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Saar & Mosel tour

Visit the Roman villas and public baths

Mettlach
Frankfurt Airport

  • Start
  • Finish

Cochem
Frankfurt Airport

This tour along the Saar and Mosel combines the best of the German ‘Bundesländer’ Saarland and Rheinland Pfalz. While cycling from Mettlach to Cochem you’ll discover the legacy of the Roman Empire, Saarschleife, Castles; 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’.

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8 days
  • Distance 40km, average per day
  • Porta Nigra
  • Saarschleife
  • Vineyards of Calmont

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Sunday: Mettlach, embarkation between 2 and 3 PM

15KM
Sunday: Mettlach, embarkation between 2 and 3 PM

Your tour starts in the beautiful Saarland town of Mettlach, home of Villeroy & Boch and 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

35KM
Monday: Saarschleife – Saarburg

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 back 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

35KM
Tuesday: Saarburg – Nearby Trier

During today’s tour you switch rivers, 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.’ We can take a detour and cross the border into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In the afternoon we ride on 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 the amphitheatre. After visiting there is one hour cycling to the mooring-place of the barge.

 

Day 4

Wednesday: Nearby Trier, Sailing to Riol and cycling to Bernkastel-Kues

50KM
Wednesday: Nearby Trier, Sailing to Riol and cycling to Bernkastel-Kues

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 the historical buildings are placed on the slopes along the winding river. Especially the town of Neumagen-Dhron is interesting for its Roman remains. This used to be a Roman fortress and the place where the famous Romna whineship was found. 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

55KM
Thursday: Bernkastel-Kues, Moselle–Maare cycling trail

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

40KM
Friday: Bernkastel-Kues - Zell

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

35KM
Saturday: Zell - Cochem

The day starts with a ride to the almost vertical vineyards of Calmont near Bremm. Here you can take a hike up the slopes and see yet another wonderful bend in the Mosel river. After lunch we ride on to the beautiful village of Beilstein, décor of many movies.  After the visit we cycle the last part of the trip 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 tour

Sunday: Cochem end of tour

Disembarkation after breakfast, before 10 AM.

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
9/1/2019 - 9/8/2019 Available Mettlach Zwaan Comfort Plus Book now
9/15/2019 - 9/22/2019 Available Mettlach Zwaan Comfort Plus Book now
9/29/2019 - 10/6/2019 Available Mettlach Zwaan Comfort Plus Book now
10/13/2019 - 10/20/2019 Fully Booked Mettlach Zwaan Comfort Plus

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices are per cabin 0 0
Zwaan Twin style cabin on Oct. 13 € 2330,- free of charge 30% reduction
Zwaan Twin style cabin from Sept. 1 to Sept. 29 € 2550,- free of charge 30% reduction
0 0
Zwaan Double cabin on Oct. 13 € 2330,- free of charge 30% reduction
Zwaan Double cabin from Sept. 1 to Sept. 29 € 2550,- free of charge 30% reduction
0 0
Zwaan Triple cabin on Oct. 13 € 3405,- free of charge 30% reduction
Zwaan Triple cabin from Sept. 1 to Sept. 29 € 3720,- free of charge 30% reduction
0 0
Zwaan Single cabin on Oct. 13 € 1675,- 0 0
Zwaan Single cabin from Sept. 1 to Sept. 29 € 1835,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Batavus Boulevard, incl. bike helmet €90
Electric bicycle, unisex Electric bicycle, unisex Van Dijck Eris, step-through bicycle incl. bike helmet €170
Child’s bike, 21 gears Child’s bike, 21 gears Incl. bike helmet €55
Trailer bike, 3 gears Trailer bike, 3 gears For children between 5-9 years, incl. bike helmet €50
Child seat Child seat Incl. bike helmet €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40

Included

  • All nights on board
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Lunch packages when on the road
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Moselle-Maare cycling trail
  • Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
  • Bike maps, 1x per cabin

Not Included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 15 per tour
  • Personal insurance/ Cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Arrival info

Boarding time is on Sunday between 2 PM and 3 PM. You are expected on our barge the latest at 3 PM. You can recognise the barge by the banner with ‘Cycletours’ written on it. The name of your barge ‘Zwaan’ is printed on the voucher, which you will receive separately. After arrival there’s coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment.  If you want you can bring your luggage in advance: from noon onwards.

