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Tours

The Rhine ‘Source to Sea’ – 2019/20

£1,945.00£1,965.00

TOUR REF: RH91 / RH21
TYPE: Road Cycling
LEVEL: Regular
DATES: 
03 Aug – 18 Aug 2019
01 Aug – 16 Aug 2020

DURATION:
 16 days / 15 nights (14 days cycling)
ACCOMMODATION LEVEL: High

Clear
  • Optional extras

    • 300 £
    • 60 £
    • 60 £

The Rhine – From Source to Sea

A stunning 750 mile ride along the banks of the mighty Rhine, following the splendid EuroVelo 15 cycle route through Switzerland, France, Germany, Netherlands.

Open to cyclists of all capabilities, the Rhine cycle route runs along one of the largest rivers in Europe. From the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, the Rhine has fostered cultural and economic dialogue between the Alpine arc and Northern Europe for over 2000 years. Explore the beauty of this river landscape and the picturesque towns and villages lining its banks, a number of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Based on the Eurovélo 15 cycle route but with a few tweaks to ensure you see all there is to see along the way.

We collect you from Zurich airport for the transfer to Hospental, near Andermatt, high in the Swiss Alps, the source of the Rhine. Our route, which is vaguely downhill all the way, initially arcs round to Lake Constance and on to Basel before heading north through Strasbourg. Passing west of Frankfurt we continue through Bonn and Dusseldorf to Arnhem, then west to the Hook of Holland. After a night’s rest we offer a transfer to Rotterdam for those wishing to fly home or join the support crew/vehicle who will take the ferry to Harwich where trains into London Liverpool Street can be found. There are convenient airport connections for the start and finish.
 
Average daily miles are around 65 but the cycling is generally easy and this trip is suitable for most cyclists. If this appeals, you may also be interested in our brand new Danube trip, passing through Vienna to Budapest.

I had a fantastic holiday. For those of us who are not hill ‘Junkies’ the Rhine is the perfect trip. A wonderful route. Add good weather, good company and excellent accommodation and its a winner for me. Thank you. KE 

You can read the diary of one of our previous travellers on this trip – Jan van Steenwijk’s excellent account of his holiday is available to download as a PDF (large file, but worth the wait to download)

If you would like to read other people’s comments on our holidays then check out the Customer Comments page.

Tour Price includes: 

Hotel accommodation
Breakfast
Vehicle support
Services of leader/mechanic
Local transfers
All necessary route information.

Tour Price does not include:

Lunches or evening meals
Snacks or drinks required during the day
Travel to Zurich/from Rotterdam
Cost of any optional excursions, entrance fees etc.

Itinerary:

Day 0 – Arrive

We will meet you in Zurich and take your bike/bags but transfer to Andermatt, high in the Alps, is using the excellent Swiss railway system. 

Day 1 – Oberalpass to Chur – 52 miles
Our ride starts a further 6 miles up into the mountains – in Oberalpass, the closest that paved roads get to the source of the Rhine.  Hardy souls may choose to ride, otherwise there is a transfer by bus or train.  From here there is a spectacular scream down into the valley, followed by many miles of gradual descent, ending with a couple of short climbs before arriving in Chur.

Day 2 – Chur to Lindau- 67 miles
The day begins with  a few gentle hills but we are soon on the banks of the Rhine, already a sizeable thing, for an easy day.  We pop briefly into Lichtenstein (just because we can) then pass through Brigenz in Austria at the base of Lake Constance before finishing in the German lakeside town of Lindau.

Day 3 – Lindau to Neuhausen – 64 miles
We work our way along the northern side of the lake, following the cycle route on quiet back roads, to Meersburg from where we take a short boat ride to the southern shore and Konstanz.  The afternoon is spent tracking the Rhine, finishing the day back in Switzerland in Neuhausen, close to the Rheinfall – the largest plain waterfall in Europe.

Day 4 – Neuhausen to Rheinfelden -62 miles
We ride out past the falls and during the day the river is never far away despite cutting across the many loops to keep the day to regulation length.  We finish in Rheinfelden, a town with something of an identity crisis as it straddles the river with feet in Switzerland and Germany.

 Day 5 – Neuhausen to Rust -78 miles
Though we start and end our day in Germany we spend most of it in Switzerland and France.  We start by working our way through the major city of Basel, then pass into France and follow the Canal Du Rhine – a wonderful towpath ride away from a very industrial part of the main river.  Towards the end of the day we return to the river and cross into Germany to spend the night in Rust (home of Europarks for the young at heart!).  This is a long day but very easy going.

 Day 6 – Rust to Rastatt – 64 miles
We quickly return to France by means of a small ferry and pick up the Canal Du Rhine once again, following all the way to (and through) Strasbourg.  We then pick up the main river again, running through woods on or beside the flood dyke.  

Day 7 – Rastatt to Speyer – 48 miles
A very short easy day!  In the morning we cross into Germany, using a network of cycle tracks to bypass the industrial riverbank into Karlsruhe city centre.  We then return to, and cross, the river into France where the route meanders through forests and fields to the medieval city of Speyer, our destination for the night.

