Cycling Copenhagen to Paris - ExpeditionPlus!

Cycling Copenhagen to Paris - ExpeditionPlus!

We invite you to join us on this special bicycling journey between two of the world’s most compelling cities Copenhagen and Paris. Our expedition begins in arguably one of the most bicycle friendly countries in Europe, Denmark. We'll spend four days here before crossing over into Eastern Germany, along the way we'll enjoy Lübeck and a rest day in Hamburg before continuing west towards the Netherlands and its compelling capital city Amsterdam. From Amsterdam, we'll visit some other iconic towns in the Netherlands and Belgium such as Gouda, Antwerp and Bruges, along with some famous places in cycling's history like Roubaix with yes, just a few cobblestones thrown in for good measure, before continuing to the Australian WWI memorial in Villers Bretonneaux for its 80th anniversary. Our finale takes us to Paris for the arrival of the Tour de France. Join us for this truly international travel and bicycling experience.

***Read more about the ExpeditionPlus! concept to see if this type of tour is for you.

There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.

Tour Style: Expedition Hold A Space Request Private Departure Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 24 Days
  • Total Distance / 1608 km (999 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 85 km (52 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 4.5 Expedition
  • Countries / Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands
  • Begin/End / Copenhagen / Paris
  • Price / From USD$9500
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Gentle riding in Denmark and the Netherlands, Rest days Hamburg, Amsterdam, Bruges, Visit to the Roubaix velodrome, Gouda famous for its cheese, Ghent , Antwerp, Paris and the finale of the Tour de France

    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.

    We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available. Separated twin beds are rare in many places instead there will be two mattresses together that sit on the same base.
  • Includes
    24 days, 23 nights' accommodation; 16 dinners, 23 breakfasts; canal cruise and food tour; brewery visit; boat trip Hamburg; ferry between Denmark and Germany; bilingual tour leaders; limited van support; tour leader gratuities

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Expedition tour at the Expedition Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Copenhagen (CPH) / Paris (CDG)
  • Overall Tour Level
    4.5 difficulty level 4.5

    401 Long mileages over relatively flat terrain. This is an Expedition level tour so van support will be limited because of the distances and regular use of bike paths.

  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    79km / 203m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    3
    100km / 936m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 3.5
    4
    74km / 1465m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 5.0
    5
    55km / 972m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 4.0
    6
    70km / 373m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    7
    Rest day
    8
    111km / 452m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    9
    93km / 372m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    10
    105km / 382m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    11
    77km / 275m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    12
    109km / 272m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    13
    Rest day
    14
    90km
    difficulty level 1.0
    15
    124km / 379m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 3.0
    16
    55km
    difficulty level 1.0
    17
    50km
    difficulty level 1.0
    18
    difficulty level 1.0
    19
    74km
    difficulty level 1.0
    20
    82km
    difficulty level 1.0
    21
    84km
    difficulty level 1.0
    22
    69km
    difficulty level 1.0
    23
    114km
    difficulty level 1.0
    24
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive Copenhagen

Highlights: Copenhagen considered the "most livable city and bike capital of the world"

The Danes are well known for their love of bicycling and Copenhagen is renowned for its cycling infrastructure that cities across the world are trying to emulate. With over 390 kilometers (241 miles) of designated bike lanes, it is truly a bicyclist's heaven. The world also looks to Copenhagen for the latest innovations in design, architecture, fashion and savors the extraordinary culinary revolution that has taken place here over the last decade.

Meet the group and Tour Leaders at 10 a.m. today.

DAY 2: Bicycle South Seeland

Highlights: Kalvebod Faelled, Mosede Fort & Beach, Køge oldest half-timbered house in Denmark

You'll leave Copenhagen on one of its many extraordinary bike paths to the Kalvebod Faelled nowadays one of the biggest recreational areas around Copenhagen. Stop for lunch in Køge, a century-old market town with an impressive medieval section surrounding the central square which is home to the oldest half-timbered house in Denmark. Continue cycling south, past Stevens Klint to our hotel on the Baltic beach of Rødvig.

  • Distance: 79km (49mi)
  • Gain: 203m (666ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Rødvig to Maribo

Highlights: Præstø Fjord, pedal over a 3 km bridge, beer factory

Continue pedaling southeast today through rural Denmark and then along the Præstø Fjord, one of the many fjords in the area that features salt marshes. Further along, we’ll leave the Seeland peninsula and cross over onto Lolland Island, the fourth largest island in Denmark and mostly one of transit as it is the closest to Germany. Enjoy a freshly poured beer in our destination town of Maribo which boasts its own brewery.

