Rhine: laid-back tour, Mainz – Cologne 8 days
Rhine the classic as laid-back tour
From Mainz to Cologne with short daily stages.
Let yourself be seduced by the romantic Middle Rhine to a particularly enjoyable cycling trip from Mainz to Cologne. Follow the Rhine cycle path on short daily stages alongside the famous vineyards to Eltville with electoral castle, the Kloster Eberbach (+ 14 km) and further to Rudesheim. Marvel at the Loreley rock, walk up and enjoy a fantastic view of the Rhine Valley. Deep green forests, fortified castles and romantic castles are on your path. Look forward to your interesting accommodation locations where there is plenty to see and do. Such famous cities as Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn and Cologne attract. On this trip you have enough time for everything!
1. day Mainz Arrival
Arrive at Mainz in time! Not only the Roman-Germanic Central Museum, the Gutenberg Museum, the Imperial Cathedral and the Electoral Palace are worth an extended visit (DB arrival / rental bike at hotel).
2. day Mainz - Rüdesheim 31 km
Welcome to the UNESCO Upper Middle Rhine Valley! The beautiful first stage leads through rolling vineyards and well-known wine villages. The Rhine is flowing quite unhurriedly, forming little islands and broadening its bed up to 800 m width! We recommend to include worthwhile trips to the half-timbered town of Eltville and monastery Eberbach (+ 14 km). In Rudesheim you should use the opportunity for a wine tasting, a stroll through the famous Drosselgasse or a relaxing ride on the cable car up to the Niederwald Monument.
3. day Rüdesheim - St. Goar 34 km
From Rudesheim to Bingen you can take the Rhine ferry and then cycle on the well-developed bike path to Bacharach. Alone on these 16 km you will pass the Mäuseturm, the castles Rheinstein and Reichenstein and Burg Sooneck and Hohneck and the ruin Fürstenberg. Everywhere it is worth to take a break and in Bacharach, you should climb the city walls before you finally cycle to St. Goar.
Here you should also climb the Loreley. A hiking trail leads up and gives you the beautiful view to the narrowest part in the romantic Rhine valley. The worth visiting 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.
4. day St. Goar - Koblenz 36 km
The path goes further in the narrow Rhine Valley, today the route leads first up in the well known wine village Boppard. Here it will turbulent, but you can escape by chairlift to Vierseenblick in densely wooded heights and again enjoy a beautiful view of the Rhine Valley. Or visit the well preserved Marksburg and Castle Stolzenfels further on the way to the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz, where you will end your day.
5. day Koblenz - Bad Breisig 35 km
Also today, the Castles on the Rhine will be your loyal companion. Be it in Sayn and Neuwied, Andernach or Namedy and also in Brohl and Bad Breisig, the palaces and castles invite you to visit. On the flat Rhine cycle path you can drift comfortably and find even more time to relax at the end of the day at the spa "Römerthermen" in Bad Breisig.
6. day Bad Breisig - Bonn 32 km
This morning Remagen is worth a stop. See the location where the former towers of the famous bridge rise on the banks and where today an attractions peace museum is located. In Bad Honnef the pedestrian zone and the marketplace with many cafes invite to pause. Ot you visit the island Grafenwerth which is lying with lush meadows and ancient trees in the middle of the Rhine and is considered a recreational paradise. In the cause of the tour the Siebengebirge comes close to the river and in Koenigswinter you can go up with the oldest rack railway to the "fabled" Drachenfels and enjoy the view. Finally Bonn attracts with numerous monuments and museums, and you can again experience an interesting day.
7. day Bonn - Cologne 36 km
Today the flat Rhine Cycle Route leads always right on the shore. This ensures that the stage to Cologne will be a real pleasure. Even from afar the Cologne Cathedral is moving into focus and increases the anticipation for this destination. Today the stage is not too long, and you can reach your hotel in downtown early. This gives you enough time to admire the manifold sights of Cologne.
8. day Cologne Departure
Today your beautiful cycling holiday ends after breakfast in Cologne at the hotel. DB departure is possible. Those who want to return to Mainz, we recommend our practical return transfer service which will take you direct from the hotel in Cologne back to the start hotel.
prices & services
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
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- GPS tracks on request
- 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. We recommend to take a taxi from the trainstation to get to you hotel. 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. You will find further information in your travel information 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. On our Velociped tours we use high-quality e-bikes of the Velo de Ville brand. They are technically mature and very robust.
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.
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 picks you up at your hotel and has room for you, your luggage and your own bicycle. The bus takes you back to your first hotel, thus ensuring a perfect return service without 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.
