Rhine: The classic bike trail in 6 days
Rhine: The classic bike trail in 6 days
Let yourself be seduced by the romantic Middle Rhine to a particularly enjoyable cycling trip from Mainz to Cologne. Follow the Rhine cycle path along lovely vineyards to Eltville with a beautiful castle, to the monastery Eberbach and on to Rüdesheim. Stroll over the Loreley cliffs, and enjoy a fantastic view of the Rhine Valley. Deep green forests, fortified castles and romantic castles lie on your further journey. You can also look forward to interesting places where you can visit many attractions. Visit such well-known cities as Mainz, Koblenz, Bad Honnef and Cologne.
1. day Mainz arrival
Arrive early. Not just the Roman-Germanic central museum, the Gutenberg museum, the emperors cathedral and the electors castle are worth a visit (arrival possible by German railway/ rental bike at hotel).
2. day Mainz - Oberwesel 51 km
The beautiful first cycle route leads you through the gentle vineyards and famous winegrowers of the Rheingau. Here the Rhine still flows gently, forms small romantic islands and extends its bed up to 800 m expanse! On the way, you can take an excursion (+ 14 km) to Eltville and Eberbach Abbey. In Rüdesheim you should take the opportunity to stroll through the world famous Drosselgasse or to take a relaxing ride with the cable car up to the Niederwald monument. From Rüdesheim to Bingen you take the Rhine ferry and then you continue to cycle along best-developed cycle path to Bacharach. On these 16 km you pass the Mäuseturm, the Castles Rheinstein and Reichenstein as well as Burg Sooneck and Hohneck and the ruins of Fürstenberg. Everywhere it is worth a stop and in Bacharach you should climb the city wall before you finally cycle to Oberwesel.
3. day Oberwesel - Koblenz 45 km
In the morning you reach St. Goar, here you can climb the Loreley. A hiking trail leads up and gives you the beautiful view of the narrowest place in the romantic Rhine valley. Here is the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley. The worthwhile visitor center on the Loreley offers interesting insights into the history, nature and culture of the region as well as the myth of the Loreley. Back on the shore the cycle path continues to Boppard. Here it is turbulent, but you can also use the chairlift to the Vierseenblick to escape in woody quiet heights and once again enjoy the view of the Rhine Valley. Or visit the well-preserved Marksburg and Castle Stolzenfels on the way to the Deutsche Eck (German corner) in Koblenz where you will finish this day.
4. day Koblenz - Bad Honnef 55 km
Relaxed spa resorts and inviting vine villages are inviting for your visit today. Also thermal baths and beer gardens want to spoil the cyclists. Or take a break from the bike and the saddle and enjoy a piece of the Rhine from a boat from the water. Between Koblenz and Bad Honnef everything is possible for you! For those interested in history, a visit to the museum "Brücke von Remagen" is worth a visit before strolling comfortably through the pedestrian zone of Bad Honnef. Enjoy nice cafes and pretty half-timbered houses.
In 2024 you will spend the night in Bonn, so you will continue your journey from Bad Honnef via Bad Godesberg and past the Drachenfelsen to Bonn.
5. day Bad Honnef - Cologne 42 km
At the foot of the Siebengebirge you will pass Bad Godesberg today. You will be amazed by the Drachenfelsen, 250m over the Rhine. Here you can take an exciting trip to the summit with the Drachenfelsbahn, the oldest cogwheel railway in Germany. The old capital of Bonn is also on your way and attracts a lot of sightseeing, before the Cologne cathedral is in the field of view. The tour today is not too long, so you can reach your hotel in the city center at an early stage and still have time to admire the many sights of Cologne.
In 2024 you will cycle from Bonn to Cologne, a even shorter cycle route, so you have enough time to visist Cologne and its sights.
6. day Cologne departure
All too soon the time passed and your trip ends after breakfast in Cologne. There are convenient train connections back to Mainz.
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Prices are per person.
08.04. – 14.04.2023
07.10. – 14.10.2023
15.04. – 05.05.2023
23.09. – 06.10.2023
06.05. – 22.09.2023
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
Prices are per person.
