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Germany Bike & Barge - Three Rivers Bike Tour

  • Barge Iris on the River Main
  • Johannisburg Palace
  • Houses in Aschaffenburg Germany
  • Germany biergarten
  • Lorelei view of the bend
  • Eltz Castle
  • Koblenz by the river
  • Vineyards along the Moselle
  • Rhine river curve
  • Apple strudel
DURATION
8 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
14 to 28 Miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
1-Easier
STARTING FROM
$3995
SINGLES ADD FROM
$1,200

Trip Overview

On this bike & barge tour, cruise down three famous German rivers — the Main, the Rhine and the Moselle (Mosel) — and see exquisite castles, picturesque wine-producing villages and delightful scenery. Revel in the classic half-timbered buildings and other architectural marvels from the past. Plus, you have all the advantages of a bike and barge tour … unpack once in your private cabin and relax as your “floating hotel” follows your travels.

Highlights include cruising the beautiful Lorelei section of the Rhine, a guided tour of Aschaffenburg and seeing a Renaissance palace. You also visit the beautiful towns of Frankfurt, Mainz and Koblenz. Enjoy the beer gardens, delicious German pastries … and tasting wine, chocolate and brandy. Don’t miss this simple way to explore these lovely rivers and their history-rich towns.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival at Aschaffenburg
Comfort barge Iris
Meet in Aschaffenburg in the afternoon and board your floating hotel, the Iris. After introductions, have a bike fitting. Then take a walking tour of the town. Be amazed by the imposing Johannisburg Palace built in the early 1600s, which is located on the banks of the Main River. This is the grandest of all Renaissance palace complexes. After strolling the town, enjoy your first dinner onboard the Iris.
DAY 2 - Aschaffenburg to Frankfurt
Distance: 28 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
After your first breakfast onboard, start cycling! Your first stop is in Hanau — the town where the famous Grimm Brothers were born. Their fairytales … including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and more … are known worldwide.

A small ferry takes you to the other side of the river Main. There you have your first good look at a series of well-preserved half-timbered medieval houses. Explore the small town of Seligenstadt with its iconic German houses, winding alleys and basilica.

Your final destination today is Frankfurt, one of Germany’s largest cities and once one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire. Frankfurt is now known as a center for trade and finance. The city skyline is very contemporary due to the influx of banking and also because it was rebuilt after World War II. Frankfurt has many museums especially along the riverside and is famous for its annual Buchmesse (Book Fair). Be sure to visit the restored historic center, called Römerberg.
DAY 3 - Frankfurt to Mainz
Distance: 28 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Following the river downstream by bike, say goodbye to the River Main. A shortcut through a forested area gets you to the banks of the mighty Rhine River. After crossing one more bridge, you see your ship the Iris waiting for you.

Today’s destination is Mainz, located where the Main River meets the Rhine. In the afternoon, there’s time to explore this exciting city. Mainz’s inner city is its pride and joy, filled with spacious plazas, lovingly restored timber-framed houses, and magnificent Baroque-style churches. The “Old Town” has a very charming atmosphere.
DAY 4 - Mainz to Ruedesheim
Distance: 22 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Today’s ride is a bit shorter, so you have time to explore the lovely town of Ruedesheim in the afternoon. The cycling route to Ruedesheim leads through rolling vineyards and well-known wine-producing villages. Here, the Rhine flows gently, forming little islands and broadening its bed up to half a mile wide. Did you know that there have been grape vines planted here since the time of the Romans? Enjoy a tasting of some of the local wines, including Rieslings and pinot noir varieties.

Stroll through the “Drosselgasse,” a famous cobblestone street known for its entertaining music. This narrow “gasse” or “alley” is only 150 yards long but has thousands of intricate paving stones. Consider taking the cable car for great views over the Rhine Valley. Or visit the Asbach Centre, home of German brandy — produced locally since 1892. And they make great chocolate as well!
DAY 5 - Sailing to Sankt Goar, cycling to Koblenz
Distance: 22 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Today you enjoy a cruise down the Rhine River through the narrow passage at the Lorelei. There are many tales to tell about this part of the Rhine.

