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A guidebook to the Moselle Cycle Route. Cycle the entire length of the Moselle river, from its source in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France to its confluence with the Rhine at the west German city of Koblenz. Suitable for cyclists of all experience levels, the 512km route is well-waymarked and the route is mostly on well-surfaced cycle tracks.
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This guidebook covers the entirety of the Moselle river’s course, from its source in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France to its confluence with the Rhine at the west German city of Koblenz. The well-waymarked route reaches historic Nancy and Metz, crosses into Luxembourg and continues through the spectacular Mosel gorge, where the river cuts a sinuous path between the Hunsrück and Eifel Mountains.
The great attraction to a cyclist of following a river from its source is that, once you have reached the start, it's all downhill. From the easily reached source near the Col de Bussang, the Moselle cycle route descends over 650m to the Rhine at Koblenz. At Koblenz, the route can be linked with The Rhine Cycle Route.
In addition to the main route, excursions are described to visit Toul on the Boucles de Moselle, Luxembourg Ville in the Duchy of Luxembourg and through the Saar and Rhine gorges.
Accommodation and places to eat and drink en route are plentiful. Mostly off-road and on well-surfaced cycle tracks (mainly asphalt), the cycling is straightforward, and suitable for both experienced long-distance cyclists, and for those who have not done much cycle touring and wish to start with a straightforward, easily followed route. On occasions where roads are used, these are usually quiet country roads.
The Moselle cycle route mostly follows French and German national cycle trails, with a high standard of waymarking for most of the journey. This guidebook breaks the route into 14 stages, averaging just over 36km per stage. A fit cyclist, covering 2 stages per day, should be able to complete the trip in a week. In addition, there are two variants and two excursions that visit attractive locations just off the main route. Allowing two weeks would enable these to be included, provide more time for sightseeing and allow the route to be cycled at a leisurely pace.
Stage 7; new route around Metz Port (very bottom p107 and most of p109).
A new section of cycle track has been constructed just N of Metz. This avoids 2km of cycling on a road busy with trucks through Metz port and past a huge Ikea warehouse. It adds 1km to the stage but is a significant improvement to the route. It is waymarked throughout as Véloroute Charles-le-Téméraire.
After passing under the combined road and rail bridge (bottom of p107), turn R onto a new cycle track following the Moselle (do not follow road bearing L away from river). Continue beside the river for 1.6km, then follow the cycle track bearing L and ascending to cross a new bridge over the entrance channel to Metz port. Bear R to regain the riverbank and after 1km follow the track bearing L away from the river parallel with a canal R that takes coal barges to La Maxe power station. The cycle track emerges onto a road and continues ahead to reach a crossroads. Turn R over the canal, (rejoining the route described in the guide) and R again on an asphalt track between two small canals. Continue as per description at the bottom of p109.
Since autumn 2014, the best way to reach Fellering by train from London with a bicycle is to travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Trains which carry cycles run hourly throughout the day with a journey time of approximately 3hrs. Reservations for your cycle are required (through Eurostar baggage +44 844 822 5822) at a cost of £30. There is no need for bicycles to be boxed and cycles travel in a dedicated compartment in the same train as the one you travel on.
After arrival in Paris you need to cycle from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon following three 'grands boulevards' (wide 19th-century avenues) on an almost straight 4km route. Go ahead opposite the main entrance to Gare de Nord along semi-pedestrianised Boulevard de Denain. At the end turn L into Boulevard de Magenta and follow this to reach Place de la Republique. Continue round this square and leave on opposite side by Boulevard du Temple, becoming Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire and Boulevard Beaumarchais, to reach Place de la Bastille. Continue ahead again on Rue de Lyon to reach Gare de Lyon station.
TGV Lyria trains, which run from Paris Gare de Lyon to Basle via Mulhouse, have four cycle spaces per train, with mandatory reservation (€10). There are six direct trains per day which take 2hr45min to reach Mulhouse, from where local trains take you on to Fellering. Total journey time from London to Fellering, allowing an hour to cycle through Paris, is typically 8hr30min.
|Getting there and back|
|Food and drink|
|Amenities and services|
|What to take|
|Safety and emergencies|
|About this guide|
|Stage 1 Col de Bussang to Remiremont|
|Stage 2 Remiremont to Épinal|
|Stage 3 Épinal to Charmes|
|Stage 4 Charmes to Nancy|
|Stage 4A Charmes to Toul|
|Stage 5A Toul to Pont-à-Mousson|
|Stage 5 Nancy to Pont-à-Mousson|
|Stage 6 Pont-à-Mousson to Metz|
|Stage 7 Metz to Thionville|
|Stage 8 Thionville to Remich|
|Stage 9 Remich to Trier|
|Stage 9A Remich to Trier via Luxembourg City|
|Excursion 1 Konz to Merzig: the Saar Valley|
|Stage 10 Trier to Leiwen|
|Stage 11 Leiwen to Bernkastel-Kues|
|Stage 12 Bernkastel-Kues to Zell|
|Stage 13 Zell to Cochem|
|Stage 14 Cochem to Koblenz|
|Excursion 2 Koblenz to St Goar: the Rhine Gorge|
|Appendix A Route summary table|
|Appendix B Language glossary|
|Appendix C Useful contacts|
|Appendix D Principal tourist offices|
|Appendix E Youth hostels|