The Mosel River in Germany is one of our most scenic rides and very popular with cyclists of all ages and abilities. We arrived at the Frankfurt Airport and picked a place to stay nearby for the 1st night. Next morning, we were back at the airport of a journey by German Rail to Trier. Trier is Germany’s oldest city, with a history that dates back to days before the ancient Roman Empire. Our rail journey on Deutches Bahn has almost hourly train service to Trier, and it basically follows our cycling course along the Rhine and Mosel; only taking about three hours. This gives us a bit of a preview of some of the sights we will see while cycling. We picked a place to stay that was in the center of things and not far from the Hauptbahnhof. After settling in, we headed out for some sightseeing of various Roman vestages that still remain, including the Porta Nigra and old bridge.
Next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we are set to depart through the old town gate of Porta Nigra for our stage one ride.
Stage One: Trier to Neumagen-Dhron 43,6 km
We set out on a sunny Summer morning and make our way to the Kaiser Wilhelm Brucke, which has a narrow bike lane. After the bridge we will be crossing at the light and then, after about 100 meters we with cross two sections of roadway with the signals and making our way to the river; but going the wrong direction, so we look for the ramp to the path to double back to go under the Kaiser Wilhelm Brucke in the right direction. A little convoluted; but, a good safe way out of town to the lovely path beside the river. We will see lots of cyclists on this route. The path is well signed & mostly on a path, except for a few sections as we ride on the roadway, mostly through small towns. We pass under several bridges. Just after the campground in Schweich, we see a tower.
Then watch for a smaller path to the left.
This will take us up to the right and onto a bridge over the Mosel on a path, separated from traffic.
At the other end of the bridge, stay on the path as it curves around right and through an underpass under the same bridge we just crossed. This is a familiar move. N ow we’re on the Mosel again; but on the other side, with the river on our left for the rest of the day. Soon we are passing vineyard after vineyard. The path twists along with the winding Mosel. Mehring comes into view across the River and stop for a snack and admire the view from one of the thoughtfully provided benches. Then it is on through pretty little town of Detzem. After Detzem, watch for signs for Leiwen and Neumagen-Drohn. The river is now out of view; but there are plenty of vineyards. We’re on the roadway through Kowerich, until the sign to turn off left to reach the river again. Before long, we are on the meandering path again. Up ahead, we find ourselves to the right and above the roadway, with the Mosel and highway to our left. Pass under the bridge to Trittenheim….
just up ahead, watch carefully for a chance to cross the roadway. We’ll be riding on this road toward Neumagen. There’s no bike path; but there isn’t much car traffic.
We enter the pretty little town of Neumagen and ride the main street looking for our hotel. It was perfect; beside the river and bike friendly! This is a small town; but still offers some Roman antiquities and some good wine shops with tasting opportunities. Neumagen-Dhron is actually two towns: Neumagen and Dhron. Roman winemakers discovered this area two thousand years ago. And it’s been known for great wines ever since. Trust those Romans.
Stage Two: Neumagen-Drohn to Bernkastle-Kues 25,2 km
Another day; another hyphenated stop. In this case, Bernkastle is on one side of the river and Kues is across the bridge on the other side. We make our way to the Neumagen bridge and cross on the two way walkway. After the bridge,we now need to cross the busy road and get on the bike path. We are actually backtracking again, back under the bridge we crossed. This is becoming a familiar move.
More vineyards and cyclists as we ride beside the Mosel. It seems every bit of hillside is covered by vineyards.
Ride on to Piesport and cross back over the Mosel; then make the right turn after the bridge to bring us back to the bike path on this side of the Mosel.
Back under the bridge we just crossed and along the riverside bikepath. There is a path section that is beside the highway; but, never fear, soon we are back beside the river. Ride through Wintrich and through Brauneburg. They Mosel is not in sight; but, there are fields and vineyards and stretches of path beside the highway. We cross under the Molheim bridge and shortly after we are led back to the Mosel then up to ride the ridge for a bit, before returning to the Mosel. Then it’s up and down a bit in back and forth beside the river or the highway before we catch our 1st glimpse of the ruined castle up on the hill, as we approach Bernkastel. We found our centrally located bicycle friendly hotel and then climbed to the castle ruins of Burg Landshut. Far below, we can see some of the river traffic, the bridge to the town of Kues.
Then it’s back down to Bernkastel to visit the half timbered and colorful town square.
From the bridge to Kues, we looked back at Bernkastel and admired the vineyard-covered hillside rising up from town. Of course we had to sample some tasty wine from these local vineyards, as well.
Stage Three: BernkastelKues to Zell 42,8 km
We have been so lucky with the weather so far; but, today our luck ends. This is Friday the 13th. What did we expect. Before we even got out of town, the rain had begun. As we always say, “don’t forget to bring your raincoat.” We leave town; passing under the Kewes bridge on the bike path. We are on the right bank of the Mosel today. Part of the ride is beside the river and some is beside the highway or through some towns on the roadway. We oass next to the campground in Zeltingen. After Zeltingen Eventually we find ourselves to the right of the highway, on a bikepath:a very wet bikepath. A friendly resident offered us shelter from a downpour and refreshments; but we couldn’t stay forever. We had to move on. We push on and pass under bridges at Kindel and Wolf and Traben-Trarbach. At Traben-Trarbach we take the ramp and some riding beside the highway, before returning to the Mosel again. Then we continue riding under the Reil bridge and do some meandering through vineyards. We pass another campground and then back to a section of the Mosel that narrows and part is muddy and unpaved through some woods. The path improves and we’ll stay beside the Mosel, all the way into Zell.
