Itinerary

From Cologne to Mainz: Romantic Riverbanks along the Rhine

8 days / 7 nights | Ship: Arkona | Self-guided bike tours

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 rich in tales and adventures and it is very beautiful. 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 Cologne and Mainz are home to some noble wines and regional delicacies, which make this journey also a culinary one.

Itinerary Cologne to Mainz

Day 1 (Sat): Cologne

Embarkation in Cologne between 3 and 5 pm. Enjoy the evening on board or with a Kölsch beer in one of the pubs with a view over the river Rhine.

Day 2 (Sun): Cologne – Bonn (Cycling 37 km / 23 miles)

Before starting your first cycle tour, take the opportunity to stroll through the Old Town. Afterwards you start your first cycling tour to the city of Beethoven, Bonn. This federal city and former capital of Germany still has international flair. On your way it is worthwhile to visit the leisure island Groov amidst a vast landscape of the Rheinaue wetland in the Cologne suburb Porz-Zündorf. In Bonn there are museums like the House of History or the Bundeskunsthalle courting for visitors' attention and the House of Beethoven, the Rheinaue as well as the Bundesviertel with the path of Democracy are equally worth a visit.

Day 3 (Mon): Bonn – Andernach (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles)

You will continue towards Andernach by bike today. Königswinter with its castle Drachenburg on the Drachenfels (steep ascent) as well as the Sea Life with aquariums for more than 6.000 sea inhabitants is worth a visit. Your destination for today, Andernach, is famous for the world´s biggest cold water gush spring with its impressive fountain of 60 m.

Day 4 (Tue): Andernach – Koblenz (Cycling 30 km / 19 miles)

On your way to Koblenz you will find castle Engers in Neuwied. At the famous "Deutsche Eck" (german corner) the river Mosel merges with the river Rhine. Another place of interest is the fortress Ehrenbreitstein which you can also reach by cableway across the Rhine in Koblenz. Tickets for the cableway are available on board.

Day 5 (Wed): Koblenz – St. Goar (Cycling 38 km / 24  miles)

You continue your journey by bike up the river Rhine through the UNESCO world heritage site Upper Middle Rhine Valley. You will pass the romantic fortress Marksburg, the only hilltop castle of middle Rhine which has never been destroyed, as well as the city Boppard with its fortress Kurfürstliche Burg, before you will reach St. Goar. Here you will find the ruins of fortress Rheinfels, which is the biggest of its kind along the Rhine. The fortresses Katz und Maus (cat and mouse) in St. Goarshausen on the other side of the Rhine are also worth visiting.

Day 6 (Thu): St. Goar – Rüdesheim (Cycling 31 km / 20 miles)

Again you will pass very beautiful Rhine castles like Burg Reichenstein and Burg Rheinstein. You will cycle past the famous rock Loreley before you reach Rüdesheim. In Rüdesheim we recommend a city walk around the historical town with its beautiful half-timbered houses. Or treat yourself to a ride on the cable car up to the Niederwald monument. Here you will have a beautiful view over the old town of Rüdesheim and the river.

Day 7 (Fri): Rüdesheim – Mainz (Cycling 33 km / 20 miles)

On your final cycling stage you will find the Rhine at its best. The city Eltville am Rhein with its emblem, the castle Kurfürstliche Burg, is on your way. Mainz, your destination of today, presents itself with numerous impressive buildings. You may want to visit its cathedral Hoher Dom St. Martin, one of the proud imperial cathedrals of Germany, or the castle Kurfürstliches Schloss. In the old town you will find attractive alleys and squares like the Augustinerstraße and the Kirschgarten with its lovely timber framed houses and wine restaurants.

Day 8: Saturday, Mainz

Disembarkation after breakfast until 9:00am.

Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only. Itinerary is subject to change.

Itinerary Mainz to Cologne

Day 1 (Sat): Mainz

Embarkation from 3:00pm – 5:00pm. There may be time to see the old town of Mainz with its lovely alleys and public squares.

Day 2 (Sun): Mainz – Rüdesheim (Cycling 33 km / 20 miles)

Today we will show you why the river Rhine and its surroundings are part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage. Beautiful islands, steep slate rocks and vinyards shape the region around Rüdesheim. By bike you will pass 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 "Drosselgasse" is well worth a visit.

Day 3 (Mon) Rüdesheim – St. Goar (Cycling 31 km / 20 miles)

Today you will cycle along the Rhine through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, passing romantic castles and ruins. These buildings include the fortresses Reichenstein and Rheinstein. The famous rock of the Loreley will also be on 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.

Day 4 (Tue): St. Goar – Koblenz (Cycling 38 km / 24 miles)

Boppard and the Marksburg are possible destinations today on your way to Koblenz with its famous "Deutsche Eck" (German corner), where the rivers Moselle and Rhine are merging. From the fortress Ehrenbreitstein which you can reach comfortably by cableway you will enjoy a fantastic view over the splendid landscape of the Rhine. Tickets for the cableway are available on board.

Day 5 (Wed): Koblenz – Andernach (Cycling 30 km / 19 miles)

Your path will lead you past Neuwied with its castle Engers to Andernach, your destination for today. This city is like Koblenz one of the oldest cities of Germany. Here you will find the famous cold water gush spring, whose water fountain of 50 to 60 meters is said to be the highest 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.

Day 6 (Thu): Andernach – Bonn (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles)

On your way to Bonn it is worthwhile to visit in Königswinter castle Drachenburg on the Drachenfels (steep slope) or the Sea Life with its various marine inhabitants. Finally you will reach Bonn. The former capital of Germany is both cosy and yet cosmopolitan. Numerous global organisations still have their headquarters here and provide the city of Beethoven with international flair.

Day 7 (Fri): Bonn – Cologne (Cycling 37 km/ 23 miles)

Before you reach Cologne by bike, there is the possibility 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 the city centre of Cologne, take your time for a stroll through the OldTown. Also worthwhile are museums like the Ludwig Museum or the Chocolat Museum at the river Rhine 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.

Day 8 (Sat): Cologne

Disembarkation after breakfast until 9:00am.

Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only. Itinerary is subject to change.