Cochem, Reichsburg Castle and the Mosel River in Germany. Photo via Flickr:Frans Berkelaar

The famous Cathedral in Metz, France. Photo via Flickr:Jesper2cv
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Metz to Cochem

France, Luxembourg, Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Bike through 3 countries along the Moselle River!

Start biking in France at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers in the town of Metz, designated a 'town of art and history' because of its tremendous historical and cultural background. In Metz, you will discover much art and history! The city is home to some world-class venues such as the Arsenal concert hall, the Centre Pompidou-Metz museum, and the National Opera of Lorraine (along with the Nancy Opera.)

The Luxembourg bike trip begins in Remich, one of the quaintest towns in Europe. It is surrounded by vineyards, which produce the majority of wines in Luxembourg. It is actually known as “la perle de la Moselle”, and is well known for not just its wines but it riverside esplanade as well. On to Trier, the oldest town, founded before the 16th century. Trier lies in a valley between low vine-covered hills of ruddy sandstone near the German border with Luxembourg and within this important Mosel wine-growing region.

Your bike tour in Germany will start in Cochem, deep in the most romantic part of the Moselle River Valley. Wander the narrow streets and twisting alleys lined with lovingly restored half-timbered houses with slate roofs. Gaze upon the medieval town gates, churches, and walls and visit the old market place. Be sure to sample the region's excellent variety of Riesling wines.

This cycling holiday in Europe offers a biking experience through 3 countries! Be sure to look over our full list of bike and barge tours in Germany.

Tour Dates

2016
Cochem to Metz: June 18July 30, and August 27, 2016

Metz to Cochem: October 15, 2016*

*Discount now being offered. Please see pricing.

2017
Cochem to Metz: July 29 and August 26, 2017

Metz to Cochem: August 5, September 2, and October 14, 2017

Where You’ll Stay

Aboard the Comfort Plus Class boat, the Iris

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • 7 x breakfast, 6 x packed lunches, 6 x three course dinner
  • 11-speed hybrid bicycle equipped with bike bag and water bottle
  • Helmets
  • Tour guide (2 guides offered for groups over 18)
  • Bus transfer to Daun
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Bed linens and towels
  • Bicycle protection
  • Limited amount of Wifi available with the option to purchase additional data
  • Also included in 2017
  • Entrance to castle Cochem

What’s Not Included

  • 1 dinner
  • Trip insurance
  • Drinks other than those mentioned
  • Entrance fees and excursions not mentioned
TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1185 Rates
Client Reviews

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Skill Level

This is an easy guided bike and boat tour in Europe on mostly flat terrain.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Metz to Cochem Map

METZ TO COCHEM

Day 1: Arrival in Metz
Day 2: Metz - Remich, 19/31 mi. (30/50 km)
Day 3: Remich - Saarburg, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 4: Saarburg - Trier, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 5: Trier - Bernkastel-Kues, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 6: Bernkastel-Kues, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 7: Bernkastel-Kues - Zell - Cochem, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: Departure from Cochem 

Day 1: Arrival in Metz
Boarding time begins at 1:00 PM. There is a welcome meeting at 1:30 PM. 

Day 2: Metz - Remich, 19/31 mi. (30/50 km)
You will enjoy breakfast while you sail. The first opportunity to cycle today is from the lock of Talange. This route goes through the French countryside but it is also possible to stay on board a bit longer and start from Thionville. Via the beautiful valley of the Mosel, you bike across the French border into Luxembourg,  passing the castle of Sierck-les-Bains, beautifully situated on the banks of the Mosel river. On top of the hill, there is a castle from the 11th century, which was at stake in the battle between the duke of Lorraine and the archbishop of Trier in the 12th century. Overnight is  in Remich. Here the Mosel forms the border between Germany and Luxembourg with Remich on  Luxembourg ground. Close to Remich, you may visit the small village of Nenning and can visit an old roman mansion. The nearly undamaged mosaic floor in the party hall is extremely beautiful. After dinner, you can join a little ‘cremant’ tasting. Cremant is the sparkling white wine Remich is famous for.

Day 3: Remich - Saarburg, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today's route follows the valley of the Mosel and Saar to the north to visit charming Saarburg. On the way, there is an opportunity to  visit a winecellar to taste the fresh Mosel white wine. Saarburg is an interesting old town situated in the most beautiful part of the Saar valley. The banks of the river are densely forested. The castle of Saarburg was built here in the 10th century. In the middle of town there is a waterfall of 20 meters high. At the foot of this waterfall there is an old mill, which is driven by the small river. In this part of town most of the old houses from the 17th and 18th century are still intact.

