Our Stretch - 116 Kilometres
EuroVelo 8 is currently planned to run some 4500 kilometres on the European mainland, from Cadiz in Spain to Athens in Greece. It will also extend over the Aegean Sea to Cyprus and Turkey. Overviews of the whole route can be found here and there on the internet. There is also an official site dedicated to the 850km French section on francevelotourisme.com, which has some useful details about the various stretches between Spain and Italy.
Our site is dedicated to the 116 kilometre stretch which runs from Meyrargues in the west to Les Arcs in the east. Each of these towns are accessible by regional trains which allow bicycles on board without prior booking. But in between are “provisional” sign-posted on-road sections, tracks intended to be part of the route in future, and some lengths that are completed. As work continues, we’ll try to keep you up to date.
OUR STRETCH IN DETAIL
EuroVelo 8 is currently planned to run some 4500 kilometres on the European mainland, from Cadiz in Spain to Athens in Greece. Our stretch is just 116 kilometres from Meyrargues to Draguignan and Les Arcs.
Much of this 21 kilometre stretch follows provisional signage, known as "jalonnement". This involves signs giving details of distances and directions on quieter roads, until such time as the full EV8 is completed.
18 kilometres of mixed quality, including road, dirt track and quiet lane. Some tracks used by local farmers are passable in dry weather. The route is flat throughout. The main road, quiet at times, must be used for around half this stretch.
This 6 km stretch has recently had its surface upgraded on much of the cycleway, creating a very pleasant ride. With extremely gentle elevations, the cycleway skirts both Varages and Barjols. But both villages can be accessed easily.
This 17 km stretch will be the next to be officially opened, hopefully in 2022. It is largely ready for use, with just two short stretches of on-road cycling required. Mostly gentle elevations, with just one series of three steeper climbs.
Just shy of 9 kilometres, this stretch is nearing completion. Gentle gradients along much of the way. There is one missing bridge over the main road, but crossing is easy. Plus a surprise way of separating cyclists from the Salernes by-pass.
This 14 kilometre stretch was officially opened in 2017. It follows the old railway line for the whole route. Consequently gradients are mostly gentle. There are few cars until Lorgues, where there is significant residential traffic.
If you are into railway architecture, this is a route for you. It includes some beautiful single-arch bridges over the cycleway, three recently-surfaced tunnels, and a curious train halt looking more like a bus stop at Sauveclare.
How can cyclists ride into and out of Draguignan safely (avoiding busy roads) and comfortably (avoiding steep hills)? It is a major challenge to find a relatively quiet cycle route. We’ve looked at the alternatives. Here is our preferred option.
The 14 km long Vigne á Vélo is a great connecting cycleway running south of the EV8 at Draguignan. Until you reach Les Arcs, it is almost completely free of motor traffic. It is a signed route. However, we missed badly-placed signage a few times.