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Germany, Luxembourg & France Bike & Boat: Mosel River Valley

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Experience Europe in the most rewarding and convenient way during an unforgettable Mosel River Bike & Boat vacation to three countries: Germany, Luxembourg, and France.
Former tour name: Heart of Europe: Bike & Boat Cochem to Metz

Guided Bike & Boat

  • Duration: 11 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 6 - 38|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 23
5.0 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy
Easy
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$4,995

Bike Vacation Only

$3,745

(per person, double occupancy)

Germany, Luxembourg & France Bike & Boat: Mosel River Valley

Cycle three stunning countries on one unforgettable journey! If you want to experience Europe in the most rewarding way, you’ll love this popular Mosel bike tour ! Embark a luxurious barge and follow the winding Mosel River into the heart of Riesling country, alighting each day for exhilarating reels through enchanting forests, past lush vineyards, and into charming half-timbered villages. Along the way, explore the Roman remains of Trier, the wine-producing village of Bernkastel-Kues, the low mountains of scenic Eifel, and the ducal city of Luxembourg. Join us!

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas. There will be a quarter mile section on packed dirt as well as a quarter mile section on cobblestone. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who would like assistance.

  • Duration: 11 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 6 - 38|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 23
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Coast into charming villages, past lush vineyards, and along tranquil river banks
  • Experience the low mountains of German Eifel by bike, blanketed with ancient volcanic landscapes and lakes
  • Visit a bell foundry to learn the ancient and alchemical craft of bell forging Uncover the scenic and cultural wonders of Germany, Luxembourg, and France on one trip
  • Follow the winding Mosel River to Trier, the former imperial city steeped in ancient art and architecture
  • Sip Germany’s finest Rieslings and beers while relaxing on your barge deck
  • Explore Cochem’s imposing hilltop Reichsburg Castle with a local guide

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Jun67º/51º

Jul71º/55º

Aug71º/55º

Sep64º/50º

Oct54º/43º

Average
Precipitation:

Jun2.6 in

Jul2.7 in

Aug2.7 in

Sep2.5 in

Oct2.7 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Luxembourg City and one night in Koblenz in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
7 nights aboard a private deluxe canal barge Check Check
16 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame)

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Thu, Jun 18 to Sun, Jun 28 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for Frankfurt, Germany. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Frankfurt airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer via taxi or minibus (approximately 90 minutes) to your hotel in Koblenz. If you cannot find the VBT representative, or have been delayed in customs because of lost luggage or another reason, please go to the airport Meeting Point and wait there for a few minutes. If nobody arrives, you may wish to telephone our transportation company, Garske Touristik, at 0261 92 24 727.

Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage with the front desk if you arrive before that time. At 4:00 p.m., meet our local guide in the hotel lobby for a 1½-hour walking tour around the historic Old Town of Koblenz. It’s a 15-minute walk to the starting point of the tour, so we recommend you leave the hotel with everything you’ll need to have dinner on your own in the Old Town at tour’s end.

Hotel: Hotel Brenner

At 9:00 a.m., meet a VBT representative in the hotel lobby for your transfer by coach (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes) to the city of Cochem. Please ensure that all luggage you will not need during the day today is loaded onto the luggage minibus. It will be taken directly to the barge and delivered to your cabin.

On arrival, meet one of your VBT trip leaders, who will acquaint you with this characteristic Mosel town beloved for its wooded hills, medieval buildings and a picturesque center with beautiful, timber-framed houses. Hike or shuttle with a local guide to Reichsburg Castle, where you enjoy a tour and spectacular views of the Mosel Valley and its vineyards. The fairy-tale castle includes seven rooms of fine furniture and objects from different periods and styles.

After your visit, walk back into town, where you may shop and eat lunch on your own before boarding the barge at 2:00 p.m. Meet the crew and your second VBT trip leader, then settle in before a bike-safety session and a short warm-up ride to Beilstein on quiet bike paths along the Mosel River. Reunite with your barge in Beilstein, where it will moor for the night. Gather with your travel mates for a welcome drink and toast this most rewarding way to bike Europe! Enjoy dinner on board.

