Saarburg, Germany along the Saar River. Photo via Flickr:Wolfgang Staudt
Shopping in Bernkastel-Kues, Germany along the Mosel River. Photo via Flickr:Franz-Josef Molitor

Cycling the Saar River valley in Germany. Photo by Wolfgang Staudt
4.6/5 (14 ratings)

Koblenz to Merzig

Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and Boat along the Mosel and Saar Rivers

  • This bike and barge tour in Germany loops along the Moselle and Saar River, through quaint German towns, with picturesque half-timbered houses and baroque churches. You will pedal your way through local culture with remnants of the Roman Empire as your back drop.

    Depending on your tour date, your adventure will either commence in Merzig, not far from the French border, or in Koblenz, a very old and very beautiful city with a history spanning 2000 years. The landscape is stunning and includes the famous Saar-Loop, the renowned bend in the river.

    Highlights:

    • Koblenz, Cochem, Saarburg, the stars of the Moselle and Saar Rivers
    • Alluvial landscape and cycling
    • Wine cultural landscape of the river valley
    • Architectural treasures of Traben-Trabach
    • Top notch accommodation on board the Merlijn
    • And many more!

    Be sure to check out our full list of bike and barge tours in Germany.

  • Merlijn:
    Twin/double: £ 1232 $ 2,731 1450 $ 2185 NOK 13654 kr 12604 $ 1,639 Single supplement: On request

    Merlijn:
    Twin cabin £ 1270 $ 2,816 1495 $ 2252 NOK 14078 kr 12995 $ 1,689 Single supplement: On request

    Flora:
    Twin cabin: £ 1019 $ 2,258 1199 $ 1806 NOK 11291 kr 10422 $ 1,355 Twin cabin/single use: £ 1486 $ 3,293 1749 $ 2634 NOK 16465 kr 15199 $ 1,976 Triple cabin (3rd person, child): £ 934 $ 2,070 1099 $ 1656 NOK 10349 kr 9553 $ 1,242

     

    extra options

    Merlijn
    Tandem or electric bicycle (price per day): £ 21 $ 47 25 $ 38 NOK 235 kr 217 $ 28

    Merlijn
    Electric bicycle rental per diem, payable on board, advanced reservation is required (price per day)
    Flora:
    Electric bicycle: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Helmet rental: £ 8 $ 19 10 $ 15 NOK 94 kr 87 $ 11

     

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Closest international airport to both your tour start in Koblenz or Merzig is Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). However, Luxembourg (LUX) could be another option.

    Local Travel

    Frankfurt Airport is well connected by public transportation. The airport train station, located next to Terminal 1, offers connections to popular German cities via Deutsche Bahn, the national railway company of Germany. From the airport to Koblenz it is approx. 1 1/2 hour travel time with at least one transfer and to Merzig it is approx. 3 1/2 hour train travel time.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions prior to your arrival. In this region in Germany, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 30°F to 77°F and is rarely below 17°F or above 89°F. A good website to use to research average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more weather related facts is weatherbase.com.

    DOCUMENTS

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.


Tour Dates

Merlijn

Koblenz to Merzig: September 7, 2019

Merlijn

Koblenz to Merzig: October 3 and October 17, 2020
Merzig to Koblenz: September 26, October 10, and  October 24, 2020

Flora

Koblenz to Merzig: August 29 and September 12, 2020
Merzig to Koblenz: September 5 and September 19, 2020

 

Where You’ll Stay

Aboard the Deluxe vessel, the Merlijn or the Standard vessel, the Flora

What’s Included

Merlijn

  • Accommodation for 6 nights
  • Welcome cocktail
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 three-course dinners, and packed lunches for cycling
  • Coffee, tea, and water
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Guided city tour in Trier
  • Wine tasting in Traben Trarbach
  • Entrance to the Castle of Eltz
  • 27-speed hybrid bike of the brand Sensa, a famed Dutch company. Bikes come equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, waterproof pannier, water bottle, towel, and universal helmet
  • Tour guide
  • Daily route information
  • Bike maps
  • Harbor and bridge fees
  • †WiFi

Flora

  • Accommodation for 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, packed lunches, and 6 three-course dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily tour briefings
  • Bike rental
  • Fully guided cycling tours
  • Some short walking tours
  • Fees for ferries
  • GPS tracks
  • †Wifi
  • Important to note, due to steel construction of the ship, cruising locations, and other factors, Wifi signal speed and strength may not be what you are accustomed to and may not meet your expectations. If you are dependent on a constant, strong, fast, and reliable signal at all times, please consider a personal hot spot. See our FAQ page.
  • What’s Not Included

    Merlijn

    Flora

    TourBike+Boat
    TypeGuided
    SkillEasy
    Length7–8 days
    From1199 Rates
    Tour Reviews

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    Skill Level

    This is an easy guided tour. Biking takes place on good asphalted bike paths and country roads. Daily biking distances range from 12 to 26 miles. The routes follow the flow of the rivers and are therefore mainly flat with only a few slight climbs.

