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Rhine Bike Path: Mainz to Cologne

  • 4.7


  • 6 nights | 26 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Self-guided from: €529
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

Please note that the Bikeline (cycling guide with maps and local information) for this tour is not available in English (German only). You will still receive directions and other tour documents in English, and the bike path is well marked.

The Rhine bike trail from Mainz to Cologne is the most beautiful part of the river. The hot springs and spas attracted the ancient Romans to the Rhine. Today vineyards and picturesque towns add to the region's charm.

Admire this gorgeous landscape as you ride to Cologne, where you can see the cathedral spires tower over Germany's oldest city. Enjoy its innumerable cultural and historical treasures, world-famous museums and active art scene.

Life in Cologne is uncomplicated and vivacious. It's a wonderful town for the end of a fabulous tour.

Daily program

Day 1: Mainz
Upon your arrival in Mainz, you should visit the Roman-Germanic Central Museum, Gutenberg Museum, Emperor's Cathedral and Electors Castle.
Overnight in Mainz

Day 2: Mainz – Rüdesheim (19-31 mi/35-49 km)
The beautiful first stage leads through rolling vineyards and well-known wine villages. The Rhine flows unhurriedly, forming little islands and broadening its bed up to a width of 2600 ft/800 m. Before you reach Rüdesheim you may choose to ride an additional 9 mi/14 km to visit the half-timbered town of Eltville and Monastery Eberbach, which are both worth seeing.
Overnight in Rudesheim

Day 3: Rüdesheim – St. Goar (24 mi/38 km)
Grand castles line today's route. You definitely should climb up to the Loreley! A hiking path leads up to this lovely spot and offers a beautiful view of the narrowest part of the romantic Rhine Valley.
Overnight in St. Goar

Day 4: St. Goar – Koblenz (22 mi/36 km)
Further on in the narrow Rhine Valley, the route first heads to Boppart. If you wish you can go to Vierseenblick, or Four Lake View, by cable car. Alternatively, you could choose to visit "Deutschen Eck" in Koblenz to see the well-preserved Castle Marksburg and Castle Stolzenfels.
Overnight in Koblenz

Day 5: Koblenz – Bad Godesberg (36 mi/58 km)
You have so many options for stops along today's route, like cozy health resorts, inviting wine villages, thermal baths, and beer gardens. You can also choose to take a break from cycling and take an enjoyable boat trip on the Rhine. Between Koblenz and Bad Godesberg, anything is possible!
Overnight in Bad Godesberg

Day 6: Bad Godesberg – Cologne (27 mi/43 km)
Bonn is an inviting stop along today's route and offers a view of Cologne Cathedral. Today's stage is not very long, and you'll have enough time to admire the many sights of Cologne.
Overnight in Cologne

Day 7: Cologne
Nobody wants to leave, but after a week in the beautiful Rhine Valley the tour ends in Cologne.


Daily: Apr 21-24; Apr 26-May 15; May 19-24; May 26-29; Jun 3-11; Jun 13-Jul 1; Jul 3-4; Jul 17-Aug 6; Aug 21-Sep 3; Sep 16-Oct 6, 2018
Low season: Apr 21, 2018 - May 09, 2018, Sep 01, 2018 - Oct 06, 2018
High season: May 10, 2018 - Aug 31, 2018


Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
High season surcharge
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike, 27-speed
Electrically assisted bike
Extra Nights, Cologne
Per person, double occupancy
Single room (1 person/1 room)
Extra Nights, Mainz
Per person, double occupancy
Single room (1 person/1 room)
Return to Mainz by bus, per person, including bike
Child, under 14 sharing a room with 2 full-paying adults (on base package price)
Child, under 14 in their own room (on base package price)
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through The primary benefits of booking your tour through include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through We look forward to serving you!

Velociped Terms and Conditions

1. Conclusion of the travel agreement

1.2 By reservation of a travel (the "Reservation"), which can be made verbally, in written form, by fax or e-mail, the Traveler makes a binding offer to the tour operator to conclude a travel agreement (the "Travel Agreement") which is based on the travel offer as set out in the tour operator catalogue valid at the time of travel (the "Catalogue") and on these General Terms and Conditions.

1.3 The Travel Agreement takes effect upon confirmation of the Reservation by the tour operator to the Traveler or travel agent. The travel confirmation is not required to have a special form. Upon or immediately after taking effect of the Travel Agreement, the tour operator will issue a written travel confirmation form to the Traveler.