Please note regarding WiFi on board the barge: Due to the nature of the barge movements, internet access is not always available. If stable internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Please note regarding Ride with GPS: There is limited WiFi on board. If you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone, VBT also recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the boat. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. As always, VBT also provides our traditional printed maps and route notes during the tour.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 10 km (6 miles)
Afternoon
Beilstein Warm-Up: 10 km (6 miles)

What to Expect: The ride to Beilstein is easy along the river. Get acquainted with your route notes and bicycle. Check your brakes and play with shifting your full range of gears.

Today, cruise the Mosel upstream and disembark for a reel on an easy cycling path to Zell and Traben-Trarbach. Beautifully situated on the Mosel where the river twists and turns through the hills, Zell is one of the largest wine-producing communities on the river. The beloved wine Zeller Schwarze Katze (Black Cat) is produced here with grapes from 16 different locations. Be sure to notice the sculpture on the market-square fountain depicting a snarling cat atop a wine barrel.

Next, cycle to the village of Traben-Trarbach, an architectural jewel of the German Art Nouveau movement known as Jugendstil. The surrounding woodlands and extensive vineyards add to its irresistible charm. Traben-Trarbach was once the world’s second-largest wine-trading center. At the height of its prosperity at the turn of the 20th century, the city’s wine merchants built a number of fine Art Nouveau buildings, many of which are carefully preserved and continue to operate as wineries. There’ll be time to admire a wide range of Belle Époque splendor during your visit; you’ll quickly see why the city is a favorite destination for lovers of baroque and classical architecture, too.

Rejoin your barge in Traben-Trarbach, then cruise into Bernkastel-Kues, once two small wine-making towns on either side of the Mosel before they were united in 1905. The pride of today’s dual city is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses and decorative sculpted fountains, some dating to the 17th century.

Dinner is on board tonight. Afterward, the captain speaks about navigation and your planned route.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 28 – 48 km (17 – 30 miles)
Morning
Beilstein to Zell: 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Zell to Traben-Trabach: 20 km (13miles)

What to Expect: The Mosel meanders in scenic hairpin turns through the steepest vineyards in Europe. The scenery is breathtaking, and many interesting sights can be explored along the way. We cross the river a few times, but continue to follow it upstream to the mooring point in Traben-Trarbach. You will find great places for lunch in charming villages. Short option riders join the barge here. Enjoy beautiful riding through quaint half-timbered wine villages and vineyards along the river to the Art Nouveau town of Traben-Trarbach where we meet the barge and cruise to Bernkastel-Kues.

This morning, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) through the scenic Eifel Valley to the town of Daun, a spa town fed by mineral springs. Return to your bicycle here and enjoy an exhilarating ride, climbing a slight incline at first and then coasting downhill along a former railway converted into a cycling path. This exciting reel includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges, and past small lakes formed from volcanic craters known as maars. Pass stately castles, lush vineyards, green forests, and quiet villages that invite you to pause and explore.

Along the way, stop in Gillenfeld to enjoy a simple lunch hosted by Sigrid and Leo Lenerz. At their simple cozy café idyllically located in an old barn, they specialize in regional products from local producers. Later, ride back to Bernkastel, where you can relax before dinner on board.

After dinner, stroll to the fascinating wine cellar of Josef Zimmermann via an elegant district of fine Art Nouveau villas, many of which display signs proclaiming their status as a weingut, or winery estate. The simple, fourth-generation Zimmermann operation boasts a century-old cellar full of wine barrels and an inviting tasting hall. Your welcoming host will guide you through a tasting of four different wines during your visit.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 64 km (18 – 40 miles)
Morning
Daun to Gillenfeld: 16 km (10 miles)

Afternoon
Gillenfeld to Laufeld: 12 km (8 miles)
Laufeld to Wittlich: 15 km (9 miles)
Wittlich to Bernkastel-Kues: 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Bike an invigorating rails-to-trails route known locally as the MMR, a mainly flat or downhill bike path with a few gradual climbs at the beginning. Meet up at a cozy café in Gillenfeld for lunch. Take our shuttle after lunch if you wish to avoid hills, then continue on the MMR bike path coasting through illuminated tunnels and a viaduct before a thrilling, gradual descent into Wittlich town. From Wittlich you may shuttle back to the barge or ride flat and easy bike paths along a small river through gorgeous forest and farmlands to the Mosel River, where your barge awaits.

