How much does the bike trail differ from the walking route ?

Hi...until recently I was considering walking the trail the whole way and doing it in one go but due to some unavoidable appointments at rather awkward (for me) times throughout this summer I am thinking of travelling some of the first sections by bike - can anybody tell me just how much the cycle route differs from the route taken by walkers please ?

I would like as much as possible to stick to the walking route but if the cycle route isn`t so different will think about getting some kit packed and riding off eastwards into the least for the first stages until I can dedicate a whole period of time for the stages I hope to walk later on as a continuation.

Does anybody know this please ?


can anybody tell me just how much the cycle route
It depends on which route you are taking. Unlike the Camino, there is no official VF route over large parts of it. It's more point to point. There are semi-official routes which certain publishers favour but you can assemble your own route. For example, in France you can use the official cycle routes Vxx route or Eurovelo routes for the first part as shown here

Calais to Reims

The UK section you can use National Regional Cycle Route 16 which shares the first part of the walking route and then diverges. You don't want to be cycling over that section of the walking route.
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William Marques

Staff member
I agree with Galloglaigh there is no official route for the VF, in Italy and Switzerland things are perhaps more defined, but in France there is no one route and in the UK the small section there is just the North Downs Way with added badges and the original more direct route designed by the AIVF was ignored.

I would say that the French section especially as far as Besancon is best cycled. The country roads are very quiet. The distances between towns suits cycling rather than walking. It give you the opportunity to visit some of the 1st World War graves if member's of your family served in France. The pilgrim hostel network is not yet established to the extent that it is in Italy so cost wise it is an expensive section due to the number of days in hotels. Switzerland is more expensive but only for a relatively small number of days there.
Hi William - thanks for the reply and information - I think I will probably end up doing as you suggest and cycle to at least Besancon - I do want to walk the remaining sections though but don`t believe it will be this year now - I have visited some of the sites from both WW1 and WW2 and first found out about the Via Francigena when visiting a war grave of a relative in Arezzo where I stayed in a place dedicated to pilgrims - so far I`ve visited 4 relatives war grave sites around Europe and find it a great excuse for a holiday away - the next war grave I am visiting is in Gibraltar where a relative was killed during a tunneling accident in 1943,aged 22 - most have been of a similar age and as I have 3 children all just a little older than that it really hits home just what some of the previous generations were asked to give...anyway,I am going off the track so shall simply say a thanks again and will give a post when I eventually decide to set off - bye for now...Steve.