Bruges - Cochem, shortest ca. 485 km (300 miles), longest ca 615 km (382 miles)
This fantastic formular of living on a boat and cycling through the countryside is now available in a two-weeks tour, from the North Sea coastal zone to the European inlands. Enjoy the differences in landscape and culture of three countries Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. A great variety of experiences is waiting for you. Historic Bruges, Ghent and the rural landscape of Flanders; Middelburg, the Delta Works and the green islands of Sealand; the panoramic dikes of the Dutch Rhine and the ondulating wooded lands around Arnhem; the flat countryside of populateted German lower Rhine area with interesting Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bonn; legendary castles on the hills of the Middle Rhine with cosy Königswinter and Koblenz; the sloping vineyards along the Moselle with picturesque Andernach and Cochem. Exept for historical innercities all the cycling can be done on bikelanes or quiet countryroads.
• 14 days / 13 nights on board, 2-Persons cabin with private shower and toilet, air conditioning and central heating
• Full board (13 x breakfast, 12 x packed lunch, 12 x 3-course dinner
• Welcome meeting and toast
• Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water on board
• Daily cabin cleaning
• WIFI on board
• 8-speed hybrid bicycle, including a bike bag and a lock
• A universal sized bike helmet
• Complimentary water bottle
• Tourleader for the bike tours
• Daily cycling meeting
• GPS tracks
• All ferry fares en route
• Support vehicle for assistance
• Admission tickets for the Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen and Airborn Museum Arnhem
• Visit of a windmill (Kinderdijk)
• Ticket for Cable Car crossing the Rhine to discover the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress area.
• Entrance Reichsburg Cochem
What’s not included
• Local transportation and airfare
• 1 x dinner in Cologne
• Other entrance fees than mentioned
• Drinks other than mentioned
• Private excursions
• Bicycle protection
2020 Juni 27th - July 10th: Bruges to Cochem
Price: € 2820, - per person
Single cabin: on request
Supplement e-bike: 200 euro (to reserve in advance, limited available)
Day 1. Arrival in Bruges.
Your cycling adventure starts in Bruges, one the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. In old times it was an international metropolis and center of commerce and art. A completely intact medieval town remained, combined with some fine baroque and gothic revival architecture. With its ramparts, gates and decorated gabels mirroring in the canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We hope you can arrive at 3 in the afternoon, to check in, meet the crew and try out the bikes. And with silent canals in night lighting the evenings in the Venice of the North have even more atmosphere
Day 2. Bruges – Ghent, 48 km/ 30 miles.
Our first ride in a group takes the shortest way to Ghent, this beautiful historic town deserves an afternoonvisit. Easy cycling on quiet roads with canalviews and little bikeroads between bushes will bring us along hamlets, villages and single houses sometimes in very personal architecture. And we see memories of the battle near Moerbrugge in WWII.
Ghent is proud of its rich heritage, and much more than a museum town. More lively with locals, this second Flemish town has an excellent mixture of medieval buildings, stylish shopping streets, early modern architecture, gothic churches with striking baroque interiors and several squares with numerous terraces. The cathedral is impressive and shows the famous Ghent altarpiece, finished in 1432; and a boatride gives beautiful sights. The Quo Vadis is moored on a short ride a bit south of a center, close to the university and museum quarter.
Day 3. Ghent – Sas van Ghent – Middelburg: 48 or 53 km, 30 or 33 miles.
First a sailing breakfast, while we cross the border. An inland route first remains in the deserted border area along Belgium castle Boekhoute and the Dutch small fortress town IJzendijke. A more seaside route leads through mussel village Philipine, remains of once prosperous Biervliet and along the sandbanks of the Wester Scheldt, the gateway for Antwerp harbour. You might spot some seals.
The Breskens ferry acros the Scheldt mouth brings us to the former island of Walcheren, with Flushing, historical navy harbour from where in the English-Dutch wars attacks on London were made. The Quo Vadis waits for us in attractive Middelburg, dominated by the 12th century abbey from where monks started landwinning around their island; later the town was a prosperous trading center, second in the Dutch republic.
Day 4. Middelburg – Veere – Zierikzee: 53 or 40 km, 33 or 25 miles.
Today we have a spaceful ride between sea and sky in the delta of Rhine, Maas and Scheldt rivers. Although the different islands got connected, in the past with landwinning and after the big flood disaster of 1953 with huge dams of the Delta Works, they all have retained their own character. One of the higlights of this tour is the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the most impressive construction of the Delta Works.
First we visit charming Veere, a small historic harbour with old Scottish connections; the long trackers by bike, the short starts biking in Veere. Both routes visit the storm barrier with Neeltje Jans, a raised sand flat to facilitate the construction of the barrier, that allows tidal inlets for maintaining the original water environment with oyster and mussel farming. Not only the locks from up close are worth seeing, but also the interior.
