The EuroVelo (EV) 8 connects many destinations that are popular European countries: Italy, Monaco, France, Spain and much more. It is made of many old rail road tracks and essentially is a huge rails to trails program. The goals is to make it possible to traverse the whole of Europe on a bicycle.
It is little surprise therefore that the Mediterranean Route receives more interest than any other EuroVelo route. And whilst many of it’s destinations are already internationally famous, there are still lots of undiscovered gems to be found along the way, not least in Albania and Montenegro.
As of January 2017, the EV8 in the France is still in development. Therefore, much riding will have to be on roads. But there are hundreds of gravel and paved roads that are open which traverse out of the way, local knowledge parts of France.
In France, the EV8 will eventually provide a 670 km (420 mi) long cycle route linking Spain to Italy following the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It will arrive in France from the border with Spain over the Panissars pass over the Pyrenees at Le Perthus and depart at Menton on the border with Italy. In doing so, it will pass through the cities of Argelès-sur-Mer, Port Barcarès, Port Leucate, Narbonne, Béziers, Agde, Sète, La Grande-Motte, Cavaillon, Apt, Forcalquier, and Nice.
The south of France is influenced par the Mediterranean culture. Its iconic landscapes have been shaped by its inhabitants over several generations. From the salt marshes to lavender fields, the traditional and ancestral methods are still used to preserve the quality of the regional products. Cycling through the Mediterranean region is a real awakening of the senses. Between the landscapes, villages, tourist sites, and authentic cuisine, a trip on the EV8 will bring unforgettable experiences.
The part of the EV8 that traverses my part of Provence goes through Nice, Frejus, Draguignan, Flayosc, Salernes, Sillans La Cascade (my village), Fox Amphoux, Barjols, and all the way to Marseille and beyond.
These routes are just being discovered and currently with the popularity of E Bikes, people are taking some amazing trips. The routes are best covered on a mountain or gravel bike. If you want to see more, consider an e-bike. For those who are used to riding long distance, the kilometers will be no problem.
The routes are straight forward once you do the research. Admittingly, there are some points when you can get confused. I am posting a pretty unedited video showing some of the routes around my village. I will be posting more video and photos as I explore the EV8 more, so stay tuned.
Here’s another video that can be found on Docedwards Fitness Youtube channel that shows a bit more of the roads around Sillans La Cascade. Again the video is not very well done, but it will hopefully give you an idea.