    Tour Boats

    Day-To-Day Itinerary

    Koblenz to Merzig Map

    Each boat has a slightly different itinerary.

    Koblenz to Merzig

    Day 1: Arrival in Koblenz, embarkation at 4 pm and cruise to Winningen
    Day 2: Winningen - Cochem, 25 mi. (40 km)
    Day 3: Cochem - Traben Trarbach, 28 mi. (45 km)
    Day 4: Traben Trarbach - Bernkastel Kues - Trier, 28 mi. (45 km)
    Day 5: Trier - Saarburg, 15 or 34 mi. (25 or 55 km)
    Day 6: Saarburg - Merzig, 20 mi. (32 km)
    Day 7: Departure from Merzig

    *All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice,  due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs,  etc.

    Day 1: Arrival in Koblenz, embarkation at 4 pm and cruise to Winningen
    The Merlijn, your sailing hotel awaits you in the port of Koblenz. Embarkation starts at 4 pm. The crew welcomes you on board and while you enjoy your welcome drink you will get information about the ship, the daily routes, and the bicycles. The city of Koblenz consists of the Aldstadt (old city) and the Neustadt (new city). The Aldstadt is quite compact, in the shape of a triangle, with 2 sides consisting of the Rhine & Mosel rivers, and the third side, covered by endless hills topped with fortresses. From the new city, there is a wonderful view of the rivBefore dinner the boat cruises to Winningen, a charming wine village a little further on the Moselle river.

    Day 2: Winningen - Cochem, 25 mi. (40 km)
    After breakfast you will start biking to Alken and Moselkern. You will bike from here into the Eltztal and visit the castle of Eltz. Sitting on top of a cliff, the romantic castle is one of the very few that has not been destroyed during its long history. Afterwards, continue on to Cochem where the boat will be waiting. In Cochem you may want to pay a visit to the famous Reichsburg or stroll through the cozy streets in this romantic city.

    Day 3: Cochem - Traben Trarbach, 28 mi. (45 km)
    The Merlijn cruises to Beilstein while you enjoy breakfast. The small medieval village of Beilstein is worth a visit. Along the meandering Moselle River, you will bike via Zell, famous for its vineyard Zeller Schwarze Katz, in the direction of Traben-Trarbach. After dinner enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery. Overnight in Trarbach.

    Day 4: Traben Trarbach - Bernkastel Kues - Trier, 28 mi. (45 km)
    During breakfast the Merlijn takes you to Bernkastel Kues, where your bike tour begins. First you will have some time for a tour through Bernkastel-Kues. Later on, you will bike to the holiday resort of Mehring, passing Neumagen-Drohn. The Romans fell in love with this landscape more than 2000 years ago and built splendid country villas here. The Roman poet, Ausonius, wrote of the beautiful landscape in this area. In Mehring, you will board the Merlijn and cruise to Trier. Tonight you will enjoy your dinner in one of the many local restaurants in Trier.

    Day 5: Trier - Saarburg, 15 or 34 mi. (25 or 55 km)
    In the morning, you can further explore Trier during the guided city tour. Trier was a Roman government seat and is well-known for its Porta Nigra, a gigantic city gate. In the afternoon you will bike to Saarburg. The cityscape is embossed from narrow alleys, framework houses, Baroque constructions as well as colorful fishermen and sailor-houses. The master architect of Berlin, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, named the ensemble of romantic houses and small bridges on the Buttermarkt “Little Venice” in the 19th century. Tonight you will dine in one of the restaurants in Saarburg.

    Day 6: Saarburg - Merzig, 20 mi. (32 km)
    After a tour through Saarburg and a splendid view over the city and the Saar valley, you bike about 15 km to the Saar-loop near Orscholz, the renowned river bend of the Saar. More than any other region, it symbolizes the "rendezvous in Saarland", a junction of water and land. An excellent viewpoint over the landscape and the Saar loop is at the “Cloef” above and invites you to a short stay. From there, it is only 10 km to today’s destination, the city of Merzig. On your way you may want to visit the village of Villeroy & Boch: Mettlach. In Merzig, a short city tour in the afternoon gives you a chance to have a look at structures dating over eight centuries. There is also the opportunity to visit some museums.

