Rivers are sculptors of nature and the origins of life. They bring people, lay the building blocks of settlements and form the foundations of rich culture. The Moselle is no different—and you can experience the best this river has to offer on the Moselle Cycle Path, a 318-mile (512-kilometre) strip of asphalt that will let you truly discover the landscape, history and culture of the region fed by the Moselle as you pedal through three countries.
With its origins in the Vosges Mountains, the Moselle winds its way through the low mountain range over Lorraine, Luxembourg, past the border triangle and along the vineyards in Germany to Koblenz, from where it flows into the Rhine. Official signposts for the "Moselradweg” do not start until Thionville in France, however, where it is called "Le Chemin de la Moselle". The Moselle International Bike Tour follows the river for 193 miles (311 kilometres). Near Perl, the Moselle flows over the German border and into 150 miles (239 kilometres ) of flat terrain that you can traverse right alongside the river. From there, it flows from the Middle Moselle through a splendid wine-growing region and over to the Lower Moselle, a region that is characteristically dominated by vineyards. As a wine and nature lover, you’ll be hard pressed to find a region that surpasses the attractions of the Lower Moselle. Despite the low mountain ranges "Eifel' and "Hunsrück", which are separated from the Moselle, the cycle path runs quite evenly and is suitable for families. The complete cycle path is a great insight into the culture of three countries and offers plenty of restaurants and accommodation along the route.
The Moselle rises in the Vosges near Bussang, not far from the center of the village at an elevation of about 600 meters. Take a moment to start your journey at the spring. It is the origin of the culture along the Moselle and may perhaps fill you with a little respect for the lifeline of this region and the signpost of your journey.The Mosel cycle path and its signposting starts at the former station of the small village and takes you on the first kilometers on a paved former railway line, which is easy to drive. Since you are in a low mountain range, there will also be a few meters to overcome. But only a few. Welcome to the Moselradweg.
It goes on a little-traveled road on Éloyes to Épinal. At this stage there are again a few meters to overcome, but from Épinal the landscape changes. With the Vosges in the back you can look forward to a wide and open terrain and less altitude.Èpinal, the capital of the French department of Vosges, has a beautiful old town and is well suited for a visit and an overnight stay. The local museum displays the first historical predecessors of classic comics in a large collection.
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From Épinal it goes to Golbey and directly on the Moselle on to Chavelot. Shortly after Chavelot you will reach the Lorraine region. On the way to Vincey, you'll see an old factory building that once had a weaving mill. Finished goods were then transported by water.In Bainville-aux-Miroirs begins the nature reserve La Moselle Sauvage. Here nature can unfold freely along the Moselle. Right and left of the bike path you will find wild plants and colorful flowers. With a little luck, you might spot beaver or rare birds here.
In beautiful nature, it continues through Les Turbines to Nancy. With its 100,000 inhabitants, Nancy offers a wide selection of cozy bistros, restaurants and all sorts of attractions. The cityscape with its many historic buildings is a real pleasure. The picturesque Place Stanislas, the Königsplatz with its two fountains, invites you to linger. As you walk through the winding streets of the city, we urge you to visit the historic city gate with its two mighty towers, the Lorraine Cross.
From Nancy, the fifth stage on the Moselradweg leads to Pont-à-Mousson. In Custines, the Meurthe, the third largest tributary of the Moselle, flows into the main river. The bike path continues along the Moselle past small villages. Continue to Pont-à-Mousson, with its small Markptlatz invites you to a rest. During the two world wars, the location was often the target of attacks due to the strategic location between Metz and Nancy.
After Pagny-sur-Moselle, Jouy-aux-Arches approaches. The Roman aqueduct, which even towers over a few houses, immediately catches your eye. After only 14 more kilometers, today's stage destination Metz is reached. The impressive Saint-Étienne Cathedral and numerous other small and large buildings from Roman times to the present can be discovered on a tour of the city. Metz is also ideal as an alternative starting point for a bike tour on the Mosel bike path.
This is the last full stage before the German border and the transition to the better developed and signposted Moselle cycle path. From Metz the bike path leads close to the water. Again and again, there is the opportunity to enjoy France not only scenic, but also culinary. As everywhere along the Moselle, you will pass numerous churches and small castles. Some of them, such as the Château de Pepinville, and certainly others, are worth exploring. Via Thury, Mondelange and Thionville you cycle straight to the German-French border.
The French town of Thionville in Lorraine is the starting point of the German Mosel cycle path, which is continuously expanded and signposted from here. On former towpaths and side roads, the official start stage usually takes you directly to the border triangle Germany-France-Luxembourg to Perl, where the Moselle forms the border with Luxembourg. A bridge leads over to the well-known town of Schengen, in front of which the eponymous agreement to abolish European border controls was signed.
This stage of the Mosel cycle path runs completely on the right, German Moselufer. However, as the Moselle always forms the border between the neighboring states, it is possible to look at Luxembourg. The well-developed bike path leads without gradients through the broad valley of the Upper Moselle. The landscape is increasingly dominated by vineyards and wineries. The stage destination Nittel offers the best conditions for completing today's bike tour. In one of the numerous restaurants on site you can end the day with a glass of Elbling.
