Leave the Netherlands’ flat, peaceful, farming countryside, dotted with iconic windmills, to follow the Rhine River upstream through an impressive and evolving post-industrial landscape. Visit Dusseldorf and then Cologne with its landmark cathedral. Continue to Bonn, founded by the Romans and on to where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers converge at Koblenz. End your tour with a memorable ride in the vine-clad Moselle valley to traditional Cochem, a charming wine town of half-timbered houses.
Day 1 Amsterdam – Nigtevecht – Breukelen – Wijk bij Duurstede
Embarkation in Amsterdam at 1.00 pm then enjoy the Dutch countryside and the meandering Vecht River on your first short test-ride to the town of Breukelen. Cruise on the Amsterdam – Rhine Canal during dinner this evening.
Day 2 Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen – Arnhem – Rees Cycling 40 kms
Start biking from Wageningen. You follow a route over the high Veluwe nature reserve, through heathland and forest. In the afternoon ride to Arnhem to meet the barge. During dinner, cruise upstream into Germany.
Day 3 Rees – Wesel – Duisburg – Dusseldorf Cycling 35 or 45 kms
Today we focus on the Ruhr area where Germany, and possibly Europe’s, largest industries are located. The German government have redeveloped the area after the closure of many factories. It may not always be scenic, but it’s an impressive and evolving post-industrial landscape not to be missed when visiting the Rhine. We only go as far as Duisburg then cruise with the barge on to Dusseldorf where you can visit the Altstadt, and try the famous local dark beer, Altbier.
Day 4 Dusseldorf – Zons – Cologne Cycling 28 or 54 kms
Cruise to the old town of Zons. Leave the Ruhr behind as we cycle close to the Rhine towards Cologne allowing the afternoon to explore. Founded by the Romans, Cologne is the oldest of Germany’s larger cities. Its landmark is the Dom Cathedral. Construction on the cathedral began in 1248 and was only completed in 1880! The city was almost completely destroyed in Allied bombings of 1944-1945. The city hall however, dating from 1330, has been beautifully restored.
Day 5 Cologne – Bonn Cycling 38 km
Follow the river again by bike to Bonn arriving in time to explore West Germany’s capital from 1945 until 1990. Be sure to visit old City Hall, the Münster Basilica, and the house where Beethoven was born. After dinner join a city walk through Bonn.
Day 6 Bonn – Remagen – Koblenz Cycling 44 km
Cruise to Remagen, a town with a rich historical past. After Remagen, a more romantic section of the Rhine valley begins with castle keeps, mansions and the first vineyards at the foothills of central Germany. We pass the bathing resort of Bad Breisig and also Burg Rheineck. This stronghold, set in stunning scenery, dates back to 1100. We visit Andernach, once a Roman settlement then arrive Koblenz where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. Tonight you are free to dine at one of Koblenz’s cosy restaurants.
Day 7 Koblenz – Alken – Moselkern – Cochem Cycling 40 km
Cruise to Alken from where you’ll bike to Moselkern, the village famous for its castle Burg Eltz. This stronghold is one of the most impressive medieval buildings of Western Europe. It’s not easy to reach though, you need to hike the last section to reach the castle. Continue biking to Cochem, a traditional town full of wine cellars and half-timbered houses.
Day 8 Cochem
Arrangements end after breakfast.