The Rhine Cycle Route
Cycle touring EuroVelo 15 through six countries
By Mike Wells
Guidebook to cycling the River Rhine from source to sea, through Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The 1368km route from the summit of Oberalppass to the Hook of Holland is split into 27 stages, mostly following well-surfaced cycle tracks. Includes information on facilities, useful contacts and a language glossary.
SeasonsExcept for the first stage in the Swiss Alps, where snow lingers until May, the route is best ridden between April and October
CentresChur, Vaduz, Bregenz, Konstanz, Schaffhausen, Waldshut, Basel, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Mannheim, Worms, Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn, Köln, Düsseldorf, Duisberg, Arnhem, Rotterdam
DifficultyThe route follows a river from source to sea with a prevailing downhill gradient. There are a few gentle ascents, all within the abilities of leisure cyclists. Stamina is the key requirement as the route takes two to three weeks to complete. The ride is best undertaken on trail, touring or hybrid bikes.
Must SeeSwiss Alps, Lake Constance, Rhein falls, Basel, Strasbourg, Rheingau wine region, Rüdesheim, Rhine gorge, Loreley rock, Bonn, Cologne, Kinderdijk windmills, Rotterdam
This comprehensive guidebook to EuroVelo route 15 offers a detailed stage-by-stage description of the 1368km route along the Rhine, one of Europe's great rivers, passing through six countries on its way from Switzerland to the North Sea. The cycling is easy, downhill and along dedicated cycle lanes, the countries visited are very cycle-friendly and the waymarking is excellent. The whole trip can be completed in two weeks by a fit cyclist.
The guide includes plenty of information to help you plan your trip, with advice on travel, accommodation and facilities. The full route is presented in 27 stages of 32-68km, with step-by-step route description, 1:100,000 mapping and notes on local points of interest. A facilities table, glossary and list of useful contacts can be found in the appendices.
Starting in the Swiss Alps with high mountains, deep glacial valleys and gorges, the route soon reaches Europe's third largest lake, the Bodensee, and its greatest mainland waterfall. After Basel, the Rhine becomes a broad river, now the world's busiest river trading artery. The middle Rhine, between Bingen and Koblenz, forces its way through the narrow rocky Rhine gorge, lined by romantic castles perched above Germany's finest vineyards. Finally, the river passes through low-lying Holland, famed for its many flood dykes and windmills.
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Mike Wells has been a keen long-distance walker and cyclist for over 25 years. He has walked all the major British trails, the GR5 through the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean and has explored the Italian Dolomites’ Alta Via routes. He has also walked in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway and Chilean Patagonia.
Mike has cycled the C2C route across northern England and Lon Las Cymru in Wales, as well as the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela. He has completed an end to end traverse of Cuba, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape.
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