This stage of the Mosel cycle path leads along the right bank of the Moselle to the Moselle metropolis of Trier and starts in the attractive wine village of Nittel, which lies at the foot of high dolomite and limestone cliffs. A little further along the cycle path you reach the village of Oberbillig, which is connected by a ferry to the Luxembourg Wasserbillig.Continue on flat paths in the city of Konz. With sights such as the open-air museum Roscheider Hof or the remains of a Roman imperial villa, the city at the mouth of the Saar invites for an entertaining stopover.The destination of this stage is the oldest city in Germany, Trier. Among other things, Trier attracts with its imposing, well-preserved Roman buildings and UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as the Baroque parks.
The starting point of the stage is Trier - a treasure chest of architecture characterized by Roman architecture. Via the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Brücke bridge, the cycle path along the left bank of the Moselle leads first to the Pfalzel district, which for a long time was the summer residence of the Roman emperors.Continue to Schweich with its baroque ferry tower and sizeable boat harbor. Here, the cycle path changes to the right side of the Moselle and the landscape changes slowly from the open to the narrowing valley.
Through wide Mosel loops and vineyards, the Mosel cycle path leads from Mehring to the wine town of Piesport on its twelfth stage. One of the most beautiful and well-known loops is located between Leiwen and Trittenheim, in front of Neumagen-Dhron, the oldest wine town in Germany and the site of the Neumagen wine ship.The tomb of a Roman wine merchant is located in front of the Peterskapelle as a duplicate, while his buoyant replica is anchored in the specially constructed harbor. Shortly before Piesport, the faithfully restored and largest presses north of the Alps testify to the central importance of the wine-growing town to Roman times. Of course, there is no way around moving into one of the winery and a tasting of local cultural assets.
This stage leads along the right bank of the Moselle along the wine town of Piesport to historic Bernkastel-Kues. Downstream, vineyards, orchards and picturesque wine-growing villages such as Wintrich, Brauneberg and Mülheim culminate in the cultural highlight of the stage. The famous Moselle town of Bernkastel-Kues has a lot to offer for a longer stopover. The picturesque old town is rich in history and home of one of the most beautiful half-timbered scenes in Germany.
The Burg Landshut majestically towers over the medieval town. Wine lovers will get a fascinating insight into the world of Mosel wine in the Mosel wine museum.
After the medieval town of Bernkastel-Kues, the Moselle Cycle Path leads on this stage - always along the right bank - to Zeltingen-Rachtig. A detour through the center with its old estates and half-timbered houses is always worthwhile. Opposite of Rachtig is the former Cistercian monastery Machern, within whose walls today u.a. a museum, a wine cabinet and a monastery brewery with a tap can be found.The cycle path leads on the right side of the Moselle through the wine villages of Erden, Lösnich, Kindel and Wolf, before reaching the stage destination Traben-Trarbach. The famous art nouveau city was around Bordeaux in 1900 around the largest wine port in Europe. Overlooking the city is the castle ruin Grevenburg, in which numerous architectural masterpieces of the Art Nouveau and the Belle Epoque can be admired. Do not miss a guided tour and discovery tour through the mystical darkness of the Traben-Trarbacher underworld. Culture lovers will also find various museums here, such as the Middle Mosel Museum and the Buddha Museum.
It continues to the next wine town Enkirch. The place is also referred to as the treasure trove of the Rhenish half-timbered building and is certainly worth a visit. Then the drive leads over castle in the winegrower Pünderich. The cycle path finally takes you via the wine village Breidel to Zell, the home of the "Zeller Schwarze Katz". Here the Mosel cycle path changes over the bridge to the left bank of the Moselle. In Bullay you can see Germany's first double-decker bridge. The steel structure is top for the railroad and below road traffic.
The next stage starts at the historic railway bridge in Bullay. Face the challenge and climb the steepest vineyard in Europe on the "Calmont via ferrata". But you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views over the Mosel valley. The bike tour continues along the idyllic wine villages of Ediger-Eller, Nehren and Senhals to Ellenz-Poltersdorf.On the other bank of the Moselle, which you can reach relaxed with the ferry, is Beilstein with its small streets and the famous half-timbered scenery. Via Ernst you finally reach the stage destination Cochem.
On this stage, you can look forward to interesting castles and palaces. The stage starts with a view of the majestic Reichsburg. About Klotten and Pommern it goes to the historic place Treis-Karden.From Moselkern you can make a trip to the castle Eltz, one of the most beautiful castles in Germany. The main route of the Moselle cycle path leads over the bridge to Treis. If you do not have enough of castles and palaces, then you should still look at the Ehrenburg in Brodenbach. A one-hour hike takes you to the imposing 12th-century castle.
Your last stage leads along the left bank of the Moselle from Löf to shortly before Koblenz. On the last kilometers through the region Terrassenmosel there are still some typical Moselle wine villages waiting to be discovered by you. Thus, in Kobern-Gondorf the medieval market square and probably the oldest German half-timbered building from the year 1320 can be admired. There are even more pretty half-timbered houses in the wine town of Winningen, which is one of the most beautiful places in Germany. At the Deutsches Eck, where the Moselle flows into the Rhine, the Mosel cycle path ends. You have reached your destination: The city of Koblenz with its winding streets, squares, museums, cozy restaurants and the many sights completes this extraordinary bike ride perfectly.