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EuroVelo 6 _ Nantes, France to the Black Sea

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EuroVelo 6 _ Nantes, France to the Black Sea

Hello !

I'm planning a three-month cycle trip from July - September along the EuroVelo6 route.. just me, myself and I.

If anyone has done this I'd love to hear your tips for must-sees / campsites / must-avoids.

And navigation: is my android smart-phone with downloaded maps enough or should I buy a proper GPS computer, or use maps ?

Lastly, will I go nuts doing this by myself or is it a popular enough route for me to make friends along the way ?

Thanks to anyone with insights and time to reply

Clair

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EV6

Hello, we too are considering this route and look forward to hearing more about the route. We would be interested to know how easy it will be to camp.
Clair, I would think traveling alone would be fine. I find that when I travel alone I meet many more people. Plus, you don't have to worry about keeping at anyone else's pace. From what I have read, the Western section is well marked but if traveling further East, more resources such as GPS or Em maps are advised. Good cycling
Stephanie

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Danube Bike Path

Hi Clair,

Patti and I just did the Danube Bike Path Last September to November. The Danube Bike Path is essentially the Eurovelo 6 from Donaueschingen, Germany to Tulcea, Romania. So I don't have info on the section in France but only for the 3000km's through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Romania (we skipped Bulgaria)

We used the Bikeline guidebooks by Esterbauer Verlag. They come in 5 separate books and are available in German and English. Don't rely on them exclusively since any guide is pretty much obsolete by the time it hits the bookshelves. The route is extremely well signposted through Germany and Austria and you could even skip the maps for those areas. Signposting through Slovakia is good but it's a very short section anyway. The signage through Hungary is not bad but there was the occasional missing sign and we did get "lost" a couple of times. Check out "maps.me" ...it kicks ass and gets you back on track when you get lost. Serbia has very good signage as well and it all completely ends at the Romanian border. No signage at all in Romania but our Romanian road map along with the Bikeline book made it all a breeze. If you're not keen on carrying maps and books you may want to get only the two last books in the series. I don't travel with a GPS and I don't believe you need one. After all, as long as you're roughly following the Danube you'll get to where you're going :-)

The cycling in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary is mostly on paths, dikes, agricultural roads and minor roads with very little traffic. Once you get to Serbia and Romania you will be in some heavy traffic at times. Coming into and leaving Belgrade is quite intimidating for those not used to busy cities.

The Danube Bike Path through Austria is apparently the most popular bike route in Europe, so you should have no problems making contacts along the way. Most cyclists end their trip in Austria with a sizeable number continuing on to Budapest during the summer months. After Budapest it definitely becomes a lot lonelier. We found this especially so since we passed through Serbia and Romania in October and into November. Pick up a few words of Romanian and Serbian since the route goes through very rural (and poor) areas where very little English is spoken. We absolutely loved Budapest and there's a campground within a 10 minute walk to the underground.

When in Germany look for "Canoe Clubs" (Kanuklub). They have the most affordable camping and are much more peaceful than the large campgrounds. They're often restricted to kayakers/canoeists, cyclists and hikers. You're much more likely to meet other cyclists there.

The opportunities to camp will taper off the further east you go. There is a campsite near Belgrade which is worthwhile and a bus will take you into the city for a visit if you're so inclined. Camping in Romania is very limited but the hotels are relatively inexpensive, albeit sometimes a little run down. Camping is available north of Constanta in Romania but everything was closed by the time we arrived on November 5th.

Romania had some of the friendliest people, in spite of language barriers. But be aware of the dogs, the damn dogs. They WILL chase you but they'll stop the moment you do. I put on my "don't f... with me" voice and loaded my pockets with rocks to scare them off. The Danube Gorge between Romania and Serbia is to die for ...absolutely spectacular. Be prepared for some steep climbs through that part.

I wish I could be on the trip with you :-)

If you have any specific questions about different areas, please ask. If I remember anything I'll make sure to post some more info as well.

...Michelle

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:)

I hope you don't forget to ask for some Warm Showers along the way, it's a very good idea !

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re: EuroVelo 6 _ Nantes, France to the Black Sea

hello all,

my partner and me and our (then-to-be) 14-month old son are planning to do EV-6 next year (about April/May), starting at the Black Sea.