After breakfast, you cycle toward Trier, the oldest town in Germany, passing Piesport and Trittenheim along the way. Both of these winemaking villages lie on scenic hairpin turns of the Mosel. In Piesport, you will see a reconstructed Roman winepress. Stop for lunch in one of the small villages along your route, such as Neumagen-Dhron, where you witness more signs of ancient Rome. Rejoin the barge in Schweich for a leisurely cruise to Trier.

The people of Trier might tell you that it is possible to see “2,000 years of history in 2,000 paces” in their city. The Romans established their local capital here. In the Middle Ages, Frankish kings and the archbishops of Trier reigned. Here you can learn about the Porta Nigra (“Black Gate”), a city landmark and the largest city gate of the ancient world; the amphitheater; the medieval Market Square, Germany’s oldest cathedral next to the Church of Our Lady, and Constantine’s Imperial Throne Hall. Then there’s the rococo Electoral Palace and the ruins of the Imperial Baths with their extensive subterranean passages. It is an astounding repository of history that leaves little doubt why all of Trier’s monuments have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight, your barge moors here, so you can try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 56 km (16 – 34 miles)
Morning
Bernkastel-Kues to Neumagen: 27 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Neumagen to Schweich: 29 km (18 miles)

What to Expect: Ride to Neumagen, where you can rejoin the barge. Or spend the morning on board and start biking from Neumagen. There are a few short ascents and descents along the river and through the vineyards; as you ride, you might witness the barge passing through the locks in Detzem. Then it’s all aboard in Schweich as we all barge into Trier, the former Imperial city of Rome’s late Classical period.

This morning, you have time to explore Trier, with its shops and Roman history, before taking a local train to Konz, scenically situated where the Saar River flows into the Mosel. Here, you meet the barge for lunch, then set off on an afternoon reel into the Saarland along the more intimate Saar River. Wooded mountains, wide meadows, farmsteads, and villages mark your progress as you ride. Later this afternoon, you reach Saarburg, a medieval riverside jewel at the foot of a castle. The town center boasts a roaring 65-foot (19.8 meters) waterfall. Choose between a scenic reel along the Saar River or free time in Saarburg.

This evening, you may dine on your own in a restaurant on the Leuk River. Savor the hearty food and sip a crisp Saar River Riesling, or try viez, an apple cider typical of this region. The barge moors in Saarburg.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 34 km (11 – 20 miles)
Afternoon
Konz to Saarburg: 19 km (11 miles)
OR
Include Saarburg Loop: 34 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: After lunch on board, your afternoon reel begins by crossing over a bridge at the confluence of the Mosel and Saar rivers. The riverside ride to lovely medieval Saarburg is easy, passing fruit orchards and vineyard-clad slopes. While you wait for the barge to arrive, take the opportunity to explore the town, perhaps climbing the steps to the castle ruins. For more miles along the Saar bike path, ride up the right bank, navigate a narrow unpaved path through the forest, and cross over the big locks and bridge down the other side back to Saarburg.

This morning, walk to the nearby former bell foundry and museum, Mabilon, which produced bells until 2002. Later, cycle along the banks of the Saar River to Konz, at the confluence of the Mosel and Saar rivers. Then follow the Mosel River, the natural border between Luxembourg and Germany, along an easy biking path. Soon you’ll arrive in Wasserbillig and cross the border into Luxembourg.

In Nittel, Germany, rejoin the barge for lunch. This afternoon, you can opt to continue cycling with our longer option or cruise into Remich, Luxembourg.

Our longer option follows the renowned Route du Vin, famous for its vineyards and outstanding wines, including Riesling and Cremant. Approaching Remich, take a short detour to Nennig and admire Europe’s largest Roman mosaic; remarkably, 90% of it is original and perfectly restored. Dinner tonight is on the barge, moored in Remich.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 21 – 44 km (14 – 27 miles)
Morning
Saarburg to Wasserbillig: 23 km (14 miles)

Afternoon
Nittel to Remich: 21 km (13miles)

What to Expect: Ride along the Saar River back to its confluence with the Mosel, crossing a few bridges. Ride along the Luxembourg side to meet the barge in Wasserbillig for a cruising lunch to Nittel, Germany. An easy reel along the Mosel River through vineyards and small villages ends at the Roman mosaic for a film and tour of the ruins.

