Explore three beautiful rivers by bike
Enjoy the fine wines of the region
Visit spectacular Burg Eltz castle
Ships with max. 20 passengers
There are few better cycling tour destinations in Europe than Germany’s Rhine and Main river valleys. On this cycling cruise you’ll see with your own eyes what makes this region so stunning: from the fairy tale castles and enchanting countryside to the prizewinning vineyards and historic medieval towns. We set out on the Moselle river to visit one of Europe’s most impressive medieval fortresses, Burg Eltz. We then travel upstream along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge encountering countless castles and vineyards along the way. At the narrowest part of the valley we’ll also come upon the legendary Lorelei cliff. Surrounded by mystery and folklore due to its perilous conditions, Lorelei has been a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians for centuries. Besides the magnificent landscapes straight from a picture book, you’ll enjoy the area’s many layers of history, art highlights and regional cuisine. At Mainz we turn onto the river Main and follow its winding path through the Bavarian countryside, passing old towns and villages. Complete your cycling adventure surrounded by the orchards, vineyards and meadows that line the banks of the river Main and reach the end of your journey in Aschaffenburg.
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Aschaffenburg
Step aboard the Allure at 2 p.m. in Aschaffenburg, where the crew will be awaiting your arrival. After the captain and tour leader’s welcome you can join a walking tour of the town. Aschaffenburg, where you’ll stay the night, is a peaceful university city set in the lush green foothills of the Spessart mountains. The town features many magnificent buildings, the most impressive of which is Johannisburg Castle. Built in the 17th century from red sandstone, it’s one of the most beautiful and important Renaissance buildings in Germany. Aschaffenburg’s old center features narrow streets lined with half-timbered houses, wine bars and lively cafes.
Day 2 (Sun): Aschaffenburg – Frankfurt-am-Main (50 km/31 mi. or 54 km/33 mi.)
Today’s cycling tour takes you along the river Main past the towns of Kleinostheim and Dettingen. Cross the river on a small ferry to go through Seligenstadt, a romantic town of half-timbered houses, cobbled alleys, and a basilica. Cycle further downstream to Hanau, hometown of the brothers Grimm, authors of countless famous fairy tales. Rejoin the Allure in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany’s financial heart. Frankfurt is one of only a few European cities with so many skyscrapers. Thanks to its modern skyline. the city’s business center has acquired the ironic nickname of “Mainhattan”. Join a walking tour of Frankfurt after dinner.
Day 3 (Mon): Frankfurt-am-Main – Mainz (40 km/24 mi.)
This morning we set out from Frankfurt by bike along the Main’s lovely river valley. Today’s destination is Mainz, where the Main joins the Rhine. In the afternoon you can take your time exploring this picturesque city. Boasting spacious squares, beautifully restored wood-framed houses and gracious Baroque churches, Mainz is understandably proud of its charming old town. Dine out tonight at your choice of restaurant at your own expense.
Day 4 (Tue): Mainz – Rüdesheim (Bingen) (35 km/21 mi. or 43 km/26 mi.)
Today’s scenic cycling stage leads you through beautiful rolling vineyards and notable wine villages. The Rhine lazily meanders through this region, sometimes expanding to a width of 800 meters, with sandbank islands appearing here and there. En route to Rüdesheim, you pass through the half-timbered town of Eltville and can head up the slope to pay a visit to the peaceful Eberbach monastery. Tonight’s base is Rüdesheim, an old winegrowing city that dates back to Roman times. The medieval center and some of the town’s fortifications, such as the Adlerturm (Eagle Tower), have been well-preserved. Take a stroll along the famous Drosselgasse. This renowned alleyway, in the heart of the town, is home to inviting wine taverns and restaurants.
Day 5 (Wed): Rüdesheim (Bingen) – St. Goar (40 km/24 mi.)
