Moselle River Bike & Barge Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival Day. Cochem | Terrain: Easier
After arriving onboard, the crew and leaders welcome you with a drink and an introduction to the week ahead. After your bike fitting and before dinner, walk through the town of Cochem, a cozy and characteristic Mosel (German for Moselle) River town, with steep mountains, thriving vineyards, wooded hills, a medieval fortress and a picturesque center with beautiful timber-framed houses.
Day 2: Cochem – Zell – Bernkastel, 16 to 31 miles | Terrain: Easier
During breakfast, the Iris cruises to Beilstein, called the Sleeping Beauty on the Mosel. You have the chance to see the Black Madonna, a celebrated relic in the chapel of the Carmelite Monastery overlooking the valley. From here, your bike tour starts, and you follow the Mosel River upstream to Zell, a beautiful hamlet where the river slices through slate mountains in dramatic oxbows and S turns. The Hoherott and the Corrayer Berg are the best-known wine regions, and Zeller Schwarze Katz is a legendary Mosel Wine. You continue to Traben-Trarbach. This little town features world-class Art Nouveau buildings and is the major center of wine trade in the Mosel region. From Traben, you cruise on the barge to Bernkastel-Kues. This is an old, picturesque town — with the best wine regions of the Mid-Mosel. The town has a charming market square with historic timber-framed houses. Walk to the castle for a beautiful view.
Day 3: Bernkastel – Kues, 28 miles | Terrain: Easier
This morning, you leave the river and the vineyards behind, and a bus takes you (approx. 45 minutes) through the Eifel Valley to the city of Daun. From there, enjoy an outstanding bike ride along a former railway track that is now a cycling path. The ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges and along small lakes formed from volcano craters, known as maars. After the last tunnel, take a break in a little town where you can have a well-deserved ice cream. This day is the highlight of our biking experiences. Following dinner, stroll to the fascinating cellar of Josef Zimmermann for a wine tasting.
Day 4: Bernkastel-Kues – Trier, 34 miles | Terrain: Easier
Upstream from Bernkastel, the valley opens up, and there are vineyards as far as the eye can see. Today, you enjoy a barge cruise past Brauneberg, Piesport and Trittenheim. Piesport produces a number of beautiful white wines — one of them is the famous Piesporter Goldtröpfchen. Trittenheim lies in a sharp hairpin turn in the Mosel. It is surrounded by mountains covered with vineyards. The Laurentius-Kapelle, with its early Gothic architecture, may be a thousand years old, and it sits right in the middle of the vineyards. In Schweich, board the barge and cruise the rest of the way to Trier, an interesting and lively place — and the oldest city in Germany. According to the Romans, Trier was founded around 15 B.C. by Caesar Augustus under the name of Augusta Trevorum. As a trading town and administrative center, Trier flourished during the late imperial period. It included an imperial residence of Constantine the Great. A number of monuments still exist from this Roman Golden Age. Most authentic is the city gate Porta Nigra, which was built around 18 A.D. Trier also has some interesting churches, a cathedral, a colorful baroque city center and a rococo palace. Tonight, you are on your own for dinner and can select one of the many wonderful restaurants in Trier.
Day 5: Trier – Saarburg, 18 to 22 miles | Terrain: Easier
Today, follow the Saar river to our next destination, Saarburg. This is an interesting old town situated in the most beautiful part of the Saar valley. Here the banks of the river are densely forested. The castle of Saarburg was built in the mid-10th century. In the middle of town is a wonderful 60-foot-high waterfall. At the foot of this waterfall there is an old mill, which is driven by the small river. This part of town is charming, and most of the old houses are from the 17th and 18th century. After dinner, enjoy a walk through town.
Day 6: Saarburg – Remich, Luxembourg, 16 to 35 miles | Terrain: Easier
From Saarburg, follow the Moselle Valley to the south toward Remich. Here, the Moselle forms the border between Germany and Luxembourg, a tiny nation about the size of Rhode Island. Don’t miss a taste of the Luxembourg Elbling wine, which is said to be softer than the German Riesling. You also have the opportunity to visit a unique Roman mosaic floor discovered in Nennig.
Day 7: Remich – Metz, France, 18 to 25 miles | Terrain: Easier
Today’s tour leads you through the beautiful Moselle Valley across the French-German border. First, pass the castle of Sierck-les-Bains, beautifully situated on the banks of the Moselle river. On top of the hill there is a castle from the 11th century, which was central in the battle between the duke of Lorraine and the archbishop of Trier in the 12th century. Cycle to Thionville, a versatile city with an eventful past. Thionville is known for its old steel industry. But the old city center shows its ancient roots in the ramparts, the beautiful St.-Maximin church, and the château de la Grange. Thionville is also part of the Maginot line, an enormous line of defense, built early in the 20th century against a possible German invasion. Around lunchtime, join the barge at Thionville and cruise to Metz, “la ville jaune” (yellow city) — so called because of its yellow sandstone buildings. This city is strategically situated between Côtes de Moselle and the Plateau Lorrain. These days, the rich medieval city is a center of learning and a lively location for trade. A visit to the St. Etienne Cathedral, one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in France, is a must. It has epic flying buttresses and Marc Chagall stained glass windows. This cathedral sits in the middle of the old city center, where shopping is also excellent.
Day 8: Departure from Metz
Your guided tour ends after breakfast. You can leave your luggage onboard until lunchtime and go and enjoy some more of Metz, like its lovely Cathedral and other architecture. And then, farewell and safe travels home.
NOTE: The tour on July 11-18, 2020, will do the opposite itinerary, from Metz, France to Cochem, Germany.
(All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.)
8-DAY / 7-NIGHT MOSELLE RIVER BIKE & BARGE TOUR
Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable up to 100 days before the start of the tour.
July 13-20, 2019: $3,495 (1 room left!)
Reserve with $300 deposit
July 11-18, 2020: $3,495 (Metz to Cochem)
Reserve with $500 deposit
July 18-25, 2020: $3,495 (Cochem to Metz)
Reserve with $500 deposit
Final payment due 100 days prior to your tour (personal check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover)
Single Supplement Fee for Private Room: $1,250
Cancellations: If you cancel your tour reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined as follows:
- If you cancel 100 or more days prior to the start of your tour, there is no cancellation fee.
- If you cancel between 60 and 100 days prior to the start of your tour, you will forfeit 50% of all tour payments.
- If you cancel between 0 and 60 days prior to the start of your tour, all tour payments will be forfeited.
Lodging for 7 nights on the barge, 7 breakfasts, 6 three-course dinners, free glass of wine or beer with dinner onboard, 2 wine tastings, coffee & tea, bus transfer to Daun, entrance to castle at Cochem, transfer between the Metz train station and the barge, bicycle, helmet, tour guides, van support, free wifi, daily cleaning & linens. Pack a sandwich on the barge or buy lunch. Airfare and crew tips not included.
FREE USE OF BIKES
We are happy to provide you with a bike to use at no charge. Hybrid bikes (not road bikes) are provided and are highly recommended for this tour. Our bikes come equipped with a front handlebar bag, rear carrier, water bottle, mirror and flat pedals. Pedal cages and soft gel seat covers are available on request. We are also happy to put your own clipless pedals (pedals that attach to your biking shoes) and seat on your bike if you wish. Specific details and styles of bikes available in each location are indicated under each photograph below. The make of bikes provided varies by location.