This grand tour is a combination of two tours we offer: Bike&Barge from Koblenz to Frankfurt and our Bike&HOTEL Berlin-Dresden-Bamberg tour.
In these 2 weeks of traveling, sailing, easy biking, train rides we will guide you through the most epic scenery, countrysides, quaint villages, lively cities, history,in past and present Germany. All to be explored while we have a leisurely day of biking. No stress, no hassle, just loads of fun. Now on a special offer!
Chapter 1: First day we visit the most intact family owned medieval castle there is: Burg Eltz. Biking along the Moselle River! Then: Sailing on the Rhine through the most gorgeous part of this mighty river floating down as we sail upstream. It’s the heart of the Rhine and its villages that go back to the Middle Ages. History, great views, castles and a meandering river, it’s all here for us to bike along. Father Rhine, the greatest waterway in the world. Much more than a shipping highway, the river is the pulsing economic vein of Germany and Europe. Around every bend, legends spring to life…the plunging Lorelei cliffs, deadly Bingen Reef, the fabled site where Rheingold is buried…to name a few ancient places that touch our souls and connect us with great literature, music and history. Then at Mainz we enter the Main River, here we definitely entering into the Franconian region, with great historic villages and worldfamous cities like Frankfurt. Once almost the capital of Germany. Now full of museums and a “Mainhattan” skyline. At Friday morning we have to say goodbye to the Barge, it’s time to travel to Berlin!
The biking is easy going on paved bikepaths most of the time. It’s always safe as we avoid traffic and you are guided. If you do not feel like biking you can stay on board and enjoy a day of sailing. Our guides stop regularly and take you to the highlights on the daily tour.
Chapter 2: Easy biking. 3 world-class cities. This tour taps into the youthful and creative pulse of Germany. There is something for everyone on this BikePlanet tour! It’s also a perfect destination for non-bikers. In Berlin, we visit major sites as well as of the beaten highlights…and after four days biking, walking and exploring this capital treasures, we join the Elbe River bike path. Destination: dreamy Dresden.
Riding is flat and easy along the river as we bike through the romantic Saxony alps…where sandstone formations rise up like giants waking from a deep sleep. We pass Europe’s most northerly vineyards on our way to the Meissen porcelain factory. We finish in the former-Imperial city on the Main river in Bavaria. Medieval Bamberg is a perfectly preserved medieval gem, luckily spared from the ravages of war. It’s a journey to Germany’s greatest monuments—past and present.
Today you join the passengerbarge IRIS, docked in Koblenz and enjoy the day in town. If you arrive early enough you can join the guide for a city-walk. Cabins will be ready after 2.00 pm. You can drop off luggage after 9.30 am.
Koblenz has a beautiful “Altstadt” (old city) in the triangle between the Mosel and the Rhine River. Stroll around, join the cable car to the top op the hills and enjoy great views on the rivers and the city.
A touch of Moselle, visit of Burg Eltz
Koblenz is the place where the Moselle floats into the Rhine. Why not sail a bit on it now that we are here? Early morning sail up to Winningen, and there you start biking to the Burg Eltz. Part of it walking, as it is well hidden in the hills. This Castle is different from any other castle. It remained unscathed by wars. It has been owned and cared for by the same family from when it was built until today. Its architecture has no comparison and many of the original furnishings of the past eight centuries still remain in place. There is a Treasury and Armoury boasting world-class artworks in gold and silver. It towers high on a large rock, but is still in a valley. So you understand: we have to go there! After this great visite we will bike back to the barge, which will offer us an afternoon and dinner cruise back to Alken were we will dock for the night.
Koblenz - St. Goar
Todays bike tour first goes to the ancient city Boppard. Here the Rhine takes an amazing turn, nearly 180 degrees. Boppard has always been a visitors magnet with her precipitous vineyards and one of the nicest bank promenades on the Middle Rhine and the oldest preserved Roman fort walls to the north of the Alps.
Your destination is St. Goar, opposite famous Loreley. A ferry and a bus bring you up to the Loreley. A hiking path leads up to this lovely spot and offers a beautiful sight to the narrowest part in the romantic Rhine Valley.
