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Heidelberg to Cochem along the Neckar and Rhine rivers
Hilltop castles, medieval villages, vineyard-laced mountains and legendary forests...step into a bike and boat fairytale aboard the Iris. Around every river bend, and with each pedal stroke, the romance of the rivers of Germany is unveiled. The landscapes are breathtaking, whilst well-marked cycle paths lead you through the myths and legends that have shaped this region's identity.
In the ancient and historical city of Worms you find the setting for the epic medieval poem of the Nibelungenlied. This narrative unfolds the saga of Siegfried, the valiant dragon slayer, and his tragic destiny. Then there is the Lorelei Rock, a slate cliff that emerges dramatically from the Rhine River. Its allure transcends the realm of reality, inspiring myriad legends and tales. Among the most renowned is the story of Lorelei, the enchanting siren who graces the rock's crown. Her mesmerizing song is said to have lured sailors to their fate, creating shipwrecks upon the rocky shores. The rich tapestry of narratives has inspired great storytellers like Tolkien, Goethe, and Wagner, who drew from this "Zeitgeist", or spirit of the times, to craft their own masterpieces.
The cycling experience is exceptional, but that's just the beginning - the confluence of history, myth, and the timeless beauty of the landscape is bound to leave an indelible mark on your own personal narrative.
- Heidelberg and its Altstadt
- Hilltop Schloss Heidelberg and Castle Burg Eltz
- The ancient city of Worms
- The picturesque wine village of Rüdesheim
- Medieval history
Interested in adding to your itinerary? Take a look at our cycling day tours in Frankfurt.
Day 1: Heidelberg
Upon arrival, the commanding Schloss Heidelberg atop the hill offers a regal vantage point over the city. The intriguing mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture grants you panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the castle ruins and stroll through the enchanting gardens. As you wander through the Altstadt, or Old Town, the medieval lanes, baroque houses, and iconic German half-timbered buildings will captivate you. Be sure to carve out time to explore Hauptstrasse, Europe's longest pedestrian shopping street, where shops, cafes, and tempting eateries await your discovery.
Day 2: Heidelberg - Worms (28 miles/45 km)
As you set out, the route initially traces the scenic Neckar tributary before merging with the Rhine River at Mannheim. Then, it follows the riverside path to Worms, an ancient historical city. Formerly a capital of the Kingdom of the Burgundians, Worms was influential in European history, particularly during the Holy Roman Empire and the Protestant Reformation. Exploring Worms Cathedral and the Nibelungen Museum offers a window into its rich past.
Day 3: Worms - Mainz (34 miles/55 km)
Today, the journey continues alongside the Rhine until it meets the Main River and guides you to Mainz. Founded by Romans in the 1st century, Mainz flourished as a trade hub during the Holy Roman Empire. Its significance persisted during Charlemagne's reign and played a pivotal role in the evolution of Christianity. Mainz's distinction as Johannes Gutenberg's birthplace, the inventor of the movable type printing press and the iconic Gutenberg Bible, adds to its historical renown. Despite enduring damage from WWII, the city's cherished historical structures have been meticulously restored.
Day 4: Mainz - Rüdesheim (22 miles/35 km)
The route showcases a region steeped in viticultural history, weaving through vineyards en route to Rüdesheim. The captivating allure of the "Drosselgasse" awaits in this picturesque wine village, known for its lively music scene. You will have the chance to taste local wines and visit the Asbach Center, celebrated for its German brandy production since 1892. Rüdesheim's medieval architecture and well-preserved fortifications, including the Adlerturm (Eagle Tower), contribute to its charming atmosphere.
Day 5: Rüdesheim - St. Goar - Koblenz (25 miles/40 km)
A scenic boat ride along the Lorelei starts your day, revealing the Rhine's awe-inspiring beauty. The combination of the river's grandeur, lush landscapes, and the imposing rock formation creates a captivating scene woven with German mythology. Cycling on, you'll encounter St. Goar and Boppard. Boppard is known for its stunning vineyards, a bank promenade considered one of the finest on the Middle Rhine, and the oldest preserved Roman fort walls north of the Alps. Your day's tour will conclude in Koblenz, where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers converge.
Day 6: Koblenz - Burg Eltz - Cochem (25 miles/40 km)
Following the Moselle bike path will lead you first to Burg Eltz, a unique castle hidden in the hills where you can explore parts of the castle on foot, marveling at its well-preserved architecture and original furnishings spanning eight centuries. The castle boasts a treasury and armoury, showcasing world-class artworks in gold and silver. After this remarkable visit, you continue on to Cochem.
Day 7: Cochem (25 miles/40 km)
First on the agenda is a morning visit to the stunning Burg of Cochem. Enjoy the magnificent views and immerse yourself in the castle's rich history. Later, you can join the guides on a delightful trip to Beilstein, the most picturesque village along the Moselle River. You can take a ferry to the other side, approximately 9 kilometers (6 miles) away from Cochem, or continue to Senheim and cross the bridge, cycling back into the charming town center of Cochem.
Day 8: Farewell
Following breakfast, disembarkation is scheduled by 9:30 am, marking the end of the journey together.
Surface and terrain
The route consists of dedicated and clearly marked bike paths that run alongside the rivers. Most of the route is characterized by flat terrain, with no significant uphill climbs to contend with.
How to get there
Tour start and end:
Nearest airport: Frankfurt International Airport
Frankfurt International Airport is well-connected by public transportation.Train travel from the airport to Heidelberg will depend on the type of train. The Intercity Express or InterCity trains take about 40 min to one hour. The slower regional trains will take about 1hr45mins. At the end of your tour, travel back to Frankfurt from Cochem is approximately 2hr25mins with one or two transfers.
Saturday, June 15, 2024
Per person, double occupancy €1780 Twin/single-use On request
City touring bike €110 Electrically assisted bike €220
- 7 x nights on board the Iris
- 7 x breakfast, 6 x packed lunches, 5 x three-course dinners with a glass of wine
- Welcome meeting and complimentary beverage
- Coffee, tea and hot chocolate available 24/7
- Daily cabin cleaning
- Route information
- Cycling tour guide (a second guide will be added with more than 18 guests
- Wifi on board
- 8-speed city touring bike
- 9-speed electric bike
- Water bottle
- Safety lock
Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE.
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