Probably the most famous story here was celebrated in a poem by Heinrich Heine. It’s about an enchanting woman associated with the Lorelei Rock. The classic story is that the beautiful Lorelei, betrayed by her sweetheart, is accused of bewitching men and causing their death. Rather than sentence her to death, the bishop banishes her to a nunnery. On the way there, accompanied by three knights, she asks to climb the Lorelei Rock and view the Rhine. Thinking that she sees her love in the Rhine, she falls to her death.

In St. Goar and Boppard you cycle in the most popular region of the Rhine. Charming little wine villages abound, close to our final destination for today — the city of Koblenz. Here, you see the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, on the site of fortifications since Roman times. Now this fortress is reached by a cable car across the Rhine. Koblenz has lovely beer gardens at Deutsche Eck, a headland where the Moselle joins the Rhine. Or visit the lively inner city with terraces and little shops.
DAY 6 - Koblenz to Cochem
Distance: 26 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Start the day cruising through the first lock to enter your third, and final, river the Moselle! The barge docks in a location to give you a head start on the foothills where the Eltz Castle is hidden.

Untouched by wars or fires, this truly magnificent castle is worth the effort of walking to it. The guided tour takes you back through time. After the castle tour, continue cycling to Cochem, the most visited village on the Moselle River. Cochem is a bustling town with steep vineyard-clad mountains, wooded hills, an impressive castle and a picturesque square with beautiful timber-framed houses and cafes. Time for a Moselle wine!
DAY 7 - Cochem, optional bike ride to Beilstein and Neef along the Moselle
Distance: 14 or 34 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
On this last full day of the tour, you have the option to bike to the charming village of Beilstein and back. Beilstein is a small village that’s been used as a film set many times, because it still looks very medieval. You can walk up to the monastery and enjoy a coffee and “kuchen” pastries there. Next, a ferry takes you to the other side of the Moselle, where you can cycle back to Cochem. If this is not enough miles, you can continue to cycle a loop to Neef.

Done with cycling? Visit the Cochem castle with a magnificent view over the Moselle. Plus, from there you can see the Iris very clearly docked near the castle. And the city itself is very attractive with loads of little shops. This is a great place to buy a nice Moselle wine or some local specialties to take home. Or enjoy a strawberry ice cream. But don’t spoil your appetite for the farewell dinner tonight!
DAY 8 - Cochem, time to say Auf Wiedersehen
Time to say goodbye to the Iris, staff and guests. After breakfast, it is time to say "auf Wiedersehen" and leave the barge by 9 a.m. The train station isn't far away to take you home or on further travels.

Map

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start End Cost Availability

What’s Included

7 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin or push them together), 7 breakfasts, 6 self-packed lunches, 5 dinners, 1 glass of wine or beer with each included dinner (2 dinners on your own), coffee & tea, snacks. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus use of a bike and helmet. Airfare and tips for crew & leaders are not included.

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

What’s Included

7 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin or push them together), 7 breakfasts, 6 self-packed lunches, 5 dinners, 1 glass of wine or beer with each included dinner (2 dinners on your own), coffee & tea, snacks. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus use of a bike and helmet. Airfare and tips for crew & leaders are not included.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Comfort Barge Iris
The Iris is fully outfitted with 12 cabins with 2 bunks each (which can be pushed together to make 1 bed if you prefer). Each cabin has its own shower, toilet and sink and also includes central heat, air conditioning and a hair dryer. The Iris is ideal for bike and barge tours. Her lounge and restaurant area have also been recently redesigned. An onboard chef provides delicious meals and can adapt them for certain dietary needs.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Barge Iris on the River Main Johannisburg Palace Houses in Aschaffenburg Germany Germany biergarten Lorelei view of the bend Eltz Castle Koblenz by the river Vineyards along the Moselle Rhine river curve Apple strudel