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.
Timetable Cologne-Düsseldorf shipping company
Extra costs which are not included in the price
A possibly applicable city tax and the ferry boat from Rüdesheim to Bingen are not part of the travel price and therefore has to be paid locally.
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, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
Corona travel information:
Before booking your trip, please inform yourself about the measures in place to contain the Corona pandemic.
Information on current decisions of the German Federal Government can be found here:
Current information on entry requirements to Germany can be found here:
You can also find more information on our website at:
Corona virus and holiday planning
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 heart of Rüdesheim's old town is a meeting place for locals and visitors from all over the world. This is where the music is and where it never stops! Whether you're after something lively or classical, romantic or groovy, from brass bands to string quartets, from dusk until dawn. There's a wide range of wine bars and garden taverns to satisfy everyone. Come to Drosselgasse and revel in its unique atmosphere.
Ehrenfels Castle Ruin
The Ehrenfels Castle formed together with the Mäuseturm and the Klopp Castle a northward barrier since the 13th Century, in order to protect the territory of the archbishopric of Mainz. In the Middle Ages it was strategically of greatest importance because of its favourable location above the Binger Loch. Furthermore it was as toll station an important pecuniary resource for the bishops and the church. The castle, which was used in times of war as a hiding place for the cathedral treasury of Aachen, was extensively destroyed in 1689.
Monastery St. Hildegard, Eibingen
Hildegard von Bingen founded two monasteries: the monastery Rupertsberg near Bingen as well as the monastery Eibingen not far from Rüdesheim. There, the nobility, Marka von Rüdesheim, had founded an Augustinian double monastery in 1148, which was already orphaned in 1165, due to the war riots triggered by the Emperor Barbarossa. The rise of the Rupertsberg Convention led Hildegard to acquire the damaged buildings 1165. She had them made for 30 Benedictine nuns and drove twice a week from Rupertsberg monastery across the Rhine to her new monastic community.
Monastery St. Hildegard, Eibingen
Rheinfels Castle, St. Goar
Along the romantic river and next to the most fabled spot the Loreley is the Rheinfels castle probably the most famous spots in the region. The castle of Rheinfels is the largest and one of the mightiest castle ruins on the Rhine. Count Diether V of Katzenelnbogen founded the castle in 1245 as a base for his toll collecting operations. This exquisite pattern piece of medieval fortress architecture set standards for the entire construction of castles in German at the time. Even today it surprises with its enormous proportions, the labyrinthine layout, the shape and diverse grouping of towers, shield walls and bastions, as well as the winding space, underground mine passages and Casemates.
Deutsches Eck, Koblenz
World-famous: Where Father Rhine and Mother Moselle meet: The Deutsches Eck ("German Corner")
The establishment of the Teutonic Order at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle in 1216 gave this historic site its name, the “Deutsches Eck”. Koblenz also owes its name to the meeting point of the Rhine and the Moselle - from “Castellum apud Confluentes”, Latin for “fort at the confluence”, which over time became the current name of Koblenz.
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.
St. Kastor Basilica, Koblenz
The St. Castor Basilica is the oldest surviving church in Koblenz. The monastery church was consecrated in 836 and was the scene of many important historical events. The St. Castor monastery was a meeting and mediation point for emperors and kings, as well as their descendants. In the Romanesque church in 842, the trial of the sons of Emperor Louis the Pious took place. This led to the division of the Frankish Empire in the Treaty of Verdun the following year.
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.
Kaiserin Augusta Promenade
The beautiful Rhine Gardens, a three-and-a-half-kilometer stretch of promenade and walkways connecting the green spaces on the east bank of the Rhine, extends upstream from the Electoral Palace to the island of Oberwerth. Architectural highlights of this pleasant walk include the Pfaffendorf Bridge, the historic Weindorf (a reconstruction of a Mosel village built in 1925), and the Rhein-Mosel-Halle convention center. The big draw here, however, are the many splendid riverside gardens, in particular the Gardens of Empress Augusta (Kaiserin-Augusta-Anlagen). Laid out for the spouse of Emperor Wilhelm I, the project was completed in 1861 and remains a highlight of any visit to Koblenz due to its spectacular views of the Rhine, pleasant tree-lined pathways, sculpture gardens, and colorful flowerbeds. A great place for a photo is the large statue of Father Rhine and Mother Mosel, a 19th-century monument celebrating Koblenz as the meeting place of the region's two most important rivers.
