Here is a bicycle loop that will make you travel… Since it is a cross-border route, which passes through both France and Germany. This is the local loop 613 called “Le Rhin au naturel” from Lauterbourg, in the north-east of Alsace. A region that I discovered during this loop (yes, there are still corners of Alsace that I don’t know!) and that seduced me. This course is a little less than 40km long and is all flat .
Eurovélo 15 between Lauterbourg and Seltz
From Lauterbourg, the route starts with the French part: after leaving Lauterbourg (not the most glamorous part of the route, but it goes fast!), you take the Eurovelo 15, which is theRhine Bike Route. This part of the loop is very pleasant because we are on a bicycle path all the way. If you are with your family, it is perfectly suitable because it is both flat and safe.
We drive on green roads, sometimes right by the Rhine, sometimes a little inland. In any case, water is never far away: between the Rhine, its dead arms and the gravel pits, the omnipresence of water is one of the elements that characterize this loop.
In Munchhausen, you will then reach the nature reserve of the Sauer Delta, a remarkable area for its landscape and biodiversity. The view from the bridge, with the village and the flat-bottomed boats, is really nice. It is also a pleasure to stop and take pictures everywhere… The color of the water is often surprising and one feels out of place. I really enjoyed this aspect!
Cycling in Germany
Arrived at Seltz, we pass on the German side by taking the ferry of Seltz (free, for the bicycles too) allowing to cross the Rhine. The route then passes through the Rhine’s backwaters, which are home to unspoiled nature, but also through the Goldkanal, a beautiful place to swim! Remember to bring your swimsuit if you want to take a swim break🙂
Attention: on this German part of the route, the road is not paved. It will therefore not be pleasant with a road bike, prefer a VTC.
Another point to note is that there were important works in Germany when I did this loop: the bike path planned in the itinerary was not accessible, so I had to go further inland… As a result, I got a bit lost because I was trying to see the landscapes of the Rhine banks (of course!), which made me make a lot of detours. I would advise to wait until the work is finished but I don’t know when it will be finished… If not, take a map and be prepared to drive a few more miles 😉
Return to France
We then take the ferry back to Neuburg, which this time doesn’t take you from Germany to France, but… from the state of Baden-Württemberg to the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. We remain in Germany and, this time, the ferry is paying (2€50 for a cyclist): bring some change, they do not take the bank card. Just before getting back on the ferry, the Zollhaus restaurant offers you a pleasant break on the terrace. Again, just remember to bring cash as Visa or Mastercard are not accepted.
At the descent of the ferry, we find the Eurovélo 15 which makes us cross the border to return in France and then join Lauterbourg.
If you want to continue the day, the Lauterbourg water sports center is really beautiful (with turquoise water) and offers swimming, surfing (yes!) and various water sports. Very nice!
- Landscapes of the loop
- Omnipresence of water
- Fun to go from France to Germany
- Terrace on the Rhine of the restaurant in Germany
I liked a little less
- Difficulties to pay by credit card in Germany
- The work that made me get lost 😛
My pictures of the bike tour “The Rhine in the natural”.
Departure and arrival
- Distance: 40km
- Elevation gain: 70m
- Duration: about 2h30 (breaks not included)
Lauterbourg is located in:
- 40km from Haguenau (about 35 minutes)
- 63km from Strasbourg (about 40 minutes)
- 130km from Colmar (about 1h30)
- 170km from Mulhouse (about 1h50)
By public transport
You can calculate your route on Fluo Grand Est.