Stage 3, From Basel to Karlsruhe, through Alsace and the German vineyards
From the Swiss border onwards, the Rhine forms a natural border between France and Germany, Alsace and Baden-Wurttemberg, the Vosges and the Black Forest. The Rhine cycle route follows the two banks over almost 200 kilometres, alongside nature reserves and hydroelectric works, passing through the picturesque Alsace villages, visiting Strasbourg, the capital of Europe, before entering Karlsruhe.
Along the French side, the Rhine cycle route begins, in a South-North direction, at the level of Huningue, near Basel, and follows the Rhine-Rhone Canal, passing through the “Petite Camargue” nature reserve and the Hardt forest before reaching the village of Ottmarsheim, known for its famous Romanesque church. After Artzenheim, a large part of the route passes through the countryside, which does not stop cyclists from making a detour to the large Alsace towns of Mulhouse and Colmar, easily accessible via connecting trails. The route is dotted with a dozen locks and small characteristic churches until it reaches Strasbourg, the capital of Europe, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with its numerous historical monuments. By the high-water dyke and the village of La Wantzenau, reputed for its restaurants, the route runs very close to the enormous fish ladder of Gambsheim and passes through alluvial forests and nature reserves. Beyond Sessenheim, where Goethe stayed, the small town of Lauterbourg is the last stage of the Rhine cycle route in Alsace. On the German side, the Rhine cycle route joins Basel to Karlsruhe by passing through the Markgräfler Land, a renowned wine-growing region, following the example of the Kaiserstuhl hills, located a few kilometres from Freiburg im Breisgau. The Rhine cycle route crosses the warmest and sunniest area of Germany along tracks that are mainly flat. After passing Europa-Park in Rust, cyclists reach Rastatt, a town on the edge of the Rhine whose historical Baroque monuments, such as the residence of the Margrave Louis-William of Baden and the remains of the fortification dating back to the Baden Revolution, provide examples of its eventful history. Finally, the EV15 enters Karlsruhe, a very young town whose first stone was laid on 17th June 1715, with the construction of the castle which became the new residence of the Margrave Charles William of Baden-Durlach
MAY BE USED FOR
WEIL-AM-RHEIN, THREE-COUNTRIES BRIDGE
Weil-am-Rhein is located in the place where Germany, France and Switzerland join. With the world record for being the longest bridge reserved for pedestrians and cyclists -238 metres, the Three Countries Bridge, joining the towns of Huningue in France and Weil-am-Rhein in Germany, enables to cross the River Rhine. Switzerland is just a few hundred metres away, on the German side.
Because of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate, and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a hub for regional tourism. The longest cable car run in Germany, which is 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long, runs from Günterstal up to a nearby mountain called Schauinsland. At the centre of the old city is the Münsterplatz or Cathedral Square, Freiburg’s largest square. A farmers market is held here every day except Sundays. This is the site of Freiburg’s Münster, a gothic minstercathedral constructed of red sandstone, built between 1200 and 1530 and noted for its towering spire.
Located in Rust, in Germany, between Strasbourg and Freiburg im Breisgau, the largest German theme park holds around one hundred attractions in a surface area of 90 hectares, in 13 parts each devoted to a European country. A must for cyclists addicted to adrenalin thrills … and their children!
A symbol of French-German reconciliation and of European unity, Strasbourg is considered as the European capital due to the presence of several European Union and Continental Europe institutions. With the headquarters in particular of the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg is one of the rare towns, along with New York and Geneva, to house international institutions without being the capital of a State.
Baden-Baden is a German spa town. The city offers many options for sports enthusiasts; Golf and tennis are both popular in the area. Horse races take place each August at nearby Iffezheim. The countryside is ideal for hiking and mountain climbing. In the winter Baden-Baden is a skiing destination. The springs of Baden-Baden have been known for more than 2,000 years, and their composition resembles that of the Roman baths of the 3rd century. The water at the baths of “Caracalla-Therme” spa is rich in sodium chloride, and comes from artesian wells 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) under the Florentiner Mountain. The Spielbank casino is more than 200 years old and the oldest of its type in Germany.
The town centre is characterised by one of the most beautiful baroque castles in Germany. Many more significant historical buildings scatter the town centre such as the town hall, city gate, churches, chapels and fountains which all add to the feeling that you are stepping back in time to the 18th century. Favourite castle, which sits in the midst of an English style park and houses many treasures invites you in to experience its beauty.
Founded on 17th June 1715 by the Margrave Charles-William of Baden-Durlach, in a forest where he rested after a hunting session, the Baroque castle of Karlsruhe was the very first building in the town. Karlsruhe, whose literal meaning is “Charles’ rest-place”, has an urban architecture built in a star shape around the castle, from which 32 streets are spread out like a fan. In addition to the Landesmuseum, a universal museum set up in the castle, covering history, art and civilisation in one large cultural historical exhibition, Karlsruhe is also known for one of its inhabitants, Karl Drais, inventor in 1817 of the Velocipede, also known as the Draisine, the bicycle’s forerunner.
Discover a wealth of information on travelling by Motorhome, Caravan or Boat when planning your holiday or trip of a lifetime
Which ever way you wish to travel, do it with style!