Rhone to Rhine – Alumni Expedition

Bicycle from Lyon, France to Koblenz, Germany
  • Length 22 days
  • From USD$9795
  • Style/Level Expedition 3.0
  • Countries France
    Switzerland
    Austria
    Germany
  • Begin/End Lyon, France/Koblenz, Germany

Our Rhone to Rhine Expedition begins in Lyon, along the Rhone river and continues through France, Switzterland, the smallest state of Lichtenstein, back to France, finally reaching along the Rhine river this time Germany (Koblenz) after 1600 km (1000 miles) of extraordinary cycling! You will explore the Lyon region along the Rhone first, enjoying vineyard-covered hills passing through the beutiful towns of Aix-les-Bains, Yvoire and Annecy; then crossing to Switzerland and reaching the Constance lake which borders three nations (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) and its towns. You will return back to France, this time in Alsace along its vineyards, Colmar and Strasbourg to finally reach the Rhine River and Germany and finish the tour in Koblenz.

Highlights

  • Lyon, Rhone river, Lake Leman, Annecy, Yvoire, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Lake Constance, Bregenz, wines of Alsace, Colmar and Strasbourg, Rhine river in Germany finishing in Koblenz

Includes

  • Dinners (no beverages) as listed in the itinerary, all breakfasts, 3 bilingual tour leaders, 3 guided visits, tour leader gratuities, 1 tasting (cheese or wine)

  • All Expedition tour inclusions

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Some hotels may not have A/C. Note that when managed properly batteries on e-bikes can last approximately 80-90 km. This means turbo or sport mode shouldn’t be used on long or hilly days. Extra batteries are not available.


Date Price Private room fee Note

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  • Total distance 1530km (950 miles) approx.
  • Average daily distance 90km (56 miles)
  • Tour style Expedition
  • Tour level 3.0

Highlights: Lyon, Test Ride

Welcome to Lyon, one of France’s most intriguing cities. Cosmopolitan and modern, Lyon’s history remains visible as you can check out the Roman Fourvière (ancient theater) and Renaissance Vieux Lyon quarters. These and other sites have put Lyon on the UNESCO World Heritage list, so there is plenty to see and do if you arrive a few days early. 

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Sofitel Lyon Bellecour Hotel

Highlights: Cremieu, Morestel, Via Rhôna

We leave Lyon along the banks of the Rhône, following the “Via Rhôna,” a signed bicycle route that follows the river from its source in Switzerland to the Mediterranean. Stop for a visit in medieval Crémieu, whose market has remained unaltered in structure and purpose for more than 500 years. Our destination for today is Morestel, considered the “city of painters.”

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Le Sakura

Highlights: Via Rhona, The Alps, Abbaye d’Hautecombe, Lac du Bourget

We continue pedaling the Via Rhôna today until Lake of Lit au Roi and on to the port village of Chanaz, where we begin climbing Mont du Chat amidst Vin de Savoy vineyards. We’ll bypass the col through the bicycle-friendly Tunnel of the Cat (Tunnel du Chat), exiting amid panoramic views over Lac du Bourget, France’s deepest lake. Tonight we sleep in picturesque Aix-les-Bains, where you can take a cruise to the secluded Abbaye d’Hautecombe, founded by a religious community 1101. We’ll experience some of the Savoy’s most famous culinary specialties this evening: fondue, raclette, or tartiflette!

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Urban

Highlights: Pont de l’Abîme, Loop ride of Lac d’Annecy, Annecy

The ride today takes you through forests, hills, and across the “Pont de l’Abime,” a stunning suspension bridge constructed in the 1800’s. Reach Annecy’s gorgeous historic center, grab picnic supplies and pedal around its namesake lake. The views are worth the effort. To extend your ride today you can loop around the lake. Or, if you prefer a shorter day, leave your bike behind and lounge on the beach of the lake’s crystal-clear water, rent a paddle boat, or amble through Annecy and discover why it’s commonly referred to as “Venice of the Alps” with its whimsical canals and ancient architecture nestled below snow-capped peaks. Some of France’s best ice cream is in Annecy, so don’t depart without getting yourself a “glace artisanal.”