First traces of human settlement have been apparent from the time the Loreley Plateau was level with the Rhine (600.000 years ago). During the Middle Ages the Loreley was well known, along with the Binger Loch, as the most dangerous section of the Rhine. Many mariners in their wooden dinghies came to tragedy here. In St. Goar, directly opposite the Loreley the Saint Goar settled to save shipwrecked mariners and nurse them back to health.
St. Goar - Ruedesheim
Our morning starts with a great sail along the Lorelei. Lights are showing us if there are ships coming down, while our ship sails upstream.
We join the bikepath again and pass by pompous castles and reach Ruedesheim. The Romans already planted there vines here! Stroll through the “Drosselgasse”, famous for its entertaining music and taste some of the wines of this wine-village. This small old “gasse” is only 144 meters long and has 37.508 paving stones. Visit the Asbach centre, home of Germans Brandy, produced locally since 1892. You’re not into brandy? They produce some great chocolate as well.
The old town, dating from the Middle Ages, and parts of the city’s fortifications like the Adlerturm (eagle tower) are maintained. Here you will find cozy traditional wine taverns in historic half- timbered houses.
Ruedesheim - Mainz
The beautiful first stage leads through rolling vineyards and well-known wine villages. The Rhine is flowing quite unhurriedly, forming little islands and broadening its bed up to 800 m width! Our destination is Mainz, where the Main river meets the Rhine.
In the afternoon there will be time to explore this interesting city. Mainz’s inner city is its pride and joy, filled with spacious plazas, lovingly restored -timbered houses and magnificent Baroque style churches. The ‘Old Town’ has a very charming and warm atmosphere
Mainz - Frankfurt
We now cycle on the cyclepaths along the Main River to Frankfurt, one of Germany’s largest cities and home to the Frankfurter Messe (Fair), home to fairs since 1240! A Trade-City, home to Banks and Stock markets. The city skyline is very contemporary due to these developments and also because of the destruction in the second World War.
Now Frankfurt is home to a many museums located at a special area at the riverside and famous for its annual Buchmesse (Book Fair).
Frankfurt - Berlin transfer
Today we will head for Berlin, the exact way how depends on the number of guests on this tour. You can check-in at our hotel in Prenzlauerberg, one of the vibrant hotspots of the former East-German part of Berlin. We gather in the hotel lobby at 9:00 pm to meet our fellow travelers and tour guides. We’ll have a relaxing cocktail and explain logistics and bike safety.
Berlin - cycletour Potsdam
Travel by S-bahn (rapid transit railway) to Potsdam for the start of our cycling journey. Potsdam was the residence of the Prussian kings and German Kaisers until 1918. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks. First goal is the Wannsee Villa where Nazi officials met to organize and implement the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. From here we visit Cecilienhof where Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met post-war. We ride through the red-brick Dutch Quarter onto Alexandrowka, a small enclave of Russian homes (including an Orthodox chapel) built for immigrants. Our final stop in Potsdam is Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany and former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. It’s Germany’s answer to Versailles. This evening features a short lecture about the Berlin Wall and Cold War. We stroll to a local restaurant and toast to a magnificent day.
Not biking? A BikePlanet guide will escort you to Wannsee Villa, Cecilienhof and Sans Soussi palace.
Berlin - the Wall
We bike along the Berlin Wall with a local guide, stopping at Checkpoint Charlie and finishing our ride at Alexanderplatz. The rest of the day is yours to explore. Berlin is a city of art and museums, parks, monumental buildings, cool neighborhoods and history at every turn. What intrigues you? The site of the SS headquarters, the Jewish museums, a stroll along Unter den Linden to Brandenburg Gate? If you’re a museum-goer, choose from 170! Berlin’s Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Hackesche Höfe is a magnificent retail complex that embodies the characteristic buzz of Old Berlin with great shopping, theaters, and cafés. Or go above the city to the “Sphere.” It’s the famous rotating restaurant in the TV Tower with a bird’s eye view!
Not biking? A BikePlanet guide walks with you along the Berlin Wall to Alexanderplatz in time to join the others.
