Eifel, Rhine and moated castles - the Erft cycle path in 2 stages

Bike Touring Collection by
komoot

The Erft, a small river, meanders romantically through the Eifel and the Rheinische Bucht. Its route could hardly be more varied, because when you trace it, you will meet many witnesses from the rich history of the country. Roman buildings that survived 2000 years, medieval city walls that stood the test of time, baroque moated castles that still shine splendidly and places of modern art and industry.

In this Collection, we have divided the Erft cycle path into two day-trips of medium difficulty for you, with the starting and finishing points easily accessible by train. Some sections on natural or gravel paths can be a bit exhausting. Often there is also the possibility to take a paved cycle path parallel to it, but this does not always lead directly along the river. If you extend the ride to three or four days, it is very easy and also suitable for families.

The first stage is dominated by the Eifel. The Erft is embedded in the gentle hills of the popular low mountain range and flows through several medieval treasures. The second stage takes you through the Rheinische Bucht, Germany's richest area of moated castles. Fortified castles and splendid palaces await you along the cycle path.

The Tour begins at Nettersheim station, which is excellently connected by several regional trains, then leads you from the source to the mouth and ends in Neuss, where long-distance and local trains stop.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    04:07
    38.2 mi
    9.3 mph
    725 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to carry your bike.

    You start your journey through the most water-rich region of Germany in the heart of the Eifel at the train station Nettersheim. Many direct trains from Cologne and Trier make traveling easier. Alternatively, you can also start at Blankenheim (Wald) station and drive six kilometers on an unpaved road along the Urft, past witnesses of Roman history to Nettersheim.After a good half hour from Nettersheim you will reach the first highlight of your tour, the Erftquelle. Here the young river gushes out of the rock and accompanies you to its mouth in the Rhine.In the upper reaches several medieval villages line your way. One of the most beautiful is Bad Münstereifel. An almost completely preserved city wall encloses the center with the half-timbered houses, which is crossed by the Erft.The marketplace of Euskirchen is one of the medieval gems of the region. Not far from the village, a little off the track, you will find the curiosity of the place, the so-called only bridge, a bridge that just stands there.During the afternoon, the track is increasingly flat. Dirt roads and bike paths alternate along the river and you will always discover small and large castles and ruins.Your first day ends in Liblar, known for its remarkable moated castle. The place is located at the southern end of the Rhenish lignite mining area. The area around Liblar was recultivated and many lakes and paths through the forest invite you to stroll and linger. You will also find a campsite and a train station next to a few places to stay if you want to interrupt your journey.

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  • Intermediate
    04:49
    43.6 mi
    9.1 mph
    375 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your today's completely flat stage is all about the water castles and starts with a blast, the castle Gracht, one of the most outstanding moated castles of the route.It follows a beautiful and shady bike path right on the Erft. The path meanders romantically to the left, sometimes to the right of the river, and the castles and palaces on the Erft are like pearls on a chain.The passage through Grevenbroich, the place is known for many thanks to the art figure Horst Schlämmer, is very varied. On the one hand you can see in a short section that brown coal mining has a long tradition, on the other hand, the city offers countless parks and green spaces perfect conditions for cycling. A short detour to the zoo is especially, but not only, interesting for children. Next to it are several medieval buildings and mansions.Next it goes partly directly to the Erft, in part, the path runs parallel to her. On the river island Hombroich, an artist skillfully reconciled nature, art and architecture and created a very special open-air museum.Now follow the last bit until the Erft after a good 106 kilometers is swallowed quite unspectacular from the Rhine and you have accompanied the river on the way from the source to the mouth. We'll take you to Neuss, where you can spend the night or take the train home.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    2
  • Distance
    81.8 mi
  • Duration
    08:55 h
  • Elevation
    1,100 ft
    2,575 ft