Jesko von Werthern

Culture, history and water – Kyll Cycle Route through the Eifel

Singharaja Garden - Alli

Culture, history and water – Kyll Cycle Route through the Eifel

Bike Touring Collection by Jesko von Werthern
2-3 days
2-3 h / day
75.9 mi
3,500 ft
5,075 ft

If you appreciate water in all its forms, you'll get your money's worth here: springs, a mighty reservoir and even a waterfall can be found along the Kyll Cycle Route. The route leads through the Kyll Valley and celebrates water much of the way.

In Gerolstein, the famous Gerolsteiner mineral water flows directly from a rock into your drinking bottle. However, it’s not only the fascinating waters and beautiful nature that make the Kyll Valley so attractive, there are also historical sights such as castles, monasteries and other traces of bygone days to discover here. Did you know, for example, that Charlemagne is said to have been born in the Kyll Valley? Or, that eagles and wolves live here even today? There is so much to explore on the Kyll Cycle Route.

The Kyll River meanders and loops from the Belgian border to Trier, the oldest city in Germany. It flows north to south through the beautiful Eifel mountains, flowing past some impressive castles and monasteries and through small villages before meeting the mighty Moselle River in Trier. On the way, you make unforgettable experiences in the unspoiled nature of this secluded, deep valley.

The route is almost entirely tarmaced, whilst the remaining short stretches follow paved paths. You also ride through two railway tunnels. I have divided the route into 3 stages, so the distances are also easily doable in a more leisurely tourist mode and for families. If you like more of a sporty challenge, you can complete the route in 2 days or even in one go instead. There are only a few climbs en route – the steep Kyllberg on stage 2 is the only real obstacle.

The Kyll Valley is an insider tip and anything but touristy, but civilisation is still never far away. Along the way, you pass through towns with hotels and guesthouses, and you can also find cafés and restaurants en route.

You can get to the starting point in Losheim municipality via the nearby Vennbahn Cycle Route or by public transport. The nearest train station is in Dahlem in the district of Euskirchen.

From Gerolstein, you trace the Cologne – Trier railway line to Trier on which the so-called Eifel Express runs hourly. If you run out of time or energy, a rescue station is never very far away. In Trier, you can continue on the Moselle cycle path in the direction of Koblenz or to France. Of course, trains also depart from Trier, for example to Cologne. The choice is yours.

All in all, this is a special Tour through the diverse landscapes of the Eifel that is well worth experiencing.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    02:19
    25.5 mi
    11.0 mph
    700 ft
    1,500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Losheim is right on the Belgian-German border. The Kyll rises in the immediate vicinity. In fact, there are three different source streams that unite here to form the Kyll, where your magical journey through the Eifel begins. It's mainly downhill, but there are also short climbs to conquer.Traces of the Second World War can still be seen in the border area. The cusp line of the west wall was an obstacle at that time. How good that these conditions are far in the past and that there is peace in Europe.The first of many castles along your tour is in Kronenburg. From the bank of the reservoir you have a good view of the castle and the old town.The ancient Romans built a fort in Jünkerath. Today the local iron museum commemorates the 300-year history of the foundry. Between the villages and places along the way, you can immerse yourself in the enchanting nature of the northern Eifel and really enjoy the peace and quiet.Shortly before Gerolstein you are already in the Vulkaneifel. There are eagles and wolves here. Namely on the Kasselburg with its wildlife park. It can be visited and there are air shows and the feeding of the wolves.The stage ends shortly afterwards in Gerolstein, the place of origin of the famous mineral water. Many places to stay and cafes await tired and hungry travelers here. There is also a train station on the Trier - Cologne line. The next two stages are always in the immediate vicinity of this line, so you will regularly pass train stations.

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    Intermediate
    02:32
    25.9 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,925 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Before you leave the glamorous Gerolstein behind you, you can fill up your water bottles at the Helenenquelle. Mineral water straight from the rock, it really doesn't get any fresher. The Kyll leads you out of the village on the second stage. To the left and right are impressive slopes that frame the valley and provide shade in summer. The cycle path here is very well paved throughout.If you need spare parts or repairs to your bike, I can recommend Bikesport Clemens in Birresborn. The specialty shop is right on the way and the friendly owner has already helped me out of a mess.The legendary Bertradaburg lies above Mürlenbach. The eponymous Bertrada was the mother of Charlemagne, who is said to have been born here in the 8th century. You are in the geographic center of what was then the Merovingian Franconian Empire.Just a few kilometers further, the St. Thomas Monastery, another attraction with a time-honored history, awaits you.The ride through the Dechentunnel is a different kind of experience. The cycle path divides the tunnel with the railway line, only separated from each other by a fence. At the other end of the tunnel is the tranquil town of Kyllburg.Kyllburg is located on one of many impressive river bends. The railway line disappears again in a tunnel, but this time a sporty challenge awaits cyclists. So it is a good idea to strengthen yourself in Kyllburg and maybe take a rest. Several loops of the river are shortened over a ridge. The so-called Kyllberg is the hardest climb on the entire route. The percentages are consistently in the upper single-digit range. But like every ascent, this one also has a reward: At the top there is a bench with a wonderful view and, not to forget, a descent back to the river near Erdorf.In the middle of Hüttingen there is a really unusual spectacle to marvel at. The village stream flowing towards the Kyll forms a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the village at the church.Always along the railroad tracks, it is now wavy towards the next stage destination in Philippsheim. There is only one place to stay overnight in this small town. So if you want to stay here, it is not a bad idea to book in advance. Otherwise there are several options in memory a few kilometers away.

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  • Intermediate
    02:35
    24.5 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,650 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    You leave Philippsheim and find yourself right back in the country. The Kyll describes wide loops through the landscape on its way to Trier.
    On the last stage, the Kyll cycle path trumps again with nature experiences and highlights.
    The old train station in Speicher was built from the typical Eifel sandstone and is always worth a break. In general, it is not difficult to find good places to take a break here.The next castle that comes into view is the Ramstein ruin. It can be viewed after registration. There is also a hotel with an attached restaurant.Shortly before it flows into the Moselle, there is currently (as of February 2021) a line closure between Kordel and Trier-Ehrang until the end of 2021. Therefore, the tour includes an off-grid section at this point. But you can switch to the road on the other bank. There is also a shuttle bus between the two train stations from April to October.Whatever you decide, at Pfalzel you finally reach the confluence of the Kyll into the Moselle. But the tour doesn't end there. You follow the Moselle for a while and can already admire the mighty city of Trier on the other bank.The oldest bridge in Germany, the Römerbrücke, finally brings you over to the city. Your journey on the Kyll cycle path ends there. The discoveries don't have to be over here, on the contrary. There is a lot to experience and see in Trier. It would be a real shame to get on the train or continue cycling before you have seen the famous old town around the Porta Nigra.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    3
  • Distance
    75.9 mi
  • Duration
    07:26 h
  • Elevation
    3,500 ft5,075 ft

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Jesko von Werthern

Culture, history and water – Kyll Cycle Route through the Eifel