Boat and Bike tour along Saar and Mosel
This tour along the Mosel and Saar combines the best of the German ‘Bundeslander’ Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland. While cycling from Alken to Merzig you’ll discover the legacy of the Roman Empire, go beyond your limits and meet the ‘Queen of grapes’
Go back in time and visit the Roman villas and public baths along the two rivers. In Trier you can visit the Porta Nigra. This ancient gateway is one of the best known monuments from the Roman era. While cycling through one of Germany’s greater wine-growing areas this is an excellent occasion to taste a lot of different wines and see where they grow and how they are made. Get acquainted with the excellent but uncomplicated wines from the Saar and the so called ‘Spitzenweinen’ along the Mosel like the ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’. The main ingredient for those wines is the Riesling, a white grape variety which dates back to the 15th century and is crowned the ‘Queen of grapes’.
The route from day to day from Merzig to Cochem + km
- Sunday: Merzig, embarkation at 3 PM. Short cycling route
- Monday: Saarschleife - Saarburg, 35
- Tuesday: Saarburg - nearby Trier, 35
- Wednesday: Nearby Trier - Bernkastel Kues,50
- Thursday: Bernkastel Kues , Moselle-Maare cycling trail, 55
- Friday: Bernkastel Kues – Zell, 40
- Saturday: Zell- Cochem, 45
- Sunday: Cochem, debarkation before 10 AM.
Day 1 Sunday: Merzig, embarkation at 3 PM
Your tour starts in the beautiful Saarland town of Merzig with a lot of shops and terraces. At 4 PM we will make a short trip along the Saar River to a beautiful mooring-place near the Saarschleife (Saar loop).
Day 2 Monday: Saarschleife – Saarburg, 35 km
After breakfast we bike to the Saar-Canyon. Here we have the opportunity to hike to an outlook site on top of the Saar-Canyon where we have a magnificent panorama over the faraway surroundings. The hike is not steep and takes 1 hour uphill and half an hour downhill. At lunchtime we will arrive in the town of Mettlach where we will have lunch and can visit the town with its outlet-shops. Of course we won’t forget to visit the biggest attraction of the town: The Villeroy & Boch porcelain museum including a cup of coffee in the beautiful Museum-Café. We will end this day-trip in the very scenic town of Saarburg with its huge waterfall in the middle of town.
Day 3 Tuesday: Saarburg – Nearby Trier, 35 km
During today’s tour you switch rivers in the historical city of Konz, from here you leave the Saar behind and follow the Mosel. One thing’s for sure, you’re not the first tourist in the area: it was around the year 365 A.D. that the river inspired the Roman teacher Magnus Ausonius to write his hymn Mosella: ‘Greetings, river, framed by perfumed vineyard-covered hills, Framed by grass; river of greenest shores. Your strong waters carry ships, flowing in easy waves. Along the stream, and a glittering lake your depths emulate.’ Along the old Saarschleife you cycle to the Igeler Säule and Wasserbillig in Luxemburg. In the afternoon you’ll turn eastwards to Trier where you’ll stay for around 3 hours. This city is known for its Roman legacies like the Porta Nigra, the Basilica of Constantine the Great and an amphitheatre. After visiting there is one hour cycling to the mooring-place of the barge.
Day 4 Wednesday: Nearby Trier, Sailing to Schweig and cycling to Bernkastel-Kues, 50 km
Just like yesterday the Romans are still present today. Along the route you’ll find a lot of old Roman villas, public baths and other relics of ancient civilizations. All those historical buildings are placed on the slopes along the winding river. The end point of today is the medieval town of Bernkastel-Kues with its romantic narrow streets, remarkable half-timbered houses and picturesque nooks and crannies. There’s the opportunity for a wine-tasting-excursion in a winery.
Day 5 Thursday: Bernkastel-Kues – Moselle-Maare cycling trail, 55 km
In the morning the cycle bus takes you to Daun, to the start of the Moselle-Maare cycling trail, possibly the most famous cycling trail of the central Moselle. The track is built on an old railway line. There is no simpler way to cycle to the Moselle valley than on the former railway line through the Volcanic Eifel! The road runs through the landscape of volcanoes and crater lakes, along magnificent viaducts and past old railway stations. Light as a feather, it continues to roll on the Moselle bike path to Bernkastel-Kues.
Day 6 Friday: Bernkastel-Kues – Zell, 40 km
As if it had imbibed a drink or two, the Mosel makes its way through a green and fascinating landscape with vineyards and forests. Along the way you’ll find some beautiful towns and villages like the so-called ‘Winzerdorf’ Wolf and even further around the next curve you’ll be surprised by the beautiful double city in Jugendstil, Traben Trarbach. Just before Zell you will bike to the “Marienburg” where you will be awarded by a splendid view over the Mosel Meander. The ship waits for you in the city of the black cat, Zell. The story goes that when some wine merchants from Aachen had to choose which wine barrel they should buy a black cat jumped upon one of the barrels to defend it. Of course this made it clear for them which barrel they should buy.
Day 7 Saturday: Zell – Cochem, 45 km
The day starts with sailing to the beautiful village of Beilstein, décor of many movies. Today we will visit the most beautiful castle along the Mosel River: Burg Eltz. We will bike to a bicycle parking lot on the foothill and from there continue hiking (1 hour, not steep) to Burg Eltz. Here there is an opportunity to visit the original medieval interior of the castle and climb the tower. After the visit we cycle along the Mosel to Cochem, the final destination of this cycling week. Cochem is famous for its wines and dominated by the old Reichsburg.
Day 8 Sunday: Cochem, end of the tour
Disembarkation after breakfast, before 10 AM.
- All nights on board
- Breakfast and dinner on board
- Lunch packages when on the road
- Coffee and tea on board
- Moselle-Maare cycling trail
- Tour guide, cycles with the group
- Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
- Bike maps, 1x per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- Bicycle rent
- Bicycle insurance Hybrid bike (optional) E 15,- per bicycle
- Bicycle insurance E-bike (optional) E 40,- per bicycle
- Entrance fees to museums; approx. E 15,- per tour
- Travel risk insurance / cancellation insurance
Special details If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a Lactose- or Glutenfree diet), we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of Glutenfree diet there is an additional charge of E 50, - per week. Please take good notice of our booking conditions and cancellations terms. Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.