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.
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.About three kilometers from here, the Rhine springs. A hiking trail leads to the spring, if you feel like taking a detour. Otherwise, the bike tour continues directly, which begins with a long descent. Partly you roll on serpentines and partly on dead straight lines parallel to the Vorderrhein into the valley. You can really enjoy the impressive mountain scenery of the Alps and the beautiful views of small villages. Through the green valley of the Vorderrhein you cycle comfortably to the stage destination Disentis.Tip: If the ride over the pass is too exhausting for you, you can also take the train to the summit of Oberalppass station and start the bike ride here.
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 Vorderrheintal. On some sections you cycle along the banks of the river, others lead you through sparse forests and lush green meadows. The picturesque alpine panorama is always present.After about half of the route, it's the first time that this stage is really uphill. Past steep cliffs and over dizzyingly high bridges, you cross various tributaries of the Vorderrhein, splashing into deep ravines. The Vorderrhein also flows here in a deep ravine, on which you have a breathtaking view, before you rush downhill again. In the village of Reichenau, the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein meet and continue their journey together as the Rhine. You follow the river, which leads you the last kilometers to the intermediate destination Chur.
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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 beautiful alpine scenery. After the first kilometers, which have led you almost exclusively downhill, you leave the bank of the Rhine and make a detour to a slightly hilly area at the foot of the high mountains. Grapevines grow as far as the eye can see on the sunny slopes. You cycle right through and can look forward to a pleasant break in the wine village Malans.After you have fortified yourself with regional dishes and wines, you continue cycling through the vineyards. Shortly before you reach the border with Liechtenstein, you drive back to the Rhine, cross it and roll along a gently sloping track directly along its shore. Looking at the other side of the river, you can see Liechtenstein and its capital, Vaduz. If you feel like it, you can take a short detour to the small country, because there are several bridges across the Rhine, both at the height of Vaduz and in today's stage destination Buchs.
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. Here you pass again and again charming places and villages, which lie partly directly at the foot of the still present mountains.Slowly your way snakes back to the Rhine. On smooth asphalt you roll along the gently sloping bike path directly along the shore. If you look right over the water, you'll see Austria. You can easily make a trip to the neighboring country of Switzerland, because it leads at regular intervals bridges over the Rhine. However, the bike path takes you completely on Swiss side to the stage destination St. Margrethen, which is located at the end of the Rhine Valley, on the banks of the Old Rhine.
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.On the beautiful Bodenseeradweg you now drive along the banks of the impressive lake. On the way you come through pretty places right on the water, which invite to one or the other break. You will also find a few beach bars and bathing establishments on the way to Kreuzlingen, so you can stop and take a refreshing swim in Lake Constance or just relax with a cool drink in a deck chair.
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. In Constance, the Rhine also flows out of the Obersee, which is the main lake of Lake Constance, and flows into the Untersee after a few hundred meters, on whose banks you drive from Kreuzlingen. On the right hand side you can let your eyes wander over the water and on the left hand side you can admire the wooded hills. The route also leads you through pretty little towns and bathing beaches that invite you to rest.At Stein am Rhein the river leaves the Untersee and you cross the Rhine. On the right bank of the river you cycle in a forest area over the inconspicuous border to Germany. Your visit will only last a short time and you'll be back in Switzerland. Before you reach the stage destination Schaffhausen, you drive through a part of Germany again, but a very special one: Büsingen belongs to Baden-Württemberg, but is an exclave that is completely surrounded by Swiss territory. After you've cycled through the beautiful fields of Büsingen, you roll to Schaffhausen, today's stage destination.
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 roaring Rhine take its toll on you. Afterwards you cycle through hilly terrain through wide fields and romantic forests.The highest climb leads you today directly across the Rhine near the Irchel. Between the trees of the forest you can always throw a spectacular view from above of the Rhine, which flows deep down through the valley. After a winding descent, you will reach the river valley again and drive along the banks of the Rhine for long stretches. You can enjoy the picturesque views of the water and on the other side of the river to Germany. If you are hungry or thirsty, you can always take a break in one of the cozy places on the banks of the Rhine on the way to the stage destination Bad Zurzach.
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.You follow his joyful loops and can enjoy the view over the water. To the left of you rise romantically wooded hills or wide fields extend. Every now and then you come through charming places that invite you for a leisurely break. On the right side you will be accompanied by the Rhine. The idyllic landscape on the other side of the river and the picturesque villages and villages are already in Germany, because the river forms the border between the two countries. A beautiful nature reserve with lush forest is the culmination of the stage, before you reach the stage finish Rheinfelden.