The shorter track goes back to Beveland, gives a beautiful ride along the coast of the Eastern Scheldt, along fishing village Colijnsplaat with a reconstruction of a Celtic temple that was found here; and a spacy experience on the Sealand bridge, in the 60-ties the longest of Europe. The longer route continues via the storm barrier to island Schouwen, with fortress Burgh, along wetlands at the Scheldt banks with the lonely tower of disappeared Stompetoren and historic circular village Serooskerke. The Quo Vadis can be found in Zierikzee, dominated by the ‘Fat tower’; once a rich trading-port with a beautiful harbour and lots of monuments.
Day 5. Zierikzee – Willemstad – Dordrecht: 54 or 40 km, 34 or 25 miles.
Today we travel from Sealand towards Holland. The long trackers can first visit on the Inundation museum, housed on a deserted spot in 4 huge boxes used to restore the dikes after bombings in World War II; and pass fishing village Bruinisse. We have a beautiful tour on the open land between sky and sea of island Overflakkee with Oude Tonge, this small watersports village was badly impacted by the 1953 flood catastophe. 305 People were buried in a mass grave near the dike just outside the village.
The short trackers stay on board till St. Philips island, and start for a nice tour on the fields of Brabant, along silent treelined dikes with old ribbonlike hamlets, a liny lock settlement and lively small market town Dinteloord. We will meet each other in Willemstad, a small historical garrison town whith fortifications symbolising the old Dutch republic. The Quo Vadis brings us during dinner to the center of interesting Dordrecht, the oldest city of Holland once an important market because of its strategic position, and where the Dutch State was announced in a confiscated monastery.
Day 6. Dordrecht – Alblasserdam – Nieuwpoort – Vianen – Wijk bij Duurstede: 34 or 54 km, 21 or 34 miles.
Today we take the ferry for the Alblasserwaard, a fenland between main streams. Many inundations and sinking grounds made water management essential. Canals and ditches were dugged and windmills constructed for pumping water, in Kinderdijk remain 19 mills in impressive rows. Via an inland bikeroad we reach a cheesefarm to visit. You will enjoy the lovely scenery with water and meadow birds. The route continues this scenery via hamlet Donk and the mills of Groot Ammers, and finishes for the short trackers on the Quo Vadis in Nieuwpoort; a charming liny town around a dam. The long trackers continue with a ferry to silvertown Schoonhoven, with a leaning tower and a weighthouse build over a canal. Followed by a long seperate biketrack along characteristic old farms and between village gardens and passing the Dutch geographic centre. Another ferry takes us to Vianen, from where we have a sailing dinner on the Quo Vadis to Wijk bij Duurstede. This charming little town deserves a walk with a hidden ruined castle and a gate under a windmill; Ruysdael painted the second one, now lost.
Day 7. Wijk bij Duurstede – Rhenen – Arnhem: 29, 38 or 56 km; 18, 24 or 35 miles.
A sailing breakfast brings to Rhenen, little town with impressive tower, for cycling along the slopes of the morains causing the big curve in the Rhine near Arnhem. First the 2 shorter routes follow lower roads between floodplains and hills to meet Wageningen, our smallest university town where the peace of WWII was signed. It has a lively marketplace, a huge sculpture collection and a nice arboretum on a terrace overlooking the river. Also Doorwerth castle is beautiful located, oldest parts from 13th century; on the courtyard is a thick trunked Robinia tree, the oldest of the country. Oosterbeek, once the centre of our first open air landscape painters, has a little 10th century church; used as a hospital during the 1944 Arnhem battle.
The longer route goes in Oosterbeek slowly climbing inland to have a nice undulating ride along sloping woods and parks, and visit the Dutch heritage museum; a nice collection of different traditional buildingtypes from all over the country. And the longest route sets of at Rhenen, directly inland through the forest of the Hoge Veluwe and can visit the Kröller Müller museum; with one of the best collections of early modern and recent Dutch art, with some fine Van Goghs and a sculpture park, an Art Deco palace and an original presentation of natural history. We find the Quo Vadis downtown Arnhem, at the banks of the Rhine close at the little Airbornemuseum near the John Frostbridge. Because of the bombings this province capital has a mix of historical buildings and some nice architecture of the 60-ties.
Day 8. Arnhem – Emmerich – Rees – Ruhrort: 44 or 54 km, 28 or 34 miles.
Today we cycle the last part in the Netherlands via quiet dikes at the left Rhinebank, and after castle Doornenburg we take a ferry direction German border. There we can visit Kleve with legendary castle Schwanenburg and a baroque park that inspired Berlin Tiergarten. The short track leads further via Germans longest suspension bridge to Emmerich, where the Quo Vadis is waiting.
Long continues, passing revival gothic Moyland castle, to Kalkar historic center with 7 beautiful altarpieces in the church; and is known for a theme park in a former nuclear power plant outside at the Rhinebank. On board at Rees we will have a sailing dinner on the Quo Vadis, arriving late in Ruhrort; opposite to Duisburg at the mouth of river Ruhr.
