The Rhine Cycle Route
From source to sea through Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands
By Mike Wells
Guidebook to cycling the River Rhine from source to sea, through Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The 1372km 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.
SeasonsThe whole route can be cycled when the Oberalppass and Surselva valley (Stages 1 and 2) are snow-free, usually mid-May to mid-October. Stages 3 to 27 can be cycled at any time of year, though April-October is the best period.
CentresBregenz, Konstanz, Basel, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Worms, Koblenz, Köln (Cologne), Düsseldorf, Arnhem, Rotterdam
DifficultyThere are no steep climbs and apart from a few gentle ascents in Switzerland. The route is generally downhill or level, mostly on good asphalt surfaces suitable for hybrid or touring cycles. Mainly dedicated off-road cycle tracks, often along flood dykes suitable for family cycling, but where roads are used there is usually a marked cycle lane.
Must SeeThe Oberalppass and high alpine valley of Surselva; Ruinaulta canyon; Liechtenstein; Bodensee (Lake Constance) and medieval towns and cities of northern Switzerland; the three-country city of Basel; the industrial cities Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Koln and Dusseldorf; governmental centres of Strasbourg and Bonn; historic and religious Speyer and Worms; fortified towns including Neuf Brisach and Germersheim; great vineyards and attractive villages of the Rheingau and the Rhine gorge between Mainz and Koblenz; Second World War memorials at Remagen bridge and Arnhem; Rotterdam, with the world's second largest port
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Mike Wells is an author of both walking and cycling guides. He has been walking long-distance footpaths for 25 years, after a holiday in New Zealand gave him the long-distance walking bug. Mike has also been a keen cyclist for over 20 years. After completing various UK Sustrans routes, such as Lon Las Cymru in Wales and the C2C route across northern England, he then moved on to cycling long-distance routes in continental Europe and beyond. These include cycling both the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela, a traverse of Cuba from end to end, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape. He has written a series of cycling guides for Cicerone following the great rivers of Europe.View author profile
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