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Old 01-16-13, 07:58 PM   #1
jeff51
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advice wanted - european rivers trip

thinking of a european river trip for spring or fall and much appreciate advice. three or four weeks of cycling, bike path only, lazy pace, iso nice scenery and interesting excursions and of course great food wine and beer. hostels or cheap b&bs. if anyone has thoughts on rhine v danube v mosel, much appreciate the help. thanks a lot, jeff

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Old 01-16-13, 09:46 PM   #2
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If a bit ambitious, you can start in Rotteram and follow the Rhine up to its headwaters in Northern Switzerland, not far from Basel,
and not too far is the Drainage basin Divide , then you come to the headwaters of the Danube,
and you can follow that to its Delta on the Romanian Black Sea, coast

I rode a section north from Basel , and east from Linz to Passau on each river..
there are Levee top Roads to be used,
Passau to Vienna Is really Popular.

commercial campgrounds abound..

Of course in addition to Natural Rivers there are Navigation Canals to follow.

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Old 01-17-13, 06:11 AM   #3
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After having cycled the Rhine from the Netherlands to St. Goar, Germany ....... I'd recommend the Mosel. Or just about anything but the Rhine. However, if you really wanted to include some of the Rhine, I'd recommend cycling the Mosel to Koblenz, and then hanging a right and cycling up the Rhine to St. Goar or Bacharach.

The Marne is also nice ... we cycled that a few years ago. You could find the Rhine Route in Strasbourg ... we rode a few km of it there.

The Loire Valley has a good reputation.

And we would highly recommend something just a little bit different from rivers in Europe. The Velodyssey Route just opened in 2010. It is a bicycle path/cycling route from Plymouth, UK, across the channel to France, and down the west coast of France to the Spanish border.

We rode the bit from Lacanau-Ocean to La Rochelle, and also an extra bit from Bordeaux out to Lacanau-Ocean, and loved it.

If you are into beaches at all, that's a great choice.

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Old 01-17-13, 11:39 AM   #4
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My wife and I have cycled the Danube twice, from Salzburg to Vienna. We're considering doing it again, this time to Budapest. Had a wonderful time on both trips, no issues, great food, great people and great beer!
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Old 01-17-13, 01:52 PM   #5
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I have a different perception and experience on the Rhine than Machka and Rowen had. As part of our route in 2011 we rode the Rhine Route from Waldshut, Germany on the Swiss border to The Netherlands. I thought the route was excellent with a lot of variety and history. A portion of the route is classified as a World Heritage Site with views of 30-40 castles in about the same amount of miles. However, we diverted from the route at Kalkar, Germany just before the Border with The Netherlands and entered the country near Nijmegen. We did this to miss the majority of the industrialized areas, especially Rotterdam. I believe that is why our perceptions of the route are different. We rode the best part of the route, and they rode the most industrialized portion. Instead we headed south into Belgium, and made a large loop back along the coast to the north, and eventually back down to Amsterdam. My opinion is based on a riding through 7 European countries starting in Lisbon Portugal and ending in Amsterdam, NL with the Rhine being an enjoyable part of the venture. We traveled along portions the Rhone, Saone, and Doubs Rivers in France; and the Aare River in Switzerland as well as the Maas River in The Netherlands. IMO-The route along the Rhine is on a par with any of these other rivers. They all had their pluses and minuses. We actually started thinking of our ride as a river tour until we hit the Alps

Friends of ours just returned from cycling a portion the Rhine Route south from Koblenz and thought it was great. I would seek some other opinions before dismissing the Rhine Route. It is an easy route to follow, which was good because we never found a map for the route. However, I did have a GPS that we used when deviating from the route and for side trips.

The route my wife and I are looking at for next summer is Eurovelo Route 6. It follows the Danube from Nantes, France; and ends up on the coast of the Black Sea at Constanta, Romania. You might look at a portion of this route for a shorter tour.

Some of our best serendipitous moments on the Rhine occurred north of Koblenz. We were surrounded by the participants of a parade we just ran into in a little town near Nuess, Germany. While my wife chatted with one of participants-- what else, but about bike touring, I was offered 4 beers in 5 minutes while talking to these folks; It was a wonderful, and very memorable experience. The people were great! Serendipity happens if you allow it. Don't discount the Rhine.


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Old 01-17-13, 02:43 PM   #6
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We did 4 days on the Mosel until Koblenz, then cycled up the Rhine to Worms. The Mosel was enjoyed more than the section of the Rhine. We left the Rhine when it started to become unattractive.

We then cycled some of the Neckar which was enjoyed before carrying onto the Danube which was also enjoyed for the section we cycled. Overall, I would recommend the Mosel and the Danube based on our experiences, although we did not travel the entire length of either.
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Old 01-17-13, 07:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jeff51 View Post
thinking of a european river trip for spring or fall and much appreciate advice. three or four weeks of cycling, bike path only, lazy pace, iso nice scenery and interesting excursions and of course great food wine and beer. hostels or cheap b&bs. if anyone has thoughts on rhine v danube v mosel, much appreciate the help. thanks a lot, jeff

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You really can't go wrong with any of these, given your criteria.
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Old 01-20-13, 03:03 AM   #8
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The river bike paths of Germany are second to none! The Mosel, the Danube, the Elba, the Lahn, the TAUBER! The Fulda, the Weser, I could go on. We have the best map guide books, Bikeline from Esterbauer. They take all the work out of planning and make it an absolute joy.

The Loire in France is also beautiful.
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Old 01-20-13, 03:12 AM   #9
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I don't believe it's the Dead See you'll find at the end of the Danube, but then again, I'll never question a man who tours in white tie and tails!