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 stage on the banks of the Rhine, which you follow a few kilometers through beautiful meadows. At the community of Kaiseraugust, you will take off from the river and cycle through the area of an ancient Roman settlement. Definitely worth a long break, because you can discover many Roman buildings in the area.Afterwards you drive through a few suburbs from Basel to the banks of the Birs. You follow the river to its confluence with the Rhine. On the beautiful Rhine promenade you cycle to the center of Basel, today's stage destination. Here you can let the market square with the red town hall on you and enjoy the last evening in Switzerland, before you cycle the next day to Germany, where the Rhine bike path continues.
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 banks of the river, taking in the view across the water to France, which is across the river.Soon you leave the last foothills of the city and dive into the beautiful nature along the Rhine. Almost the entire route to the stage destination Breisach you drive through wonderful quiet forests or wide meadows right on the river. Often you have a magnificent view of the partially natural and wild appearing Rhine. You can take a break, for example, in Neuchâtel am Rhein, which is halfway there or stop at one of the barbecue areas along the Rhine Cycle Path and take a break in the forest.
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 dive back into the beautiful riparian forests of the Rhine. Between the trees, you can see the water here and there and find some cozy swimming spots. If you prefer to swim in a lake, you have the opportunity to do so at this stage, as you will pass several lakes, including Burkheimer See and Vältinschollensee.You can always take breaks at beautiful resting places in the middle of the nature of the forest. Snacks on the banks of the Rhine invite you for a stopover. You will find various restaurants and cafes in Weisweil, the only place you will cycle through today on the way to the stage destination Kehl. From Kehl, the end of the day is worth a detour to Strasbourg, which lies on the other side of the Rhine.
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.Today you come through several small places where you can stop and stop. Also nice rest areas are located on the bike path, which invite to one or the other break. In Wintersdorf at the height of Rastatt you leave the bank of the Rhine and cycle in a large arc through wide fields and meadows. Through the beautiful nature reserve Bremengrund you approach again to the banks of the Rhine, which leads you past Karlsruhe. Here you cross the river and drive directly to the stage destination Wörth am Rhein.
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.Through beautiful fields and meadows and small forest areas it goes on idyllic tributaries of the Rhine further north. On the way you will pass several cozy beer gardens, where you can take a relaxing break. In the vicinity of the Rhine, the cycle path winds its way to the stage destination Ludwigshafen. At the end of the day you can make a little trip from here to the other side of the Rhine, where Mannheim is located.
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.Strengthened, you continue on the shore and can enjoy the view of the wide river next to you and the partly wooded shore on the other side. To the left of you are usually wide fields and now and then a small, charming place. Passing the Eicher Lake, where there is also a nice refreshment stop, you continue cycling through this picturesque landscape to the north, until today's stage destination Nierstein.
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.Through a pretty allotment garden you will return to the beautiful field and meadow landscape on the Rhine, through which you always drive near the shore to Bingen. Here you cross the Nahe and see how it flows into the Rhine. Behind Bingen, the lower Rhine Valley is waiting for you. The wooded shores and the romantic castles, perched on high rocks above the valley, are the culmination of the stage that ends today in Bacharach.
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 pass by the famous rock Loreley and many castles, which stand in the middle of the river on islands or on the other side of the bank on hills.On forested bank slopes and past charming half-timbered towns, the Rhine Cycle Route winds its way through the beautiful river valley. Refreshments and rest you have enough on this section, because in addition to cozy beer gardens on the banks also offer the villages and places along the Rhine beautiful opportunities for relaxed breaks. After a last stretch along the water you cycle through the vast Rhine meadows of Koblenz into the stage destination. At the Deutsches Eck, where the Moselle flows into the Rhine, this beautiful stage ends.
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.On the second half of the stage you will again enjoy more wooded slopes and wide fields between the villages on your left. Here you can really enjoy nature. Also, you'll pass beautiful beaches and harbors where you can stop and let the ambiance take effect on you. Through suburbs and beautifully landscaped parks, you cycle directly on the banks of the Rhine to Bonn, today's stage destination.
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 the Rhine and continue your cycling tour on the right side of the Rhine. Right on the shore you dive into beautiful nature from meadows, groves and wide fields. Again and again you drive through small and larger places that are like pearls on a string on the banks of the Rhine.Through Westhoven Aue you will reach Cologne. Here you cycle directly along the Rhine and the impressive Cologne bridges and enjoy a beautiful view of the city with the Cologne Cathedral. An extensive break, during which you explore the old town and relax, is worth in Cologne in any case. Afterwards you cycle the last kilometers of the stage on the flat bike path to the finish line Leverkusen.