Day 4: Saarburg - Trier, 22 mi. (35 km)
Today's desitination is Trier, an interesting and lively city, the oldest city in Germany. According to the Romans, Trier was founded around 15 B.C.  by Caesar Augustus under the name of Augusta Trevorum. As a trading town and administrative center, Trier flourished during the late imperial age. This Roman golden age has left us with a respectable number of monuments. Most authentici is the Porta Nigra, Black Gate, once a part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city. It is today the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps and has been designated a World Heritage Site. This evening you are free to enjoy the city and dine on your own.

Day 5: Trier - Bernkastel-Kues, 31 mi. (50 km)
From Trier, downstream, you will encounter lovely vineyards. The white Mosel wine is known far and wide. Continuing on  past Trittenheim and Piesport, both quite interesting.  Piesport produces a number of beautiful white wines, especially the ‘Piesporter Goldtröpfchen. Trittenheim lies in a sharp hairpin turn in the Mosel. It is surrounded by mountains covered with extensive vineyards. The Laurantiuskapelle with its gothic choir is sitting right in the middle of the vines.Today's destination is Bernkastel-Kues. Bernkastel is a frequently visited, old and picturesque town, with the best wine regions of the Mid-Mosel. Visits to wine cellars is on the agenda and the opportunity to experience and  relish the wine. Pride of the town is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses.

Day 6: Bernkastel-Kues, 28 mi. (45 km)
This morning, a shuttle bus takes you (approximately 45 minutes) through the Eifel Valley to the city of Daun. From there, take an exhilarating bike ride along a former railway track that is now a cycling path. The ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges, and by small lakes formed from volcano craters, known as maars. On the way, we can stop in Strohn for a visit to a small volcano museum. The region is scattered with “young” volcanoes about 12,000 years old.

Day 7: Bernkastel-Kues - Zell - Cochem, 28 mi. (45 km)
During breakfast, you sail to Traben Trarbach. Traben-Trarbach is surrounded by woods and extensive vineyards and is the major center of wine trade in the Mosel region. This little city has some interesting art nouveau buildings. Biking from Zell, beautifully situated on the Mosel, the river meanders through the hills in many loops. The Hoherott (452 m) and the Corrayer Berg (425 m) are the best-known wine regions. Final destination is Cochem, a cozy and characteristic Mosel town, with steep wine mountains, wooded hills, medieval fortresses and a picturesque center with beautiful timber-framed houses. The fortress houses a museum that is worth a visit.

Day 8: Individual departure from Cochem

COCHEM TO METZ

Day 1: Cochem
Day 2: Cochem - Zell - Bernkastel, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Bernkastel-Kues, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 4: Bernkastel-Kues - Trier, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 5: Trier - Saarburg, 22 mi. (35 km) 
Day 6: Saarburg - Remich, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 7: Remich - Metz, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Departure from Metz  

Day 1: Cochem
After arriving on board, the crew will welcome you with a drink and an introduction to the week ahead.  Following dinner is a town walk through Cochem, a cozy and characteristic Mosel town, with steep wine mountains, wooded hills, a mediaeval fortress and a picturesque center with beautiful timber-framed houses. 

Day 2: Cochem - Zell - Bernkastel, 31 mi. (50 km)
During breakfast the Iris will cruise to Beilstein. From here your bike tour starts and you follow the Mosel upstream to Zell.
Zell is beautifully situated on the Mosel, where the river meanders through the hills in many loops. The Hoherott (452 m) and the Corrayer Berg (425 m) are the best-known wine regions and Zeller Schwarze Katz is a legendary Mosel Wine. You continue to Traben-Trarbach. This little town has some special art nouveau buildings and is the major center of wine trade in the Mosel region. From Traben, you cruise to Bernkastel-Kues. Bernkastel is a frequently visited, old and picturesque town, with the best wine regions of the Mid-Mosel. Pride of the town is the market square, with its picturesque timber-framed houses. A walk to the castle offers a beautiful view.