The path feeds right onto the main road into town. But traffic is light. It was a welcome sight to reach our warm and dry hotel. Also, we had managed to break a spoke on a rough, muddy section just before Zell and were able to get this fixed pretty easily, when we reached town. The sky had finally cleared for a bit, so we could puruse the wine shops with the famous Zeller Swartz Katz (Black Cat) wines, for which Zell is reknowned. We had just enough clear weather for a climb up the hill to a castle ruin.
Stage Four: Zell to Beilstein 28,0 km
Next morning, we are hopeful for better weather than the day before. We head to the main street, under the bridge and out of town beside the river. Pass by the town of Merl and as we approach the outskirts of Bullay, we take a right turn to get to the bridge approach. This double decker bridge accomodates trains, cars, bikes and pedestrians. The path is quite narrow; but there is a separation from the motorized traffic. As we exit the bridge, the bike path picks up as we curve right and pedal on a nice wide paved path. We pass beside or through several towns; alternating back and forth to river and then roadway. Pass under the Bremm bridge and after Ediger-Eller there are several campgrounds. Then on to Seinheim, where we will cross the Mosel once again today on the bridge here. Soon after we are on a stretch of dirt road through vineyards. We continue through Briedern, beside the Mosel.
Up ahead is Burg Metternich on the hill. This is a sure sign that we’re not far from Beilstein. This is a very popular stop for cyclists. This picturesque little town starts beside the river and continues uphill. Four hundred years ago, this was one of the most powerful towns in Germany. Today, it retains all of the charm of its Medieval ancestry, while contributing its share of wines to the local economy. Burg Metternich castle ruins is a worthwhile hike up the hill to explore and capture the view of the town and river below.
Stage Five: Beilstein to Cochem 11,2 km
This is a very short day; but, there is lots to see in Cochem and we looked forward to sleeping in for a later start today and still arriving early.
Part of the ride is on a bike path and part on the highway, in the company of other cyclists. They traffic is not too heavy and there is of course, lovely scenery with the river and vineyards. Before long, Cochem comes into view. This is the largest town since Trier. We cross the Mosel and into the cobbled streets of Cochem. We had picked a centrally located hotel, right beside the river. Cochem is one of Germany’s best preserved Medieval towns. From well preserved Reichsburg castle on the hill, there is yet another terrific view.
We enjoyed the castle tour and then returned to town and a quick chair lift to the top of another panoramic view of the river, the town and of Reichsburg castle. We thoroughly enjoyed the stroll back down to town, through the vineyards. What a great day!
Stage Six: Cochem to Moselkern 17,6 km
This is another short ride today; however, the highlight will be the hike today to the must see castle of Burg Eltz. The ride is mostly on bike path. They hike is through the woods and can be a bit slippery and muddy at times. It is all worth it. It has been owned by the same family for nearly 1000 years. And because of its isolated position, it was never taken in a siege. One time, it survived a five-year siege by the French. It’s about a 6km trip and of course you want to devote time to tour this very special castle. We cannot recommend this enough.
Stage Seven: Moselkern to Koblenz 36,6 km
Today’s adventure will take us to the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine. Next morning, we had out of quiet Moselkern on a bike path with the Mosel to our right. In about 3km, we see Burg Bischofstein on the hill.
We continue on and pass through Hatzenport; this is an alternate route to Burg Eltz, which is steep, and heavily used by cars. Hence, this is why we chose to stay in Moselkern and hike there, instead. That was a really good option. We continue on past Lof, Kattenes and Lehmen. We’ve been playing peek-a-boo with the Mosel for a while. At Gondorf, we go right under these cool looking old buildings and continue on the two way bike path. When we reach the pretty little town of Kobern, we’re tempted to stop for a snack. After Kobern our path takes us through vineyards once again. It goes like this for about 10 km…a hillside of vineyards to the left. To the right and below are the rail tracks and beyond that is the Mosel. When we reach Winningen, we wind and wind as we negotiate through town to finally find the exit out of town to the bike path. Lots of other cyclists on the path today. We pass through Guls on the roadway, watching for the steep ramp to walk our bikes to the bridge. This was our last Mosel crossing. At the end of the bridge, we coast down the path to the roadway.
When we reach the highway, we make a right turn onto the pathway and cross back under the bridge.
From here on, we will be working our way into the town center of Koblenz. Koblenz has bicycle lanes for easy access to the town center. We ride along the promenade in the company of walkers, joggers and other cyclists to reach the confluence of the two rivers at the Deutches Eck. We made this our lunch stop. It is popular with tourists and locals, alike. We climbed the steps to the monument on this pointy park and from this vantage point you can look back up the Mosel and see where it meets the Rhine. Very impressive!
From here you can easily continue the journey along the Rhine, which we did and we highly recommend. See our comments on the Rhine.