The Erft cycle route
Romans, knights and nobility
This route is a leisurely cycle trail covering 110 kilometres, and never leaving the river, from the source of the Erft in the Eifel to its confluence with the Rhine.
The Erft cycle route is only passable between Neuss and Kerpen after the storm on 14 July 2021: The section between Kerpen-Balkhausen and Bad Münstereifel is closed.
The Erft cycle route is not for sports enthusiasts looking for a challenge, but families with children and beginner cyclists value the tour through a region steeped in history. It follows a 110-kilometre route along the Erft river, from its source in the small Eifel town of Nettersheim-Holzmülheim through to Neuss near its confluence with the Rhine, past numerous water castles, sumptuous palaces and relics of the Roman era and industrial history. The route can easily be covered in two or three stages, particularly since cyclists only have one slight uphill stretch to overcome. Even better, from Bad Münstereifel onwards, the first stop along the way, the route is downhill all the way through the Eifel region. And all this almost entirely without troublesome road traffic. The Erft cycle route is true to its name, and follows the course of the river almost the entire time, through impressive natural landscapes and pretty little towns which invite cyclists to take a welcome break.
The numerous attractions on the way are also worth stopping for. The region not only has the most water castles in Germany, but also the Romans, the Rhenish nobility and the mining industry have left their traces, which can still be visited today. It’s certainly worth taking a brief detour to the fabulous Unesco World Heritage palace of Augustusburg near Brühl. Other popular day trip destinations are the Apothekenmuseum, the apothecary museum in Bad Münstereifel, the Pfeifenmuseum, or pipe museum, in Bergheim, the Insel Hombroich open-air art gallery and, particularly for children, the Phantasialand leisure park. The historic old town of Alt-Kaster is also worth a visit.
After a day’s cycling or daytripping, visitors are warmly welcome in cycle-friendly accommodation. Some of them, whether they’re a youth hostel or a four-star designer hotel, have bed&bike certification and usually offer safe places to store bikes, as well as a baggage transfer service.
Particularly sporty visitors for whom the 110-kilometre route isn’t enough can combine the Erft cycle route with the Rheinradweg cycle path and the Ahrradweg cycle path to form the three rivers tour (“Drei-Flüsse-Tour”), a circular route covering 300 kilometres.