The "Mittelrheintal" is known for its numerous sights, such as castles, castles, churches and other cultural monuments. Bad Breisig also has a lot to offer here, with its many attractions and its health center Römer-Thermen.
Hot Spring, Bad Breisig
In 1936 Johann Martin Schuh accomplished the construction of the Spa building named Geyrsprudel (Albert-Mertés-Str. 11), and put to good use the warm spring which had previously been discovered and drilled by Baron Geyr from Schweppenburg in 1914.
In 1961 his son Willy Schuh installed an indoor thermal bath at the same place, and the first indoor thermal wave bath in Europe in 1969 opened here. Another improvement was achieved when in 1991 the "Römer-Thermen" opened business, offering an indoor thermal pool, physiotherapeutic applications, far reaching sauna facilites and even a fitness studio.
Old Tollhause, Bad Breisig
On the bank of the river Rhine next to the Eulengasse, you find the Old Tollhouse, which was built around 1500 AD. Its existence goes back to the sovereignty of the community of nons from Essen over the county of Breisig.
The nons were granted the privilege of raising toll for the use of the road. For this reason the tollhouse was built on the banks of the river Rhine, in addition to the tollgates already established (Köln gate - north gate; Koblenz gate - south gate) in teh wall surrounding Breisig since 1280 AD. Leaning walls and numerous flood markers on the front of this beautiful timber frame house testifiy to its great age.
There are a number of reasons why the Kunstmuseum Bonn enjoys a unique position within Germany’s museum landscape. With one of the internationally most important collections of German art – based on the seminal inventory of works by August Macke –, the Kunstmuseum disposes over a collection profile that is unparalleled throughout the country. The collection focuses on the Rhenish Expressionists, German Art after 1945 including Joseph Beuys’ Multiples as well as graphic art including photography and the video center Ingrid Oppenheim. The museum’s relevance has been steadily growing over the past decades. In this development, one of the special features of Bonn’s collecting policies has been to refrain from attempts to document German art with a claim to encyclopedic scope, but rather concentrate on a manageable number of eminent artists, and then purchase from them entire groups of works and ensembles.
The Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
The Bundeskunsthalle is a unique venue. Since its inauguration in 1992 it has set new standards with a richly varied programme of exhibitions devoted not only to art and cultural history of all eras right up to the present day, but also to science, technology and the environment. The ground-breaking cultural history exhibitions in particular appear in retrospect to have anticipated the rising trend towards globalisation. Cultures from all over the world – some well-known, other much less so – are presented in Bonn.
By working closely with many of the leading museums and galleries of the world, the Bundeskunsthalle has established an international network of links with fellow cultural institutions and gained access to wider audiences.
House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany
The House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany provides an amusing overview of contemporary German history through a wide range of audio-visual tools and displays. A Roman cellar discovered during construction work has been opened in the museum basement.
House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany
Ludwig van Beethoven is the most famous son of the City, which still feels closely associated with the world-famous composer today. His birthplace has been one of Bonn's landmarks for a long time, every year approximately 100,000 visitors come to the house that has been turned into a museum in Bonngasse 20. Ludwig van Beethoven was born there in December 1770. The house is the only preserved residence of the Beethoven family and is largely in its original condition. The Beethoven-Haus is also a Beethoven-Museum and houses the world's largest Beethoven collection. More than 150 original documents and exhibits portray the life and works of Ludwig van Beethoven.
"Südstadt" is a district in the Bonn city district of Bonn. Located south of the city center, it is bordered by Regina-Pacis-Weg, Poppelsdorfer Allee, Reuterstraße, Kaiserstraße, Weberstraße and Rhine. Together with "Bonner Weststadt", it is often referred to as the largest connected (and preserved) "Gründerzeit district" in Germany. Many families with children and students live in Südstadt. There are also many connecting houses.
The Old Town Hall, Bonn
The historic Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), Bonn's showpiece, is located behind the University directly by the market. The building with the decorated rococo facade houses the offices and representative rooms of the mayor. During Bonn's era as a capital city many official visitors and heads of state were received here such as John F. Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II. or Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, who entered their names in the CIty's Golden Book.
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.
The Roman mosaic with scenes from the world of Dionysos (c.AD 220/230) and the reconstructed funerary monument to the legionary Poblicius (c.AD 40) are probably the best-known exhibits in Cologne's Romano-Germanic Museum. Its collections are drawn from the archaeological heritage of the city and its environs, from prehistory to the early Middle Ages. Highlights are the largest collection of Roman glass in the world as well as outstanding collections of Roman and early medieval jewellery.