1.4 If the Reservation includes booking for further Travelers, the Traveler making the Reservation is - to the extent, the Traveler explicitly accepts such obligations by separate written declaration - liable for all contractual obligations of these further Travelers resulting from the Travel Agreement.

1.5 If the contents of the tour operator's confirmation of Reservation differ from the contents of the Reservation, the Travel Agreement does not become effective. The confirmation of Reservation is considered to represent a new offer by the tour operator to the Traveler. A Travel Agreement based on the content of the new offer is established, if the Traveler accepts the new offer by explicit declaration or pre-payment or final payment or commencement of travel.

2. The tour operator's obligation to perform

2.1 The obligations to perform of the tour operator are exclusively determined by the content of the confirmation of Reservation in conjunction with the terms and conditions set out in the Catalogue, including but not limited to all instructions, advices and comments provided therein.

2.2 Third party service providers (e.g. hotels, airlines) and travel agencies have not been authorized by the tour operator, to enter into any commitments or agreements which would exeed or contradict to the tour operator's travel description or confirmation of Reservation or would modify the confirmed content of the Travel Agreement.

3. Pre-Payment and Final Payment

3.1 A pre-payment (the "Pre-Payment") which will be deducted from the total travel fee (the "Travel Fee") is to be made upon taking effect of the Travel Agreement and after handing over of the "Sicherungsschein" (a guarantee certificate, required by law, ensuring protection for Travelers in the event of a travel organizer's insolvency) in accordance with § 651 lit. k) paragraph 3 BGB. The Pre-Payment amounts to 10% of the Travel Fee, max. € 250,- per person, unless otherwise agreed.

3.2 The remainder of the Travel Fee is due and payable no later than three weeks before the travel begins, if the "Sicherungsschein" has been handed over and if it is certain, the travel cannot be cancelled any more for any reason stipulated in section 7.2 hereto.

3.3 Travel materials will be sent or handed out to the Traveler either directly or via the arranging travel agency after full payment of the Travel Fee is received.

3.4 If the travel is booked less than four weeks before the travel begins, the Travel Fee becomes due in full immediately after hand out of the "Sicherungsschein".

3.5 If the tour operator is willing and capable of fulfilling its obligations to perform and if the "Sicherungsschein" has been handed out, the Traveler is not entitled to demand any performance of the tour operator's contractual obligations, unless the full Travel Fee is received by the tour operator.

4. Modification of Obligations

4.1 Modifications of the tour operator's individual contractual obligations to perform, becoming necessary after taking effect of the Travel Agreement and being not induced by the tour operator in breach of good faith, are only permitted to the extent, such modifications are not substantial and do not impair the total set up of the travel. Potential warranty claims remain unaffected as far as any performance of a modified obligation is defective.

4.2 The tour operator is obliged to immediately inform the Traveler about any modifications of the performance of obligations. As the case may be the tour operator will offer a free of charge rebooking or rescission.

4.3 In case of a substantial modification of a material obligation to perform, the Traveler is entitled to cancel the Travel Agreement at no fees to him.

4.4 In case of any changes regarding travel date, destination, accommodation, carriage, departure- or destination airport, made upon the Traveler's request (rebooking) until 30 days before begin of travel, a rebooking fee of € 50,- per each modification becomes due. Rebookings to be made upon Traveler's requests made after expiry of this period are, if at all feasible, possible only after rescission by the Traveler and in accordance with the aforementioned conditions and simultaneous new reservation. This does not apply if the rebooking causes only minor costs.

4.5 In case of a change in the person of the Traveler, to which the tour operator may disagree if the Traveler does not meet the requirements of the travel or if the Travelers participation in the travel contradicts any legal or administrative requirements, the tour operator is entitled to charge a flat rate/ lump-sum of € 50,- for the effort.

5. Modification of Fee

In case of an increase of transportation costs or an increase of charges for certain services such as port or airport duties or in case of variation of exchange rates, applicable to the respective travel, the tour operator reserves the right to modify the Travel Fee agreed in the Travel Agreement as set out below:

5.1 If costs of transportation, and in particular costs of fuel, valid at the time of conclusion of the travel Agreement, increase, the tour operator is entitled to increase the Travel fee in accordance with the following stipulations:

- In case of an increase attributable to a single seat the tour operator can charge the amount of increase.

- In any other case the additional costs charged by the transport provider for the respective means of transportation are divided by the amount of seats of the agreed means of transportation. The tour operator can charge to the Traveler the resulting amount of increase per seat.

