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A cycling adventure from Paris to Prague – Pan-European Cycle Route

Roland Kühner

A cycling adventure from Paris to Prague – Pan-European Cycle Route

Bike Touring Collection by Hannah

14-31

days

3-6 h

/ day

894 mi

30,975 ft

30,475 ft

Traversing three countries and almost 1,500 kilometres (932 miles), the Pan-European Cycle Route connects the pulsating metropolises of Paris and Prague. With straight canals, mountainous countryside, champagne, wine, spaetzle and dumplings, as well as fairytale castles and palaces and wild riverbanks, the route is a wonderful adventure. You ride through the regions of Champagne, the Vosges, and Alsace in France, Swabia, Franconia, and the Palatinate in Germany, and Pilsen and Bohemia in the Czech Republic. You are guaranteed a huge range of variety and lots of excitement as you realise how close together Europe really is.

Your journey starts in the city of love and continues along traffic-free canal cycle paths, through vineyards and over wooded hills to the bicycle-friendly border town of Strasbourg. Next, you encounter Gallo-Roman history, great French cuisine such as Brie and champagne, and interesting cultural activities in Nancy and Sarrebourg. In Germany, you cycle from the west to the east of the country, visiting many wonderful places such as the university town of Heidelberg. The Rhine, Neckar, and Waldnaab rivers accompany you as you ride through the cosiness of Swabia and experience Zoiglbier culture. Finally, in the Czech Republic, you ride through the Bohemian countryside and the beautiful city of Pilsen before reaching the capital, the crowning finale.

This Collection summarises the Pan-European Cycle Route in 22 stages. Based on the official GPS data, the stages vary between 50 and 88 kilometres (19 and 56 miles). You can also design great day trips and short cycling holidays using the stages if you don’t have time to ride the whole route in one go. The sections through the valley and along the canal are perfect for beginners, making the Tour suitable for both mile crunchers and relaxed riders.

All of the proposed stage destinations have plenty of accommodation, which you can find on the official tourism sites of each city. Of course, you can decide each day where you want to finish your ride. You can also use the komoot route planner to find nearby campsites. Wild camping is generally not allowed on the route, but the local people are often very nice and open and will allow you to stay overnight on their private property if you ask nicely. The Warmshowers network warmshowers.org also has many hosts listed in France, Germany and the Czech Republic, who can often give good local tips.

The trail varies from perfectly tarmacked to stony gravel roads. In rainy weather, there may be muddy sections that are more suitable for mountain bikes, particularly through the Bohemian Forest. I recommend checking the route types on the komoot route planner to avoid unpathed roads on your touring bike. The route is not always signposted in France, so it is best to ride with navigation on.

You can travel to the start of your adventure in Paris with the SNCF train which offers bike transport. You need to reserve a spot for your bike on the TGV trains and on TER and Intercité regional trains you can usually take your bike for free without a reservation. The Deutsche Bahn regional trains require a bike ticket if you are planning to ride some of the route by train. You can also book the train directly to Prague from the Deutsche Bahn website, although you may have to change several times depending on where you start your journey. Alternatively, there are direct long-distance bus connections in both cities that offer a bicycle transport service.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:34
    30.3 mi
    8.5 mph
    550 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first stage of your tour on the Paneuropean cycle path from Paris to Prague begins with a relaxed 48.8 kilometers. The starting point is Gare de l‘Est, one of the large terminal stations that is right next to Gare du Nord. Here you come to the canal bank, where your today's stage will lead.The Canal de l’Ourc takes …

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  • Difficult
    03:58
    36.1 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today, 58 kilometers to Château-Thierry are on the program. Along the course of the Marne you cycle out of Meaux and start your first ascent to Montceaux-lès-Meaux, from where you can enjoy a great view. Then you can look forward to a grand descent back to the banks of the Marne.Following the bank, the route takes you over small …

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  • Difficult
    03:57
    36.1 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Another 56 kilometers further you reach the wonderful wine region of Champagne, where lively climbs and sparkling wines are waiting for you. You drive along the Marne and cross the river at Dormans. Here you can visit the Château de Dormans and the monument to the First World War. Otherwise, you simply cycle further around the castle park and into the vineyards.

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  • Difficult
    04:47
    43.6 mi
    9.1 mph
    275 ft
    175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Your fourth stage is a little longer at 72 kilometers, but it runs dead straight along the Marne Lateral Canal. Halfway through the route you cycle through the city of Châlons-en-Champagne, which looks back on an exciting history back to Roman times.

    We continue on the Marne Canal, lined with the wild and romantic embankment and idyllic towns. On this …

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  • Intermediate
    04:30
    29.3 mi
    6.5 mph
    450 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The next stage leads 47 kilometers into the former Lorraine region to the pretty Renaissance town of Bar-le-Duc. Known for its quiche Lorraine, sun-ripened plums and of course its quality wines, this region will also pamper your palate. Behind Vitry-le-François, the Marne Lateral Canal joins the Rhine-Marne Canal, which connects the Moselle near Nancy and the Rhine near Strasbourg. On …

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  • Intermediate
    04:28
    46.3 mi
    10.4 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,200 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On today's stage, you can look forward to 74 kilometers along the canal and through the wooded hilly landscape of the Maas department. The stage destination is the city of Toul, which was founded by the Gauls in prehistoric times.