    Day 7: Departure from Merzig

    Merzig to Koblenz

    Day 1: Merzig
    Day 2: Merzig - Saarburg, (32 km)
    Day 3: Saarburg - Trier, (20 km)
    Day 4: Trier - Traben Trarbach, (45 km)
    Day 5: Traben Trarbach - Cochem, (35 km)
    Day 6: Cochem - Koblenz, (35 km)
    Day 7: Koblenz

    Koblenz to Merzig

    Day 1: Koblenz
    Day 2: Koblenz - Alken | Alken - Moselkern - Cochem, 25 mi. (40 km)
    Day 3: Cochem - Beilstein - Zell on the Moselle, 24 mi. (39 km)
    Day 4: Zell on the Moselle - Bernkastel - Kues, 27 mi. (45 km)
    Day 5: Bernkastel - Kues - Neumagen - Schweich, 16 or 34 mi. (27 or 54 km) | Schweich - Trier
    Day 6: Trier  - Wasserbillig - Saarburg, 23 mi. (38 km)
    Day 7: Saarburg - Merzig, 22 mi. (37 km)
    Day 8: Merzig

    *All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice,  due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs,  etc.

    Day 1: Koblenz
    The Flora awaits you in Koblenz, where the crew will welcome you on board from 2 pm. You will spend the first afternoon and night in Koblenz, an inviting city to explore. “Koblenz” is a corruption of the Latin word confluentes, which means confluence. The Romans gave that name to the camp they built around the year 14 AD, at the spot where the rivers Rhine and Mosel converge. In World War II the town was almost entirely destroyed, but a number of precious monuments are still worth a visit, such as the Deutsches Eck, the Romanesque basilica of St. Kastor and the Kurfürstliches Schloss.

    Day 2: Koblenz - Alken | Alken - Moselkern - Cochem, 25 mi. (40 km)
    Your tour starts this morning as the Flora sails to Alken where, following the distribution of bicycles, you will cycle to Moselkern. The village of Moselkern is world famous for its Burg Eltz. This stronghold is one of the most impressive medieval buildings of Western Europe. It’s not easy to reach though, you need to hike the last section to reach the castle. After visiting Burg Eltz, you continue the bike tour to Cochem, one of the Mosel region’s most frequently-visited wine towns. Cochem is a cozy, characteristic town with wine cellars and half-timbered houses.

    Day 3: Cochem - Beilstein - Zell on the Moselle, 24 mi. (39 km)
    After breakfast you will cycle to Beilstein, one of the best-preserved historical villages along the length of the Moselle. The ruins of Castle Metternich sit towering above the village, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore them. After leaving Beilstein you will pass Europe’s steepest vineyard – with slopes inclining between 50 and 55 degrees – at Bremmer Calmont. Today’s tour ends in the wine village of Zell on the Moselle, well known in the industry for the wine “Zeller Schwarze Katz”. In Zell you should take the opportunity to get to know the good wines of the Mosel.

    Day 4: Zell on the Moselle - Bernkastel - Kues, 27 mi. (45 km)
    Today you’ll cycle from Zell on the Moselle to the romantic village of Traben-Trarbach, located on the left bank of the Moselle and famous for its Jugendstil (art nouveau) architectural style. From there you pass through the wine city of Kröv – well-known for its popular Kröver wine, to Bernkastel-Kues, your destination for the night. The grand half-timbered houses that surround Bernkastel-Kues’s marketplace date back to the Middle Ages, and are a photographer’s delight. You will reach the barge in Kues after a tour through town.

    Day 5: Bernkastel - Kues - Neumagen - Schweich, 16 or 34 mi. (27 or 54 km) | Schweich - Trier
    Upstream from Bernkastel lovely vineyards stretch out in many places. This area’s white Moselle wine has become a household name both locally and abroad.

    Today you cruise past Piesport and Trittenheim, both big names. Piesport produces a number of beautiful white wines. The “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen”, in particular, enjoys great popularity. Trittenheim lies in a sharp hairpin bend of the Mosel. It is surrounded by mountains covered with extensive vineyards. The Laurentiuskapelle, with its gothic choir, is located right in the middle of the vines. From Schweich, you’ll rejoin the barge to Trier, an interesting and lively city, the oldest in Germany. According to the Romans, Trier was founded around the year 15 BC by Caesar Augustus under the name of Augusta Treverorum. As a trading town and administrative center, Trier flourished during the late imperial age.

    This Roman golden age has left Trier with a fair number of impressive monuments. Most authentic is the city gate Porta Nigra, which was built around 18 AD.

    Day 6: Trier  - Wasserbillig - Saarburg, 23 mi. (38 km)
    Today you’ll follow the Saar river to our next destination, Saarburg. Saarburg is an intriguing old town situated in the most beautiful part of the Saar valley, where the river banks are densely forested. The castle of Saarburg was built here in the middle of the 10th century. In the town’s center we’ll encounter a 20-meter-high waterfall. At the foot of this waterfall there is an old mill driven by a stream. Most of the old houses in this part of town are fully intact and date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, giving Saarburg a picture book look. Dine in town tonight according to your own wishes

    Day 7: Saarburg - Merzig, 22 mi. (37 km)
    Your last cycling day takes you first through the Saarschleife, a natural wonder at Orscholz. From the top of the Cloef you can take in this beautiful river loop as the Saar meanders through the densely forested valley. Later you continue to Mettlach, where you can visit the famous ceramic factory of Villeroy & Boch. After that you’ll return to the barge in Merzig, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner.

