3-Country Mosel Tour – Metz Start

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The tour takes you through a wonderful, varying region along the River Mosel, with sections in France, Luxembourg and Germany. Picturesque little towns have rich histories and the conditions for cycling are nearly ideal. The tour begins in Metz, France. Its splendid cathedral is an architectural and cultural highlight of the region. We pedal through charming French countryside with welcoming villages, where the inhabitants are proud of their sweet, smooth wines and golden “Mirabellen” liqueur (plum liqueur). Another highlight is a visit to Fort Hackenberg, an important part of the Maginot line, the line of concrete fortifications and a defense against a possible attack from Germany in World War II. The cycling itinerary continues into Luxembourg where we’ll enjoy a night in interesting Remich. In Germany we’ll first follow the River Saar to charming Saarburg, with the unusual, stunning waterfalls in the city center. Later we’ll reach Trier, the oldest city of Germany with the Porta Nigra Gate dating from the first century AD. After Trier we follow the Mosel downstream along the bountiful vineyards and the enchanting old cities Bernkastel and Cochem. It goes without saying that we will taste the local wines whenever we can.

Daily Itinerary

Saturday: Metz
Arrive on board the barge in Metz at 2 p.m. These days, Metz, a rich medieval city is focused on transportation services with a lively European business and educational center. After meeting your cycling companions, guide, captain and crew and storing your luggage in your cabin, you will go on a guided town walk and will visit Metz’ St. Etienne Cathedral, one of the most beautiful gothic churches in France. This cathedral sits in the old city center, where shopping is also extensive and convenient. Dinner on the boat will be followed by a preview of the cycling itinerary for the upcoming week.

Sunday: Metz – Remich – 19 or 31 miles (30 or 50 km)
After breakfast we start today’s bike tour from the lock of Richemont. It is also possible to stay on board a bit longer and start from Thionville. Via the beautiful valley of the Mosel we bike across the French border into Luxembourg. We pass the castle of Sierck-les-Bains, beautifully situated on the banks of the Mosel River. On top of the hill there is a castle from the 11th century. We spend the night in Remich. Here the Mosel forms the border between Germany and Luxembourg and Remich is on Luxembourg ground. Close to Remich we may visit the small village of Nenning, where you can visit an old roman mansion. The nearly undamaged mosaic floor in the party hall is striking.

Monday: Remich – Saarburg – 28 miles (45 km)
Today we follow the Valley of the Mosel and Saar north to visit charming Saarburg. Along the way we’ll stop to sample some tasty Mosel white wine in a local cellar. Saarburg is an interesting old town nestled in the most attractive part of the Saar Valley where the sides of the river are densely forested. The 10th century Saarburg Castle, an unusual 20 meter high waterfall right in the town center and a number of handsome and well preserved houses give Saarburg such an unusually lovely look, the ideal picture of a quaint German town. Have your camera handy!

Tuesday: Saarburg – Trier – 22 miles (35 km)
Today we’ll cycle to lively Trier, the oldest city in Germany. According to the Romans, Trier was founded around 15 BC by Caesar Augustus under the name of Augusta Trevorum. As a trading town and administrative center, Trier flourished during the late Imperial Age. This Roman golden age provided us with a respectable number of monuments. Most impressive is the city gate Porta Nigra, which was built around 18 AD. Tonight dinner is on your own, you can choose from the many restaurants of Trier.

Wednesday: Trier – Bernkastel-Kues – 31 miles (50 km)
During breakfast this morning the barge will sail to Schweich. From there we’ll pedal downstream through the world-renowned Mosel vineyards stretching out in all directions. We’ll cruise past Trittenheim and Piesport, both big names. Piesport produces a number of delicious white wines, especially the acclaimed ‘Piesporter Goldtröpfchen’. Trittenheim lies in a sharp hairpin turn in the Mosel and is surrounded by mountains covered with extensive vineyards. The charming Laurantius Chapel with its remarkable gothic choir sits right in the midst of the meticulously planted grape vines. Our destination is Bernkastel-Kues. Bernkastel is a frequently visited, picturesque town, with the finest wine of the Mid-Mosel Valley and a charming market square with many intact timber-framed houses. After dinner you can enjoy a wine-tasting at one of the local wine cellars.