Day 3: Bernkastel-Kues, 28 mi. (45 km)
This morning, a bus will take you (approximately 45 minutes) through the Eifel Valley to the city of Daun. From there, enjoy an exhilarating bike ride along a former rail way track that is now a cycling path. The ride includes stretches through tunnels, over bridges, and along small lakes formed from volcano craters, known as maars.
On the way, you can stop in Strohn for a visit to a small volcano museum. The region is scattered with “young” volcanoes about 12,000 years old. Following dinner, stroll to the fascinating cellar of Josef Zimmermann for a winetasting. 

Day 4: Bernkastel-Kues - Trier, 31 mi. (50 km)
Upstream from Bernkastel, you'll see many vineyards stretched out for miles. Today, the barge cruises past Piesport and Trittenheim. Piesport produces a number of beautiful white wines, one of them is the famous ‘Piesporter Goldtröpfchen. Trittenheim lies in a sharp hairpin turn in the Mosel. It is surrounded by mountains covered with extensive vineyards. The Laurantiuskapelle with its gothic choir sits right in the middle of the vines. In Schweich, board the barge and cruise the rest of the way toTrier, an interesting and lively city, and the oldest city in Germany. According to the Romans, Trier was founded around 15 BC by Caesar Augustus under the name of Augusta Trevorum. As a trading town and administrative center, Trier flourished during the late imperial age. A number of monuments still exist from this Roman Golden Age. Most authentic is the city gate Porta Nigra, which was built around 18 AD. Trier has also some interesting churches and a cathedral, a colorful baroque city center and a rococo palace. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the local restaurants of Trier. 

Day 5: Trier - Saarburg, 22 mi. (35 km) 
Today, follow the Saar river to our next destination, Saarburg. Saarburg is an interesting old town situated in the most beautiful part of the Saar valley. Here the banks of the river are densely forested. The castle of Saarburg was built here in the middle of the 10th century. In the middle of town, is a wonderful waterfall of 20 meters high. At the foot of this waterfall there is an old mill, which is driven by the small river. In this part of town, most of the old houses from the 17th and 18th century, which give Saarburg such a picturesque look, are still intact. Enjoy a town walk following dinner.

Day 6: Saarburg - Remich, 31 mi. (50 km)
From Saarburg, follow the valley of the Mosel to the south into the direction of Remich. Here the Mosel forms the border between Germany and Luxembourg. Here you can taste the Luxembourg Elbling wine which is said to be softer than the German Riesling. You will also have the opportunity to visit a unique Roman mosaic floor in Nennig.

Day 7: Remich - Metz, 25 mi. (40 km)
Today’s tour leads you via the beautiful valley of the Mosel across the French-German border. First, pass the castle of Sierck-les-Bains, beautifully situated on the banks of the Mosel river. On top of the hill there is a castle from the 11th century, which was at stake in the battle between the duke of Lorraine and the archbishop of Trier in the 12th century. Cycle to bike to Thionville, a versatile city with an eventful past. First and foremost, Thionville is the center of steel industry of old. But the old city center shows us the old ramparts, the beautiful St.-Maximin church, and the château de la Grange. Thionville is also part of the Maginot line, an enormous line of defence, built early in the 20th century against a possible German invasion. Around lunchtime,  join the barge at Thionville and cruise to Metz, “la ville jaune” (yellow city), so called because of its yellow sandstone buildings This city is strategically situated between Côtes de Moselle and the Plateau Lorrain. These days, the rich medieval city is a traffic junction, an administrative center, a center of learning, but especially a lively center of trade. A visit to the St.Etienne Cathedral, one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in France, is a must. This cathedral sits in the middle of the old city center, where shopping is also excellent.

Day 8: Departure from Metz  

*All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc

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Customer Feedback

  • Mark G. 3 weeks ago

    Overall a great trip and experience. The Mosel exceeded my expectations.
    Collaborative and friendly staff; very good chef, very good captain and crew. Host was efficient but not overly friendly. Bike tour guide was ok but not very organized.

  • D. Fish 3 months ago

    The trip was enjoyable. Only drawback was that follow along Moselle River, some of the scenery of the vineyards became boring after a while. On previous trips we traveled more inland, seeing sights and then meeting up with barge at next destination.

    Boat: Iris

  • C. Morrison 3 months ago

    Had a wonderful time. The staff was very accommodating in making modifications due to the previous heavy rains and high water. The last day bike tour of Metz was disappointing in that it is a very difficult city to navigate on bikes with a number of people.