Ride a tranquil bike path along the Mosel River this morning, crossing from Luxembourg into Germany and France. Then, turn inland and follow a pleasant rolling route through small villages to Rodemack, known as “Little Carcassonne Lorraine” and ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France. In this charming hamlet, admire marvels of construction that span the ages, including fortifications erected over many centuries. Impressive ramparts and walls encircle the village and cobbled alleys lead to a labyrinth of back streets and an impressive fortress.

Enjoy a picnic lunch with free time to explore on your own.

Today’s longer option leads to Thionville, where you board your barge and cruise into Metz, France. This evening, enjoy your final onboard dinner.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 30 – 53 km (18 – 40 miles)
Morning
Remich to Rodemack: 30 km (18 miles)

Afternoon
Rodemack toThionville with Shuttles: 11 km (7miles)
Rodemack to Thionville: 23 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy flat, easy cycling along the Mosel River to the three-country border zone, crossing from Luxembourg into Germany and France. Cycle through French farmlands, on a mix of quiet country roads and bike lanes. Finish the day biking through France along the Mosel, riding through breathtaking French countryside through the Lorraine region into Thionville, where the barge waits. Shuttles are available to assist you if required during the day.

After a final breakfast on our barge, bid farewell to the crew and VBT trip leaders and say hello to your local guide as you disembark in Metz, France, nestled at the confluence of the Mosel and Seille rivers. Enjoy a pleasant walk into this charming city, a quaint tapestry of bridges and romantic corners. Pass the elegant 18th-century city theater and the Palais de la Prefecture in the Place de la Comedie. Visit the imposing Cathedral of St. Etienne, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals of France, built around 1250. Here, admire the fine stained-glass windows, including a modern work by Marc Chagall.

Then, walk to the Saturday morning local market, to the lively Place St. Louis, and to Place Saint-Jacques, where there’ll be time to shop or explore. Lunch is on your own.

After, take a private shuttle to Luxembourg City. En route, there will be a short 15-minute stop at the Luxembourg American Cemetery so you may honor those who fell here during World War II.

Check into the Hotel Le Royal, a stroll away from the main square and the Old City. The rest of your day is free to discover this fascinating capital of one of Europe’s smallest countries. Explore cobblestone-arched narrow streets and small elegant palaces such as the Palais Grand-Ducal and the Chambre des Deputes. The beautiful Chemin de la Corniche is said to be Europe’s most beautiful terrace, with a pleasant promenade that passes restored ancient homes. You’ll also bask in the beauty of the city’s two major squares: the regal Place de la Constitution and the cozy Place du Marche, still used for weekly flower and vegetable markets.

Tonight, dine on your own. The city boasts more Michelin stars per square mile than any other and has a lively atmosphere in its many cafés, pubs, and pizzerias. The biggest ethnic community here is from Portugal, adding a Latin flair to its nightlife and menus.

Hotel: Hotel Le Royal
Meals: Breakfast

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.
**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” The transfer is prearranged by VBT and is prepaid. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Sat, Jun 20 to Sat, Jun 27 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

You are responsible for making your way to Cochem to meet your barge. Please arrive between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. Please note that you cannot embark before this time, as the barge is being prepared for you. If you are late, you must contact the barge as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements because we sail shortly after this time.

The barge will be moored in Cochem at Uferstrasse, on the right bank just downstream from the bridge. Contact telephone number is +49 151 57 81 33 06 or +31 620 245 095.

Meet the crew and your VBT trip leaders, then freshen up in your cabin and change before a bike-safety session and a short warm-up ride to Beilstein on quiet bike paths along the tranquil Mosel River. Reunite with your barge in Beilstein, where it will moor for the night. Gather with your travel mates for a welcome drink and dinner on board.