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.Behind the medieval town of Zons you cross the Rhine, drive through a small grove and dive into the foothills of Dusseldorf. Through the suburbs you cycle to the center of the city, which is about halfway and thus ideal for a long break. Especially worthwhile is a stop in Dusseldorf Kaiserswerth a bit further north, where you can visit the ruins of the Imperial Palace Kaiserswerth. Strengthened you follow the bike path out of the city and drive again through an inviting landscape of wide fields and meadows, until you reach the next town: the stage destination Duisburg.
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 like to have lunch early, then this is just right. Through wide fields it then goes off the river into the nature reserve Hasenfeld and Rhine foreland, which enchants with green meadows and various lakes. Over field and pasture land you continue on the pleasantly flat Rhine cycle path. Along the way you can see some lucky cows grazing here and there on the lush meadows.About 15 kilometers before the finish you will reach Xanten. Here is worth a long break, where you can refresh yourself in one of the lakes. Even some beach bars with South Seas flair invite you to a relaxing break on the shores of the lakes. Well rested, you then cycle the remaining kilometers through flat field and floodplain landscape to the stage destination Niedermörmter.
After cycling through ten stages through Germany, you'll leave the country today and continue the cycle tour along the Rhine Cycle Route in the Netherlands. But first it goes from Niedermörmter on German soil further north and then parallel to the border along the Rhine. Emmerich am Rhein offers itself for a break. Here you can enjoy the ambience on the waterfront and relax.Strengthened it goes through wide Rhine meadows to the German-Dutch border. The border town of Millingen am Rhein welcomes you cordially in the Netherlands. Here you cross the Rhine with a ferry and continue your bike tour on the Pannerdens Canal, which then merges into the Lower Rhine. Near the shore you drive here through wide, flat meadows to the stage destination Arnhem.
In Arnhem you drive through the city to the shores of the Lower Rhine and cycle through its wide, green meadows to the west. On the way you will pass several places that invite you to take a leisurely break. Several old castles are also on the way, which you can visit.After crossing the Lower Rhine, you cycle along the island of van Maurik. At the lake there are beautiful nature, idyllic marinas and beautiful beaches where you can swim. An extended stopover is especially worthwhile on hot summer days. After enjoying the time at the lake, you will drive across the Amsterdam-Rhine-Canal and past wide meadows and fields through the flat Dutch countryside to the stage destination Geldermalsen.
From Geldermalsen you drive along the loops of the Linge. Between the small villages, which lie by the river, you will find vast meadows and fields, which you can enjoy while cycling on the absolutely flat stretches. After the first few kilometers you reach Leerdam. Here you can already take a break and taste the famous Leerdammer cheese.Afterwards you follow the Linge until you turn south and hit the Waal, which is the southern and largest branch of the Rhine. Here, too, the dammed Maas flows into the Waal. Both then continue their journey as Upper Merwede. A few miles later, this forks in the New Merwede and in the Lower Merwede. You first cross the Waal and then the dammed Maas, you can see how they merge and then you cycle in an arc across fields and small villages to the shores of the New Merwede. You accompany them through beautiful nature to the National Park De Biesbosch. Here you drive to the other side of the river and cycle the last few kilometers to the stage destination Dordrecht.
After 24 stages on the Rhine Cycle Route, you will reach the destination today: the North Sea. From Dordrecht you cycle north to avoid the metropolitan area around Rotterdam. On the way to the green you cross several rivers that flow here and there in the Rhine-Maas-Delta. Shortly before Rotterdam you drive through a beautiful polder landscape and past typical Dutch windmills. Then you meet the New Maas and follow her to Rotterdam, where you can take a long break and enjoy the maritime flair of the port city.Behind Rotterdam, you will meet again the shore of the river, now called Scheur. You cycle along the flat bike path directly along the shore and let your gaze wander over the water. It is only a few kilometers to the stage destination Hoek van Holland and to the mouth in the North Sea. Once you reach the milestone, you can be very proud of yourself. You have accompanied the Rhine from the Swiss Alps to the Rhine-Maas-Delta to the North Sea.After you have enjoyed this moment and the North Sea coast with its beautiful beaches, you can easily leave Hoek van Holland by train to Rotterdam and the ferry to England.