    Boat: Iris

    • Jehiel 3 months ago

      Hi C. Morrison,
      Im sorry that you were disappointed with the last day of riding. I can assure you that your safety is one of our top priorities and we try our best to ensure routes are safe and easy to navigate. In spite of the rain, I hope your overall experience was positive!

      Boat: Iris

  • Richard Oliver 3 months ago

    We sailed on the Iris, from Cochem to Metz, 18-25 June. It was a most delightful and joyful experience. Even with initial high water from unseasonal flooding and occasional detour from the bike paths, it was an incredibly memorable experience -- the crew, the tour guides, the food were all top notch, and the camaraderie among the other bikers was phenomenal. Special thanks to our two bike leaders and guides, Roelie and Wouter, who were fantastic in making the rides safe and mostly easy, and with an in-depth knowledge of historical sites. A special treat was having the ship's owner on board, Lenny was very engaging and most pleasant. Aline, the chef, served delicious meals, especially the final banquet was a true feast! Again, our thanks to Lenny and the entire Iris crew.

    Boat: Iris

  • Arthur Armstrong 10 months ago

    The trip was one of the best I have taken.

    Boat: Iris

  • Sydney Cullis 10 months ago

    superb all round -organisation, food, scenery , amusing but booking proceedure not very efficient

    Boat: Iris

  • Terry Benson 11 months ago

    Had a wonderful time. Only problem was the weather, very very cold.

    Boat: Iris

  • Lois Requist 11 months ago

    The guides are young and very athletic. People who sign up for this level of bicycling aren't usually top bikers, unless they are doing it to be with friends or spouse. I think a bit more thought could be put into the introductory ride the first day, bridge crossings, sudden merging into traffic, sudden turns to go steeply uphill. I've done much longer bike rides, but at this age, I didn't want that much challenge.

    Boat: Iris

  • Vic Lumby 11 months ago

    One of the best holidays we have ever experienced. Great cycling along the Moselle with excellent and knowledgeable guides and then returning tired but exhilarated to an most welcoming environment on the barge - the IRIS. Meals were excellent and entire crew and owner went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed the total experience. Would recommend this trip to anyone. We will be back for more.

    Boat: Iris

  • Margaret Munro 11 months ago

    Even for a novice biker I was looked after and given the opportunity to cycle shorter legs and enjoy the sailing on the boat. Bikes - we had a couple of bikes that had gear problems, otherwise they were fine.

    Boat: Iris

  • Steve Moorhouse 4 years ago

    Absolutely loved the trip on board the Merlijn. Wonderful staff and amenities on board, met a great like minded group of travelling companions. As a coeliac, the crew were very attentive and ensured all my dietary needs were met. Nothing was too much trouble.

    As for the cycling and the scenery....what can I say? It was magic cycling along quiet bikeways through the vineyards and small villages, at all times in sight of the wonderful Moselle River.

    Last but not least...the wine selection and quality on board the Merlijn was the best (and very well priced).

    Already thinking about our next bike and barge tour...with the great help from Tripsite (of course).

    Boat: Iris

  • Ann Vess 4 years ago

    If you picked a tour aboard the Merlijn for your next vacation, you made the perfect choice. It is not just a barge, it is a luxury barge. The ride through the Mosel Valley is stunning with the vineyards and quaint towns. But, beyond that it is the specialness of your hosts, Jantien and Henk that make this an outstanding experience. Jantien's warmth, humor and attention to detail is amazing along with the delicious meals she prepares. When you come away from the trip, you are left with wonderful memories and you feel like you were entertained in the home of a close friend.

    Boat: Iris

  • Diane Reck 4 years ago

    This trip is all and more. There is a good balance of seeing nature at it's most beautiful as you follow the Mosel River and you go through many villages and see historic sites, and taste wine. You take many stops and the miles are spread out through the day so it isn't a hard, tiring bike ride either. This is a trip of a lifetime and great staff and people. The food on the boat is out of this world and the dinner table is set so beautifully! The barge is the way to go!

    Boat: Iris

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Metz to Cochem Boats + Barges

Iris Photo

Iris France, Germany Comfort Plus Class Boat The Iris was put to sea in April 2005. She is a refitted freight barge that accommodates 24 overnight passengers. The interior of the Iris is fresh, tasteful and comfortable. The Iris can navigate on most rivers and canals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. On the top deck you will the lounge, a roomy sitting area, a cozy bar and a sun deck. The whole barge has central heating and air-conditioning.

PWPC