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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights main deck cabin
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

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Overview

Trip Code: SOG6301

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.

Trip Grading

introductory

More info about grading system

On arrival in Cologne, you are welcome on board the MS Olympia, a river barge with a comfortable atmosphere, between 3:00pm and 5:00pm. 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. You will pass the romantic fortress Marksburg, the only hilltop castle of Middle Rhine which has never been destroyed. Continue to the city 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 through more beautiful castles today such as the Burg Reichenstein and Burg Rheinstein, then past the famous rock Loreley before you reach Rudesheim. Take a guided tour around the historic town with its beautiful half-timbered houses (optional - additional cost payable on board). Alternatively, treat yourself with a ride on the cable car up to the Niederwald monument, for a beautiful view over the old town of Rudesheim and the river (not included).

Meals:  B,L,D

On your final cycling stage you will find the Rhine at its best (if you weren't already impressed!). Along the way is the city Eltville am Rhein with its emblem, the castle Kurfurstliche Burg. Mainz, your destination for today, 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 like the Augustinerstraße and the Kirschgarten with its lovely timber framed houses and wine restaurants.

Meals:  B,L,D

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

Meals:  B


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. 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 Category A 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).
  • Bicycle, 7 speed 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 (7 speed electric bike available on request for a supplement)
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Cruise director on board - does not cycle with the group, provides daily briefings
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per cabin
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Local passenger and port fees
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from Cologne / Mainz
  • Upgrade to a cabin on upper deck or single cabin - supplement applies, ask our office for details
  • Drinks other than afternoon tea and coffee on board
  • 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.
  • Meals not detailed in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc.
  • 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).
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided tour
  • 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.

Cabins


Bike information


Grading

introductory  

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

BP
Base Price
S
Surcharge
O
Option

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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