After a three-year application period, the Meuse Cycle Route has joined EuroVelo, the European cycle route network. The route, which has become EuroVelo 19, follows the Meuse River from its source in northern France to its mouth on the Dutch North Sea coast crossing three countries (France, Belgium and The Netherlands) and connecting over 1,100km of cycle routes. The route officially joined the EuroVelo network at ITB Berlin 2019, the world’s leading travel trade show, during the Cycling Tourism Day on Friday 8th March.
“Joining the EuroVelo network is the reward for the hard work of all our transnational partners in the joint creation of this attractive cycle route.” Said Jos Ernenst, coordinator Meuse Cycle Route, Province of Limburg (NL).
The Meuse Cycle Route, following the banks of a major European River, is easy to cycle and well adapted to families and it is a fantastic addition to the European cycle route network.
EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route has become the 16th route of the EuroVelo network, which employs a numbering system based on the direction of the route: uneven numbers run from south to north, whereas cycle routes directed along the west-east axis have even numbers.
Said Ádám Bodor, EuroVelo and Advocacy Director, European Cyclists’ Federation – “We are delighted to be able to add EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route to our network of transnational cycle routes that connect the continent. In our experience, routes along rivers are very popular with cycling tourists and, having visited parts of the EuroVelo 19 personally, I can confirm that it is already a well-developed and attractive tourism product. It also forms a backbone for national and regional cycle networks in the three countries benefitting local communities too.”
The Meuse Cycle Route in France begins on the Langres Plateau in the Haute Marne and then goes for 444 km to Givet, on the Belgian border, passing several Petites Cités de Caractère®. The eleven stages of the route can comfortably be travelled at 30-50 kilometres a day and there are a number of SNCF stations along the way, handy for picking up the route part way through.
Examples of some of the stages include:
- Bourmont to Neufchâteau, one of the more difficult stretches due to the relief around
Circourt-sur-Mouzon and Neufchâteau, the latter being a major heritage site of the Vosges.
- Verdun to Stenay, which takes you from the famous battlefields of the First World War to the beer museum at Stenay in the heart of hop country.
- Sedan, whose medieval fortress is the largest in Europe, to Charleville-Mezières, birthplace of the controversial boy-poet Arthur Rimbaud and world centre of puppet theatre. The attractive Place Ducal is brimming with life and is an ideal place to unwind after a day’s cycling!
From a practical point of view, there are services of repair shops and rental companies all the way along the route.
Image credit: D. Truillard / J.M. Lecomte
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