Day 1: Arrive Cologne. Cologne is easily accessible from either the Cologne/Bonn or Dusseldorf airports, and has easy train connections from several other European cities. Cologne is a great city to explore and is dominated by its cathedral, Kölner Dom. This world-famous cathedral is the largest in Germany and dates back to 1248! There are several worthwhile museums to visit, or you can explore the city and take a walk through the parks or along the riverfront. There are plenty of great restaurants and breweries where you can try the local Rhineland cuisine and some of the beer that Germany is famous for!
Day 2: Bike from Cologne to Konigswinter (27 miles, 40ft net elevation gain). The first day of biking is easy and flat, and a great warm up for the next few days. We bike along the river and pass through Bonn, the former capital of West Germany, and the birthplace of Beethoven. Bonn is a smaller city that features a lot of outdoor cafes and biergartens along with beautiful architecture from the historic buildings. We continue along the river to the resort town of Konigswinter where you have the evening free to wander and explore the town. We spend the night in a historic riverfront hotel that has hosted royalty and presidents as guests!
Day 3: Bike from Konigswinter to Koblenz (36 miles, 37ft net elevation gain). During the ride today, the countryside starts to become a little more hilly, although the path along the river remains flat and perfect for biking! Koblenz is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, and has plenty of activities for you to enjoy after biking. Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, perched above the city, is one of the largest forts in Europe and houses several museums. You can access the fort via a cable car that crosses the Rhine- a fun experience that gives a different view of the river!
Day 4: Bike from Koblenz to Oberwesel (27 miles, 43ft net elevation gain). Biking south from Koblenz, we enter the Rhine Gorge, which is possibly the most gorgeous part of the trip (and maybe all of Germany!) This valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring more than 40 castles and fortresses, many dating back to the Middle Ages. Small towns along the river surrounded by vineyards become a common sight. One of the highlights of the trip is spending the night in a luxurious castle hotel with panoramic views of the Rhine! The atmosphere here cannot be beat, and a gourmet four course dinner is included. After a day of biking and a delicious meal, you will truly sleep like kings and queens!
Day 5: Bike from Oberwesel to Rudesheim (15 miles, 20ft net elevation gain). We cover less distance today to give you time to thoroughly enjoy the castle and to really explore this beautiful area. After a delicious breakfast at the castle and a chance to explore the garden and castle grounds, we continue biking through the scenic Rhine Gorge. On the way to Rudesheim, we stop and visit the storybook town of Bacharach. This region is famous for their wine, and in the afternoon you can partake in an optional wine tasting!
Day 6: Bike from Rudesheim to Mainz (20 miles, 13ft net elevation gain). Our last day of biking takes us through Germany's premier wine growing region. We bike through Eltville, one of the prettiest towns on the Rhein, where we stop for a picnic in a castle courtyard. We then continue to Mainz, where Gutenberg invented the movable printing press in 1440. After biking more than 125 miles over the past few days, what better way to end such an incredible experience than with another great German meal to celebrate your accomplishment and reminisce about the wonderful memories you made!