Please note regarding WiFi on board the barge: Due to the nature of the barge movements, internet access is not always available. If stable internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Please note regarding Ride with GPS: There is limited WiFi on board. If you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone, VBT also recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the boat. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. As always, VBT also provides our traditional printed maps and route notes during the tour.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 10 km (6 miles)
Afternoon
Beilstein Warm-Up: 10 km (6 miles)

What to Expect: The ride to Beilstein is easy along the river. Get acquainted with your route notes and bicycle. Check your brakes and play with shifting your full range of gears.

Today, cruise the Mosel upstream and disembark for a reel on an easy cycling path to Zell and Traben-Trarbach. Beautifully situated on the Mosel where the river twists and turns through the hills, Zell is one of the largest wine-producing communities on the river. The beloved wine Zeller Schwarze Katze (Black Cat) is produced here with grapes from 16 different locations. Be sure to notice the sculpture on the market-square fountain depicting a snarling cat atop a wine barrel.

Next, cycle to the village of Traben-Trarbach, an architectural jewel of the German Art Nouveau movement known as Jugendstil. The surrounding woodlands and extensive vineyards add to its irresistible charm. Traben-Trarbach was once the world’s second-largest wine-trading center. At the height of its prosperity at the turn of the 20th century, the city’s wine merchants built a number of fine Art Nouveau buildings, many of which are carefully preserved and continue to operate as wineries. There’ll be time to admire a wide range of Belle Époque splendor during your visit; you’ll quickly see why the city is a favorite destination for lovers of baroque and classical architecture, too.

Rejoin your barge in Traben-Trarbach, then cruise into Bernkastel-Kues, once two small wine-making towns on either side of the Mosel before they were united in 1905. The pride of today’s dual city is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses and decorative sculpted fountains, some dating to the 17th century.

Dinner is on board tonight. Afterward, the captain speaks about navigation and your planned route.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 28 – 48 km (17 – 30 miles)
Morning
Beilstein to Zell: 28 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Zell to Traben-Trabach: 20 km (13miles)

What to Expect: The Mosel meanders in scenic hairpin turns through the steepest vineyards in Europe. The scenery is breathtaking, and many interesting sights can be explored along the way. We cross the river a few times, but continue to follow it upstream to the mooring point in Traben-Trarbach. You will find great places for lunch in charming villages. Short option riders join the barge here. Enjoy beautiful riding through quaint half-timbered wine villages and vineyards along the river to the Art Nouveau town of Traben-Trarbach where we meet the barge and cruise to Bernkastel-Kues.

This morning, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) through the scenic Eifel Valley to the town of Daun, a spa town fed by mineral springs. Return to your bicycle here and enjoy an exhilarating ride, climbing a slight incline at first and then coasting downhill along a former railway converted into a cycling path. This exciting reel includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges, and past small lakes formed from volcanic craters known as maars. Pass stately castles, lush vineyards, green forests, and quiet villages that invite you to pause and explore.

Along the way, stop in Gillenfeld to enjoy a simple lunch hosted by Sigrid and Leo Lenerz. At their simple cozy café idyllically located in an old barn, they specialize in regional products from local producers. Later, ride back to Bernkastel, where you can relax before dinner on board.

After dinner, stroll to the fascinating wine cellar of Josef Zimmermann via an elegant district of fine Art Nouveau villas, many of which display signs proclaiming their status as a weingut, or winery estate. The simple, fourth-generation Zimmermann operation boasts a century-old cellar full of wine barrels and an inviting tasting hall. Your welcoming host will guide you through a tasting of four different wines during your visit.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 64 km (18 – 40 miles)
Morning
Daun to Gillenfeld: 16 km (10 miles)

Afternoon
Gillenfeld to Laufeld: 12 km (8 miles)
Laufeld to Wittlich: 15 km (9 miles)
Wittlich to Bernkastel-Kues: 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Bike an invigorating rails-to-trails route known locally as the MMR, a mainly flat or downhill bike path with a few gradual climbs at the beginning. Meet up at a cozy café in Gillenfeld for lunch. Take our shuttle after lunch if you wish to avoid hills, then continue on the MMR bike path coasting through illuminated tunnels and a viaduct before a thrilling, gradual descent into Wittlich town. From Wittlich you may shuttle back to the barge or ride flat and easy bike paths along a small river through gorgeous forest and farmlands to the Mosel River, where your barge awaits.