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Le Pelican

Highlights: Lake Geneve, Yvoire

You’ll cross the Swiss border several times today as you pedal north to Yvoire, a romantic medieval settlement on the shores of Lake Geneva. Explore Yvoire’s cobblestone streets — where seemingly every balcony and windowsill is lined with blooming flower baskets.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Le Jules Verne

Highlights: Lake Geneva, Yvoire, Nyon.

Take a day off the bike and relax along the southern shores of Lake Geneva, Europe’s largest alpine lake. If you’re in the mood to explore, take a short boat ride across the lake for a visit of Nyon, Switzerland.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Le Jules Verne

Highlights: Lake Geneva, Thonon-les-Bains, Entering Switzerland

We continue along the French shore of Lake Geneva and enter Valais canton of Switzerland to follow the Rhône River to Saint Maurice, located at the base of a pass leading to the upper Rhône valley. Saint Maurice controlled access to the lower valley beginning in the 15th century. The founding of the stalwart Abbey of Saint Maurice centuries before helped put the village on the map.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotellerie Franciscaine

Highlights: Brig

Cycle the upper Rhône Valley on a gentle steady climb as views open over the endless terraced vineyards that frame the valley. Known as the ‘breadbasket’ of Switzerland, the Valais Canton is blessed with the perfect climate for growing grapes and wheat. We’ll cycle past some of Switzerland’s most famous wineries on our way to Brig, not far from impressive Furka Pass, where the Rhône River begins and scenes from “Goldfinger” were shot in 1964

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Ambassador

Highlights: Chur

We can train from Brig to Chur but there is the possibility that we can get off the train earlier than Chur and ride along the Rhine. Chur, is Switzerland’s oldest city and is known for its charming old town, which features well-preserved medieval buildings and narrow streets. Explore the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption (Churer Dom), which dates back to the 12th century, and take in the picturesque views of the surrounding mountains.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Post Chur

Highlights: Lichtenstein, Bregenz and Constance lake

As you pedal through the Swiss countryside, you’ll cross into Vaduz, the capital of the small state of Liechtenstein. This small but prosperous principality is known for its stunning alpine scenery and its status as one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Pearched above the cliffs, Vaduz Castle, is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein, . Continuing your journey, you’ll encounter the Castle of Werdenberg, located in Werdenberg, Switzerland. This well-preserved medieval castle dates back to the 13th century and offers a glimpse into the region’s history. Your ride today culminates in Bregenz, Austria, located on the shores of Lake Constance.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Bodensee GmbH

Highlights: Lindau, Fredrikschafen, Lake Constance, and Constance

Cycle along the northern shore of Lake Constance today along great bikepaths. Take time to visit Lindau, Friedrichshafen, Immenstaad, Meersburg, and many other cute villages along the route. In Meersburg we will get a ferry across the lake to get to Constance.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel 47º

Highlights: Constance

Konstanz (Constance) is a historic city located on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee) in southern Germany. It has a rich history and cultural significance that spans centuries. Constance’s blend of historical significance, charming architecture, and lakefront beauty makes it a captivating destination for history lovers, cultural explorers, and nature enthusiasts alike.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel 47º

Highlights: Cycling to Schaffhausen along the Rhein, Stein am Rhein, the Rhine Falls

Follow the Rhine gorge today, as we get border cross several times in and out Switzerland and Germany. Stop by Stein am Rhine with its beautiful frescoed palaces in the historical centre. Admire the Rhine waterfalls, before reaching our hotel in Schaffhausen.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Kronenhof Hotel

Highlights: Waldshut, Laufenburg, Bad Sackinger wooden Bridge, Rheinfelden, Basel

Cycle quiet country roads as we shortcut some Rhine meanders on our way to Basel. Few dirt road sections allow us to avoid major roads. We will rejoin the Rhine on our way to Basel where many medieval villages remember us how important was the river as a trading route. We will cross border several time again, as we cross the Rhine to visit Laufenburg, Bad Sackinger, and many others, before arriving in busy Basel.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Rochat