Today’s journey follows the Rhine towards St. Goar as it enters the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Upper Middle Rhine Valley. This steep and spectacular river gorge is host to castles, romantic ruins and the legendary Lorelei Rock. A dramatic outcrop situated at the narrowest point of the Rhine Gorge, Lorelei was well known as one of the most dangerous sections of the Rhine in the Middle Ages. You can follow a hiking path up the 132 meters (433 feet) to enjoy a magnificent view over the valley. Cloaked in myth and legend, Lorelei has inspired writers and musicians for centuries, as many river boatmen met their fate here. St. Goar, a monk and missionary in the 7th century, settled at this point on the river, gaining a reputation for his piety and hospitality. After dinner you can join an evening walk around the town that’s named after him.
Day 6 (Thu): St. Goar – Koblenz | Koblenz – Winningen (45 km/27 mi.)
We set out today towards the historic city of Boppard. It’s here that you’ll set eyes on Bopparder Hamm, the Rhine’s sharpest bend. Ascend to the famous lookout Vierseenblick (Four-Lake View) on foot or by chairlift, and understand how a river can be so vast that, when glimpsed between the hills, it looks more like four separate lakes. Described as the “Pearl of the Rhine”, Boppard features steep vineyards, scenic promenades along the river, and Germany’s oldest intact Roman fort walls. After taking in the view, we continue cycling to beautiful Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. In Koblenz we rejoin the ship and follow the Moselle to Winningen.
Day 7 (Sun): Winningen – Alken | Alken – Koblenz (42 km/26 mi.)
While enjoying breakfast we cruise upstream to Alken. We then set out from Alken towards the magnificent medieval castle of Burg Eltz. As it’s nestled atop a hill within a valley we continue part of the journey on foot. The beauty of Burg Eltz is partly due to the fact that it was never damaged by warfare. In fact, the family that founded the castle still owns and cares for it to this day! The castle features incomparable architecture and numerous original furnishings dating back to the 12th century, including world-class artworks in silver and gold housed in the treasury and armory. Following the castle visit we walk and cycle back to the barge for our last night of the tour in Koblenz.
Day 8 (Sat): Koblenz
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before warm goodbyes and disembarking the Allure at 9.30am in Koblenz.
Good to know
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Koblenz
Arrive for your tour and board the Allure from 4 p.m. in Koblenz, where you’ll stay the night. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader there’s time to explore Koblenz on a walking tour. The city’s name comes from the Latin confluentes, which means the merging of two rivers – in this case the Rhine and the Moselle. The imposing statue of Emperor Wilhelm of Prussia at the junction makes an impressive landmark.
Day 2 (Sun): Koblenz – Winningen | Winningen – Moselkern | Moselkern – Alken (32 km/19 mi.)
Enjoy the passing scenery before and during breakfast as the barge sails to Winningen. Start on your first day’s cycling tour to medieval Burg Eltz. You’ll walk a small part of journey, as this magnificent castle is well hidden in the hills. Burg Eltz is different from any other castle because, throughout the centuries, it remained unscathed by wars. In fact, this fortress has been owned and cared for by the same family from when it was built until today. Its fine architecture has no comparison and many of the original furnishings from the past eight centuries still remain in place. The castle’s treasury and armory boast world-class artworks in gold and silver. And although Burg Eltz towers high on a large rock, it’s still enclosed in a valley. When we’re in the midst of such a picturesque setting, you’ll understand why we have to go there! After this great visit we walk and cycle back to the barge, which then takes us on an afternoon and dinner cruise back to Alken were we dock for the night.
Day 3 (Mon): Alken – Koblenz | Koblenz – St.Goar (37 km/23 mi.)
Before and during breakfast the barge sails to Koblenz. Today’s cycling tour first goes to the castle Stolzenfels. Next up is the ancient city of Boppard, where the Rhine takes an amazing turn on its sharpest loop. Boppard, the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’, is home to the most famous observation point on the river which can be reached via a chairlift or on foot. Boppard has always been a travelers’ magnet, with its steep vineyards, one of the nicest riverside promenades on the Middle Rhine and the oldest intact Roman fort walls north of the Alps.