Day 9. Ruhrort – Düsseldorf: 42 or 52 km, 26 or 33 miles
We start in the Ruhrharbour; the port for the dense populated Ruhr area that was infamous for its polluting coalmines and steelfactories, and were closed during the last 20 years. Since then heritage is restored, museums were opened and green parks created. We can see some of these changes in nearby Duisburg.
The long route continues to Moers, friendly town with Arts & Crafts architecture and a model workers settlement; and meets the short one in Linn, tiny historic town with a castle build from 13th to 17th century, and a luxurious 18th century ‘hunting lodge’; both can be visited. After this we take a ferry to visit charming Kaiserswerth, with the impressive millennium old ruins of legendary Barbarossa castle.
We find the Quo Vadis just before the center of Düsseldorf, capital of the state Nordrhein-Westfalen and one of the main German centers of visual arts. Besides museums and academies there are wealthy shopping streets with fine modern architecture and a cosy ‘Altstadt’ with many venues.
Day 10. Düsseldorf – Zons – Cologne: 40km/ 25 miles or 30km/ 19 miles.
This morning we have a sailing breakfast, getting off near fortress Zons with its picturesque streets. We still are in the industrial zone, which gives good cycable roads through green zones between chemical plants, little villages and suburbs. The longer route leads via the ferry to the other Rhinebank and passes along Monheim with a little Altstadt and estate Marienburg, Wiesdorf with a Bayer workers settlement and Japanese garden, charming historical village of Flittard, and approaching Cologne via the Hohenzollern bridge, at its most impressive side.
Those who want to be earlier in Cologne remain on the left bank, and have a foretaste with the picturesque located romanesque church of Rheinkassel. Cologne, founded in Roman times and once a seat of a mighty bishopric, had great damage in WWII; in spite of that it still has the spectacular gothic cathedral, 12 beautiful romanesque churches, several other historical monuments and a lively cosy citycenter with a big choice of restaurants for our dinner out.
Day 11. Cologne – Königswinter: 48 km/ 30 miles
The route first crosses a bridge to the greene eastbanks, passing farmers fields, silent villages and castle Lülsdorf; to take a ferry to Bonn, capital of former West Germany. This medium size historic town has a lively centre, a green university campus, and south of it a recent museum- and congresquarter with attractive architecture. The route continues further south along the Rhine with villa settlements and parks, and a ferry for Köningswinter at the Seven Mountains, where we find some nice halftimbered houses and the Quo Vadis near the ferry. We have arrived in the Middle Rhine area, famous for its castles on high rocks.
Day 12. Königswinter – Andernach – Koblenz: 38 km/ 24 miles
Today we can see 14 castles, mostly on the river flanking hilltops. This concentration is in a wider region and was needed in continuous conflicts between medival feudal rulers, leaving most of them ruined. The attractive landscape and the presence of mineral sources made tourism came up in the 19th century, in a romantic mood several castles were restored or rebuild. We also see more halftimbered houses, popular till beginning 19th century, as Rhineland came under Prussian rule and forest wood was no longer available.
The route follows the river with several historic smaller towns. Rolandseck, a old cast iron railwaystation got extended with a striking modern wing up the hill, for the Arpmuseum with interesting art and wide panoramas. They also placed 14 recent sculptures on each kilometer of the continuing road towards Remagen. This town, dominated by a pilgrimage church high up, and remains of a bridge that was in WWII the only possible Rhine crossing for the allies; shown a museum in the bridgehead. Further are nice little towns like Sinzig and Namedy with halftimbered streets and European highest geyser with 60 meters.
The Quo Vadis is waiting in charming Andernach not far from the historic crane, in town is a beautiful romanesque church and a half ruined castle in a park. We shouldn’t leave too late, it is still a while for Koblenz; where we shouldn’t miss a afternoon funicular ride high above the river, which gives spectacular views. This lively rebuild historic town at the confluence with the Moselle has cosy squares, plenty cafés, a castlegarden and the Deutsches Eck monument at the promenade; most effectful during an evening walk.
Day 13. Koblenz – Winningen – Cochem: 41 km/ 26 miles or 62 km/ 39 miles.
Today we have a nice ride on the banks of the Moselle along sloping winefields and hilltop castles; passing charming halftimbered villages and small historic towns, picturesque decorated with vines and geraniums. You shouldn’t miss the charming Kobern townsquare, the garden of Schloss Liebich, the vast Von der Leyen castle extended over the road, the Hatzenpfort ferrytower or the fine romanesque church of Karden. At Klotten one could take a ferry to have a more quiet approach to Cochem, where we find the Quo Vadis again. This is a charming small historic town with lively streets and terraces; and a nice castle high up. When you arrive about 3.30 pm. you can find a shuttle to bring you up for a visit.
Day 14. Departure from Cochem, after breakfast, around 9 it is time to say goodbye.
9766 VK Eelderwolde
T+31 6555 70 911
Groningen, Liegeplatz gegenüber Oosterkade Nr. 14
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