Highlights: Canal Rhone to Rhine, Neuf Brisach fortress town, Colmar pearl of Alsace

We follow the Rhine on a bikepath to exit Basel and Switzerland to briefly enter Germany today. We will cycle along the Rhone to Rhine canal, one of the most important barge route built in Europe connecting central Europe and the Atlantic to Western France and the Mediterranean . We will pass the fortified town of Neuf Brisach, built to defend the border a couple of centuries ago, and we will head to Colmar, the heart of Alsace, on the Western side of the vast Rhine valley.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Turenne

Highlights: “The festive villages of the Alsace Wine Road, Pedaling to Strasbourg “

We will be crossing several beautiful towns sporting the typical Alsatian architecture alternating with famous Alsace vineyards. Enjoy countryside on your way North untill leave the Alsace wine area as we head east towards the Rhine again to join the north branch of the Canal Rhone to Rhine all the way to Strasbourg.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Maison Rouge

Highlights: Strasbourg, Capital of Alsace

As host to many of the European Union’s institutions, this town is alive with activity and has a UNESCO classified historic city center as well: a crossroads between Germany and France. The Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral was started in 1015 AD and now stands as one of France’s most famous architectural masterpieces. The glowing pink stone comes from the nearby Vosges Mountains and it was the world’s tallest building until 1874. Strasbourg is full of architectural gems as well as quaint quarters such as the La Petite France, often called the little Venice of the north with its canals, revolving bridges, and typical Alsatian-style buildings.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Maison Rouge

Highlights: Karlsruhe

“Embarking on a bicycle ride from Strasbourg to Karlsruhe via the Rhone, Rastatt and Ettlingen will take you through a scenic route that offers a mix of cultural landmarks, charming towns, picturesque castles and landscapes. Your ride ends today in Karlsruhe, a city known for its fan-shaped layout and its role as a center of science and culture.”

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Ambassador

Highlights: Heidelberg

As we leave the city today we will pass by Karlsruhe Palace and cycle through its private forest. We will cycle along the Rhine to leave it just before massive port facilities. Head to the hills of the Easter banks of the Rhine Rift Valley to climb up the plateau and reach Heidelberg, the red city, following the Neckar river

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Bayrischer Hof Heidelberg

Highlights: Weinheim, Oppenheim and Mainz

As we cycle north along the Rhine Valley we pass by multiple historical towns like Weinheim, Oppenheim, and Worms, the latter site of an important Roman Catholic Bishopric since the 7th Century. Among more than a hundred imperial diets held at Worms, the Diet of 1521 (commonly known as the Diet of Worms) ended with the Edict of Worms, in which Martin Luther was declared a heretic. Our destination today is Mainz, a Roman fouded city on the Rhine famous for being also the birthplace of Gutenberg, the inventor of a movable-type printing press.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Hammer

Highlights: The Rhine Gorge and its vineyards, Rhine Romantic Castles, Koblenz.

Leaving Mainz and following the Rhine we enter the Rhine Gorge, where the river cuts a 200m (650ft) deep gorge into the uplifted Devonian Plateau. The gorge is a World Unesco Site since 2002 because of its beauty as a cultural landscape, its importance as a route of transport across Europe, and the unique adaptations of the buildings and terraces to the steep slopes of the gorge. The famous terraces host a microclimate favorable to vineyards, and many are the wineries in the area. The area also hosts an incredible amount of castles, many of them restored in beautiful mansion during the Romantic period of the Prussian empire, by the end of the 18th century until the late 19th century.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Brenner

Highlights: Koblenz

Koblenz took the name from the Latin confluentes, meaning confluence. It was founded by the Romans at the confluence of the Mosel with the Rhine. The city was conquered by the French and the German multiple times during the centuries, ending on the German side after WWII. We highly recommend spending some time exploring this beautiful fortifed city.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



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