The Capitals Route reaches it's western most point in City of Galway in the West of Ireland. This route is currently under development and when completed, will be traffic free for most of its length. While some sections can be cycled at present there is no continuous route in place as yet. The first section of the route from Dublin westwards will be on canal tow path as far as Mullingar in the midlands. Some sections of this have been surfaced and can be cycled but much of the canal towpath still has a rough grass surface (OK for a mountain bike). West of Mullingar the route will be on disused railway and other traffic free options but this section has not yet been developed. Work is currently in progress to do this. The development of this route is being managed by the National Roads Authority (NRA) who are working on the project with the local authorities along the route. (The image above shows a section along the Royal Canal which has been surfaced and is suitable for cycling)
Starting at Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn in Welsh), this route travels through the heart of Wales along the Lôn Las Cymru (National Route 8), taking in Snowdonia National Park and Brecon Beacons National Park. Passing the Welsh capital Cardiff, it then crosses the Severn, where it visits the grand cities of Bristol and Bath – connected by the hugely popular Bristol to Bath Railway path. After that it joins the scenic Kennet and Avon Cycle Route (National Route 4) along the historic canal which links the Thames and the Bristol Channel, weaving through spectacular scenery on its way from Bath to Reading. At Reading, the route joins the Thames Valley Route on its way to London. Finally it leaves London through the docklands, travelling north to the ferry port at Harwich.
This section of EV2 (Capitals route) uses the long distance cycle route LF8 from Zwillbrock (on the German border and connected with German R1) to Borculo and the LF4 from Borculo to Den Haag (The Hague). Den Haag is the capital of the Dutch government. Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, isn’t on the route. The route is signposted in two directions.
In Germany, the EuroVelo 2 long-distance cycle route leads along D-Route 3, a route in the German cycle network. This route of 960 km in length passes through natural surrounds, and offers versatile opportunities for both new experiences and relaxation. From Vreden on the Dutch border, the route leads through Münsterland, Teutoburg Forest, the Weser Hills, the Harz mountain range, Fläming nature park, Märkische Schweiz and Oderbruch inland delta to Küstrin-Kietz on the Polish border. The route traverses the stunning Weser and Saale riverscapes, and takes cyclists past the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve, along with a number of other UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
The route of EuroVelo 2 is currently being planned and developed in Poland with detailed proposals being prepared for each region through which it passes. Crossing the country from West to East, it will be approximately 1,190 km long and will run through attractive landscapes and pass by many touristic and historical attractions. It starts on the border with Germany in Lubuskie Voivodeship and end in Białowieża on the Polish-Belarusian boarder. In between these two points it will visit the exciting cities of Poznań, Włocławek, Warsaw and also pass through several national parks, including the Białowieski National Park where the European Bison still roam. It is estimated that the route will be realised by 2017-2020.
EuroVelo Route 2 in Belarus is in the planning stage. In the future, the route will pass through beautiful forests including the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. The route passes through the capital of Belarus - Minsk, as well as other small towns - Pruzhany, Novogrudok and Ivenets.
There are many sights to take in in the Russian section of the route. If you're coming from the West, the first city you get to is Smolensk. The regional capital is well worth a stop off and you the Katyn memorial is a must. From Smolensk to Moscow there are number of other sights that will bring the country's history to life. Next stop is the Yuri Gagarin memorial, then the sight of the battle of Moscow, the biggest and deadliest battle of the Napoleonic wars. Finally, the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery in Zvenigorod is the final stop before entering Moscow. The itinerary mostly uses low-traffic public roads: Krasny (P135) - Smolensk - Dorogobuzh (P134) - (some sand road) - Viaz'ma - Novodugino - Prechistoe - Gagarin - (some dirt road) - Tsvetkovsky - Uvarovka - Borodino - Mozhaisk - Klement'evo - Ruza - Kolubiakino - Zvenigorod - Zhavoronki - Krekshino - Moscow (approx. 650 km)