The mooring place of the barge in Mettlach is along the Saar river at the level of Mettlach Train Station:  Von Boch-Lebigstrasse, Mettlach, Germany (10 minutes walk from the train station).

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge in Mettlach is Frankfurt Airport (FRA). There is a direct train connection to Mettlach. The train leaves at least every hour and travel time is about 2,5 hours. The price for a one-way train ticket (2nd class) from Frankfurt Airport to Mettlach is about € 50,-. For the exact departure times and prices check www.db.de.

Train

The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is Mettlach Train Station.  Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 500 meters. A taxi from the train station to the barge takes about 5-10 minutes and costs about € 10,-.

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later on Sunday morning after breakfast before 9.30 AM. You will spend the night from Saturday on board in Cochem.
From the barge in Cochem it is walking distance to the train station (1.5 km/ 1 mile). or you can take a taxi (5 minutes).  You can take the train to Frankfurt Airport (FRA). The train leaves twice per hour and it takes about 2 hrs. to travel to the airport. The price for a one-way train ticket (2nd class) is about € 35,-. For the exact departure times and prices check www.db.de.

Our barge, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck.

Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, but some barges also have cabins for 3 persons (2 low beds+upper bed). There are four categories: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds), Comfort (cabins as StandardPlus but with twin beds), ComfortPlus (cabins as Comfort, small ship) and Comfort DeLuxe (a very comfortable and tastefully furnished 5-star barge; cabins have twin beds and air-conditioning).

In all categories the cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 22o voltage. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing.
The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you. There is a bar on the barge with beer, soft drinks and wine at reasonable prices. Usually it is not aloud to use your own food and drinks aboard. In case you want to taste your own, just bought wines,  please ask the crew. They will allow you to drink your own wine but ask a cork fee of € 7,50 per bottle.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 people on the barge Zwaan.

The most beautiful cycling routes

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. Maps are available on board.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • What biking level is the Saar & Mosel tour?

    Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for people with less experience.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets?

    Must be notified when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
    In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Does a guide accompany us?

    On our guided tours a tour guide will accompany the group during their cycling route.

    When mentioned ‘self-guided’, the tours are on an individual basis and no guides are provided. We will provide you with a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive description of the routes, enabling you to follow the route correctly without problems. Furthermore, these route descriptions are frequently accompanied with information on the main tourist attractions that you will come across.

  • How do I get from the airport to the destination place and is this transfer included?

    Our sales and information department can inform you on this manner. These transfers are usually not included (see the included section for each tour).

  • What insurances does Cycletours offer?

    Cancellation insurance (insurance company Unigarant)
    Holidays usually are reserved and paid weeks or even months in advance. If you need to cancel or abort the tour, that always leaves you with financial consequences. Therefore we recommend to arrange a cancellation insurance. This insurance reimburse cancellation costs due to a serious impediment such as an accident, illness or death of relatives in the 1st or 2nd degree.
    Cancellation insurance including  air flight:
    when paying 1% extra over the travel sum of your Bike & Barge tour + flight ticket, then the cancellation expense is insured should you need to cancel or should one of these components unexpectedly be cancelled. This on the condition that no alternative arrangement can be made, so the trip cannot be taken.

  • Can you rejoin the barge before the end of a stage?

    No, the ship doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

More questions

Price starting from € 1165,- * * There are no extra's included in this price

Accommodations

Zwaan
Zwaan

About the barge Zwaan

The Zwaan is specialized in Bike and Barge tours in the Netherlands, Belgium. On board of the Zwaan you find a cosy dining room, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. All 7 cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed. The Zwaan is known for the high quality of the meals and the friendly atmosphere on board. The crew consists of the captain, chef and hostess for 14/15 guests.

Cabin plan

7 cabins with private hot shower and toilet
2x Family-style room, 2/3 p with double bed + single bed
2x Friend's-style room, 2/3 p with 3 single beds (one bunk)
2x Twin-style room, 2 p with two separate beds
1x Smaller cabin in front of the barge, 2 p with double bed, accessible with steep stairs, entrance on deck

  • Offical name Zwaan
  • Length 34 m
  • Width 6.1 m
  • Capacity 14 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

Saar & Mosel

 

What others think of this tour

Just finished our second tour with Cycle Tours, and the Zwaan in particular. I have nothing but the highest praise for the tour, the barge, the crew, and the unparallelled scenery. We will book another tour soon!
I would recommend this experience for anyone.
Donald Dodge - 22/09/2017

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