two major extensions to the EuroVelo network. Firstly, on the 8th March EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route joined the network during the Cycling Tourism Day at ITB Berlin 2019. It was the first new route to be added to the EuroVelo network in three years! There are many good reasons to go cycling along the Meuse. Find out more about the route here.
The EuroVelo network has not only been extended by a completely new route. Towards the end of the year, a 500-km coastal cycle route in Izmir, Turkey also joined the European cycle route network as an extension of EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route. The route was proposed by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, with the support of the Turkish National EuroVelo Coordinator (NEC), and connects the ancient cities of Pergamon and Ephesus.
New look for EuroVelo websites for users and professionals
A milestone of 2019 was the modernisation and merger of the two websites: eurovelo.com and eurovelo.org.
The former boast significant improvements on the previous version, including an attractive and modern design, interactive maps, a user-friendly interface that adapts to different devices and new transnational websites.
The website for professionals is now integrated with the main EuroVelo.com website, bringing the user and the professional parts of EuroVelo closer together.
New figures show there are nearly 90,000 kilometres of EuroVelo routes to explore!
As part of the work in creating the new websites, the ECF’s EuroVelo Team collected the detailed tracks of the entire EuroVelo network, including those sections that are still under development or at the planning stage. The results? For the first time ever we have up-to-date and accurate route lengths for all EuroVelo routes and we can produce the amazing interactive maps that you can now explore on the EuroVelo website. Detailed information here.
Cycle Tourism and EuroVelo on stage at Velo-city
The new EuroVelo.com was launched at this year’s Velo-city conference in Dublin in June. During the conference, which was crammed full of inspiring moments, cycling tourism took centre stage in a plenary on the 3rd day. The session focused on the growth in cycle tourism in recent years and explained how it can contribute to making the tourism sector more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail declared a Cultural Route
Following a seven-month application process, EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail joined the list of 38 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe in May. This was the first time that an entire EuroVelo route has been recognised in this way! The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe aim to illustrate European memory, history and heritage and contribute to an interpretation of the diversity of present-day Europe.
Two EuroVelo projects come to an end
During 2019, two projects related to EuroVelo routes supported by the European Union came to an end. In September, a final conference for the EuroVelo 3 – Pilgrims Route project was held in Santiago de Compostela. Santiago marks the southern end of the route and represented a fitting location to end the 18-month COSME project, which aimed to develop EuroVelo 3 and connect it to the cultural heritage sites located along the itinerary.
For the past three years, the Biking South Baltic! project has brought together partners from Poland, Germany and Denmark to develop the southern section of EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Sea Cycle Route. With the successful project closing at the end of the year, the lead partner organised a final conference in Gdansk in October bringing together partners from across the Baltic region.
Of course there were lots of other news that we could have included here and we are aware that there have been many improvements that have made to individual sections of the EuroVelo network over the past twelve months. We thank you for your continuing support on the national, regional and local levels.
From everyone in ECF’s EuroVelo Team here in Brussels, we wish you an excellent end of the year and we look forward to catching up with many of you in 2020!
Author(s): Thessa Gebhardt