European route E03

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E03 shield

Route information
Length: 459 km (285 mi)
Major junctions
North end: Cherbourg (France)
South end: La Rochelle (France)
Countries:  France
Highway system
International E-road network

The European route E 03, is a series of road in Europe, part of the United Nations International E-road network, running from Cherbourg, France to La Rochelle, also in France.


The road is 459 km (285 mi) long, and travels along the French routes nationales. From Cherbourg to Carentan, it travels along the Route nationale 13. At Carentan, it changes to the RN 174. It then moves onto the autoroute, mainly the A84 (which it joins at Junction 40) until it reaches Saint-Lô at Junction 16. It then rejoins the RN, mainly RN 136 at Rennes before finally travelling along the Route nationale 137 to its final destination of La Rochelle. It also comes close to the outskirts of Nantes.

Historical trajectory[edit]

The original trajectory of the E03 ran from Lisbon, Portugal to Stockholm, Sweden, and later to Helsinki, Finland. It was a series of existing secondary roads and highways, officially bundled under the name E3 by European decree on 16 September 1950. In 1975 the numbering system of European roads changed drastically. The name E3 was applied to the part from Cherbourg-La Rochelle to Carentan, which was part of the original E03. The name of the historical trajectory lives on in E3 Harelbeke, a cycling race in Belgium.

The route of the old trajectory:

- Lisbon - Salamanca - Valladolid - Burgos - Vitoria-Gasteiz - San Sebastián

- San Sebastián - Irún - Biarritz - Bayonne - Bordeaux

- Bordeaux - Poitiers - Tours - Orléans - Paris

- Paris - Arras

- Arras - Lille - Kortrijk - Ghent - Antwerp

- Antwerp - Turnhout - Eindhoven - Venlo - Duisburg

- Duisburg - Osnabrück - Bremen

- Bremen - Hamburg

- Hamburg - Flensburg - Frøslev - Kolding - Vejle - Aarhus - Aalborg - Frederikshavn - ... - Gothenburg

- Gothenburg - Stockholm

- Stockholm - Turku - Helsinki