Mosel River Valley, Germany

At a glance

The Mosel River begins in a mountain range in France and runs north to the Rhine River near the western border of Germany. Roman and medieval influences are seen in the spas, vineyards, and architecture that line the riverbanks. Sleepy, peaceful villages dot the river.

The Mosel River region is a great place to experience the "good life" as you take in charming villages, stop at castles in historic towns, eat the best of what the region has to offer, and sample the fruits of the largest wine growing region in Germany.

Vineyards often stretch as far as the eye can see—or at least until the next curve in the river. Of course, the region has ample sights to see beyond the vineyards, including Roman ruins, Romanesque churches, and half-timbered houses.

Castle-lovers will not leave the Mosel region disappointed. Among the most popular are the Landshut ruins in Bernkastel-Kues, the Imperial Castle in Cochem and the Ehrenburg in Brodenbach. The Mosel can also claim one of Germany’s most beautiful and best-preserved castles, Burg Eltz, its construction spanning more than 500 years.

Why cyclists love it

Many bicycle tourists rank cycling along the Mosel River among the best in Europe. The paved, mostly flat, and very scenic dedicated bicycle paths traverse meadows and vineyards and pass through historic villages.

The most popular route is between the 2,000-year-old city of Trier and Koblenz, where the Mosel enters the Rhine. Between the two cities, the Mosel meanders nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) to cover the 100-kilometer (62-mile) distance, making for leisurely cycling.

The cycling is generally peaceful and in idyllic settings. Main roads have been diverted. Even the trains cut through hills rather than parallel the entire river, dropping the decibels a few notches. Most towns and villages are commonly uncrowded.

Between Trier and Koblenz, there’s scarcely any industry to be found except for winemaking, which has been going on for more than 2,000 years.

The tourism infrastructure is strong and bike friendly; there are charming inns and elegant hotels, and chefs take full advantage of local produce—and abundant wine. In addition to hotel-based tours, bike and barge tours also abound. Even on hotel-based tours, cyclists often have opportunities to swap saddle time for deck time as they watch the scenery pass by.

The cycling season is long: from early spring to late fall. Rivers breezes cool summer heat, and the slate hills lining the valley hold the sun’s warmth during spring and fall—the same phenomenon that extends the grape-growing season and makes the valley one of the top wine-producing regions in the world. In fact, its micro-climate is almost Mediterranean with cold-weather days often 8-10 degrees warmer than in towns off the river.

If you'd like to do some reading before you go, we recommend the Mosel Bike Trail book by Esterbauer Publishing. You can purchase it through gotrekkers.com. Enter "Mosel" in the search box. The rates are in Canadian dollars.

Tour Spotlight

Mosel and Saar-Bike and Barge (and reverse)
The countryside on both banks of the Mosel are splendid, the cool wines taste delicious, the picturesque little towns have rich histories and the conditions for cycling are excellent. You'll find the perfect mix of a bike and barge vacation on this tour as you explore this varied region.
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Saar and Mosel Bike Path
This bicycle tour in the best-known wine-growing region of Germany follows the beautiful Mosel River from the ancient Roman city of Trier to the medieval city of Koblenz, where the Mosel meets the Rhine. Comfortable and cozy hotels will spoil you with regional specialties each evening. This easy tour is great for first-timers and families.
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Mosel Valley, Trier to Koblenz (Guided)
With a gentle and safe cycle path and the comforts of guided services, this tour is a fine choice, particularly for wine and food lovers who are interested in history, viticulture, and cycling at a not-too-strenuous level.
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Stories

On the blog

  • Instagram storybook: The Mosel Bike Path
    Here’s a collection of my favorite Instagram photos and videos with stories, sights, and helpful pointers from my self-guided, solo tour along the Mosel Bike Path in 2015. Enjoy!–– Natalie, BikeTours.com vice president
  • Mosel Bike Path: The crossroads of wine, charm, and serenity
    The question often comes up: “Rhine or Mosel?” Whether the question regards wine or travel, the answer is the same: “It’s a matter of taste.”
    For travelers, there are certainly differences. The Mosel is much narrower and curvier than the Rhine, meandering nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) to cover the 100-kilometer (62-mile) distance between Trier and Koblenz. It’s slower and calmer than the Rhine. ...
  • How to shorten the cycling on the Mosel Bike Path
    One of the great things about many of Europe’s bike paths built along rivers are the alternative transportation options if you want to shorten a day’s ride, whether because you’ve dallied longer than planned over a leisurely lunch or just because your legs are a bit spent!
  • The Nitty Gritty: The Mosel Bike Path
    Many bicycle tourists rank cycling along the Mosel River in Germany among the best in Europe. The paved, mostly flat, and very scenic dedicated bicycle paths traverse meadows and vineyards and pass through historic villages. The most popular route is between the 2,000-year-old city of Trier and Koblenz, where the Mosel enters the Rhine. Between the two cities, the Mosel meanders nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) to cover the 100-kilometer (62-mile) distance, making for leisurely cycling. 

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