Euro cycle route nears completion

A large group of cycle tourists crest a hill
Cycle touring on the EuroVelo routes will allow cyclists to travel from Norway to Spain

Cyclists will soon be able to cycle from Trondheim in Norway, down through Europe and across France to reach Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle in Spain with a new long-distance cycle route, the EuroVelo3.

Called the Scandibérique in France, the route crosses 19 departments after arriving at Maubeuge, Nord, and leaves 1,709km later at Hendaye to enter Spain.

The latest section to be completed, the 194km in Les Landes, has just finished and the full route should be open in 2018 covering 5,000km from Saint-Jacques to Trondheim.

It is the latest of a series of cross-Europe cycle routes that criss-cross the continent, linking Roscoff to Kiev, Cadiz to Athens and Nordkap in Norway to Malta.

So far there are 15 routes – confusingly named EuroVelo 1 to EuroVelo 17 – created with European aid in the name of ‘sustainable tourism’.

Eight of the routes cross France, using 8,000km of the country’s 21,000km of cycleways.

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The new route in Les Landes starts in the north-east of the department at Gabarret and heads down to Saint-Laurent-de-Gosse passing through Villeneuve-de-Marsan, Mont-de-Marsan, Tartas and Dax. It uses 65km of cycleway and 130km of little-used back roads, with about 30km along the Adour riverbank.

Waymarkers have already been erected, giving details of the next stage plus the distance to the nearest big town. Cycle tourists are especially welcome as studies have shown that they spend an average of €65 a day on their journeys - €20 more than normal tourists.

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