Day 1: Arrive Cologne
Embarkation between 3 and 5 pm.
Day 2: Cologne – Bonn (cycling 37 km)
Stroll through the Old Town then start your first cycle tour to the city of Beethoven, Bonn. On your way visit the leisure island of Groov amidst a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb of Porz-Zündorf. In Bonn there are numerous museums like the House of History, the Budeskunsthalle and the House of Beethoven. The Rheinaue Leisure Park is the green heart of Bonn with 45 km of trails and exhibits. Lastly, the Bundesviertel (German federal government district) with the Path of Democracy, where you can follow a tour of half a century of German democratic history displayed on boards at 20 representative locations.
Day 3: Bonn – Andernach (cycling 45 km)
Cycle towards Andernach and stop at the summer resort of Königswinter where you can visit Drachenburg castle on the Drachenfels. It is a short steep path to reach the castle or you can go by cog railway. Views are magnificent. You can also visit Sea Life Aquarium where more than 6,000 species of fish are on display. Your destination of Andernach, is famous for the world´s highest cold water geyser which reaches heights of 30 – 60m.
Day 4: Andernach – Koblenz (cycling 25 km )
On your way to Koblenz you will pass Engers Castle in Neuwied. At the famous “Deutsche Eck” (German corner) the Mosel River merges with the Rhine River. Another place of interest is the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress which you can reach by cableway across the Rhine in Koblenz. Tickets for the cableway are available on board. Koblenz is a quaint town of picturesque squares and beautiful churches.
Day 5: Koblenz – St. Goar/St. Goarshausen (cycling 38 km)
Bike up the Rhine River through the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. You will pass the romantic fortress of Marksburg, the only hilltop castle of the Middle Rhine which has never been destroyed. Arrive the city of Boppard with its riverfront fortress Kurfürstliche Burg currently under restoration. At St Goar you will find the ruins of the fortress of Rheinfels, which is the biggest of its kind along the Rhine. The fortresses Katz und Maus (cat and mouse) in St. Goarshausen on the other side of the Rhine are also worth visiting.
Day 6: St. Goar/St. Goarshausen – Rüdesheim (cycling 32 km)
Another day of cycling past romantic Rhine castles like Burg Reichenstein and Burg Rheinstein. Pass the famous rock Loreley Rock, steeped in legend with the statue of a maiden watching over the Rhine, before you reach the historical town of Rüdesheim with its beautiful half-timbered houses. Ride the cable car up to the Niederwald monument for a beautiful view over the old town of Rüdesheim and the river.
Day 7: Rüdesheim – Mainz (cycling 32 km)
On your final cycling stage, you will find the Rhine at its best: the city of Eltville am Rhein with its emblem, the castle Kurfürstliche Burg, is on your way. Mainz, your destination of today, has numerous impressive buildings. You may want to visit its cathedral, Hoher Dom St. Martin, one of the proud imperial cathedrals of Germany, or the castle Kurfürstliches Schloss. In the Old Town wander attractive alleys and squares like the Augustinerstraße and the Kirschgarten with its lovely timber framed houses, wine bars and restaurants.
Day 8: Departure from Mainz
Disembark after breakfast.
GRADE: Easy to medium- mostly flat terrain – almost all on paved cycle paths or quiet country roads
MEALS: Full board
Trip Notes / Prices / Dates
CASTLES OF THE RHINE – COLOGNE TO MAINZ & vice versa
By Bike & Barge
8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS self-guided
Bike and cruise through the UNESCO World Heritage region of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley past romantic castles and vine-clad slopes. The Rhine bike trail from Cologne to Mainz is the most beautiful part of the river. Here, hot springs and spas attracted the ancient Romans to the Rhine. Today, old towns with timber framed houses are home to some noble wines and regional delicacies which contribute to the region‘s charm.