Bike Cruise Rhine valley: Strasbourg – Mainz
8 days / 7 nights | Ship: MS Arkona | Self-guided cycling tours
Why is it so beautiful along the Rhine River? There certainly will be hundreds of possible answers to this question. One of these will be provided by this journey, on which you will cross the French-German border several times. Both the French region of the Alsace and the German Black Forest area have much indulgence to offer, very fine wine and delicious plates. Along with beautiful churches and romantic castles that are well worth a visit you will visit scenic towns with half-timbered medieval houses like Speyer, Heidelberg and Strasbourg. Your trip will start in Mainz and will lead you all the way up to Strasbourg or the other way round.
Itinerary Strasbourg – Mainz
Day 1 (Sat): Strasbourg
Embarkation in Strasbourg from 3:00 – 5:00am. There may be time to explore the capital of the Alsace with its many canals.
Day 2 (Sun): Strasbourg – Gambsheim (Cycling 22 km / 14 miles), Boat Tour Gambsheim – Karlsruhe
This morning, take a leisurely cycle through Strasbourg and enjoy the French lust for life before you ride directly alongside the Rhine through the gentle Rhine plain up to Gambsheim. From there, the ship takes you to Karlsruhe, a city with a unique atmosphere. With the Baroque Palace right in the core of the city centre, the botanic garden and over 1,000 Hectare of public parks, lakes and woods, Karlsruhe is a "city in the green".
Day 3 (Mon): Karlsruhe – Speyer (Cycling 50 km / 31 miles)
Today's cycle stretch leads along the oxbow lakes through seemingly unspoilt nature. Look forward to visiting the old fortified town of Germersheim with its many picturesque lanes, corners and squares. Continuing through the Palatinate land, you reach the cathedral city of Speyer. Speyer Cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981.
Day 4 (Tue): Speyer – Mannheim (Cycling 20 km / 13 miles)
Enjoy a short cycle ride alongside the Old Rhine, past marvellous lakes, through untouched protected areas designated as National Nature Reserves and natural flood plains. You reach Mannheim, also called the "City of Squares" due to its layout in a grid-pattern. In these squares, countless places are well worth visiting as for example the famous Mannheim Baroque Palace – German largest Baroque palace complex and the water tower – the city's landmark.
Day 5 (Wed): Mannheim – Heidelberg (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles)
Today the tour leads through the core of the Electoral Palatinate and thus partly along the Castle Road. Schwetzingen Castle and its castle garden are only two reasons to visit the charming town of Schwetzingen. From here, the route continues via Plankstadt and Eppelheim to Heidelberg. Already visible from afar, the castle ruin of Heidelberg Castle towers over the Old Town. Admire the famous Heidelberg red sandstone bridge or stroll through meandering lanes and see the picturesque squares in the Old Town.
Day 6 (Tue): Heidelberg – Worms (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles)
You leave the history-charged Heidelberg and follow the course of the Neckar River. The Roman city of Ladenburg with its historic Old Town is well worth a stop-off. After Mannheim, you will be back on the Rhine and follow its course until you reach the imperial city of Worms. On your journey through two millenniums of the city's history, learn about emperors and kings, myths and legends of the Nibelung, Judaism and Martin Luther.
Day 7 (Fri): Boat Tour Worms – Nierstein, Nierstein – Mainz (Cycling 20 km / 13 miles)
With almost 1,000 Hectare of viticultural area, Nierstein is home to the largest wine-growing community on the Rhine. The historic Old Town with its medieval market square and noble houses is also well worth visiting. A short stretch that leaves plenty of time for one to indulge oneself: cycle on the Rhine Cycle Route on well-paved cycle ways directly alongside the Rhine from Nierstein to Mainz. Guests, who would like to cycle a longer stretch, can also choose to start the cycle tour already in Worms. (cycle tour Worms-Mainz approx. 60 km).
Day 8 (Sat): Mainz
After breakfast disembarkation until 09:00am. Individual journey home.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only. Itinerary is subject to change.