Thursday: Bernkastel-Kuss roundtrip– 28 miles (45 km)
This morning, we shuttle by bus (approximately 45 minutes) through the Eifel Valley to the city of Daun. From there, we take an exhilarating bike ride along a former railway track that is now a cycling path. The ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges and by small lakes formed from volcano craters, known as maars. On the way, we can stop in Strohn for a visit to a small volcano museum. The region is scattered with “young” volcanoes about 12,000 years old. After dinner, we stroll to the fascinating cellar of Josef Zimmermann for a winetasting.

Friday: Bernkastel-Kuss – Zell – Cochem – 28 miles (45 km)
During breakfast we sail to Traben-Trarbach.
Traben-Trarbach is surrounded by woods and extensive vineyards and is the major center of wine trade in the Mosel region. This little city has some interesting art nouveau buildings.
From Traben, you bike to Zell, a beautiful little town along the river famous for its Schwarze Katz wine. The Hoherott (452 m) and the Corrayer Berg (425 m) are the best-known wine regions.
Our final destination is Cochem, a cozy and characteristic Mosel town with a mediaeval fortress and a picturesque center with beautiful timber-framed houses. The fortress houses a museum which is worth a visit.

Saturday: Tour concludes after breakfast. Departure by 9:00 AM

Note: The following week’s tour will have a reverse itinerary: starting in Cochem and ending in Metz. The itinerary is reversed with the order of the sights changed slightly. Please ask for the Cochem to Metz itinerary if you are interested in the exact daily itinerary.

Getting There

On Saturday afternoon you’re expected by 2:00 PM on your boat. In Metz, the boat is strategically situated between the Pont du Canal and the locks, near the Rue de Paris and the Rue George Aimé. A map and the name of your boat will be provided after you make your final payment.

Meals

The cook prepares all meals: a substantial breakfast and a three-course dinner of very good quality. A packed lunch may be prepared after breakfast. Tea and coffee will be ready when you arrive on board in the afternoon. There is a bar on the boat with beer, wine and soft drinks at reasonable prices. If you have special meal requirements, we ask you to mention this when booking. In the case of a gluten-free or lactose-free diet there is an additional charge of 50 euros per week. You will need to pay this in cash on board. If you want to drink a bottle of wine that you did not purchase from the ships bar, the barge will charge a corkage fee of 5 euro per bottle.

Prices and Dates

Check out our Tour Calendar under “Bike and Barge Tours”

Tour Length

8 days/ 7 nights

Included
      – 7 nights on board the ship (sheets, blankets and two towels)
      – 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches and 6 dinners
      – Coffee and tea on board
      – 8 or 11-speed bicycle, including helmet, water bottle, pannier, lock, and bike insurance
      – Tour guidance (multilingual)
      – Ferry fees
      – Welcome drink
      – Reservation fee
Bicycles

A well maintained, comfortable 8 or 11-speed hybrid bicycle is available free of charge for each participant. Men and women’s models are available in sizes appropriate to your height. The bikes of the brand Tragett are made in the Netherlands. Bike helmets are available free of charge and you are provided with a water bottle and saddle bag.

Level of Difficulty

Biking in Germany is easy as long as you stay in the river valley. There are a lot of separate flat bicycle paths. But if you would like to bike the longer option, count on slightly rolling landscape now and then. A good basic physical fitness means more fun during your bike vacation. In France recreational biking is less common. Therefore the country doesn’t have many separate bicycle paths. We mainly use smaller country roads, with little car traffic. All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

Excluded

– Airfare
– Drinks (other than coffee or tea)
– Transfer between airport and barge
– One dinner
– Gratuity for the guide
– Trip cancellation insurance
– Admission fees to the various museums or places of interest (about € 35 per person)

Wifi

WiFi is available on a limited basis on board, only in the lounge and on deck. Up to 50 MB is free, for more than 50 MB there’s a surcharge.

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in April and May are 50-60, June, July, and August averages 65-75, September and October 55-65. Average rainfall is 10 days per month in April – October.

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