06.04. – 13.04.2024
05.10. – 12.10.2024
14.04. – 03.05.2024
21.09. – 04.10.2024
04.05. – 07.06.2024
06.07. – 20.09.2024
08.06. – 05.07.2024
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
- Accommodation incl. breakfast
- Room with shower/bath/WC
- Luggage transport
- Map of bike trails with marked route
- Digital route guidance via smartphone app for almost all journeys
- Tips for tour preparation
- Touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Below you will find specific information about the Rhine bike trail Mainz - Cologne. If you have further questions about this trip, you simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.
Arrival by train
Mainz is easily accessible from all major cities in Germany by train. All our partner hotels are located within easy access to the station. Current schedule information and price information can be found at: www.bahn.de.
Parking facilities at the hotel
The hotels in Mainz have no parking facilities. You can park in one of the municipal parking garages near the hotel. Please ask at the reception.
You will receive detailled information on the parking possibilties with your travel documents 2 weeks prior to your arrival.
Available rental bikes
If you choose to rent a velocipede-rental bike for the tour, we take it to your first hotel and bring pick it up at your destination. You can choose between woman’s and men's bicycles either with 7-speed gear shift and coaster brake or 27-speed gear shift and freewheel or electric bikes. All ladies' bikes have a low opening that makes mounting and dismounting much easier. The bikes are suitable for all ladies from 150 cm in height and for all gentlemen from 165 cm in height. You simply specify your wishes at time of booking.
Transfer back to the starting point of the journey
Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11 am there is the possibility to transfer back to Mainz with a small bus (with bike trailer). Arrival at 2 pm. The driver comes to pick you up at your hotel and has much room for you, your luggage and where required your own bicycle. The bus takes you back to your first hotel, thus ensuring a perfect return service without transfer and the hassle of hauling luggage.
Bike and train
Along the route there are good rail connections, so you can always take the train for some sections.
Condition of cycle paths
The route along the Rhine runs almost exclusively on asphalted and paved hiking and cycling trails or along quiet country roads. Driving in traffic is rare. From Mainz to Bad Godesberg, the route is marked with white and green signs, which always identify the next town. Also you will see blue signs with a yellow bike. On the last day cycling to Cologne will see the signs of the Rheinschiene route (square plates with blue wave symbol). Due to the consistently good signage the right way is easy to find.
Bike and boat
Particularly the Middle Rhine Valley a boat tour is a delightful addition to cycling. The major part of the passenger traffic on the Rhine route is done by the Cologne-Düsseldorf shipping company. Bicycles can be taken on all ships.
Extra costs which are not included in the price
A possibly applicable city tax is not part of the travel price and therefore has to be paid at the hotel locally.
The ferries from Rudesheim to Bingen and from Rolandseck to Bad Honnef (and back) are not included in the tour price.
7 day hotline service
Just in case the bike chain breaks, flooding makes it impossible to continue your tour or any other nasty surprise: You can reach us seven days a week and we will do anything to help you as fast as possible.
Passport and visa requirements
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
The High Cathedral of Mainz is the episcopal church of the Roman Catholic diocese of Mainz and is under the patronage of St. Martin of Tours. The eastern choir is dedicated to St. Stephan. The building, which belongs to the imperial cathedrals, is, in its present form, a three-aisled Romanesque column basilica with gothic and baroque elements in its annexes.
The Kunsthalle Mainz at the Zollhafen is entirely dedicated to contemporary art.
Roman-Germanic Central Museum, Mainz
Ancient, Roman Mainz, on the other hand, lives on in the Roman-Germanic Central Museum, in the Museum of Ancient Seafaring and in the Shrine of Isis and Mater Magna discovered just a few years ago. A fascinating display gives visitors insight into the rituals of life in the Roman provincial capital Mogontiacum.
Gutenberg Museum, Mainz
With Johannes Gutenberg – the greatest son of the city, inventor of the printing press with moveable type, who has been named “Man of the Millennium”, a new age began – and not just in Mainz. More than one hundred years ago, a whole museum was dedicated to him. At the Gutenberg Museum, you can admire two of Gutenberg's famous bibles, the first printed books in the world.