    Day 8: Merzig

    Merzig to Koblenz

    Day 1: Merzig
    Day 2: Merzig – Saarburg, 22 mi. (37 km)  
    Day 3: Saarburg – Wasserbillig (Lux) – Trier, 24 mi. (38 km) 
    Day 4: Trier – Neumagen – Bernkastel, 16 or 34 mi. (27 or 54 km) 
    Day 5: Bernkastel-Kues – Traben-Trarbach – Zell on the Moselle, 27 mi. (45 km) 
    Day 6: Zell – Beilstein – Cochem, 24 mi. (39 km) 
    Day 7: Cochem – Moselkern | Moselkern – Koblenz, 26 mi. (42 km) 
    Day 8: Koblenz

    Looking for more?  View all of our featured bike and boat tours, or our full list of bike trips.

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    Tour Reviews

    • Wayne M. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      It was such a wonderful trip right from the minute we boarded the barge. The people we met, the sights, the bike paths, the weather were all wonderful.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Nicola F. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Highlights: The Mosel and Saar rivers/the Barge Merlijn

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Ruth B. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Loved cycling through wine country & hiking twice on side trip.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Cindy K. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Most Memorable Part: Scenery along the Mosel and Saar

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Paul A. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I speak as one who has done three previous bike/barge tours via Tripsite. It was marvelous, "gezellig," being the Dutch term. Capt. Rendert Jan and his excellent crew went out of their way to please the passengers, including providing a guitar for my wife to practice with. The scenery along the Mosel is like a fairy tale. The bikes ran perfectly. The food was plentiful and excellent. Considering that it was late October, even the weather cooperated--except for the first day when our small and perhaps unwise contingent got drenched. We had a bonus because it was the last trip of the season so we stayed on past Koblenz for two nights and left the Quo Vadis in Arnhem where we overnighted in a hotel in order to catch the crack high speed train to the Frankfurt airport. Said crack high speed train broke down in Cologne and we barely made our flight.

      Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Patti P. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The scenery was spectacular and our guides were knowledgeable, so much fun and made our journeys safe and memorable. This was a top notch holiday for us.

    • Marilyn P. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The scenery was amazing! Crew were excellent! Food was delicious! Can't wait to go again!

    • Chris Pavich 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      One problem became evident at the time of the one significant incident when one client while riding her bicycle down a sloping gravel road ineptly/incorrectly applied her front brake only, and somersaulted, leading to a serious leg injury. The group problem as far as I am concerned was only the lack of easy communication between the cycle group leader and the last riders in the group. The designated last rider needs a device such as a small UHF transceiver, or where mobile phone coverage is a certainty a tested/checked cellphone link, to be able to immediately alert the leader of any problems behind.

      Boat: Allure

    • Susan Donnely 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The journey was well organized. The crew were fantastic, friendly, obliging and fun. The food was world class delicious and beautifully presented at all times. Our guide was very nice and did her utmost to adapt to the differing expectations of individual riders. We loved that she also took us on evening walks after dinner.

      Boat: Allure

    • Ivy Higgs 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We were a bit late in the season so weather not great. Food brilliant.

      Boat: Allure

    • Charles Coggins 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Excellent staff, excellent food. Very professional.

      Boat: Allure

    • Dorothy Kenyon 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I loved your barge/bike trip!! Would do it again to somewhere else, but I need a travel companion!! Thats the only thing holding me back.

      Boat: Allure

    • Gregory Robinson 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Everything about the Allure and holiday was just amazing,a holiday we won't forget in a long time. The staff just so helpful and nothing was ever a trouble, bikes and our leaders just great. Thank you.

      Boat: Allure

    • Cheryl New 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      While I was totally satisfied with everything, I had to ask for a change of sheets after 2 weeks. Our cycling guides tried their best but our 1st had a little communication problem. Our 2nd was great. Overall I would go back tomorrow if I could. The food was great and plenty of it. The crew marvelous. In all a great holiday. Very easy cycling.
      "

      Boat: Allure

    • Dennis Milling 5 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Walked onto the Allure at Koblenz in Sept 2014 and immediately knew that the week ahead would be enjoyable. Skipper Martin's smiling face was ever present and the crew were simply obliging. Our cycle guide was a scream...we lost her regularly as we stopped off for the occasional German ale. It was with heavy heart that I left the Allure in Merzig 7 days later.

      Boat: Allure

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