Germany: Mosel Valley Bike Adventure

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”

John F. Kennedy

The Mosel River, which runs from France along the border of Luxembourg and into Germany, is astonishingly beautiful for a location most people can’t locate on a map. Vineyards line both banks as the river follows huge sweeping turns, with castles and small villages every five or ten kilometers. The cuisine is delicious (thanks to the multi-cultural influences) and the wine and beer are excellent.

But the best thing are the paved trails that run on both sides of the river for several hundred kilometers. This allows us to create short routes that produce the flattest, easiest biking we offer anywhere in the world – almost entirely slightly downhill with the flow of the river. And the long routes add excursions on bike paths along tributaries of the Mosel with names like the Saar, Ruwer-Hochwald, Lieser, and Vulkan – all flat and mostly car-free. We even include an optional cycle on the famous Rhine River bike path and a long route jaunt up to Burg Eltz, one of the most famous castles in the region.

If you decide you’ve had enough biking for the day, you can use the local ferry and train systems to get to the next hotel, which provide excellent views of the Mosel Valley, and never even get in the van all week. Plus, since we are following bike route signs, there are no route directions! Looking for a flat, easy bike tour with long routes for those who want them? This is your tour.

Check out our owner’s perspective on why the Mosel Valley is the easiest bike tour location.

Trip Favorite Moments & Reviews

“Pleasantly suprised. I was concerned about the limitations of being on a guided tour as well as having to spend the entire time with a group of strangers. What I found was that the tours were very relaxed (fortunately since my pace was well below par) and the accommodations and meals were perfect! And… at the end of the trip, the people that began as a group of strangers parted as a group of friends.”

Alice T.

“Loved every minute. I had trouble getting to sleep at night I was so excited for the next day to begin.”

Janet H.

Details

Other Info: Bike rental: 25 € per day (40 € per day for an e-bike or high-end road bike).

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Trip Highlights

  • Cycle on the flattest, easiest bicycle tour we offer - with no route directions!
  • Never get in the support van as even the short routes go from hotel to hotel with optional train or ferry shuttles.
  • Stay in unique and historic accommodations right along the river.
  • Savor delicious German cuisine at every stop highlighted by superb wine and beer.
  • Explore picturesque historic villages, castles, hillside vineyards, and other sites around every turn.
DAY 1

We meet this morning in the town of Trier, a well-preserved and beautiful town founded by the Romans. After introductions to our bikes and to each other, we start our ride up the Mosel (one of the only times we bike upstream) before before branching off to the Saar River and following this tributary to our destination of Saarburg. The Saar River bike path is a little wilder and less populated than that of the Mosel and the town of Saarburg is a very cute lunch stop with a castle and famous waterfall. After a relaxing lunch, the route returns back to Trier. This is an excellent introductory day of cycling. Our hotel – where we will be for two nights – is smack-dab in the middle of old town, right next to the large Roman city gate, which makes it easy to explore this lively city by foot after parking your bike. Tonight’s dinner will be right in our hotel.
Biking mileage options: 20 KM (one way to Saarburg) or 40 KM (returning to Trier).

DAY 2

Today, we bike to Luxembourg for lunch! Although we bike upriver, you will find the biking nearly flat and fairly easy. Germany does an outstanding job of keeping hundreds of kilometers of bike paths both sign-posted and well-maintained. We again return to Trier after lunch. Trier is one of the oldest cities in Germany and has a large university and downtown pedestrian walking area that is easy to reach from our hotel. Our three-course dinner is at a local restaurant in the main square of town that specializes in dishes made from original Roman recipes.
Biking mileage options: 40 KM (one way to Remich) and 80 KM (returning to Trier).

DAY 3

Today is usually the favorite day of our trip participants. We are now fully into wine country! The frequent hillside vineyards offer even more stunning views from the sublime riverside pathways. The short route goes directly from our hotel in Trier on the Mosel bike path to our next hotel in Neumagen. The medium and long routes explore the nearby Ruwer-Hochwald bike path, which follows an old railroad line and shoots off from the Mosel. The medium route will turn around at Sommerau, a picturesque village situated beneath the restored ruins of an old castle. The long route will continue on a loop to Kell am See, a lakeside resort town with plenty of options for lunch. Tonight’s town of Neumagen-Dhron is considered the oldest wine town of Germany because of the nearby grave of a Roman wine trader dating to 220 AD. We’ll participate in a pre-dinner wine tasting conducted by a local vintner and have one of the best meals of the trip at our hotel, known for its cuisine.
Biking mileage options: 41 KM, 58 KM and 106 KM.

DAY 4

The short route today begins with a ferry ride, as much to enjoy the scenery from the deck of a boat as to cut off the pleasant, downhill miles along the Mosel. For those skipping the ferry ride, the medium route takes you door-to-door along the Mosel. We are again in the heart of wine country but equally appealing are the many small towns we pass through. A stop in the town of Bernkastel is a must, an adorable, medieval market town with tall church spires and jagged roof lines. It is right out of a fairy tale! On the long route, we head off a bike path along the Lieser, a tributary of the Mosel, to the small town of Wittlich. Tonight, our twin towns of Traben and Trarbach (across the river from one another) offer something for everyone: historic and modern buildings, the ruins of a fortress, a castle, a thermal spa and plenty of shopping.
Biking mileage options: 30 KM, 50 KM, and 86 KM.