After breakfast, you cycle toward Trier, the oldest town in Germany, passing Piesport and Trittenheim along the way. Both of these winemaking villages lie on scenic hairpin turns of the Mosel. In Piesport, you will see a reconstructed Roman winepress. Stop for lunch in one of the small villages along your route, such as Neumagen-Dhron, where you witness more signs of ancient Rome. Rejoin the barge in Schweich for a leisurely cruise to Trier.

The people of Trier might tell you that it is possible to see “2,000 years of history in 2,000 paces” in their city. The Romans established their local capital here. In the Middle Ages, Frankish kings and the archbishops of Trier reigned. Here you can learn about the Porta Nigra (“Black Gate”), a city landmark and the largest city gate of the ancient world; the amphitheater; the medieval Market Square, Germany’s oldest cathedral next to the Church of Our Lady, and Constantine’s Imperial Throne Hall. Then there’s the rococo Electoral Palace and the ruins of the Imperial Baths with their extensive subterranean passages. It is an astounding repository of history that leaves little doubt why all of Trier’s monuments have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight, your barge moors here, so you can try one of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 56 km (16 – 34 miles)
Morning
Bernkastel-Kues to Neumagen: 27 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Neumagen to Schweich: 29 km (18 miles)

What to Expect: Ride to Neumagen, where you can rejoin the barge. Or spend the morning on board and start biking from Neumagen. There are a few short ascents and descents along the river and through the vineyards; as you ride, you might witness the barge passing through the locks in Detzem. Then it’s all aboard in Schweich as we all barge into Trier, the former Imperial city of Rome’s late Classical period.

This morning, you have time to explore Trier, with its shops and Roman history, before taking a local train to Konz, scenically situated where the Saar River flows into the Mosel. Here, you meet the barge for lunch, then set off on an afternoon reel into the Saarland along the more intimate Saar River. Wooded mountains, wide meadows, farmsteads, and villages mark your progress as you ride. Later this afternoon, you reach Saarburg, a medieval riverside jewel at the foot of a castle. The town center boasts a roaring 65-foot (19.8 meters) waterfall. Choose between a scenic reel along the Saar River or free time in Saarburg.

This evening, you may dine on your own in a restaurant on the Leuk River. Savor the hearty food and sip a crisp Saar River Riesling, or try viez, an apple cider typical of this region. The barge moors in Saarburg.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 34 km (11 – 20 miles)
Afternoon
Konz to Saarburg: 19 km (11 miles)
OR
Include Saarburg Loop: 34 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: After lunch on board, your afternoon reel begins by crossing over a bridge at the confluence of the Mosel and Saar rivers. The riverside ride to lovely medieval Saarburg is easy, passing fruit orchards and vineyard-clad slopes. While you wait for the barge to arrive, take the opportunity to explore the town, perhaps climbing the steps to the castle ruins. For more miles along the Saar bike path, ride up the right bank, navigate a narrow unpaved path through the forest, and cross over the big locks and bridge down the other side back to Saarburg.

This morning, walk to the nearby former bell foundry and museum, Mabilon, which produced bells until 2002. Later, cycle along the banks of the Saar River to Konz, at the confluence of the Mosel and Saar rivers. Then follow the Mosel River, the natural border between Luxembourg and Germany, along an easy biking path. Soon you’ll arrive in Wasserbillig and cross the border into Luxembourg.

In Nittel, Germany, rejoin the barge for lunch. This afternoon, you can opt to continue cycling with our longer option or cruise into Remich, Luxembourg.

Our longer option follows the renowned Route du Vin, famous for its vineyards and outstanding wines, including Riesling and Cremant. Approaching Remich, take a short detour to Nennig and admire Europe’s largest Roman mosaic; remarkably, 90% of it is original and perfectly restored. Dinner tonight is on the barge, moored in Remich.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 21 – 44 km (14 – 27 miles)
Morning
Saarburg to Wasserbillig: 23 km (14 miles)

Afternoon
Nittel to Remich: 21 km (13miles)

What to Expect: Ride along the Saar River back to its confluence with the Mosel, crossing a few bridges. Ride along the Luxembourg side to meet the barge in Wasserbillig for a cruising lunch to Nittel, Germany. An easy reel along the Mosel River through vineyards and small villages ends at the Roman mosaic for a film and tour of the ruins.