Day 8 – Speyer to Mainz – 61 miles
We spend our morning cleverly bypassing the industrialised areas around Mannheim to reach the medieval German city of Worms.  From here we follow new flood dykes, looping round a wide flood plain, passing through open farmland.  We return to the river at Oppenheim and follow it closely to Mainz where we spend the night.

Day 9 – Mainz to Koblenz – 63 miles
After some brief industrial areas we  soon return to open countryside, dotted with attractive wine-producing villages.  We then enter the stunning Rhine Gorge with castles perched high above the vineyard covered slopes of both sides of the river. We pass through Bacharach for lunch then continue along the gorge to Koblenz which straddles the river.

Day 10 – Koblenz to Koln – 66 miles
As the gorge widens the river continues through a narrow valley, with mountains never far away.  This section follow many cycle tracks, usually close to the river, along the west bank before crossing at Rolandseck to pass through the resort town of Konogswinter.  In the afternoon we pass Bonn (the former West German capital) to finish in Koln.

Day 11 – Koln to Duisberg – 55 miles
Another short day.  Despite traversing a major industrial area between Koln and Dusseldorf there is a surprising amount of open country as the river meanders across a flat plain.  By the end of the day we are in Duisberg, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr.

Day 12 – Duisberg to Arnhem – 67 miles
A longer day.  We gradually leave the industrialised region behind and enter big-sky country with seemingly endless horizons.  Much of the route is on new flood dykes built after floods in 1995.  In the afternoon we enters the Netherlands  at Millingen an der Rijn, where the river starts dividing into many channels flowing onwards to the North Sea.  A couple of short ferry rides later and we are in Arnhem – home of the infamous ‘Bridge too far’.

Day 13 – Arnhem to Schoonhoven – 58 miles
Arhem sits at the start of a low, sandy ridge and our route undulates between the forested slopes of this ridge and the water meadows of the Neder Rijn.  Late in the morning we turn away from the hills across the flat polder land to Wijk bij Duurstede.  In the afternoon the river divides again and we follow in the direction of Hoek van Holland on quit country roads along the top of the dyke, finishing in Schoonhoven.

Day 14 – Schoonhoven to Hook of Holland- 42 miles
For our last day we continue along flood dykes, past the finest collection of preserved windmills in the Netherlands.  We enter Rotterdam on dedicated cycle tracks with no significant road cycling.  These tracks continue out of the city and all the way to our final destination.

Day 15 – Depart
Your support crew will offer transfers to Rotterdam airport or the ferry terminal.  Note that he crew will be departing on the 14:30 sailing!

HOLIDAY DETAILS:

The Tour: This is a Fully Supported Cycling Holiday with a leader, and support vehicle to carry all the luggage and provide any necessary assistance. The holiday is designed to offer you the challenge of riding the entire length of the Rhine, while at the same time taking you through the great variety of scenery that northern Europe has to offer. The distance from Oberalppas to the Hook of Holland is 850 miles.

The first part of the ride is in the Alps, initially with some steep descents but then gently dropping through the river valley.  The rest of the trip is mostly flat with a few gentle hills towards the end.  The route makes very extensive use of dedicated cycle tracks and paths as well as road sections, often with cycle lanes. 

The average daily distance is 60 miles, and there are no rest days.

Accommodation & Food: This is a  hotel-based trip, accommodation will generally be graded 2* – 3* or similar, offering clean and comfortable rooms. Single people travelling alone will be booked into a twin bedded room with another person of the same sex – unless the additional single supplement has been paid. We book rooms with en-suite facilities where available, but this cannot always be guaranteed. Breakfast is provided at the accommodation; some hotels also have a restaurant attached for an evening meal but there is always at least one other restaurant nearby.  Note that breakfast varies widely in style and quantity between the various countries.

Start: The holiday starts in Andermatt but we will meet guests in Zurich to relieve them of luggage and assist in connection onto a train service to Andermatt.  Note: The cost of the outbound flight is not included in the price of the holiday.  You must book the flight yourself (or make your own alternative arrangements).

Finish: The holiday ends in the Hook of Holland. Transport will be provided to the ferry port or Rotterdam airport but note that the support crew leaves on the 14:30 ferry so all transfers must be complete by 13:00. The ferry connects with rail services into London from Newhaven. The cost of the return flight/ferry is not included in the price of the holiday. You must book the flight yourself (or make your own alternative arrangements).

Cycle Transport:  If required, and for an additional fee, we can also arrange for your cycle to be transported to the start  and/or to return your bike from the finish to anywhere in the UK.

Documents: You require a passport. Nationals of some countries also require a Visa. Non EU passport holders should check with their Embassy. You are also required to have travel insurance for the duration of the holiday and you will be required to provide evidence of a suitable travel insurance policy.

Bikes: All types of cycle are suitable for the trip. The most important thing is that the bike functions properly and that you are comfortable riding it.  Some cycle paths are not paved so we recommend fitting the widest tyres that you frame can accommodate!

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about any of our trips, please call us on 0800 002 9559 or send us a message below.