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1
introductory

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights barge
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1380GBP

Overview

Trip Code: MRB

Trip highlights


  • Cycling through the fairytale Middle Rhine Valley
  • Indulging in regional delicacies and wines
  • Experiencing the areas rich history through its romantic castles and picturesque towns such as Koblenz, Rudesheim, Cologne and Mainz
  • Relaxing on board the comfortable MS Olympia

The landscapes of the Middle Rhine Valley look could easily be mistaken for fairytale illustrations. Lined with pretty riverside villages, steep vineyards, and what seems like a castle on nearly every hilltop, exploring the World Heritage listed region by both bike and barge is nothing short of magical. Numerous romantic castles and fortresses have been built along the banks of the Rhine between Cologne and Mainz, and they all have exciting stories to tell. Travelling by bike and barge is the perfect way to explore this beautiful and historic region, allowing you to soak in the beauty from both land and water. On this week long cycle tour you will have the chance to explore the picture-perfect towns of Koblenz, Rudesheim, Cologne and Mainz. You will cycle past the merging point of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, Drachenburg Castle, and the fortress of Marksburg, the only hilltop castle of the middle Rhine that has never been destroyed. In the evenings you will relax on board the barge, enjoying the idyllic scenery and making friends with other like-minded cyclists, all while indulging in regional delicacies and a glass of the local wines.

Countries:

Germany

Starting Point:

Cologne or Mainz

Finishing Point:

Mainz or Cologne


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On arrival in Cologne, you are welcome on board the MS Olympia, a river barge with a comfortable atmosphere, at 4pm. Enjoy the evening on board and afterwards perhaps sample a Kölsch beer in one of the pubs overlooking the Rhine river.

Meals:  D

Before heading out on the cycle today, you have the option to join a walking tour of Cologne's old town and cathedral (additional cost - payable locally). Today you will cycle to Bonn, the city of Beethoven. This federal city and former capital of Germany still has international flair. On your way it is worthwhile to visit the leisure island Groov amidst a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz-Zundorf. In Bonn there are museums of interest such as the House of History, the Bundeskunsthalle and House of Beethoven. You can also visit the Rheinaue Leisure Park, and the Bundesviertel on the 'Path of Democracy' in the former Government Quarter of Bonn.

Meals:  B,L,D

The cycle today will lead you to Andernach. Along the way you will pass through Konigswinter with its Drachenburg Castle on the Drachenfels (steep ascent), and the Sea Life aquarium with more than 6,000 sea inhabitants. Your destination for today, Andernach, is famous for the world's largest cold water spring with an impressive 60m / 196ft fountain.

Meals:  B,L,D

On today's cycle to Koblenz you will find Engers Castle in Neuwied, built around the 17th century. Continue to the famous "Deutsche Eck" (German corner) where the Moselle river merges with the Rhine river. Further along you will find the Ehrenbreitstein fortress, which you can reach by cable car across the Rhine in Koblenz (tickets available for purchase on board).

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you cycle up the Rhine river through the UNESCO World Heritage site the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Pass the romantic fortress Marksburg, the only hilltop castle of Middle Rhine, which has never been destroyed. Continue to Boppard with its fortress Kurfürstliche Burg, before reaching St Goar. Here you will find the ruins of the fortress Rheinfels, the largest of its kind along the Rhine. Also worth visiting are the fortresses of Katz and Maus (cat and mouse) in St Goarshausen on the opposite side of the Rhine.

Meals:  B,L,D

You will cycle past more beautiful castles today including Burg Reichenstein and Burg Rheinstein, and the famous rock Loreley, before reaching Rudesheim. Here you can take an optional guided tour around the historic town with its beautiful half-timbered houses (additional cost payable on board). Alternatively, treat yourself with a ride on the cable car up to the Niederwald monument, for beautiful views over the old town of Rudesheim and the river (not included).

Meals:  B,L,D

On the final cycling stage you will find the Rhine at its best (if you weren't already impressed!). Along the way is Eltville am Rhein with its castle Kurfurstliche Burg. Your destination, Mainz, presents itself with numerous remarkable buildings. You may want to visit the cathedral Hoher Dom St Martin, one of the proud emperors' cathedrals of Germany, or the castle Kurfurstliches Scloss. In the old town you will find attractive alleys and squares including Augustinerstraße, the Kirschgarten with its lovely timber framed houses and wine restaurants.

Meals:  B,L,D

Trip concludes after breakfast with disembarkation by 9 am. Note: Itinerary operates in reverse every alternate departure, i.e. Mainz to Cologne. See below.

Meals:  B

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On arrival in Mainz please make your way to the embarkation point to board the MS Olympia at 4 pm. If you have time you can visit the old town of Mainz, with its lovely alleys and public squares.

Meals:  D

Today you will see why the river Rhine and its surroundings are UNESCO World Cultural heritage listed. Beautiful islands, steep slate rocks and vineyards shape the region around Rudesheim. You will cycle pass Eltville with its fortress Kurfurstliche Burg and Oestrich-Winkel. When you reach Rudesheim we recommend visiting the famous street of Drosselgasse. Take an optional guided tour around the historic town with its beautiful half-timbered houses (additional cost payable on board). Alternatively, treat yourself with a ride on the cable car to the Niederwald monument, for beautiful views over the old town of Rudesheim and the river (not included).