We're all accustomed to riding, but I was wondering if anyone had anything further to add about the signposting/route in Romania - happy to go on the odd busy road (with the baby, would probably ride on the footpath off the road), but if that section is predominantly on busy roads would probably ride through the Danube Delta then get a train/bus further west.

Also, apart from the slight incline of riding upstream, are there any other factors, such as prevailing winds that might suggest heading in the other direction is a better idea?

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We did the entire length of

We did the entire length of the Danube from Donaueschingen to Tulcea via Constanza in the fall of 2015. There is basically zero signage in Romania but the route is easy to find, especially with the help of the Esterbauer Bikeline books. There are no footpaths/sidewalks and mostly no shoulders either. Traffic wasn't very heavy but there were exceptions, especially closer to the Black Sea and Constanza. Towards the end (your beginning) there was relatively constant truck traffic. Drivers tend to move fast but they're not out to get you either. We did survive but don't expect the same level of cycling you'd get further west. Serbia is mostly on quiet roads, except through Belgrade and Novi Sad and it is quite well singposted. Same for Croatia, Hungary had heavy traffic on the roads with incredibly courteous drivers. Alsoi a lot of dike paths away from motorized traffic. Then it gets better and better as you head west.

 

Hope that helps.

...Michelle

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Yes, Michelle, that's a big

Yes, Michelle, that's a big help.  Still not sure about the risk to a baby sharing the road with trucks.  I suppose we'll have to see and jump on a train if it's too dodgy!

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hi Michelle - another

hi Michelle - another question!

Did you do the longer route at the end through the Danube delta nature reserve?  If so, do you think it's worth riding through? - from what I've seen it looks magical!

And is there decent, cheap accommodation around Constanza - everything I've looked at (very briefly) online is pretty exxy,

Rob

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From Ion Corvin we went

From Ion Corvin we went directly to Constanta and then pretty much directly north to Tulcea along the main road. We ignored the route from the book and just took the most direct route from Constanta to Tulcea. There was nothing scenic about that stretch. For the actual Danube Delta we left our bikes in Tulcea and took a boat to Sulina and stayed a few nights.

Constanta is relatively expensive but we had decided to treat ourselves by staying at the very north end of the city for 50 Euros per night at the Hotel El Locanda. This was at the end of October with off season pricing.

...Michelle

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Hi!

Hi!

Serbia or Romania?
I would recommend biking on the Serbian side as soon as possible. There are fewer dogs which come out of nowhere to chase you, the prices seem to be lower (I paid around 10 euros per night in 2016 and very nice Hotel Moscow in Negotin cost me 20 euros per night), the signage is excellent, most people under 30 are friendly and speak English.....The Serbian Iron Gates section is amazing. If you cant find anywhere to stay, ask at any general store (open all weekend) and they might find you "unofficial" accommodation. If you are cycling in the summer, the south-of-Danube Serbian side is shaded by the mountains, whereas the north-of-Danube Romanian side gets blasted by the sun. I got along fine with the Esterbauer books and offline maps on my mobile phone.

Mobile phone: If you use and EU operator, when in Serbia, try to connect to a Romanian roaming partner on the opposite bank of the Danube, and you will pay EU roaming rates (ie nothing extra at all), and not third country rates. However your mobile phone might choose to use Romanian time, which is one hour different to Serbian time.

Hungary or Slovakia?

Sturovo to Komarno (SK) has more bike-only ways and much quieter roads than Estergom to Komarom (HU), which has more to see but lots of trucks. The border crossing between Hungary and Sturovo involves biking up into the hills, or (unofficially) wheeling your bike across the railway bridge.
Komarno to Bratislava (SK) is almost totally flat, tarmaced, and forbidden for cars. Not much to see, few campsites, but very easy biking and no problems with wild-camping.
Gyor (HU) to Bratislava (SK): Esterbauer books offer an "alternative route" along minor roads thru Hungarian villages. More interesting than the SK side but more time consuming and more trucks. There are plenty of campsites.

Austria, Germany....
Yup both have excellent cycleways and signage BUT most shops are closed from Saturday lunchtime to Monday morning and wild camping is more of a problem.

Flixbus and regiojet both offer some buses with bike carriers.
Good luck!