5.2 In case of an increase of charges, such as port or airport duties, valid at the time of conclusion of the Travel Agreement, the tour operator can increase the Travel Fee on a pro-rata basis.

5.3 In case of variation of exchange rates after conclusion of the Travel Agreement the Travel Fee can be increased in proportion to the resulting increase of costs of the respective travel for the tour operator.

5.4 An increase is only permissible if the period between conclusion of the Travel Agreement and the agreed time of travel exceeds four weeks and if, at the time of conclusion of the Travel Agreement, the circumstances resulting in the increase neither have been existing nor could have been foreseen by the tour operator.

5.5 In case of an increase of the Travel Fee after the time of conclusion of the Travel Agreement the tour operator has to inform the Traveler without undue delay. Increases after the 20th day before travel are null and void. In case of increases of the Travel Fee exceeding 5 % the Traveler is entitled to withdraw from Travel Agreement at no cost to him or to demand the participation in a travel of the equivalent value, if the tour operator is able to offer such travel from its travel portfolio without any additional fees to the Traveler.

6. Services not made use of

If the Traveler does not make use of certain travel services for reasons of premature return the travel, illness or for other reasons, not in the responsibility of the tour operator, no claim for proportionate refund [of the Travel Fee] can be made.

7. Rescission and Cancellation by the tour operator

7.1 The tour operator may terminate the Travel Agreement after commencement of travel if the Traveler materially disturbs the carrying-out of the Travel Agreement irrespective of an admonition or if the Traveler acts in contradiction to the Travel Agreement to an extent, justifying the immediate cancellation of the Travel Agreement. In case of termination the tour operator remains entitled to the entire Travel Fee; however, the tour operator has to accept a set off of any cost saved as well as any advantages obtained from making other use of travel services, including amounts credited to the tour operator by service providers. In this case the local representatives of the tour operator (travel agency, travel guide) are authorized to execute the tour operator's rights.

7.2 The tour operator may, if the publicized minimum number of participants is not attained, withdraw from the Travel Agreement in accordance with the following stipulations:

a) The tour operator must notify the Traveler without undue delay once the condition requiring cancellation of the travel has arisen.

b) A withdrawal of the tour operator may not be declared later than three weeks before begin of the travel.

c) In case of withdrawal the Traveler can demand the participation in another travel of at least equivalent value, if the tour operator is able to offer such travel from its travel portfolio without any additional fees to the Traveler. The Traveler has to make such claim to the tour operator immediately after notification of the withdrawal.

d) Accomplished payments shall be refunded without undue delay. Further claims, including but not limited to refund of withdrawal costs for already booked flights, train tickets, temporary accommodation, do not exist. the tour operator therefore recommends refraining from such bookings until it is certain the travel will be executed.

8. Rescission by Traveler, Rebooking

8.1 The Traveler may withdraw from the Travel Agreement at any time before the travel begins by written notification of withdrawal to the tour operator. The time of receipt of the notification by the tour operator is decisive.

8.2 In any case of withdrawal by the Traveler, the tour operator, after taking into account expenses saved usually and usually feasible other use of travel services, is entitled to charge lump-sum rescission fees per person which amount to the following:

a) Up to the 29th day before the beginning of the journey: 10%, at least € 50,-

b) From the 28th to the 8th day before the beginning of the journey: 50% of the Travel Fee

c) From the 7th to the 1st day before beginning of the journey: 80% of the Travel Fee

d) On the arrival day and non-participation: 90% of the Travel Fee

8.3 The Traveler may prove to the tour operator that no or significantly less costs than the lump-sums have occurred. In such case the Traveler is only obliged to pay the actual costs.

8.4 The tour operator reserves the right to charge a higher rescission fee in individual cases, in which higher costs, to be specified and proved to the Traveler, have occurred.

9. Obligations of and Termination by the Traveler

9.1 The obligation to notify defaults as stipulated in § 651 lit. d) paragraph 2 BGB is specified in case of the tour operator travels to the effect that the Traveler is obliged to immediately notify any default of the travel to the local travel guide or agency and to demand cure of the default.

9.2 If no local travel guide has been assigned and additionally the tour operator is not obliged to do so (check travel description in this respect!), the Traveler shall, under the address, telephone number and facsimile number mentioned below, directly notify the tour operator about the default and demand cure.

9.3 Travel guides of the tour operator are not entitled or authorized to acknowledge in the name or on behalf of the tour operator any complaints or claims for payment of the Traveler prior to, during or after the travel.

9.4 Claims of the Traveler only remain valid, if the failure to notify a default does not result from any responsibility of the Traveler.

