Cycle Touring: Five Rivers in Five Days

Trier makes an ideal base for day trips by bike, with five different riverside bike paths (www.radwanderland.de) to choose from. Trains and RegioRadler buses (www.moselbahn.de), which have bike trailers, make it possible to ride one way (ie downhill) and take public transport the other.

Esterbauer (www.esterbauer.com) publishes Bikeline cycling guides with maps.

Kylltal-Radweg From Losheimergraben on the Belgian border, this route parallels the Cologne-Trier railway line 121.4km southeast along the Kyll (pronounced kool) River. Take the train between Erdorf and Kyllburg (five to seven minutes) to avoid a killer hill.

Mosel-Radweg (www.radweg-reisen.com) Beginning in Metz in France, the 311km Mosel-Radweg passes through Trier before continuing downriver to Koblenz. Parts are served by bus.

Ruwer-Hochwald-Radweg (www.ruwer-hochwald-radweg.de) This 50km bike path runs along a one-time rail line from Hunsrück, following the Ruwer River (a tributary of the Moselle) through picturesque wine-growing country to Ruwer, 19km southeast of Trier. Some bus services are available.

Saar-Radweg Starting in Strasbourg in France, this route runs 210km along the mostly gorgeous, partly industrial Saar River via Saarbrücken to Konz, 9km southwest of Trier, where the Saar and Moselle rivers meet.

Sauertal-Radweg From Ettelbruck in Luxembourg, this 61.2km path follows a decommissioned rail line north along the Sauer River to Wasserbillig, 13km west of Trier. Northern variants follow the Prüm and Nims Rivers. Buses serve some areas.