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will cycle along the Rhine through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Pass romantic castles and ruins including the fortresses Reichenstein and Rheinstein and the famous rock of the Loreley en route to today's destination. From the top of the rock you have a beautiful view of St Goar and St Goarshausen.

Meals:  B,L,D

On your way to Koblenz it is possible to visit Boppard and the Marksburg Castle. The "Deutsche Eck" (German corner) is where the rivers Moselle and Rhine merge, and it is well worth viewing while you're in Koblenz. You can also visit the fortress Ehrenbreitstein by cable car and enjoy a fantastic view over the splendid landscape of the Rhine (tickets available for purchase on board).

Meals:  B,L,D

The path today leads past Neuwied with its castle before leading to today's destination, Andernach. The city of Andernach is one of the oldest cities in Germany and is famous for the world's largest cold water spring with an impressive 60m / 196ft fountain. This afternoon you can visit the Round Tower, or take a ferry to the wine village Leutesdorf (not included).

Meals:  B,L,D

On your way to Bonn you can visit Konigswinter and its Drachenburg Castle on the Drachenfels (steep slope), or the Sea Life aquarium with more than 6,000 sea inhabitants. Cosy and cosmopolitan Bonn is the former capital of Germany. Numerous global organisations still have their headquarters here and they provide the city of Beethoven with international flair. There are museums of interest such as the House of History, the Bundeskunsthalle and House of Beethoven. You can also visit the Rheinaue Leisure Park, and the Bundesviertel on the ‘Path of Democracy’ in the former Government Quarter of Bonn.

Meals:  B,L,D

En route to Cologne you can take a nice break at the leisure island Groov, admist a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz-Zundorf. In Cologne you have the option to join a walking tour of the old town and cathedral (additional cost - payable locally). Also worth visiting on your own are the Ludwig Museum, Chocolat Museum at the river Rhine or the modern parts of Cologne found at the port of the Rheinaue wetland. The city also offers several breweries with their popular Kölsch local beer.

Meals:  B,L,D

Trip concludes after breakfast around 9:00am and individual departure from Cologne.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners - breakfasts are buffet style consisting of breads, cereals, cheese, meats, fruit, yoghurt and breakfast beverages. Picnic lunches are assembled at breakfast time. Dinners are 3 courses served in the dining room. Special diets may be catered for on request (e.g. lactose-free and gluten-free diet) however there will be an extra fee (payable locally). Please advise us at the time of booking or at least 21 days prior to departure. If necessary, some special dietary supplements may need to be brought with you.
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a Premium barge in twin share cabins with ensuite facilities on main deck (supplement applies for other categories of berths on main or upper deck). The compact cabins are configured with two lower beds. We do not match travellers together so if you are travelling solo you will need to book a single cabin (limited and on a request basis - supplement applies).
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per cabin, GPS Tracks are available on request
  • Cruise director on board - does not cycle with the group, provides daily briefings
  • Bicycle, 7 speed unisex bike with hand and back pedal brakes or freewheel hubs with hand brakes only (the latter must be reserved in advance - limited number). The bike is supplied with a waterproof pannier and bicycle insurance per bike; repair kit, pump and handlebar bag per cabin (electric bike available on request for a supplement)
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Local passenger and port fees
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from Mainz / Cologne
  • Drinks other than afternoon tea and coffee on board
  • Meals not detailed in the itinerary
  • Upgrade to a cabin on upper deck or single cabin - supplement applies, ask our office for details
  • Helmets - mandatory on all bike tours, you are encouraged to bring your own well-fitted helmet. No hire facility is available, you may be able to purchase from bike shops locally.
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided tour
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room.
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing fees
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend around EUR30-60 per person (to be distributed between the cruise director, captain and crew).
  • Catering for special diets (except Vegetarian). A supplement is payable for lactose or gluten free diets - EUR25pp (subject to change) paid locally on board. See below for further details regarding catering for dietary requirements.
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc.

Cabins


Bike information


Suitability

introductory

1

INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 1 This trip involves 6 days cycling of between 30 and 45km/19 and 28mi per day usually along paved cycle paths across generally flat terrain. In and out of the cities there will be some light traffic. You need only carry your camera/rain gear and water bottle. Your luggage remains on the boat. For this reason the trip is a grade 1 cycle and is considered suitable for beginners.*For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


Departure dates


Notes

IT1
Trip begins in Cologne.
IT2
Trip begins in Mainz.

Priceper person from

£1380GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Electric Bike SupplementGBP£110
  • Upper Deck twin Supplement (rear of boat nearer to engine)GBP£130
  • Upper Deck twin SupplementGBP£180
  • Single Supplement - Upper Deck (single cabin)GBP£220
  • Single Supplement - Main Deck (single use of twin share cabin)GBP£330
  • Single Supplement - Upper Deck (single use of twin cabin)GBP£560
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Germany Barge & Bike Holiday | UTracks Active Travel

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