Ride a tranquil bike path along the Mosel River this morning, crossing from Luxembourg into Germany and France. Then, turn inland and follow a pleasant rolling route through small villages to Rodemack, known as “Little Carcassonne Lorraine” and ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France. In this charming hamlet, admire marvels of construction that span the ages, including fortifications erected over many centuries. Impressive ramparts and walls encircle the village and cobbled alleys lead to a labyrinth of back streets and an impressive fortress.

Enjoy a picnic lunch with free time to explore on your own.

Today’s longer option leads to Thionville, where you board your barge and cruise into Metz, France. This evening, enjoy your final onboard dinner.

Hotel: Barge Iris
Alternative: Barge Quo Vadis
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 30 – 53 km (18 – 40 miles)
Morning
Remich to Rodemack: 30 km (18 miles)

Afternoon
Rodemack toThionville with Shuttles: 11 km (7miles)
Rodemack to Thionville: 23 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Enjoy flat, easy cycling along the Mosel River to the three-country border zone, crossing from Luxembourg into Germany and France. Cycle through French farmlands, on a mix of quiet country roads and bike lanes. Finish the day biking through France along the Mosel, riding through breathtaking French countryside through the Lorraine region into Thionville, where the barge waits. Shuttles are available to assist you if required during the day.

After breakfast, your tour ends in Metz, France. It is important that you leave the barge no later than 9:00 a.m. so that the crew can prepare for their next guests.

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Berlin

3 Nights From $595 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 3 nights at Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel
  • Train between Berlin and Frankfurt
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality desk
  • Airport and train station transfers

Depart home for Berlin, Germany. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival in Germany at Berlin Tegel airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will help you transfer (approximately 1 hour) to your centrally located hotel in Berlin. Please verify with him or her the time of your return transfer to the airport at the end of your Berlin extension. Our transfer company is European Limousine, telephone: +49 351 49 03 640 +49 30 456 11 11 or +49 163 340 88 11 outside Germany, or 0351 49 03 640 30 456 11 11 or 0163 340 88 11 within the country.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the front desk. You are free to do as you wish today. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations for what to see and do in Berlin. Later tonight, our local representative is available at the hotel to answer questions and provide inside tips.

Hotel: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel

You have a full day to discover this cosmopolitan capital of arts and culture. VBT recommends a 2½-hour walking tour, which you may book with your VBT representative upon arrival in Berlin (it may not be booked in advance of travel). Highlights of the tour include Museum Island (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Reichstag (Parliament House), the Holocaust Memorial Area, New Potsdam Square, and the Topography of Terror, where you’ll see a piece of the Berlin Wall that once divided the city. Your tour ends at the legendary Checkpoint Charlie, the former crossing point between East and West Berlin. The cost of the tour is approximately €30 per person (2-person minimum required) and includes the services of our local English-speaking guide.

Or discover these landmarks on your own. You might also marvel at the magnificent Berlin Cathedral, delight in the wildlife at the Berlin Zoological Garden, or visit the Jewish Museum—one of the largest in Europe. To witness the city from the River Spree, take a riverboat cruise, which departs twice daily from a dock near the hotel.

Hotel: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Continue your independent exploration of Berlin. To see more of the city efficiently, you may wish to take one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours, offered by several companies. Your VBT representative will give you more information.
Hotel: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

This morning, your VBT representative will meet you in the hotel and accompany you on the 20-minute transfer to Berlin Ostbahnhof (the Berlin East railway station), where you will board the high-speed Intercity Express (ICE) to Frankfurt (approximately 4 hours 15 minutes). We recommend you buy a picnic lunch for your journey.

