The Danube runs all the way from it’s source in southern Germany to the Black Sea in Romania.
Best-developed in cycle path terms are the sections through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary and the Austrian section between Vienna and Passau is possibly the most popular and best known cycle path in continental Europe!
The Black Forest is mountainous with evergreen forests, often associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. It’s renowned for its spas and gothic villages and towns.
Further along the river are Ulm (world’s tallest church) and medieval Regensberg before the Passau-Vienna section, full of incredible riverscapes, villages and vineyards.
Beyond Vienna you can carry on through the Slovakian capital of Bratislava surround by mountains to end in Hungary’s capital and World Heritage Site, Budapest.
Start / finish Donaueschingen, Germany to Budapest
Length 790 miles / 1271 km
E-bike Option UK’s Flexitreks offer e-bike breaks along the Passau-Vienna section
Heading across the Plateau of Langres, the Meuse river encounters the ‘ghost villages’ of the WWI battle of Verdun, traverses the spectacular Ardennes hills of southern Belgium, with Dinant and Namur spectacularly sited on the river then enters the Netherlands to pass through one of the country’s prettiest areas, Limburg, including the fine cities of Maastricht and Roermond.
It finally joins the Rhine route to head to the Dutch coast.
Start / finish Pouilly-en-bassigny, France to Hook of Holland, Netherlands
The western half of this incredibly popular route is the more famed, and a good way to tackle this part is to start at Orléans (easily accessible by train from Paris).
Then heading west on the Loire by Bike route gets you to the heart of the magnificent Chateaux country, complete with a long series of fairytale style grand houses, complete with battlements, turrets and towers.
The tracks and minor roads that meander along the river also let you appreciate its wild nature at its best.
Cycling often downhill, the Adige river guides you from the Austrian/Italian border through the Italian Dolomite mountain range.
Pass through lovely towns such as Merano, Bolzano and Trento, backed by spectacular mountains all the way.
The finish is on the beautiful Lake Garda where one of Europe’s most spectacular round -lake bike routes is taking shape.
Start / finish Lake Reschen to Torbole on Lake Garda
Length 155 miles / 250 km
E-bike Hire Details of the local e-bike hire network in the Trentino area here and at Freewheelsbike in Trento.
More info Bicitalia has a page detailing what it rates as the ‘high quality’ middle section of the route and the map also shows the rest of the route.
OK it’s not epic in length but the sights of London, Oxford and the Thames add up to an epic experience visiting two of the most historic UK cities.
The route is signed as National Cycle Network 4 and 5 and meanders along the Thames valley criss-crossing the idyllic banks of Thames at several places.
See the deer and fine wildlife at Europe’s largest city park, Richmond Park, royal residence Windsor Castle, Eton College, charming Thames villages and market towns and finally Oxford, one of England’s grandest and oldest cities, famed for its ancient university.
Start / finish Putney Bridge, London to Oxford centre
The Douro Valley in northern Portugal is a hotspot for companies offering holidays by e-bike, some accompanied, some self-guided.
The area is famous for port wine, with spectacular terrace vineyards along the valley.
This tour from Bspoke combines e-bikes with train and boat travel and involves a moderate 67 miles / 108km cycling through hilly country taking in fine local cuisine and attractive towns such as Peso da Régua and Pinhão.
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!