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The route my wife and I are looking at for next summer is Eurovelo Route 6. It follows the Danube from Nantes, France; and ends up on the coast of the Dead Sea at Constanta, Romania.
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Old 01-20-13, 10:41 AM   #10
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I don't believe it's the Dead See you'll find at the end of the Danube, but then again, I'll never question a man who tours in white tie and tails!
Thanks, Would you believe the Black Sea. Spellcheck does not do a very good job checking my geography. Yah, my bike clothes were dirty and I had to wear my "off bike" duds for awhile

It is a Schutzenfest (Shooters festival), a tradition that has been carried on for 140 years in this town and longer in the area. They have a parade 4 evenings in a row. It is a warm up for the larger regional gathering in Neuss at the end of August.

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We have the best map guide books, Bikeline from Esterbauer. They take all the work out of planning and make it an absolute joy.
We just purchased a Bikeline book , Cycling Guide Danube Bike Trail, Donaueschingen to Passau, last week to see if it is something we would want to use. Your are correct. It looks to be an excellent resource for trip planing.

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Old 01-20-13, 10:54 AM   #11
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and it would appear that you shaved off your moustache as well, too bad, I think it would have suited the suit.

re the Eurovelo Route 6, Doug (and others) I recall reading about this in one of Leo Woodlands CGOAB journals. It may have been from a few years back, but I recall him writing that in places it was well indicated, but in others it was not. It is perhaps more developed now vis-a-vis signage and whatnot, but I am sure it is easy to find current info on it and/or current reports of people following it.
Of Mr. Woodlands journals, they are a lot of fun to read in any case, and he may have mentioned this route in more than one of them.
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Old 01-20-13, 11:57 AM   #12
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Indispensable!

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We just purchased a Bikeline book , Cycling Guide Danube Bike Trail, Donaueschingen to Passau, last week to see if it is something we would want to use. Your are correct. It looks to be an excellent resource for trip planing.
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Old 01-20-13, 12:17 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=jeff51;15165418]thinking of a european river trip for spring or fall and much appreciate advice. three or four weeks of cycling, bike path only, lazy pace, iso nice scenery and interesting excursions and of course great food wine and beer. hostels or cheap b&bs. if anyone has thoughts on rhine v danube v mosel, much appreciate the help. thanks a lot, jeff

Did our own tour up the Rhine from Frankfurt to Koblenz then down the Mosel to Trier. A fantastic trip. mostly well signed paths.Lots of villages along the way,so easy to find places to eat and stay.


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Old 01-20-13, 12:25 PM   #14
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Dont forget the Stasbourg area in Alsace France ( my home town) great rides along the vine roads to Basel then back up along the rhine etc.
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Old 01-20-13, 04:49 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Doug64;15167761]I have a different perception and experience on the Rhine than Machka and Rowen had. As part of our route in 2011 we rode the Rhine Route from Waldshut, Germany on the Swiss border to The Netherlands. I thought the route was excellent with a lot of variety and history. A portion of the route is classified as a World Heritage Site with views of 30-40 castles in about the same amount of miles. However, we diverted from the route at Kalkar, Germany just before the Border with The Netherlands and entered the country near Nijmegen. We did this to miss the majority of the industrialized areas, especially Rotterdam. I believe that is why our perceptions of the route are different. We rode the best part of the route, and they rode the most industrialized portion. Instead we headed south into Belgium, and made a large loop back along the coast to the north, and eventually back down to Amsterdam. My opinion is based on a riding through 7 European countries starting in Lisbon Portugal and ending in Amsterdam, NL with the Rhine being an enjoyable part of the venture. We traveled along portions the Rhone, Saone, and Doubs Rivers in France; and the Aare River in Switzerland as well as the Maas River in The Netherlands. IMO-The route along the Rhine is on a par with any of these other rivers. They all had their pluses and minuses. We actually started thinking of our ride as a river tour until we hit the Alps

Friends of ours just returned from cycling a portion the Rhine Route south from Koblenz and thought it was great. I would seek some other opinions before dismissing the Rhine Route. It is an easy route to follow, which was good because we never found a map for the route. However, I did have a GPS that we used when deviating from the route and for side trips.

Also found the Rhine was great south of St Goar all the way to Frankfurt. A little more industrial around Frankfurt, but nothing bad.

If you sty in Bernkastel-Kuez on the Mosel, try a detour north to Wittlich and further north. There are volcanic lakes (which I personally did not get to) and I believe there is a bike bus you can take up and then ride back. Although hard to find, there is a roman ruin just outside Wittlich that is interesting, if you like that type of thing, as not a tourist attraction - under a big bridge that was a problem to build when they found the ruins.

You can also do a detour up into Luxembourg towards Vianden. Nice path, I think called three rivers, but gets hillier closer to Vianden.
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Old 01-20-13, 08:31 PM   #16
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The Rhone is also a good choice. We cycled along the Rhone in Switzerland, and that was very nice. You could take a train to Evian, then cycle the road to the France/Switzerland border. At the border the bicycle path starts, and then you can cycle all the way past Martigny and Sion. When you're in that area, you can do side trips to Chamonix/Mont Blanc and Zermatt/Matterhorn. Beautiful!!
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Old 01-21-13, 12:11 PM   #17
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Oh yes, but I was including Strasbourg as part of Germany, as I always do, in my mind at least.

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Dont forget the Stasbourg area in Alsace France ( my home town) great rides along the vine roads to Basel then back up along the rhine etc.
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