9.5 The Traveler has to notify loss and damage of luggage, in particular but not limited to the loss of airline luggage, to the transport provider immediately. The transport provider is obliged to issue a written acknowledgement. Without notification the risk of loss of claim is given.

9.6 If the travel is considerably affected by a defective performance, the Traveler may terminate the Travel Agreement. The same is applicable, if the travel is unacceptable to the Traveler for reasons recognizable to the tour operator. In any case the Travel Agreement becomes only terminable, if an adequate period of time, to be determined by the Traveler, has elapsed without the tour operator or its representatives curing the defect. Determination of a time limit is not necessary, if the curing is impossible or if the tour operator or its representatives refuse to cure the defect or if the immediate termination of the Travel Agreement is justified by a particular interest of the Traveler.

9.7 With respect to the Travel Agreement the Traveler's obligation, as stipulated in § 651 lit. g) section 1 BGB, to enforce claims against the travel agent within one month after the contractually agreed end of the travel, is specified as follows:

a) Irrespective of its legal basis any claim in connection with the Travel Agreement or with the performance of the tour operator respectively has to be enforced by the Traveler exclusively against the tour operator within one month after the contractually agreed date of return from the travel.

b) The timely enforcement can be made against the tour operator only to the address mentioned below. An enforcement in writing is highly recommended.

c) The aforementioned clauses leave any legal stipulations regarding delays arising from no responsibility of the Traveler or regarding the suspension of the statutes of limitation unaffected.

10. Passport-, Visa- and Health regulations

10.1 The Traveler is informed by the tour operator about passport-, visa- and health regulations applicable to the respective country of destination in the travel description and travel material. This information relates to German citizens, irrespective on any special circumstances given. Such personal circumstances (e.g. having two citizenships, being stateless, certain registrations in the passport or refugee's admission) can not be taken into consideration if not explicitly notified to the tour operator by the Traveler.

10.2 The tour operator shall inform the Traveler about any material amendments to these common regulations prior to begin of the travel.

10.3 To the extent the tour operator complies with its obligation to inform the Traveler in accordance with the stipulations above, the Traveler is obliged himself to observe these regulations.

11. Liability

11.1 The tour operator's liability to the Traveler for any damages (including liability for the infringement of secondary obligations arising prior, after or during the Travel Agreement) which are not body damage is limited to the triple Travel Fee, as far as:

a) a damage of the Traveler is caused neither by willful misconduct or gross negligence of the tour operator or

b) The tour operator's responsibility for a Clint's damage solely results from the default of a third party service provider.

11.2 The tour operator is not liable for default of performance or damages in relation to performance of third parties only arranged by the tour operator as intermediary at the travel destination (e.g. sport events, theatre, trips, exhibitions etc.) or expressly marked in the travel description as third party services.

11.3 If the tour operator acts as contractual airfreight carrier, liability is regulated by the Act on Air Traffic in connection with the international treaties of Warsaw, The Hague, Guadalajara and Montreal. The Warsaw treaty as a rule limits the liability of an airfreight carrier for loss of life or body damages as well as for loss of or damage of luggage.

12. Period of Limitation, Exclusion of Assignement

12.1 Any claims of the Traveler against the tour operator, irrespective of their legal basis - with the exemption of claims of the Traveler based on tort ? come under the statute of limitations one year after the contractually envisaged time of return travel. Are negotiations on claims or their factual basis pending between the Traveler and the tour operator the statutes of limitation are suspended until the Traveler or the tour operator refuse to continue the negotiations? The aforementioned statutes of limitation of one year come into force three months after the end of the suspension at the earliest.

13. Jurisdiction, Miscellaneous 

13.1 The Traveler can sue the tour operator only at its principal place of business.

13.2 The entire legal- and contractual relationship between the Traveler and the tour operator shall exclusively be governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany if the Traveler's place of residence or business is not Germany.

13.3 For Claims of the tour operator against the Traveler the Traveler's place of residence is decisive, unless the claim is directed against a Merchant (as defined by HGB, German Commercial Code), legal entities of public or private law or persons having their place of residence or common whereabouts abroad or having an unknown place of residence or unknown common whereabouts at the time of bringing up the claim.

© These General Terms and Conditions are protected by copyright laws.

