From: $1,920 USD
8 Days / 7 Nights
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This tour along the Mosel and Saar combines the best of the German “Bundesländer” Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland. While cycling from Alken to Merzig, you will go back in time as you visit the Roman villas and public baths along the two rivers, the Saar and the Mosel. In Trier you can visit the Porta Nigra. This ancient gateway is one of the best-known monuments from the Roman era. On day six you’ll take a trip to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the village of Wasserbillig. As you cycle through one of Germany’s major wine-growing areas, it’s possible to taste a lot of different local wines and see where they grow and how they’re made. You can get acquainted with the excellent but uncomplicated wines from the Saar and the so-called “Spitzenweinen” along the Mosel, like the wine Zeller Schwarze Katz. The main ingredient for these wines is the Riesling, a white grape variety that dates back to the 15th century and is crowned “Queen of Grapes.”
Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full
Prices are per person in US$ – inclusive bike rental
|August 27||Zwaan||$ 1,790||$ 1,980||$ 2,230||Book here|
|September 10||Zwaan||$ 1,790||$ 1,980||$ 2,230||Book here|
|September 24||Zwaan||$ 1,790||$ 1,980||$ 2,230||Book here|
|October 8||Zwaan||$ 1,790||$ 1,980||$ 2,230|
DAY 1 – Sunday: Cochem – warmup ride
You are asked to be on board the ship no later than 3 p.m. Cochem is a charming town famous for its wines and dominated by the old Reichsburg. After storing your luggage and meeting your cycling companions, guide, captain, and crew, you may relax on board with a coffee or tea. Dinner on the boat will be followed by a preview of the cycling itinerary for the upcoming week.
DAY 2 –Monday: Cochem – Zell – 27 miles (44 km)
We will meander along the river through five remarkable bends to the famous vineyards of Calmont. The steepest slopes have a gradient of 65%, which makes it quite difficult for the farmers to tend their vineyards. The lunch stop will be at the beautiful village of Beilstein, background in many movies. Today’s endpoint is the city of the black cat, Zell. The story goes that when a few wine merchants from Aachen had to choose which wine barrel they should buy a black cat jumped onto one of the barrels to defend it. Of course, this made it clear for them which barrel they should buy.
DAY 3 – Tuesday: Zell – Bernkastel Keus – 25 miles (40 km)
As if it had imbibed a drink or two, the Mosel twists and turns its way through a green and fascinating landscape of vineyards and forests. Just after leaving Zell there will be another hiking opportunity that leads us to the “Marienburg” where you’ll be awarded by a splendid view over the Mosel Meander. Along the way we’ll find some beautiful towns and villages, like the beautiful double city in Jugendstil, Traben Trarbach, and the so called “Winzendorf Wolf.” The final destination is Bernkastel-Kues, a medieval town with romantic narrow streets, remarkable half-timbered houses, and enchanting nooks and crannies.
DAY 4 – Wednesday: Bernkastel-Kues – Moselle-Maare cycling trail – 34 miles (55 km)
In the morning the cycle bus will take us to Daun, to the start of the Moselle-Maare cycling trail, – possibly the most famous cycling trail of the central Moselle. There’s no simpler way to cycle to the Moselle valley than on the former railway line through the Volcanic Eifel! The road runs through the landscape of volcanoes and crater lakes, along magnificent viaducts, and past old railway stations. Light as a feather, we will continues along the Moselle bike path to Bernkastel-Kues.
DAY 5 – Thursday: Bernkastel Keus – near Trier – 28 miles (45 km)
Along today’s route we will discover a lot of Roman villas and public baths, but also relics of other ancient civilizations such as the Celts. All those historical buildings are placed on the slopes along this ever-winding river. A highlight of the region is the “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen,” a lovely local blended white wine that we’ll taste in a local wine-bar. The visit to the town of Neumagen-Dhron is interesting for its many Roman remains. This used to be an old Roman fortress and the place where the famous Roman whine ship was found. We spend the night at a mooring place near Trier.
DAY 6 – Friday: Near Trier – Saarburg – 22/28 miles (35/45 km)
Today we will take the time to visit Trier, the oldest city of Germany, where you can visit some more Roman legacies like the Porta Nigra, the Basilica of Constantine the Great, and an amphitheater. After lunch we leave the Mosel behind and go South along the Saar. Before you take ‘exit Saar’ we can take a detour and cross the border into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. One thing’s for sure, you’re not the first tourist in the area: it was around the year 365 A.D. that the Roman teacher and poet Magnus Ausonius wrote his hymn Mosella: ‘Greetings, river, framed by perfumed vineyard-covered hills, Framed by grass; river of greenest shores. Your strong waters carry ships, flowing in easy waves. Along the stream, and a glittering lake your depths emulate.’ For the night you’ll stay in Saarburg. Don’t forget to take a walk through the old town center with the famous waterfalls and pay a visit to the old city castle.
DAY 7 – Saturday: Saarburg – Mettlach – 22 miles (35km)
From Saarburg we will cycle south along the Saar. Around the little village of Saarhölzbach we’ll leave Rheinland Pfalz behind and enter the Saarland. The history of this little village goes back to the year 802 and the government of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, king of Franks, king of Italy, and the first Holy Roman Emperor. Today we will have lunch in Mettlach, a little town along the Saar River where we’ll visit the famous Villeroy & Boch porcelain museum. The day’s highlight is the beautiful Saarschleife (Saar loop). You will have the opportunity to hike to a panoramic viewpoint looking across the whole region. After this nice hike we double back for a few kilometers to our final destination of Mettlach.
DAY 8 – Sunday: Tour Ends
After breakfast, our tour ends at 10:00 a.m. It’s well worth looking around in Mettlach before you set off home.
A well maintained, comfortable 24-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 come with helmets, grip shifters, hand brakes, carrier bag, lock, repair kit, water bottle holders, water bottle, and bike insurance. If you prefer to bring your own bike you’re welcome to do so at a discount of $85 each. Electric bikes can be rented for this tour ($100 per person).We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They’re heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver. In addition, you can rent children’s bikes, child seats, bike trailers, and tag-alongs.
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’s a bar on board with reasonably-priced beer, wine, and soft drinks. If you have special meal requirements, please mention this when booking. In the case of a Vegan/gluten-free and lactose free diet there is an additional charge of $75 per week.
The barge below is an example of one usually used on the tour. Depending on availability, you may be booked in a different barge of equal quality.
14 people – The Zwaan specializes in bike and barge tours in the Netherlands and Belgium. On board of the Zwaan you find a cosy dining room, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. All 7 cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. Cabin layout:
There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed. The Zwaan is known for the high quality of the meals and the friendly atmosphere on board. The crew consists of the captain, chef and hostess for 14/15 guests.
This barge is very special because of the smaller number of cabins. It makes for a cozy and intimate experience as you can get to know your guide and tour-mates better in the small group.
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