    The first 24 kilometers you follow the banks of the Rhine-Marne Canal. Now you can expect a gentle, constant ascent …

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  • Intermediate
    02:26
    25.9 mi
    10.6 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After you made a good stretch yesterday, today you will follow a relaxed 42 kilometers with little incline to just before the city limits of the architecturally magnificent city of Nancy. The city of Toul leads you out on waterways and leads you to the banks of the Moselle (French: Moselle). On paved bike paths you follow the gentle Moselle …

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  • Intermediate
    04:27
    45.8 mi
    10.3 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    After you have recharged your batteries in Nancy, it is now 74 kilometers to Saarburg (French: Sarrebourg) on the edge of Alsace. The 390 vertical meters are distributed over the entire route, so that you don't have any longer climbs and a lot of variety in front of you. Your tour begins along the Rhine-Marne Canal. The official GPS route …

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  • Intermediate
    04:31
    49.1 mi
    10.9 mph
    950 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On your ninth stage you will already reach the French-German border near Strasbourg (French: Strasbourg) and you can eat your fill of delicious Alsatian tarte flambée as a reward. At almost 80 kilometers, the tour is the longest so far, but today you can look forward to more descents than climbs, because after the first ten kilometers it's almost all …

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  • Difficult
    05:01
    50.0 mi
    10.0 mph
    625 ft
    650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Your tenth stage of 80 kilometers begins with crossing the border from France and Germany over the Beatus-Rhenanus Bridge. The drive over the Passerelle des Deux Rives, which connects the two parks, is no less rewarding. Now the path leads to the Kinzig and directly afterwards to the Rhine, on whose idyllic banks you will cycle for the next 45 …

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  • Difficult
    05:11
    51.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    800 ft
    900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In the meantime you have cycled yourself well and will master the upcoming stage of 83 kilometers to the beautiful city of Heidelberg with fantastic views and imposing castles. You cycle through forests, fields, small towns and past crystal-clear quarry ponds and nature reserves.

    After 60 kilometers, the Paneuropean cycle path continues through the forest in a curve to Schwetzingen …

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  • Difficult
    05:35
    55.2 mi
    9.9 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,275 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you are ready to turn your back on Heidelberg, look forward to 88.8 kilometers along the banks of the Neckar to the Swabian wine town of Heilbronn. On the way through the hilly Neckar valley, you can expect several short, sometimes steeper climbs, which are well distributed over the whole route and thus provide variety and beautiful views. The route is mainly paved and paved and therefore easy to master.

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  • Difficult
    04:03
    37.5 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,575 ft
    2,150 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you say goodbye to the Neckar and it goes 60 kilometers through the Heilbronn and Waldenburger Bergland with no less fairy-tale castles, palaces and views of the valley. Small communities such as Bretzfeld, which you cross after 25 kilometers, offer you shopping opportunities for provisions. On the route you will find fantastic resting places with a view.

    After another …

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    44.8 mi
    8.9 mph
    3,100 ft
    2,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today's stage is best rested well rested and in good shape, because you cycle 72 kilometers at over 500 meters up through the Hohenlohe plain with a fabulous view of the Kocher valley. After 16 kilometers your first and longest climb begins, on which the view gets better and better. At Nesselbach you can look forward to a grand descent …

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  • Difficult
    05:17
    51.5 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you started from Paris, you will break the thousand mark today. Hats off! It continues for 83 kilometers with many descents to the happy city of Fürth. After you've climbed the "Lug ins Land", you can enjoy the view of the Tauber plain and continue cycling down the gentle slopes of the Middle Franconian region. Then it goes up …

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  • Difficult
    05:07
    47.8 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today you cycle 77 kilometers through the Upper Franconian country. Your tour begins along the Pegnitz and you drive through the picturesque city of Nuremberg and the Pegnitztal Ost nature reserve behind it. The first part of the route is largely flat with small elevations.After 45 kilometers, it slowly goes up again and you cycle up to the Schergenbuck …

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  • Intermediate
    04:29
    42.2 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your tour continues through the Palatinate. You cycle 68 kilometers to Neustadt an der Waldnaab, from where the Czech border is no longer far. It starts over forests, fields and cute communities of the Upper Palatinate. On great gravel forest paths, the whisper of the trees and the crunch of the tires become your background music.After 50 kilometers you …

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  • Difficult
    03:53
    35.2 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today the 56.7 kilometer stage takes you to the border between Germany and the Czech Republic, and you can decide on which side you want to end your tour. Let's go on the pretty Bocklradweg, which leads you for the next 40 kilometers in gentle curves through the wooded and hilly landscape. It is best to get your provisions in …

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  • Difficult
    03:33
    31.8 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,825 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Your first tour through the Czech Republic begins today and you can look forward to an exciting route of 51 kilometers through the Upper Palatinate Forest to Kladrau. After about 20 kilometers through the mountainous forests you will reach the pretty town of Weißensulz (Bělá nad Radbuzou), where you can take a break and strengthen yourself.

    We continue through wide …

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  • Difficult
    03:34
    30.3 mi
    8.5 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today one of the most beautiful market places in Bohemia and the exciting cultural city of Pilsen are waiting for you. With an easy 48.8 kilometers you will have enough time for detours and exploring tours to where you like it best.

    After you have climbed the mountain peak of Pořízek, you go back down to Mies, where the beautiful …

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    22
  • Distance
    894 mi
  • Duration
    94:48 h
  • Elevation
    30,975 ft30,475 ft

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A cycling adventure from Paris to Prague – Pan-European Cycle Route

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