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A ride through Germany's Castle Country — from the Rhine to the Eifel and back

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A ride through Germany's Castle Country — from the Rhine to the Eifel and back

Bike Touring Collection by Wasserburgen-Route

8

Tours

26:34 h

246 mi

8,500 ft

Want to visit age old castles nestled along the shores of pristine lakes? Want to get lost in history amongst the ruins of once-mighty castles? If this sounds like your idea of a good time, this route will make your smile grow larger the longer you stay on it. And it will teach you a thing or two about this mighty region’s past.

Winding from the Rhine, through to Aachen and across to the Eifel mountain range, this 400 km (250 mi) circular route takes you straight through the Germany’s castle country. With 120 of these ornate, ancient buildings to see along the way, there’s always a point worth stopping off at—and there’s always something age-old to discover. On the way, you’ll glide across idyllic river landscapes, through picturesque historical towns, past half-timbered houses and straight through the glorious mining traditions that made this region great, before returning to your starting point near Bonn.

As the landscape itself is predominantly flat, this route is also suitable for beginners and experts alike. You’ll ride around 20 to 70 km (12 to 45 mi) per day and, should you get tired at any point, can simply hop on the train at one of the numerous stations you’ll ride past each day.

For those that want to make the route a little tougher, or are simply open to a few surprises, you can choose to extend the route in numerous places. You can, for example, continue your journey into the Eifel national park near Heimbach, cycle along the Erft cycle path, or simply continue along the Rhine towards Cologne. Whatever you decide, however, this flat, flexible route guarantees a few things for all who ride it: history, beauty and a whole ton of fun.

This route is recommended in the brochure "Deutschland per Rad entdecken" by the ADFC (German Cyclist's Association) and is ranked as a quality cycle route with three stars. More information (in German): adfc.de/artikel/radurlaub-als-sternstunde

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Wasserburgen-Route

234 mi

8,250 ft

8,250 ft

Last updated: December 13, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:40
    26.6 mi
    10.0 mph
    850 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Wasserburgen route immediately lives up to its name on the first 39-kilometer stage: Among other things, you will pass by the water castles of Gudenau, Lüftelberg and Morenhoven, as well as several mills.

    

    The official starting point of the Wasserburgen Route is the Bonn district of Bad Godesberg

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  • Intermediate
    03:52
    36.1 mi
    9.3 mph
    250 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today's stage is determined by the river Erft and its idyllic riverbanks. From Euskirchen you cycle almost always on the Erft cycle path in the direction of the Erft about 56 kilometers to the north. In addition to numerous beautiful shorelines in nature reserves, water locks and castles are also the highlight on this stage.

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  • Intermediate
    03:12
    28.1 mi
    8.8 mph
    500 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Bedburg an der Erft it is on this approximately 45-kilometer stage to Jülich on the river Rur written (without "h", and sometimes referred to as "Eiffel Rur"). Also on this stage, some beautiful castles and moated castles accompany your way - the relatively looped route also stems from the fact

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  • Difficult
    05:00
    44.5 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today it's time to pedal hard. The longest stage of the Wasserburgen Route takes you on a journey of about 70 kilometers from the town of Jülich to the old imperial city of Aachen. The first 35 kilometers are minimal (but continuous) rising. Especially if you are traveling in summer, you can look forward

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  • Intermediate
    01:20
    12.9 mi
    9.7 mph
    625 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The stage Aachen - Stolberg is only 20 kilometers long, so you can take it a bit more leisurely after the 70 kilometers long preliminary stage and use the time for sightseeing. Among other things, a visit to the sights in the old town of Aachen is recommended before you leave the city in a southeasterly

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  • Difficult
    04:26
    40.1 mi
    9.0 mph
    2,000 ft
    1,925 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you drive past castles, moated castles, forests and the Rur to Heimbach in the Eiffel National Park. On this nearly 65-kilometer stage, once you've left Stolberg behind you with its old town, you'll leisurely walk through meadows and fields of wooded sections. After about 35 kilometers, you will

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  • Difficult
    03:46
    35.1 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    If you still do not have enough of moated castles, castles and castle ruins - the penultimate stage over about 55 kilometers from Heimbach to Rheinbach is one of the most castles in the entire Wasserburgen route. Already after three kilometers you leave the forests of the Eiffel and drive mostly between

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  • Intermediate
    02:17
    22.9 mi
    10.0 mph
    850 ft
    1,225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It goes back to the Rhine. The last stage will take you back to Bad Godesberg - the starting point of the Wasserburgen Route. The path usually runs through meadows and fields, and you will always come across castles and moated castles on this approximately 35 kilometer long stage. After 26 kilometers

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    246 mi
  • Duration
    26:34 h
  • Elevation
    8,500 ft

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A ride through Germany's Castle Country — from the Rhine to the Eifel and back

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