Berlin: Liebensberg and Sachsenhausen
Today we ride through a lovely rural area of field and forest criss-crossed by small rivers and lakes. Stopping in Liebenberg for lunch at a 17th century noble estate, we learn about the part they played during WWII resistance. The head of the SS Stormtroopers, Hermann Göhring liked to hunt here. After lunch we continue to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Due to its close proximity to Berlin, SS officers trained here before moving on to oversee other work camps in the Reich. After this solemn visit, it’s back to Berlin.
Not biking? You have a longer excursion at Liebenberg and enjoy the group lunch. Then it’s your choice to visit Sachsenhausen concentration camp or return to Berlin for the afternoon.
Berlin - transfer to Dresden
Explore more of Berlin. Or, put a few miles on and pedal around the city with a local guide. Great bike paths throughout old neighborhoods and trendy new areas. The Berlin Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras in the world where Mahler, Brahms, Strauss and von Karajan all conducted. Did you know there are free concerts in the foyer on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m.? One strategy is to reserve a table at the opera restaurant and enjoy an elegant lunch while the music plays. Whatever you choose, we do meet again in the late afternoon on a train to Dresden. After dinner in the hotel, we stroll through magical Dresden on the Elbe River. Lit up at night, she’s especially beautiful in her baroque refinements—this royal residence of Saxon Kings.
Dresden - Königstein
Wake up to church bells from the Dresden Cathedral, a baroque jewel lovingly rebuilt after 90% of the historic city was leveled at the end of WWII. Our local guide shows us around, and we hit the trail along the Elbe River, riding through an expansive green paradise known as Saxon Switzerland. Ancient rock families rise out of the landscape in unusual formations, softened eons ago by ocean waves. This is also a mecca for free climbers and the thing they like to do here is Boofen, an eyebrow-raising word referring to the local tradition of “sleeping in open air” under cliff overhangs. An unusual German activity that’s common here. We pedal onward to the massive medieval fortress called King’s Rock. This former dungeon-prison played an important role in Saxony’s history. The mighty Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the hill-top fortress as a hunting lodge and secure refuge during war times. The best way to get back to Dresden is aboard the world’s oldest and largest paddle steamer. All aboard!
Dresden - Meissen
Today we bike along the Elbe River to the Meissen Porcelain Factory and observe how fine porcelain has been crafted since 1710. Thanks to local deposits of china clay (kaolin), potter’s earth and German ingenuity, Meissen porcelain was the first of its kind made outside of the Orient. The emblem on the back of every piece is two swords crossed. It’s the oldest trademark in the world! After lunch we get on a bus and travel to a more unknown little gem in Moedlareuth. Here we visit a Cold War Open Air Museum, showing us the how the separation of Germany into East and West could devide a little country village. After this visit we continue our bus ride to Marktleugast were we will have dinner and a good nights rest in a Landgasthof.
Not biking? You have more time to visit Meissen and coffee on the way to getting there.
Marktleugast - Bamberg
After our country side night, we conquer some hills and then follow the Main River crossing through countryside and little villages to arrive at Lichtenfels. Here we board the train taking us the last stretch into Bamberg. We walk to our beautiful Rezidenz hotel to check in. Dinner on the terrace if possible!
Not biking? Biking is an option today, you can explore Bamberg today
A guided walking tour in Bamberg is on the agenda today. The entire old town is a UNESCO site. After exploring, you might need to quench your thirst. Take your pick from 9 breweries and 50 beer varieties in Bamberg alone. Once the seat of temporal and religious power in the 11th century, both an emperor and a pope are entombed here. The Imperial Cathedral showcases a wealth of art including the Bamberg Horseman, a medieval stone monument that (700 years later) inspired WWII resistance fighters like Claus von Stauffenberg, Hitler’s would-be assassin. Stop and smell the roses at the Price-Bishops Palace. There’s a lovely outdoor café overlooking the baroque gardens, tiled rooftops and city church spires. The “island district” features the only town hall in the world straddling a river. For centuries, Bamberg cultivated and traded licorice root, the sweet plant that flavors candy. But even more famous are the city suds. Try the “smoked beer” from Schlenkerla Brewery.
