Day 1: Arrive Cochem
Embarkation is 2 pm followed by a guided walk through the town to see its’ impressive Reichsburg castle and a picturesque square with beautiful timber-framed houses and cafes.
Day 2: Cochem – Zell (cycling 39km)
Cycle to Beilstein, one of the best-preserved historical villages on the Moselle. The ruins of Castle Metternich tower above the village. After leaving Beilstein, pass Europe’s steepest vineyards at Bremmer Calmont - with inclinations of up to 60 degrees. End your day’s ride in Zell where you can taste the very good wines produced in the Moselle valley, especially Zeller Schwarze Katz.
Day 3: Zell on the Moselle – Bernkastel-Kues (cycling 45 km)
Leave Zell and cycle to the romantic village of Traben-Trarbach, located on the Moselle’s left bank and famous for its Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) architecture. Pass through the wine city of Kröv, and on to Bernkastel-Kues, your destination for the night. The grand half-timbered houses that surround Bernkastel-Kues’s marketplace date back to the Middle Ages, and are a photographer’s delight.
Day 4: Bernkastel-Kues – Neumagen – Schweich | Schweich – Trier (cycling 28 km or 54 km)
From Bernkastel the valley opens up and vineyards expand as far as the eye can see. Cruise past the heavy-hitters in the wine world: Brauneber, Piesport and spectacular Trittenheim on a sharp hairpin bend on the river. Arrive in Neumagen, an important centre of wine production since Roman times. Choose to cruise or cycle on to Schweich and meet her there. Cruise to Trier, the oldest city in Germany founded around 15 BC by Caesar Augustus under the name of Augusta Trevorum.
Day 5: Trier – Saarburg (cycling 28 km)
This morning visit Trier with your knowledgeable tour leader who will tell you all about its Roman history. After lunch cycle alongside the Moselle and Saar rivers to Saarburg, an interesting old town by the banks of the river which are densely forested. The castle of Saarburg was built in the mid 10th century. In the centre of town, is an amazing waterfall 20 meters high with an old mill. The majority of the houses in the area date back to the 17th and 18th century. You are free to dine in town tonight as there is no dinner on board.
Day 6: Saarburg – Remich (cycling 45 km or 53 km)
Today there are 2 cycling options. One is easy, but a bit longer along the river. The shorter option is a bit more challenging through the hills. Whichever your choice, either route will lead you into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Enroute, on the Luxembourg side of the River, visit a wine cooperative, specialising in ‘Cremant, the champagne of the Moselle. Near Remich see a Roman mosaic floor, still in its original location which was once the centrepiece of a palatial Roman Villa. The creation of three million individual pieces are of scenes from gladiator games in an amphitheatre.
Day 7: Remich – Schengen | Schengen – Thionville | Thionville –Metz (30km)
During breakfast, cruise to Schengen. This little town in Luxembourg is at the border of three countries and famous for where ‘The Schengen Agreement’ was signed in 1985 – a treaty that led most of the European countries towards abolishment of their national borders. Cross over into France (no border controls) and pass the fortress of Sierck-les-Bains. Cycle on through lovely French countryside and friendly villages to the ancient city of Thionville with its historic centre and medieval ramparts. Join your barge to cruise to Metz, strategically situated on an old Roman trading route. Metz is full of stunning architecture, gardens and great cafes.
Day 8 (Sat): Tour ends in Metz
Disembark at 9.30am.
TERRAIN / GRADE: Moderate with some hills and days of up to 50km cycling
MEALS: Full board except for 1 dinner
Follow the Moselle River as it meanders through Germany, France and Luxembourg, past endless vineyards and enchanting old villages and cities such as Cochem and Bernkastel. Visit the once imperial Roman city of Trier, boasting Germany’s oldest cathedral, amphitheatre, the emperor’s throne hall and the famous ‘black gate’, one of the remains of the ancient city wall. Follow the Saar River and visit charming Saarburg, with its stunning waterfalls in the city centre. Cycle on to Luxembourg, the only Grand Duchy in Europe then into France where the tour ends in the city of Metz, whose jewel is the splendid Gothic cathedral.
The cool wines taste delicious, the picturesque little towns have rich histories and the conditions for cycling are excellent!
The Moselle to Lorraine Bike & Barge tour starts in the beautiful Moselle Valley