The Moselle River offers everything one could expect from a typical European wine-growing region. Countless orderly rows of grapevines cover much of the steep slopes that rise from both sides of the river. Nestled among the many vineyards lie timeless quaint villages and hamlets. Charming old stone or half-timbered houses meet the eye in every direction. Many of these buildings are used to press, store and serve the delicious white wines that the region’s mild climate helps produce. As the region’s inhabitants like to say, “There’s always time for a glass of wine.” And at the end of the day, find restful accommodation in an old half-timbered farmhouse snuggly set between the vineyards. As if the idyllic verdant landscape were not enough, the river is lined with imposing castles and the ruins of old fortifications, each of which has its own story to tell. Learn the strange tales and legends that have become part of the valley’s long and colourful history. That history does not, of course, begin with the Romans. But it is they who left many of the oldest and most impressive edifices. Their splendid palaces, amphitheaters, public baths, bridges, aqueducts and many other structures bear witness to the knowledge and skill they brought to this corner of central Europe. After the arrival of Christianity, it was the Frankish kings and the Archbishops of Trier that ruled the land, and built many of the castles, churches, cloisters and monasteries that today recall the Moselle’s long and rich history.
The Moselle river trail from Metz to Koblenz covers about 310 kilometres. Additionally there are a further 125 kilometres of alternative routes and excursions.
Road surface and traffic:
The quality of the route is excellent. Sections that are unpaved or difficult to negotiate are rare. The route mostly follows paved bicycle paths and street. Longer unpaved sections are only to be found between Bullay and Seheim as well as between Cochem-Cond and Treis-Karden, where the route runs through a nature reserve. Traffic volume along the Moselle is varied. The route mostly follows bicycle paths, quiet streets and bicycle lanes. Sections along busy roads are rare. If you find the traffic adjacent to a bicycle lane or path too high, you usually have the option of changing to a quieter route on the other river bank using one of the many bridges and fwerries along the way. In the introductory text at the beginning of each section you will find an indication as to which side of the river the main route follows. In the route description tips emphasise where we suggest you change to the other river bank.
The bicycle route along the Moselle river is signposted all the way between Metz and Koblenz. From the Saar-Moselle confluence by Konz to the end of the route in Koblenz you follow the signage for the D5 route, although this is not always complete. The detours and excursions described in this guide are not always signposted.
Cycling in Germany:
The popularity of bicycle tourism and mountain biking in Germany has grown significantly in the last fifteen years. Recognizing this trend, German tourism agencies have helped support the creation of many bicycle trails, networks and long-distance routes. These follow separate designated bikeways or quiet minor and secondary roads. Only rarely do marked bicycle routes make use of busy roads. Most cities also feature extensive networks of bicycle trails and routes that help make bicycle riding safe and pleasant. In general, riding a bicycle in Germany is relatively safe – partly because there are many well-designed bikeways and routes, partly because motorized traffic is accustomed to sharing the roads with an ever-growing number of cyclists.