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The Rhine Cycle Path from the source to the North Sea

arianta (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Rhine Cycle Path from the source to the North Sea

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

14-30

days

3-6 h

/ day

881 mi

17,625 ft

22,300 ft

The Rhine cycle path - also called Euro Velo 15 - is one of the most modern cycle paths in the world and combines Europe's diversity of landscapes. Over 766 miles (1,233 kilometers), rideable in a mere 24 stages, it takes you through four countries from the Swiss Alps to the beaches of the Baltic Sea. From Alpine panoramas to sprawling sea views, you will experience an incredible diversity of nature and culture on your journey from Switzerland to Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. The Rhine is the heart of this cycle path and changes its appearance with every mile ridden.

The Rhine cycle path begins in the Alpine village of Andermatt in Switzerland. From there, it takes you over the Oberalp Pass, where the Rhine rises, through the Alpine Rhine Valley to Lake Constance. On the shores of the picturesque lake, you cycle via Schaffhausen past the Rhine Falls to Basel and finally across the border to Germany. You ride north through the beautiful nature of the Rhine valley plain and cross the fairytale-like Middle Rhine Valley lined with romantic castles. You cycle past Cologne Cathedral to the Netherlands, where a wide landscape with polders and windmills awaits you and accompanies you as far as the Baltic Sea to the mouth of the Rhine.

Here, we show you how to cycle the Rhine cycle path in 24 stages from its source near Andermatt in Switzerland to the Rhine-Meuse delta at Hoek van Holland where the river flows into the sea. Each stage is around 37 miles (60 kilometers) long. If you have more time and would like to cycle more comfortably along the Rhine, you can simply halve the stages. The Rhine cycle path is relatively easy to cycle, with mountainous inclines only being a factor in Switzerland.

Due to the good infrastructure along the path, a multi-day ride on the Rhine is easy to organize. The starting point in Andermatt is easily reached by train. The Hoek van Holland destination also has a railway station from which you can, for example, travel to Rotterdam and start your journey home. On the road, be it in Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands, you also have the opportunity to change to public transport such as trains or ferries. This also makes it very convenient for you to cycle only sections of the Rhine cycle path. You can spend the night at campsites, youth hostels, guesthouses or hotels as you wish. In all stage destinations of the Rhine Cycle Route, you'll have several accommodation options to choose from. Along the way, numerous restaurants, beer gardens and cafés will ensure your culinary well-being and round off the varied bike ride on the Rhine cycle path.

On The Map

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The stages of the Rhine Cycle Path

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    02:14
    20.1 mi
    9.0 mph
    2,200 ft
    3,225 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Rhine Cycle Route starts in the Swiss Alps in Andermatt, where you can easily catch the train. From the village in the Ursental you cycle over the Oberalp Pass. Up to the pass at 2,046 meters you overcome about 600 meters in altitude. Once at the top you can really relax, have a drink in one of the inns and maybe warm up, because there can be snow up here in the summer.

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  • Difficult
    04:51
    41.1 mi
    8.5 mph
    2,325 ft
    4,100 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Disentis the Rhine Cycle Route takes you today on a beautiful route with breathtaking views to Chur. At the beginning it goes like the day before downhill through the …

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  • Intermediate
    02:46
    29.2 mi
    10.5 mph
    550 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Chur you will cycle along the Rhine on the third stage. He leads you through his ever widening valley. Thus, today wide views mix over open landscape with a …

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  • Intermediate
    02:39
    27.0 mi
    10.2 mph
    200 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fourth stage of the Rhine Cycle Route is almost completely flat, even a little steep. From Buchs you cycle a bit off the Rhine through wide fields and meadows. …

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  • Intermediate
    04:05
    40.2 mi
    9.8 mph
    475 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    St. Margrethen is located directly on the border with Austria, which is formed by the Old Rhine and exactly the cross you. On the Austrian side you cycle along the bank of the Rhine to the Rhine delta, where it flows into Lake Constance. Through a beautiful nature reserve, it goes back to the Old Rhine and across to Switzerland.

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  • Intermediate
    03:11
    30.6 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In Kreuzlingen you cycle very close to the border with Germany. On the other side is Konstanz, which you can pay a short visit to before the stage really starts. …

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  • Intermediate
    03:24
    32.2 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On your way out of Schaffhausen you will pass the Rhine Falls. It is worth taking a break at the largest and most water-rich waterfall in Europe and let the …

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  • Intermediate
    03:44
    33.8 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Right at the beginning of the slightly hilly eighth stage you cross the Aare shortly after Bad Zurzach. It is the largest, completely in Switzerland running river. From the bridge you can watch as the Aare flows into the Rhine. Then you cycle through wide fields directly to the banks of the Rhine, which is significantly wider here by the confluence.