The town of the towers and the wine is aptly called Obersel. The Rhine traveler already recognizes the silhouette from Schönburg, the Red Church of the Holy Virgin and the proud fortified walls with their numerous towers. What better location could be here on the Rhine for the Medieval Spectaculum, which every two years at Whitsunday the whole town dives into long-past times and a plump colorful medieval age.
Town Wall, Oberwesel
With its 16 fortified towers, the town wall of Oberwesel is the best preserved of its kind in the Middle Rhine region. Over many years, these mediaeval ramparts have been redeveloped in order to open them for tourists. As a result, citizens and visitors are now able to walk along large sections of the town wall. A walk along the wall can be an exciting journey into the past.
Schönburg Castle has an exciting history. Set on elevated, wooded ground, it is first mentioned in records dating from 1149. The Schönburg family extended the castle, adding extensive living quarters. In 1689, the lordly residence was destroyed by the troupes of Louis XIV. In 1885, a German-American banker named Rhinelander visited the Rhine valley. Searching for the romantic past, he was attracted by the ruin, and decided to restore the castle to its former glory in accordance with its old plans.
“A place of longing” rhapsodises the singer Clarissa Lichtblau when she meets her early love, conductor Hermann Simon, in Berlin on 9th November 1989. The night the Berlin wall falls, the two musicians, both uprooted from home and stressed with their careers, meet in a hotel in West Berlin. Once a pair of lovers, they had lost sight of each for 17 years through their success-driven, jet-setting life-styles. But now, caught up in the euphoric passion for a new start that gripped so many Germans, the couple set off for the Hunsrück mountains. A romantic half-timbered house high above the Rhine valley captures their imagination. With fantastic views over the Loreley rock, this now forms the focus of their restless lives.
Shortly after Kaiser Wilhelm I’s death, the idea arose of creating a memorial to him, as it was the Kaiser who had brought about the unification of Germany after three years of war. Three years later in 1891, Kaiser Wilhelm II, the grandson of the deceased, chose the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz as the most suitable location. A harbour of refuge in the Moselle estuary was filled in to create space for the memorial. The Deutsches Eck in its present form was created.
Electoral Palace, Koblenz
The Electoral Palace in Koblenz is one of the most important palatial buildings in the French early Classicism style in south-western Germany, and is one of the last residential palaces that was built in Germany shortly before the French revolution.
Today, the middle section of the palace offers exclusive rooms for festive banquets, meetings and family celebrations.
The exclusive Grand Café is open to all and invites you to come and visit. Up towards the Rhine, there are also freely accessible, beautiful terraced gardens.
A spectacular natural phenomenon is waiting to be discovered by you in the Rhine valley.Every two hours, the Geyser erupts with an impressive water fountain rising up to 60 metres / 200 ft. into the sky, driven by carbon dioxide from deep volcanic sources. You set off on your journey at the Geyser Visitor Centre in Andernach by taking a trip deep below the surface to the origin of the Andernach Geyser. This is followed by a relaxed cruise on the river Rhine, down to the nature reserve “Namedyer Werth” where this rare natural phenomenon awaits you: The Andernach Geyser.
It can be seen from nearly every point in the city centre and from many places elsewhere: The magnificent Cologne Cathedral hovers above the roofs and chimneys of the city. It is not only used as a point of orientation but is the pride of the people in Cologne. The panorama of the city has been dominated by the Cathedral's gigantic pair of towers (the North Tower (157.38 m) is 7 cm higher than the South Tower) since their completion in 1880. The Cathedral is still the second highest building in Cologne after the telecommunications tower. Its footprint is no less impressive, with the full length of the Cathedral measuring 145 m and the cross nave 86 m. In comparison, a football pitch is "only" around 100 by 70 m. The total area of the Cathedral measures almost 8000 square metres and has room for more than 20,000 people.
Museum Ludwig, Köln
Roy Lichtenstein's M-Maybe, Andy Warhol's Brillo Boxes and George Segal's Restaurant Window, all icons of American Pop Art, had all just been completed when in 1969 they arrived as a loan at Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. The works come from Peter and Irene Ludwig, who had put together the largest Pop Art collection outside of the USA. The Museum Ludwig is devoted to modern art from the beginning of the 20th century. There usually are two or more temporary exhibitions.