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Hi! Serbia or Romania? I

Hi! Serbia or Romania? I would recommend biking on the Serbian side as soon as possible. There are fewer dogs which come out of nowhere to chase you, the prices seem to be lower (I paid around 10 euros per night in 2016 and very nice Hotel Moscow in Negotin cost me 20 euros per night), the signage is excellent, most people under 30 are friendly and speak English.....The Serbian Iron Gates section is amazing. If you cant find anywhere to stay, ask at any general store (open all weekend) and they might find you "unofficial" accommodation. If you are cycling in the summer, the south-of-Danube Serbian side is shaded by the mountains, whereas the north-of-Danube Romanian side gets blasted by the sun. I got along fine with the Esterbauer books and offline maps on my mobile phone. Mobile phone: If you use and EU operator, when in Serbia, try to connect to a Romanian roaming partner on the opposite bank of the Danube, and you will pay EU roaming rates (ie nothing extra at all), and not third country rates. However your mobile phone might choose to use Romanian time, which is one hour different to Serbian time. Hungary or Slovakia? Sturovo to Komarno (SK) has more bike-only ways and much quieter roads than Estergom to Komarom (HU), which has more to see but lots of trucks. The border crossing between Hungary and Sturovo involves biking up into the hills, or (unofficially) wheeling your bike across the railway bridge. Komarno to Bratislava (SK) is almost totally flat, tarmaced, and forbidden for cars. Not much to see, few campsites, but very easy biking and no problems with wild-camping. Gyor (HU) to Bratislava (SK): Esterbauer books offer an "alternative route" along minor roads thru Hungarian villages. More interesting than the SK side but more time consuming and more trucks. There are plenty of campsites. Austria, Germany.... Yup both have excellent cycleways and signage BUT most shops are closed from Saturday lunchtime to Monday morning and wild camping is more of a problem. Flixbus and regiojet both offer some buses with bike carriers. Good luck!

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Border Crossing

 Thank you for the information! 

 What is the problem crossing between Slovakia and hungry? We will be crossing that in a couple days 

 

Ken

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Crossing from SK to HU

The SK-HU border crossing on the south bank of the Danube and the SK-HU border crossing on the north bank of the Danube are not opposite each other.

I wrote the last post for someone travelling from east to west, not the usual way, from west to east.

So. From West to East following the south bank of the Danube, the SK-HU border crossing (Bratislava-Rajka) is easy and eerily unmarked.

From West to East following the north bank of the Danube, the SK-HU border crossing (Sturovo-Szob) involves leaving the Danube and biking up into the hills to Salka (SK) then Lektes (HU) : annoying if you dont like hills. Instead of doing that, you could bike along small roads which follow the railway from Sturovo to Chlaba (still in SK), then push / ride a dirt track parallel to the railway and across the railway bridge (there is a walkway big enough for bikes) over the River Ipel into Szob (HU). There are some decent bike-only paths after Szob for a decent number of kilometers.

Best of luck! Matt

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EV 6 Munich to Budapest

Philip Robinson and I are heading out today. We will join EV 6 after Salzburg.   See you guys along the way!

Ken

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Eurovelo 6

I agree with all that has been said above,, re the EV 6. Just a query, and a little to add re the delta:

Matt Dalby, I have crossed from Sturavo (slovakia) to Estergom (HUNgary) several times in both directions, using the green bridge that is upstream from the Citadel . Is this the border crossing that you are talking about, or is that bridge no longer there (It's ten years since I was last there, that final time I actually slept dirctly under the border control people, under the bridge in the back garden of a little pub/cafe. on the Slovak side.) 

Re: the delta. If one wants to go right to the zero mark of the Danube, then the road ends at Tulcea. From there, there is  chep ferry that take you out on the St Geroge channel to a village that is just a few minutes from the sea. I am not sure if one buys a permit for the delta before getting on the ferry or if the permit is included in the ferry price ( cheap ferry) You can take bikes on the ferry.When you get off the ferry, you are able to ride down to the beach, (or walk, it's not far)  then along a bit to see where the Danube meets the Black Sea. There is a noticible difference in both colour and water temperature  - I found it quite emotional to actually see and feel that.  :-)

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HI, I was talking about using

HI, I was talking about using the railway bridge not across the Danube but across the Ipel between Sturovo(SK) and Szob (HU), not the bridge across the Danube between Sturovo and Estzergom (HU).