Kettwig. Photo via Flickr:Eichental
Dessert in Bochum! Photo via Flickr:theatertraumbaum

Railway Bridge in Kettwig. Photo via Flickr:ralpe

Highlights of the Ruhr Valley

Germany Bike Tours

Cycle a ‘4 star’ tour in Germany!

Do not approach this cycling adventure with any preconceived notions. Germany's Ruhr Valley, in which this tour is centered, is a place with two faces. Historically, the region has always been known for its industry, but this rose to great heights and subsequently fell to great depths, leaving behind a depressed and ravaged area. From this decline, the Ruhr Valley is rising again and has been transformed into a landscaped area of parks, beautiful gardens, canals, and lakes. Many things were tried to support the Ruhr's rise and to develop a model region of renewal. Those efforts have changed the region and the results include the "Emscher Park International Building Exhibition". Between 1989 and 1999, abandoned industrial plants were turned into cultural centers and former railroad lines into bike paths. Canoes now paddle the Ruhr River. A 400-kilometer "Route of Industrial Culture" passes alongside historic factory buildings that have been turned into museums, office buildings and artists' studios. Nowadays, the 'Ruhrpott' is once more a thriving region and an enormous urban area. Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg and Essen form an inter-connecting metropolis. The old industrial ruins have been converted into cultural venues.

The 230 km long Ruhr Valley Cycle Route follows the River Ruhr from its source in Sauerland to where it flows into the River Rhine in Duisburg. The cycle tour has been distinguished by the ADFC (German Cyclists' Federation) as a "4 star quality cycle route," which combines nature and culture. The countryside is captivating with its peace and tranquility and the amazing diversity and wealth of experiences it offers.

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Where You’ll Stay

and 4  hotels

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodations for 5 nights
  • Breakfast buffets
  • Luggage transfer
  • Detailed travel documents and tourist information
  • Route descriptions and maps
  • 24 speed hybrid bike with pannier, map holder, and repair kit
  • 7 day service hotline

What’s Not Included

  • Lunches and dinners
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance

Extra Stay

Additional nights possible in any overnight towns along the route. Please request these at time of booking. Additional nights in arrival and departure hotels can be requested after initial booking.

TypeSelf Guided
Length6 days
From589 Rates
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Tour Dates

Arrivals possible on Sundays from April 3 to October 30, 2016

Skill Level

Easy, self-guided tour on signposted bicycle routes and quiet lanes. Some traffic is to be expected in the towns. The route also leads through local parks and former railways along the Ruhr cycle path. This tour is ideal for beginners, families, and groups.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Highlights of the Ruhr Valley Map

Day 1: Arrival in Witten/Herdecke
Day 2: Witten - Raum Essen-Kettwig, 34 to 48 mi. (55 to 77 km)
Day 3: Raum Essen-Kettwig - Duisburg, 22 to 28 mi. (35 to 45 km)
Day 4: Duisburg - Oberhausen - Essen (Zentrum), 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 5: Essen (Zentrum) - Bochum - Witten, 19 to 37 mi. (30 to 60 km)
Day 6: Departure from Witten

Day 1: Arrival in Witten/Herdecke
Individual arrival to Witten/Herdecke.

Day 2: Witten - Raum Essen-Kettwig, 34 to 48 mi. (55 to 77 km)
Start the first leg of the tour with a visit to the old coal mine, Zeche Nachtigall. The oldest mining steam machine was built in 1887 and can be seen there. Several historic quarry stone buildings on the Ruhr Valley Cycle Route are reminders of the mining ‘golden age’. Take the ferry across the river and cycle around the lake, Kemnader See. Continue along the Ruhr to Lake Baldeneysee and Essen where you will spend the night. Visit Villa Hügel, the former residence of the Krupp dynasty which is now a museum. 

Day 3: Raum Essen-Kettwig - Duisburg, 22 to 28 mi. (35 to 45 km)
Before continuing on your tour along the Ruhr today, be sure to visit the beautiful historic town center of Essen-Kettwig. Cycle to Mülheim on the Ruhr, where you can visit Castle Broich and the museum in the impressive 100 year old water tower, “Aquarius”. Continue along Europe’s largest river harbor to Duisburg. Compliment today’s tour with a boat ride and a cool Pils beer.

Day 4: Duisburg - Oberhausen - Essen (Zentrum), 37 mi. (60 km)
Visit the landscape garden Duisburg-North, a 200 hectare industrial brownfield. It has been developed into a multifunctional park combining the industrial cultural heritage, nature, and a fascinating light-show.
Continue on to Oberhausen where you can get a great view over the Ruhr valley from the town’s landmark, the “Gasometer”. The former iron and steel works has been converted into the CentrO-Shopping Centrer, the CentrO-Park, and the Sea Life Center and Marina. 

Cycling along the Rhein-Herne-Canal to Essen is the last leg of today's bike tour. First, cycle to Bottrop and enjoy the view from the outlook tower called the “Tetraeder”. Continue through the “garden city” of Welheim, a typical worker’s settlement in the Ruhr region. From there, cycle to Essen’s UNESCO World Heritage site and mine, Zeche Zollverein. It was built in 1932 and shut down in 1986. It was once the largest and nicest coal mine in Europe and is an international industrial monument today. Spend the night in the city centre of Essen or extend your bike tour on the Emscher-Island with the possibility to visit the Nordsternpark, the zoo of Gelsenkirchen “Zoom Erlebniswelt”, the arena of football team Schalke 04, or the Landscape park Hohenward. 

Day 5: Essen (Zentrum) - Bochum - Witten, 19 to 37 mi. (30 to 60 km)
Cycle through Gelsenkirchen and onto Erzbahn street to the festival hall in Bochum. The German mining museum invites you to admire its exhibitions and underground mine. It provides its visitors with more insight into the mining industry. Also, enjoy the fantastic view over Bochum from the building’s observation platform. Return to Witten and spend the night there.

Day 6: Departure
Individual departure from Witten.

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