Foodie tour along the Rhine
The river Rhine, often lovingly called “Väterchen Rhein”, is one of the most used water streets in the world and has a long tradition. Along the shoreline you find evidence of the Romans and the emperors from Barbarossa to Charlemagne. The section from the SevenMountains to Cologne is doubtless one of the most picturesque parts, easy to discover by bike in 2 days.
Medieval castles, historic villages, Beethoven’s birthplace Bonn and romantic beer gardens line the river. Lots to do, to see and to taste on both sides of the river, every now and then you can take a break from biking and get on a boat, or just change your perspective by crossing the Rhine river with a ferry-boat.
Belle Epoche Villa Bad Godesberg
The hotel Villa Godesberg is the perfect base camp for our bike tour – you bike during the day and get back to the comfortable hotel to relax in the afternoon. After checking in you could pick up your bikes at the bike rental Drahtesel, it´s a 20 minutes walk through the beautiful 18th century neighbourhood of Godesberg
Drahtesel, phone 0228 – 361545, www.drahtesel-bonn.de
Foodie tour along the Rhine
Next morning you ride your bike down to the river (takes you 5 minutes from the hotel) and turn right. The bike path will lead you in less than an hour, always facing the seven mountains, to the Arp museum at the historic train station Rolandseck, a wonderful combination of art, food and view www.arpmuseum.org/
From there you go down to the river and cross with a ferry-boat (runs every 15 minutes) to Bad Honnef. The bike path leads you to the Island Grafenwerth, you cross a bridge and bike along the river to Königswinter.
Königswinter at the feet of the SevenMountains
Our tour starts south of Bonn, in the legendary town of Königswinter at the feet of the SevenMountains.
From here, the legend tells, once a dragon spit fire on the boats, but today you can climb the hill “Drachenfels” by walking, by taking the cog railway or by riding a donkey – completely innocuous. No matter which kind of locomotion you choose, you pass the castle Drachenburg. Even though it´s not really old (built in the late 19th century), the historic interiereur and the river valley view are worth a visit. www.schloss-drachenburg.de
I have to admit it’s tempting to skip the steep path to the ruins at the hill top after this – but don`t! The ruin of the donjon gives just an idea of the impressive medieval castle, built in 1140 (this is what we call “old” in Europe) by the Archbishop of Cologne. There is a strong to connection between the Drachenfels and Cologne: the Dome, Cologne`s most famous building, was built mainly with trachyte from the Drachenfels – the Dukes of the castle made a fortune with the stone.
Königswinter also is the perfect spot to experience german “Gemütlichkeit” in one of the traditional wine pubs, for example the Bredershof located right at the Rhine, the Gut Sülz surrounded by vineyards or Lichtenberg in Oberdollendorf, the later two 15 biking minutes from the river.
Crossing the Rhine with a ferry-boat
While Biking along the Rhine you get a better understanding of the word “slowliness”, the gentle feeling of calming down. You can further enhance this experience with a boat ride by crossing the river in Niederdollendorf, back to your hotel in Bad Godesberg.
The whole tour, including stops for museum, lunch, beer and the Drachenfels, won´t take more than 5-6 hours and includes easy biking.
Bonn, the former capital
After a good night sleep you are ready to go down the river, direction Cologne. The first stop after a 30 minute bike ride is Bonn, the former capital. Beethoven’s birth house, the historic town hall and the daily market are the “must see´s” in Bonn, most convenient located within 500 meters in the heart of Bonn. You can spend the rest of the day here, take it easy and switch from chocolate shop to coffee house and brewery. (see map)
Or you keep on going to Cologne
Just follow the river, do as many detours as your time allows, the spots you find on the map are all worth to see. But if you want to end the day by drinking a Kölsch (local beer) in the shade of the Dome, you should stay on the bike path.
Foodie map Rhine valley