EuroVelo 8 connects many destinations that are popular tourist attractions in their own right: Barcelona, Monaco, Venice, the Croatian Coast, Cyprus – the list goes on. 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.
So what are you waiting for!
- 5888 km long
712 Species of fish in
- Art cities
- Religious heritage
- World Heritage Sites (UNESCO)
- Mediterranean diet
- Natural heritage
- Maritime heritage
- Mediterranean Sea
La Morra, Italy
La Morra is a small village in the hilly region of Langhe which is famous for its panoramic views. From there, you can see across the rolling hills of vineyards and on a clear day you can see all the way to the snow-capped Alps. While you're there be sure to try out the local Barbaresco and Barolo wines: "the king of wines and the wine of kings". Photo by BORGHY52 (flickr.com)
Picasso Museum, France
Built on the site of the Greek acropolis, in turn castrum Roman, medieval castle, Lordly house before becoming the Picasso Museum. The castle Grimaldi of Antibes reflects the glorious past of ancient Antipolis, full of almost three Millenniums. Besides works done by the artist during his Antibes period, the Picasso museum also houses many paintings of Nicolas de Stael, Antibes adoption, Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman. Alongside outstanding exhibitions and retrospectives, the acquisition of many contemporary works (Light, Atlan, Magnelli, Ernst, Picabia, Modigliani, Pagès) contributes to its influence in the world. Picture: shimown (flickr.com)
Sabbioneta, the widspread museum, Italy
Sabbioneta was created for Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga in the second half of the 16C and is an extraordinary example of a constructed ideal town, 'a dream turned into stone'. A model of Renaissance urban planning, the town is surrounded by mighty star-shaped walls and has four monumental buildings that belonged to the Prince: Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Giardino, Galleria degli Antichi and Teatro all’Antica. Added to these is a fine Synagogue, in the old Jewish quarter, testimony to a significant cultural tradition and along an excellent historic-artistic route.
Grasse is known as the "capital of flowers and perfumes." In the eighteenth century the perfume, which replaced the tannery, is booming. In the nineteenth century, the flower crops and manufacture of perfumes Grasse give international fame. The opening of the new International Perfume Museum in 2008 is the historical witness, heritage and culture of this industry. Photo credit: Ondablv (flickr.com)
Jardines del Turia, Spain
The Turai river used to flow through the centre of Valencia. Following a particularly bad flood in 1957, the river was rerouted around the city and the river bed was made into a path. It make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience, cycling through the city in one huge garden which is overlooked by magnificently majestic bridges. The experience culminates at the 'Ciudad de las Ciencias', where water meets futuristic architecture to quite impressive effect. Photo credit: Juanedc (flickr.com)
Uljanik shipyard, Croatia
Pula’s Uljanik shipyard is one of the oldest still in operation today. In 2000 the city began considering relocating the shipyard to free up area for tourism. A Croatian lighting designer however decided to illuminate the shipyard itself and it could be an attraction. The Lighting Giants project came alive in 2014 at Visualia, a festival of digital art and lighting design. The eight cranes at Uljanik are illuminated every night in different colours. Pula also has a spectacular Roman amphitheatre, the Pula Arena also serves as a venue for many concerts. Photo credit: Miro onoff (flickr)
Jean Cocteau Museum
Located at the foot of the old town of Menton, facing the covered market and near the sea front, the Jean Cocteau Museum Collection Severin Wunderman opened in November 2011. Inspired by the many facets of the genius Cocteau, architect Rudy Var Ricciotti chose to imagine a museum evoking a shell abandoned by the sea. The poet's work in all its facets is presented over 2700 m², from the 1910s to the 1950s and offers visitors the exhibition of collections and temporary exhibition spaces, an educational workshop, a graphic arts firm, a space for documentary resources and a bookstore.
Turin Egyptian Museum
Turin boasts an artistic and architectonic heritage spanning from Roman times to la Belle Époque: every corner is a surprise, an encounter with art and culture thanks to its numerous art galleries, churches, palaces, opera houses, gardens and prestigious museums such as the National Museum of Cinema and the Egyptian Museum. Recently renovated, the Egyptian Museum, second only to the one in Cairo, exhibits an extraordinary collection of more than 30.000 items.
Old town centre Koper
Koper, one of the oldest towns in Slovenia, was developed on a rocky island with the Roman name Capris. Out of the three Slovenian coast cities (Koper, Izola, Piran), Koper has experienced the most numerous layout modifications. The reasons for that also need to be sought in the changes of various reigns and states, all of which marked the city with their specific traits and names. Koper was called Capris in Roman times, in the times of the pope Gregory I (599) Insula Capraria (“goat island”), Iustinopolis under the Byzantine Empire (between mid 6th and 8th centuries) and Caput Histriae (‘head of Istria’) by the Aquileia Patriarchs. The Venetians rendered that name into the Italian form, Capodistria. Today, Koper is both an commercial and tourist city, continuing to develop its offer in terms of seaside resorts, nautical tourism, sports and shopping. It has also become a University City. Copyright TIC Koper, foto Ubald Trnkoczy
Like much of the Mediterranean, Spain is synonymous with sunny beaches, good food and the outdoor lifestyle. Tarifa, the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, marks the point at which the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Here, two continents sit within sight of each other. The mere 14 kilometre gap that separates Spain and Morocco has been a major cultural crossroads. Modern Spanish culture is infused with its Moorish heritage and there are many architectural treasures that bear witness to its diverse history.