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  • Easy
    01:24
    14.4 mi
    10.2 mph
    425 ft
    475 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today, a short and easy leg is waiting for you, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the highlights along the way and the stages. In Rheinfelden begins the ninth …

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  • Difficult
    05:15
    39.1 mi
    7.4 mph
    325 ft
    525 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    In Basel you follow the Rhine out of the city. He takes you across the border to Germany, where Weil receives you on the Rhine. You continue cycling along the …

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  • Difficult
    06:14
    48.1 mi
    7.7 mph
    500 ft
    675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    From Breisach you will accompany the Rhine on the eleventh stage of the Rhine Cycle Route to the north. Immediately after leaving the last houses of Breisach behind you, you …

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  • Difficult
    05:56
    54.2 mi
    9.1 mph
    600 ft
    725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    In Kehl you cycle along the Kinzig, which leads past the Rhine harbor and finally flows into the Rhine. Behind the mouth you will find idyllic riparian forests that line the Rhine Cycle Path. On your leisurely, slightly downhill drive to the north, on the left, you always have an eye on the Rhine and France on the other side of the river. To the right of you, you can see a small or larger lake shining through the trees.

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  • Intermediate
    04:28
    47.4 mi
    10.6 mph
    700 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Wörth you drive along the banks of the Altrhein to the beautiful riparian forests of the Rhine. Here you cycle on the Rhine dam through beautiful nature. After about 20 kilometers, you will reach the banks of the Rhine for the first time on this stage, where the cycle path leads you along the water. In Germersheim you leave the bank again and drive in several arches along Altrheinarmen along to Speyer.

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  • Intermediate
    04:15
    39.9 mi
    9.4 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    In a large arc you cycle along the outskirts of Ludwigshafen. Behind the gates of the city you dive into a flat field and meadow landscape, which extends on the bank of the Rhine. After the first third of the way you reach Worms. Here it is worth taking a break to explore the old town or the Nibelungen Bridge. Along the banks of the Rhine, cozy beer gardens invite you to linger.

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  • Difficult
    05:37
    54.2 mi
    9.7 mph
    800 ft
    850 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Immediately after Nierstein you drive through picturesque vineyards that stretch along the banks of the Rhine. After a few kilometers, these are replaced by wide fields that accompany you to the Mainz city limits. On the banks of the Rhine you cycle through the state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate. Here you can take a break for a while and take advantage of the wide selection of restaurants and cafes to stop by.

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  • Intermediate
    03:21
    31.6 mi
    9.4 mph
    700 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The 16th stage of the Rhine Cycle Route takes you through the picturesque Middle Rhine Valley. Right at the beginning you cycle directly along the bank of the Rhine and …

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  • Intermediate
    04:15
    41.6 mi
    9.8 mph
    675 ft
    700 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    In Koblenz at the Deutsches Eck you cross the Mosel and drive through beautiful meadows to the banks of the Rhine. The Rhine Cycle Route will take you right along the water, so you can let your gaze wander over the river and across the river. In this section, the Rhine Valley is densely populated and so you pass several places today, where you can take nice breaks.

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  • Intermediate
    03:06
    30.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    450 ft
    500 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    The stage from Bonn to Leverkusen is a bit more urban than the previous stages, but you can still look forward to beautiful sections through nature. After leaving Bonn, cross …

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  • Intermediate
    03:56
    37.9 mi
    9.7 mph
    525 ft
    575 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    The 19th stage of the Rhine Cycle Route is again largely flat and brings you today through various places and cities where you can enjoy extensive breaks. Right at the beginning you will cycle through wide fields that stretch along the Rhine. A bit off the shore you still have a nice view of the river, which you can see from afar thanks to the flat landscape.

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  • Difficult
    03:43
    36.8 mi
    9.9 mph
    375 ft
    425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Just behind Duisburg you drive to the banks of the Rhine. Here you will find a cozy guesthouse with beer garden. If you have not had breakfast yet or would …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    24
  • Distance
    881 mi
  • Duration
    93:00 h
  • Elevation
    17,625 ft22,300 ft

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The Rhine Cycle Path from the source to the North Sea