A VBT representative will meet you on your arrival platform inside Frankfurt station. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so he or she can identify you and help you with your transfer via taxi or minibus (approximately 90 minutes) to your hotel in Koblenz. Our transportation company is Garske Touristik: telephone +49 261 92 24 727 or +49 171 263 3525 outside Germany, or 0261 92 24 727 or 0171 263 3525 within Germany. At 4:00 p.m., meet your local guide in the hotel lobby for a 1½-hour walking tour around the historic Old Town of Koblenz. It’s a 15-minute walk to the starting point of the tour, so we recommend you leave the hotel with everything you’ll need to have dinner on your own in the Old Town at tour’s end.

Hotel: Hotel Brenner
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Munich

3 Nights From $645 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 3 nights at Hotel Laimer Hof
  • Airfare between Luxembourg City and Munich
  • Walking tour of Munich
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

This morning, transfer to the Luxembourg Airport for your flight to Munich. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Our transfers are arranged by Taxi Guide München, telephone: +49 175 481 2848 outside Germany or 0175 481 2848 within Germany. If you do not see your driver, please wait a few minutes by the “Erdinger Sportsbar,” which is directly in front of the exit into the arrival hall after you’ve left the customs security area.

Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations for what to see and do in Munich. If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the front desk.

After settling in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Perhaps you’ll walk to the nearby Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens.

At 3:00 p.m., a local guide will meet you at the hotel for a walking tour. He or she will show you how to buy tram tickets for your ride into Munich’s center and the city’s main square, the Marienplatz. Then, enjoy an informative walk through the historic streets thronged with street musicians and artists and past magnificent buildings. You’ll no doubt want to return to visit many of them in more detail during the next two days. Your guide will point out restaurants where you can enjoy dinner this evening.

Hotel: Hotel Laimer Hof
Meals: Breakfast

You have a full day of independent exploration ahead of you today. A logical starting point is the city’s central square, the Marienplatz. Here, you can view St. Mary’s column and many historic buildings, including the New and Old Town Halls. If you’re here at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m., you’ll hear the carillon in the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) clang into action. Close by you’ll find the city’s oldest church, the Peterskirche, notable for its grisly relics of St Munditia, patron saint of single women, and for the view from its tower (up several hundred steps but worth the climb on a clear day!). The Marienplatz is also ideal for people-watching, with its many restaurants, cafés, and shops.

Munich also has many fascinating museums to discover, including the Deutsches Museum with its masterpieces of science and technology; the Bavarian National Museum, one of Europe’s most important museums of decorative arts; and the BMW Automotive Museum. Nearby, you can take in Olympic Park, site of the 1972 Olympic Games. Walk through the lovely park, visit the modern stadium, and take in great views from the Olympic Tower.

Hotel: Hotel Laimer Hof
Meals: Breakfast

Today, you might venture out of the city on a day trip. There are a number of options that you can reserve through your Munich hotel. For a poignant and moving experience, visit the site of Germany’s first concentration camp at the Dachau Concentration Camp and memorial on the northern edge of the city. Another significant nearby World War II site is Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s mountain retreat built at 6,148 feet (1,873.9 meters) atop Mt. Kehlstein. Here, you can see the southern headquarters of the Nazi party—as well as some of Germany’s most mesmerizing views of the Alps. Another mountaintop attraction is “Mad Ludwig’s” storybook Neuschwanstein Castle. You can see the castle—as well as a nearby lake, the equally beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle, and the waterfall gorge—on a day trip to the enchanting Old-World town of Fussen, set in the foothills of the Alps.

Or stay in Munich and bask in the city’s more tranquil side. Munich is renowned for its many parks and gardens. Perhaps you’ll visit the city’s largest natural park, the English Garden. Here, you can admire its bucolic settings, indulge in one of its beer gardens, or join the locals for a swim in the river that runs through the park.

Hotel: Hotel Laimer Hof
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast,* transfer to the airport for your flight home.** Please be sure that you are waiting at the designated transfer time and in the lobby of the hotel.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.
**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” The transfer is prearranged by VBT and is prepaid. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 75 out of 76 (99%) of reviewers recommend this tour

5.0 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $1,695

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Bike Vacation Only

8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $1,495

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Thu, Jun 18 - Sun, Jun 28, 2020

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