Bike and Barge: Mainz to Cologne

Numerous romantic castles and fortresses have been built along the banks of the Rhine between Cologne and Mainz and they have many exciting stories to tell. The UNESCO World Heritage Site “Upper Middle Rhine Valley” is very beautiful and rich in tales and adventures.

The Rhine in this area pushes its way through rocks and passes towns like Koblenz, which are over 2000 years old and have old towns with many timber-framed houses. This is the ideal landscape for a beautiful and relaxing holiday. Last but not least many of these towns between Mainz and Cologne are home to some noble wines and regional delicacies, which make this journey also a culinary one.

Calender 8 days

Difficulty: Leisurely

From £1139.00 P/P

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Embarkation from 3:00p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Depending on the time of your arrival you migh have time to see the old town of Mainz with its lovely alleys and public squares.

Today you will come to understand why the river Rhine and its surroundings are part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage.  Today will be filled with beautiful islands, steep slate rocks and the vineyards that shape the region around Rüdesheim. You will cycle past Eltville with its fortress “Kurfürstliche Burg” and Oestrich – Winkel with its crane for loading wine as a famous landmark and arrive finally in Rüdesheim. Here, the world-famous wine alley “Drossel-gasse” is well worth a visit.

Today you will cycle along the Rhine through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. As you cycle, you will pass several romantic castles and ruins. These buildings include the fortresses Reichenstein and Rheinstein. You will also ride by the famous rock of the Lorelei as you make your way to St. Goar, your destination for today. From the top of the rock you will have a beautiful view of St. Goar and St. Goarshausen.

Boppard and the Marksburg are both places that you can stop for a break today, on you way to Koblenz with its famous “Deutsche Eck” (German corner), where the rivers Moselle and Rhine are merging. You can reach the fortress Ehrenbreitstein easily by cableway, and from there, you will be able to enjoy a fantastic view over the splendid landscape of the Rhine.

The route for today will lead you past Neuwied, where you will be able to see Castle Engers, to Andernach, your destination for today. This city, like Koblenz, is one of the oldest in Germany. Here you will find the famous cold water geyser, whose water fountain, reaching up to 50/60 meters is widely believed to be the highest cold water volcanic spring in the world. In Andernach you can enjoy sights like the Round Tower or visit the wine village Leutesdorf, which you can reach from Andernach by ferry.

As you ride to Bonn it is worth making a syop to visit Königswinter castle Drachenburg on the Drachenfels (steep slope) or the Sea Life centre which features over 2000 different varieties of marine wildlife. Finally you will reach your day’s destination, Bonn. The former capital of Germany, Bonn is both cosy and traditional, yet a modern and cosmopolitan city. The birthplace of Beethoven, the city of Bonn still has international flair and many companies still house their global headquarters there.

Before you reach Cologne, there will be a chance for a nice rest at the leisure island Groov, amidst a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz – Zündorf. Once you have reached Cologne, take your time to enjoy a stroll through the Old Town. There are also many museums that are wekk worth a visit, as well as the modern parts of Cologne, which can be found at the port of the Rheinaue wetland with its crane houses. The breweries with their famous beer “Kölsch” show a relaxed side of this big city.

Disembarkation after breakfast until 9:00 a.m.

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Route overview

The quality of the cycle ways along this route is excellent. Most of the way is paved or asphalted and does not have any gradients of note. This makes the trip suitable even for unpractised cyclists.

Total distance cycled: 209 km

Route Map (For guidance only):

Routes maybe subject to change or alteration. All route notes, maps and day-by-day information will be given to you upon arrival at the first hotel or at the welcome meeting. GPS/GPX Files are available for most our the cycling holidays we offer. Please ask us for details.

Tour Details (All times are subject to change):

MS Olympia

Comfortable and cosy river ship with family environment. The ship was refurbished in 2015/2016. The panoramic salon with bar in gentlemens club-style and the bright and friendly restaurant are waiting for you to pass relaxing hours here. A spacious, partly shaded sun deck and storage space for bicycles.

A total of 49 comfortable outside cabins for a max. of 96 guests are available.

Main deck: 21 two-bed-cabins (about 11m²).

Upper deck: 22 two-bed-cabins (about 11m²), 4 cabins of bigger size at the stern of the ship (12m²), 3 of which feature twin beds; during the trip increased noise perception as well as two single cabins about 9m². All cabins boast en-suite bathroom, hair dryer, telephone, TV, individual air conditioning/heating, fridge, safe, and large panoramic window. On the Upper deck, cabins feature opening windows.

Technical Details: Length 88.50 m. Width 10.50 m. Draught 1.30 m. Capacity max. 96 passengers. Flag Switzerland. Built 1984. Refurbished 2015/2016. Crew ca. 21

What’s included

  • 7 nights in outside cabins on MS OLYMPIA with private facilities and air conditioning
  • Programme according to itinerary
  • Port fees included
  • Captains greeting and Welcome drink
  • Daily cabin cleaning, Changing of towels and bed cloths if wanted
  • Full meals: 7x breakfast, 6x light lunch on board (non-cyclists) or packed lunch for cyclists, 6x afternoon coffee break, 7x dinner
  • Daily informational meeting
  • Information pack with route book (one per cabin)
  • Tour guide on board (does not cycle with group)

Not included

Journey to Mainz and from Cologne, shuttles, entrance fees and excursions, bike rental, ferry fares, travel insurances, parking fee, drinks on board, tips.

Whats included

Check Availability

We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person and exclude flights.

Tip: To book, please select a day of the week on which the cycling holiday operates on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the day of departure from the list of dates.

Sat 22 Jun - Sat 29 Jun

2-Bed Main Deck. Other cabins available on request. Saturdays.

FROM £1139 P/P


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