Our next destination is St. Goar, opposite the famous Lorelei rock. A ferry and a bus will bring you up to the see the famous 433-foot cliff for yourself, which offers a beautiful view over St.Goarshausen and the narrowest part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge. In the Middle Ages, the Lorelei had a reputation as one of the most dangerous sections of the Rhine. Here, many rivermen met with tragedy in their wooden vessels. Directly opposite the Lorelei, monk and hermit Saint Goar of Aquitaine settled to save shipwrecked mariners and nurse them back to health. After dinner you can join the walking tour of the town named after him.
Day 4 (Tue): St. Goar – Oberwesel | Oberwesel – Rüdesheim (Bingen) (23 km/14 mi. or 30 km/18 mi.)
During breakfast the Allure will take us through this famous passage. In Oberwesel We then set out cycling along the lovely banks of the middle Rhine to Rüdesheim. Keep an eye out for proud castles and romantic ruins along the way. We stay overnight in Rüdesheim, a historic city of winegrowers. The Romans already grew wine here. The old town, dating from the Middle Ages, and parts of the city’s fortifications, such as the Adlerturm (Eagle Tower) are well-maintained. The heart and center of the old town is the world-famous Drosselgasse alleyway, where you’ll find cozy traditional wine taverns in historic half-timbered houses. After dinner you can join the city walk through Rüdesheim.
Day 5 (Wed): Rüdesheim (Bingen) – Mainz (35 km/21 mi. or 43 km/26 mi.)
This beautiful stage leads us through rolling vineyards and well-known wine villages. The Rhine flows leisurely, sometimes around little islands, and in places broadens its bed up to 800 meters in width! Our destination today is Mainz, where the Main river flows into the Rhine. In the afternoon there’s time to explore this interesting city with its spacious plazas, lovingly restored half-timbered houses and magnificent Baroque style churches. Mainz’spride and joy, the Old Town has a very charming and warm atmosphere. Dinner is at one of Mainz’s many restaurants tonight at your own expense.
Day 6 (Thu): Mainz – Frankfurt-am-Main (40 km/24 mi.)
Today we follow the river Main, passing some small villages to arrive in Frankfurt, the financial heart of Germany. A unique feature of this city is its impressive number of skyscrapers in the center. Frankfurt is one of only a few cities in the European Union with such a modern skyline – which is probably why it’s jokingly and affectionally referred to as ‘Mainhattan’ by locals. After dinner you can join a city walk exploring Frankfurt.
Day 7 (Fri): Frankfurt-am-Main – Aschaffenburg (50 km/31 mi. or 54 km/33 mi.)
Today’s cycling tour passes by Philippsruhe Castle and leads first to Hanau, birthplace of the Brothers Grimm, famous for their fairy tales. We cross the river and go on to the small, romantic town of Seligenstadt with its winding alleys, wood-framed houses, and basilica. We’re then reunited with the barge in Aschaffenburg, home of the magnificent Johannisburg Palace on the banks of the Main River. You can’t miss this 17th century palace in red sandstone as it’s one of Germany’s grandest Renaissance complexes. After a visit to the castle in the afternoon, we return to the Allure for a delicious, relaxing local beer and wine tasting on board. After dinner you can join the city walk.
Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Aschaffenburg
Final morning of your tour: disembark the Allure after breakfast and warm goodbyes until 9.30 AM in Koblenz.
8 days/7 nights
7 x breakfast
6 x 3-course dinner
Coffee and tea on board
Use of towels and bed linen
Daily cleaning of the cabin
Fully-guided cycling tours
Some short walking tours
Use of a waterproof pannier bag
Fees for ferries
Entrance to Burg Eltz
Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
Gratuities (at your discretion)
Entrance fees and excursions
Transfers to/from the docking place
Gentle cycling through vineyards
Roman history in Trier
Taste the region’s fine Riesling wines
Barges with max. 20 passengers
Biking in River Main’s idyllic vineyards
Visit UNESCO-listed Bamberg & Würzburg
Taste fine Bavarian wines
Barge with max. 20 passengers
Gentle cycling along a majestic river
Natural beauty of the Hoge Veluwe
Visit Cologne’s towering cathedral
Barges with max. 20 passengers