10 bike routes through Europe

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Elbe Cycle Route

The route starts in the Czech capital Prague and leads 1,220 kilometers along the Elbe River through the Krkonoše, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, the arts metropolis Dresden (pictured here), Magdeburg and Hamburg to Cuxhaven on the North Sea.

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Drava Cycling Route

The 366-kilometer route from Italy's South Tirol to Slovenia begins at the source of the River Drava in the Dolomites and largely follows the river down to Maribor. Over the next few years, it's to be extended to the confluence of the Danube and Drava in Croatia.

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Via Claudia Augusta

The Via Claudia Augusta leads from Donauwörth, Germany, almost 700 kilometers to Venice, Italy. This ancient Roman trade route crosses the Alps and skirts Lake Reschen in South Tirol, where the bell tower of the submerged village of Graun still rises from the water.

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Inn Cycle Route

This route leads from Maloja, Switzerland, to Passau in Germany. The High Alps require strong leg muscles, before the route descends to the gently rolling Alpine uplands of Bavaria - and through the Market Square of Mühldorf am Inn.

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Atlantic-Black Sea

Only the hardiest manage the entire 4,500-kilometers-plus from the chateaux of the Loire Valley to the Black Sea coast. The east-west axis strings together urban pearls of European culture and history like Nantes, Orleans, Basel, Linz, Budapest, Belgrade and Bucharest.

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Etsch Cycling Route

For some 300 kilometers from Reschen to Verona, the route follows the Etsch River, the longest in South Tirol, down to where it empties into the Adriatic Sea. It's well laid-out and maintained, running mostly parallel to the Via Claudia Augusta.

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North Sea Coast Cycle Route

The North Sea Coast Cycle Route hops across nearly 6,000 kilometers from the Shetland Islands to Bergen, Norway. This is route EuroVelo 12 in the European Cyclists' Federation network. The German sections often run along the tops of flood protection dikes.

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Lake Constance Cycle Route

The Lake Constance Cycle Route is among the top three most traveled routes. It runs 260 kilometers around the lake on the German, Austrian and Swiss borders. Cultural sights like Konstanz’s old town complement the countryside’s natural beauty.

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Rhine Cycle Route

From the source of the River Rhine in Switzerland to its delta on the North Sea near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the EuroVelo 15 route runs 1,230 kilometers along one of the most heavily traveled waterways on Earth. Seen here is the Rheinauhafen in Cologne.

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Danube Bike Path

This is Germany's most popular long-distance cycling route. The Danube Bike Path runs some 2,850 kilometers from the river's origin at the confluence of the Breg and Brigach in Germany to its delta near Tulcea, Romania. Along the way is the Austrian capital Vienna. The route and the river pass through eight countries.

Cycling holidays are inexpensive, ecological and popular. And an extensive network of bike paths criss-crosses Europe. Have a look at the routes most popular with Germans. From the Elbe to the Danube.