All photos used by permission. ©Velociped


Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 8
  • 4 Star 3
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall


  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 2.4
  • Value 4.5
  • Included meals 4.5
  • Bikes & equipment 4.6
  • Hotels or boat 4.3
  • Scenery 4.9
  • Ease of navigation 3.9
  • Tour documents 3.9
  • Local tour company services 4.6
  • Route selection 4.6


Badgers September 28, 2017


Despite chilly temperatures and rain we thoroughly enjoyed our Rhine River self guided tour. The hotels were comfortable, the breakfasts were top-notch and the route took us through so much beautiful scenery.

Responses from

Jim Johnson, Founder and president April 24, 2018
Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed your Rhine tour!
bike beasty August 10, 2017

A perfect first tour!

This tour definitely met with our expectations, and was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The information given beforehand was really comprehensive and the recommendations for meals and excursions really helpful. This was bought as a 70th birthday present for my husband and he/we had a great time! A bottle of bubbly awaited him on the first evening of the ride, as a present from the company, which he was very touched by! We were very lucky with the weather too, so all in all a great little adventure!

Zacthecat June 28, 2017

Great fun rolling down the river

As a group of four, 2 couples in our early 60s, we self-guided down the Rhine. Three of us had e-bikes and one did it the old fashioned way. We all loved the riding and we were lucky with the weather, which was fine and mostly sunny.
The information provided was very good, but we recommend a better description of how to find the hotels. In two cases the hotel wasn't on the map, so that needs to be improved. Perhaps draw a coloured line from the bike path to the hotel, with a different colour for each hotel.

jackie20 May 26, 2017

Good trip

Most hotels were excellent, however two (in St Goar and Bad Godesberg) had our rooms on either the second or third floor and no elevators. Best hotel and service were at the Baron in Rudesheim. In addition, the maps and directions to hotel in Bad Godesberg and Cologne were poor. Lastly, recommend sightseeing trip to Monastery Eberbach include distance, we never found the place after riding 10km. Overall, good trip.

Julius August 28, 2016

Lovely ride

I decided on the spur of the moment to treat myself to a bike tour. The Mainz to Cologne route appealed to me because I did it by boat many years ago. It was one of the most enjoyable holidays I've ever had. The scenery was impressive, the ride was nice and easy and the hotels were sufficiently comfortable. Having done bike trips before where I carted my own luggage it was an absolute luxury to have my luggage looked after by the tour company. This was done in a very efficient way. The trip is quite easy. Before this, the last time I was on a bike for more than 10km was about 10 years ago. I had no problems, other than some saddle soreness after the first day. I would recommend proper cycling shorts, that makes life in the saddle a little easier.

krpete July 12, 2016

60th Birthday Celebration

My wife took me on this beautiful Rhine bike ride for my 60th birthday. What a great way to experience Germany first hand! All of the bed-and-breakfast-style hotels were wonderful, clean and well-apportioned. Breakfast in the morning always had a great selection of foods, leaving us well-energized each day to hit the trail. We rode at our own pace every day, stopping on a whim to look at this, that, and the other thing. We toured castles, Roman ruins, shopped (the panniers were large enough to accommodate most items we bought), ate snacks and lunch, and took advantage of any and all photo ops. At the end of each afternoon we had time to do a walking tour of each town we stayed in, eat a stellar dinner and then have a hot shower and a good night's rest. The weather and temperature were very cooperative, just perfect. We absolutely cannot wait to do this again next spring. We are already planning another trip to another destination. Best vacay ever!

Paulie July 6, 2016

When the Weather Agrees The Rhine is Beautiful

Flat, well-marked path. Castles. Wine. Beer. Friendly hotel staffs. For what more could I ask?
If possible opt-out of the dinner package, restaurants in all towns visited are plentiful. The menu selection available is very limited and beverages are not included in the price of dinner.

JustBob June 7, 2016

Land of Castle, Cruise Ships and Barges

After 18 day on a bus tour, a self-guided bike tour along the Rhine was a perfect way to regain some solitude. The tough decision were which of t many historic towns, castles and churches to sit and visit, and what kind of pastry go best with with late morning beer! It would be even better if the Bikeline guide we available in English.

2travelers November 5, 2015

Loved every minute

This was our first bike vacation and didn't know what to expect, we loved every minute! We chose Bike Tours Direct because they allowed us to change the itinerary to include 2 extr days in Lorch, the town that shares my husbands family name! After all this was his 60th birthday trip. We had a magically stay in Lorch, met the Mayor who gave us the town flag and put our picture on their FB page! Fun.
We never saw the team that picked up our luggage, but sure enough our bags were always waiting for us at our next stop. The entire bike trip was beatiful, historical and we can't wait to go again.
Thanks Bike Tours Direct, you rock!