The guided portion ends here, but your trip is not over yet! Your hotel is booked for another night, so enjoy the rest of the day to explore or relax.
Guests continuing on the extension Bike and Barge Along the Main in Sunny Bavaria are transferred at 2:00 p.m. to the IRIS.
After Sunday Breakfast your tour ends! Farewell, bye-bye!
One of the best: our comfort plus barge IRIS, sailing since 2005. Fully air-conditioned, lovely front sundeck, lounge and dining-area and selfservice Bar. Delicious 3 course dinners and packed lunches. Lots of options at Breakfast.
Your air-conditioned cabin has two comfortable beds and lots of storage (for such a small cabin!). Ensuite your private bathroom
Perfect to enjoy a cold beer or glass of Pinot Gris from our self-service Bar. In case the sundeck is not so sunny 😉
hotel Myers in Prenzlauerberg, Berlin
Myer’s Hotel Berlin offers its sixty rooms in a unique design with individuality, flair and quality in the neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, near famous Kollwitzplatz and central Alexanderplatz. This place of hospitality and culture has a lobby lounge,a terrace, an idyllic garden, and a gallery as well as the red lounge, that invites you to stay with newspapers, a good book and a drink. In the yellow salon the appealing breakfast is offered.
Changing art exhibitions in the gallery, an exhibition of sculptures of Marco Flierl in the garden and the romantic entrance courtyard will impress you!
Our hotel is located in the heart of Dresden, within a short walking-distance of the historical Old Town.
100 years ago the house served as a simple accommodation for women travelling unescorted, arriving at the Silesian train station, the future “Bahnhof Neustadt”. Most of the women came to Dresden hoping to find employment. Later the house advanced to a home for ladies, before the “Sophienschule” – a boarding school for young girls – moved in 1921.
Although today, a century later, the appearance of the house has changed considerably, it always remained true to its fundamental idea: accommodating people.
Enjoy our breakfast buffet with its extensive choice of freshly prepared dishes in peace before hours full of events in Dresden will follow.
A bright winter garden invites our guests to stay.
It’s a cosy hotel, typically German Biedermeier Style. In the vaulted cellar is a nice restaurant.
This time it’s close to the Bamberg Dom (Cathedral) we are staying, in the historic Altstadt of Bamberg. This hotel is a modern building, added to the historic buildings in the heart of the old city. Our restaurant is a historic place, one of the first to host travelers back in the late middle ages. A very special place to be once more!
Services in detail:
Your tour has been prepared into the finest of details, check “about our SERVICES” for general information
Our rates are based on one person, double occupancy of rooms/cabins
Single supplement available on request.
What’s included on this tour:
on the first week, a Bike and Barge on the IRIS tour:
- 6 nights on board
- Bed linen and towels
- 5 x dinner on board (1 on your own account)
- Packed lunches for bike trips
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide (from 18 guests 2 guides)
- Cabins cleaned daily
- Climate-controlled cabins
- Helmets, panniers and waterbottle
- Guided tour of Burg Eltz
On the second BikePlanet Tours week:
- 9 nights in hotels in Berlin, Dresden en Bamberg including breakfast
- welcome reception in Berlin
- 2x dinner in Berlin
- lunch at St. Cecilienhof
- lunch at Liebenberg
- guided Wall tour in Berlin
- guided Citytour in Dresden
- 1 x diner in Dresden
- coffee and cake on the way to Königstein
- entrance Königstein (King’s Rock)
- steamship to Dresden
- dinner on board
- entrance Meissen Porcelain Museum
- guided city walk in Bamberg
- 1 x dinner in Bamberg
- all transfers by S-bahn, train or coach
- helmets, waterbottle and paniers
What is not included on this tour:
- Bike rental: Our nice Gudereit Trekking Bike is available for 160 euro’s for this tour.
- E-bike rental: on availability: 320 euro’s for this tour.
- Excursions, Exhibitions, Dinners/Lunches not mentioned in the day to day programme
- Drinks during lunches and diners included in the programme
- Gratuities for your tourguides/vandriver
- Traveling to and from your tour
Extra night(s)* in Bamberg: € 155 (roomrate per night, double room)