The south of France is impregnated with Mediterranean influences. The influence of its two neighbouring countries can definitely be felt but the elegant towns and cities are unmistakably French. Here, major cities are neighboured by wilderness. The rich cultural landscapes have been shaped by generations of locals who have in turn adapted their behaviour to it. From the salt fields to the lavender fields, the ancestral methods of extracting goodness from the land and sea are visible at every turn.
Crossing this micro-state is no major sporting feat but the hilly winding streets make sure that it’s counted. With a total area of just over 2 square kilometres, you will have seen most of it just by entering it. Famous for its Monte Carlo Casino and its Formula 1 Gran Prix, it is also the state with the highest per capita GDP as well as the highest population density.
Italy is emblematic of the Mediterranean. Its long arm juts out into the sea towards the African continent. The Romans brought together the whole region and put their capital at the centre of their empire. They exported their way of life wherever they went. It shaped not just the history of the region but also the different cultures that can be found throughout it today. This is true as much for its architectural influence as for its culinary and religious influence.
Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst. One of the more memorable contrasts in the Slovenian landscape is the proximity of the Alpine and Mediterranean worlds, each offering the visitor a whole palette of regional characteristics. Between its ancient salt works - the northenmost in the Mediterranean- which are home to 150 bird species and its picturesque coastal towns, Slovenia definitely has enough Mediterranean in it to deserve its spot on EuroVelo 8.
The route takes you through the most beautiful parts of the Croatian Mediterranean coast and hinterland. You will be met by a rich cultural and historical heritage that dates from early ages and enjoy the natural beauties. The route passes through a series of larger and smaller towns and villages in which you will get to know and be able to enjoy the traditional way of life, which was kept for centuries. The route connects the location which has been listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and don’t forget about blue sea and a sunny sky.
Although the coastal region of Neum is surrounded by Croatian peninsulas, it is written into international law that Bosnia and Herzegovina has the right of passage to the outer sea, and now to the EuroVelo network too! The closed bay is protected from strong winds and makes for wonderfully calm conditions both in the water and out of it. As such it’s the perfect place for calm-water activities and is a hot spot for Scuba-diving, parasailing, boating and jet skiing.
In the Mediterranean, there is simply no mountain landscape comparable to Montenegro. Now it is more and more accessible to cyclists too, with some 3,000 km of on- and off- road biking trails mapped out for you to discover. EuroVelo 8 will pass by the Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO world heritage site, on the way around the Adriatic coast to Podgorica, the capital. The route is currently not realised.
The Albanian coast is characterised by fresh mountain air mixing with the warm sea breeze. The climatic diversity of the country is matched by its biological diversity and its forests are home to a wide range of mammals, including wolves, bears, wild boars and chamois. While the lynx, wildcats, pine martens and polecats are rarer, they can also be spotted in the landscape.
Entering Greece from Epirous Region borders with legendary Ionian sea where dolphins and fishermans share the clear blue waters, from Igoumenitsa, to Sivota, Parga and Preveza to historical villages like Zalogo, Souli and Zagori. Cycling south to West Greece Region from Astakos and Vonitsa till National Park of Messolonghi-Etoliko Lagoons, of lower flow, of Acheloos and Evinos rivers delta and of Echinades islands till you finally cross Antirrio-Rio bridge to enter Peloponesse biggest city Patras, where one of the biggest carnival purely of Italian origin started approximately 180 years ago. Cycling by the sea from Xylokastro and Ancient Sykyon to Kiato towards Korinthos and Loutraki, a coastal town internationally known for its thermal springs. Along the coast from Megara to Eleusina and the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous religious events of the ancient Greek religion, entering Attica Region with UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the medieval Daphni Monaster to the Acropolis of Athens. The route is currently not realised.
The easternmost part of EuroVelo 8 is on the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is a compact island with an incredible variety of scenery within short distances, making it a delight to cyclists. The route loops around the island and goes through some of the most interesting parts of Cyprus, from mountainous villages where the old ways of life, customs and traditions can be observed, to bustling cities and tourist resorts with coastal views over pristine beaches. With the island situated at the crossroads of three continents, cyclists can ride not only through various landscapes, but also through 10.000 years of history and civilisation: prehistoric settlements, classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, early Christian basilicas, Gothic cathedrals, Venetian fortifications, Moslem mosques and British colonial-style buildings.