The EuroVelo 6 is a 4,500-kilometre (2,800 mi) route that links the Black Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In France, this route starts at Basel-Mulhouse on the Swiss border and meets the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Nevers-Nantes section is very popular as the Loire castles line the way. But the entire route, including from Mulhouse to Nevers, is also worth a visit.
I suggest seven stages of 60 to 90 kilometres (37 - 56 mi). You start from Basel and ride through southern Burgundy with its world-famous wines and Franche-Comté, with a stop in its capital Besançon. If you don’t wish to cross a border, it’s possible to start from Mulhouse, which reduces the 580 kilometres (360 mi) of this Collection by 40 kilometres (25 mi).
The majority of the route follows rivers and canals hence the gradients are so low. Each day, you have around 150 to 500 metres of ascent (492 - 1,650 ft) per day. Cycle paths and roads with minimal traffic alternate with towpaths so the route is suitable for most bikes, aside from some road bikes. Gravel, city and mountain bikes are ideal. This Collection passes through several towns but the majority of the route is in rural areas, away from traffic and close to nature.
More information on accommodation is in each of the stage descriptions. In general, each day ends in a town with several options. However, sometimes you have to plan a small detour to reach a campsite in rural areas. It’ll be easy to find something to eat in towns, but lunch choices can be limited en route, so stock up on food before you set off.
You can ride the route from east to west as in this Collection or from west to east. The overall gradient is similar and the wind varies, so the direction doesn’t change the difficulty. However, I’d recommend riding this route in summer as the weather is nicer and the accommodation and tourist spots are more likely to be open.
To get there, you can take the train to Basel, but bear in mind that TGVs don’t always allow bicycles. You could take the train to Mulhouse, around 25 mi (40 km) from Basel on the way to the first stage. Nevers has direct trains to Paris, Lyon, Dijon and Nantes. You can also continue on the Loire à vélo, one of the most popular cycle routes in France. To get from Nevers to Nantes via the Châteaux of the Loire, follow this Collection: komoot.fr/collection/445
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Last updated: June 13, 2022
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
This first Tour of approximately 90 kilometers starts from the center of Basel, where you can easily arrive by train. Do not hesitate to make a few detours to discover the old town and the museums of the cultural capital of Switzerland.
After a handful of kilometers in the Swiss city, the Eurovélo 6 track…
This second stage is the shortest, with only 60 kilometers between Montbéliard and Baumes-les-Dames. Although the route runs along the Doubs, more than 400 meters of elevation gain await you.
The Tour starts by crossing Montbéliard, via Eurovélo 6, along the Rhône-Rhine canal. Around the tenth kilometer…
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With more than 90 kilometers and 500 meters of elevation gain, this third stage is probably the most difficult of the Collection. But the 600 meters of descent distributed throughout the route should make this step easier for you.
From Baumes-les-Dames, I suggest you set off again along the Doubs, which…
The length of this fourth stage is similar to the previous one, but the difference in height is less, with less than 200 meters of climb.
If you have the time, I recommend that you take a walk in the old town of Dole, in particular around its Notre-Dame church, before setting off along the Doubs, then…
68 kilometers separate Chalon-sur-Saône from Montceau-les-Mines, but if this day seems too short for you, you can consider a detour of about thirty kilometers to Beaune, a city famous for its hospices, a magnificent building history and a unique testimony of a medieval hospital. Another option is to…
This stage extends over more than 90 kilometers with 400 meters of elevation gain and nearly 500 meters of descent. Much of the route does not run along canals or rivers and takes small municipal roads. These passages remain pleasant and less monotonous after several days along rivers and canals.
This last stage of around 84 kilometers is relatively flat, with only 230 meters of elevation gain. After about twenty kilometers on municipal roads surrounded by fields and meadows, you join the Loire, which you had crossed in Digoin.
The route crosses the Loire again at Decize, a pretty little town…
Bike Touring Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by Vincent Reboul
Hiking Collection by Alex Foxfield
Mountain Biking Collection by Max Riese