DAY 5

The paths through the vineyards today are some of the most beautiful areas we see the entire week and include one long stretch inaccessible by car as the path follows a big curve in the river, the 12-kilometer long Zeller-Hamm loop. The short route finishes in the town of Alf for lunch, followed by a shuttle by train to our ending in Cochem. This is optional but another great way to see the Mosel Valley. The medium route continues all the way to our hotel in Cochem, an extremely lively town with tons of shops, cafes, and sights. If you arrive early enough you can walk or take a tram (called a Sesselbahn) up to a castle that sits above town and drink in the views of the surrounding green countryside. The long route takes a side excursion on the Vulkan bike path to the health spa and arts town of Bad Bertrich.
Biking mileage options: 27 KM, 57 KM, and 78 KM.

DAY 6

The biking is beautiful today, with a mixture of isolated paths and smooth, straight riding on a separated path from the road. The small town of Kobern provides a good lunch option with typical outdoor cafes on the main square of town. This is also a possible ending point (for the short route), as you can jump on the train here to view the Mosel from a new vantage point and simply finish off your ride from the train station in Koblenz to our hotel. While the medium route rides directly into Koblenz, the long route adds mileage, plus the option to visit the famous Berg Eltz, an outstanding medieval castle, by foot via a lovely private forest path along a creek. Our destination of Koblenz has a population of 110,000 and is situated at the confluence of the Rhein and Mosel rivers, so has been important for travel and trade for millennia. Tonight, we’ll celebrate with a farewell dinner and take the time to share the week’s highlights with one another.
Biking mileage options: 33 KM, 48 KM, and 60 KM.

DAY 7

This morning you have two options. You can choose to bicycle from our corner via the Deutches Eck (the confluence of the Mosel with the Rhein) and down the Rhein bike path to the small, cute town of Spay, returning the way you came. Alternatively, we will have an optional walking tour down the banks of the Mosel river to the Deutsches Eck. Strategically important for thousands of years, it provides an impressive site as two mighty rivers collide. Those electing this option will walk back through the old town of the city to our hotel. We’ll all have just enough time to shower and check out before saying our goodbyes and shuttling to the train station just before noon.
Biking mileage options: 5 KM (walking) or 32 KM (biking)

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Trip Accommodations

Nights 1 & 2 >> Roemischer Kaiser - Altstadt Hotel / Trier

Furnished in a turn of the century style (but with all the modern conveniences!), this hotel is perfectly located next to the ancient Roman arch which marks the entrance to the old town.

Night 3 >> Hotel Lekker / Neumagen

This newly renovated hotel in one of the Mosel's most famous wine villages offers a quiet and relaxing setting with an excellent restaurant and outdoor seating.

Night 4 >> Hotel Trabener Hof / Traben-Trarbach

This modern Mediterranean style boutique is located in the heart of the Art Nouveau town of Traben-Trarbach, directly across from the 19th century former town hall.

Night 5 >> Hotel Zehnthof / Cochem

This small family run hotel is located in the picturesque town of Cochem, with scenic views of the Mosel River, Reichsburg Castle or the vineyards.

Night 6 >> CONTEL Hotel / Koblenz

This four-star hotel is situated on the banks of the Mosel and hotel’s beer garden is right next to our bike path (how convenient!). It is a 20-minute walk to Old Town and to the train station.

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Your guides meet you in the town of Trier, Germany, the morning of the first day of the trip. Nearby airports include Frankfurt, Paris, and Luxembourg.

On the last day of the trip we will transport you to the Koblenz, Germany, train station shortly before noon, where you can return by train to a gateway city to catch your flight home. We highly recommend arriving a day early and extending your stay if possible!

The easiest way to reach Trier and to depart from Koblenz is by train. We will provide more specific travel information upon your booking.

What's Included
  • Two Zephyr guides accompany each trip, with a third added as necessary.
  • Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
  • All of your dinners and breakfasts are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. In general, we leave lunches open so that you have time to explore and enjoy the local flavors en route.
  • All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
  • All group activities are included.
  • NOT INCLUDED Bike rental, beverages, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
Weather

The average high temperature in our tour area in September is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. So, expect pleasant warm days and nice cool evenings. It does rain in the area year round and, on average, there are 12 days with rain in the month of September. So, be prepared for rain but we can usually adapt and avoid rain most days.

Route Conditions

Almost the entire tour takes place on flat, paved, car-free bike paths with a very gradual downhill grade (except the first two days, where we first go upriver and then back down) that is really not noticeable except to help tired muscles at the end of the day. There are paved trails on both sides of the Mosel river and we are able to cross from one side to the other via numerous bridges along the way to maximize our scenery. While we have long routes, most of those are flat too, so don’t expect many hill climbs. In sum, this is a flat, smooth, scenic, and mostly car-free tour!

Different Lodging Almost Every Night

We will be covering as much ground as possible following along the Mosel River, which in turn means we will be moving almost every day.  We stay in five different hotels, which means you will have to pack up almost every morning.  The flip side of this is that you will get to experience many different towns and can bike from hotel to hotel while your luggage is moved for you.

Changes to Your Itinerary

While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience.

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