  • Distance: 100km (62mi)
  • Gain: 936m (3070ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4: Ferry into Germany

Highlights: Goodbye Denmark and hello Germany, ferry to Fehmarn Island, Baltic Sea Coast

A short 20 km (12 miles) ride brings us to the port town of Rodby where we'll catch a ferry leaving Denmark and entering Germany from the small island of Fehmarn. From there we'll join the mainland to then pedal another 50 km (31 miles) farther south to our hotel near the East German Baltic Sea Coast.

  • Distance: 74km (46mi)
  • Gain: 1465m (4805ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: Cycle to Lübeck

Highlights: Coastal riding, Lübeck - Queen of the Hanseatic

Ride along the beach and enjoy the waterfront of the Timmendorfer Strand before heading inland to Lübeck. Before entering town, you'll catch a free shuttle bus that takes you through the Herrentunnel underneath the Trave river. Lübeck is referred to as the Queen of Hanseatic cities. Its extensive Brick Gothic architecture is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. And make sure you enjoy Lübeck's beloved delicacy - some of the best marzipan in the world made by Niederegger.

  • Distance: 55km (34mi)
  • Gain: 972m (3188ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: Lübeck to Hamburg

Highlights: Hamburg

"The gateway to the world" is a bold claim, but Hamburg, Germany's second-largest city and largest port (despite being located on a river 100 km from the coast) has always been industrious. Hamburg has engaged in international trade since joining the Hanseatic League back in the Middle Ages, and this "harbourpolis" is now the nation's premier media hub and its wealthiest city.

  • Distance: 70km (44mi)
  • Gain: 373m (1223ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Rest day in Hamburg

Highlights: Guided harbor cruise of the Hamburg Port

Enjoy a harbor cruise this morning and some free time to visit some of the local attractions like the impressive Rathaus (city hall) or one of the museums in the newly popular warehouse district. Explore the city, pop into some local shops, and take a stroll along the Alster River and harbor to see the bustling water ways.

DAY 8: Hamburg to Bremen

Highlights: Elbe River, Altes Land, Bremen

We’ll leave Hamburg along the Elbe River to then turn south into the "Altes Land" - or Old Country. This reclaimed marshland is now fertile farmland, producing apples and cherries. Notice the small villages and farm houses decorated with the half-timbered houses that characterize the region. Our destination is the city state of Bremen, important historically as a hotly contested city-state between the Holy Roman Empire and Sweden in the 17th Century. In modern-day Germany it is one of the largest cities of the area. Bremen is also famous for the Brothers Grimm tale ostensibly set there (The Town Musicians of Bremen) even though in the fairy tale the animal musicians never actually make it to Bremen!

  • Distance: 111km (69mi)
  • Gain: 452m (1483ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Bremen to Cloppenburg

Highlights: Oldenburg Schloss, Ahlhorner Fischteiche nature reserve

It's a relaxing ride west to Oldenburg where you might want to enjoy coffee and a thick slice of German cake in the pedestrian city center. Alternatively, enjoy a visit to the Oldenburg castle, home to the Oldenburg monarchs until 1918. Continue south through rural countryside and the Ahlhorner Fischteiche nature reserve with its small ponds and opportunities for bird-watching. Once at our destination, the small town of Cloppenburg, take time to visit the oldest outdoor museum village in Germany, featuring historic buildings from around the Lower Saxony state, and an important research and cultural center for folklore and traditional village life.

  • Distance: 93km (58mi)
  • Gain: 372m (1220ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Welcome to Coevorden and the Netherlands

Highlights: Cross the German-Dutch border, Coevorden

Today you'll start your ride in Germany and cycle along quiet country roads and bike paths ending in the Netherlands. As we exit Germany, we’ll cross the Ems river and its delta. Keep your eyes peeled for an “auf wiedersehen” and a “welkom” sign as they are the only indicators that you are crossing from one country to another. Our destination, Coevorden was reconstructed as an ideal Renaissance city in the 17th century.

  • Distance: 105km (65mi)
  • Gain: 382m (1253ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Bicycle to Zwolle and on to Kampen

Highlights: Dutch bike paths, Zwolle, Kampen

Pedal along the famous network of Dutch bike paths which make the Netherlands one of the most cycling-friendly countries in the world. Visit the small city of Zwolle ("hill" in old Dutch), built on a hill in between four rivers. Continue pedaling to one of the best-preserved city centers in the Netherlands, the Hanseatic city of Kampen. The city center was built on the banks of the Ijssel River, a Dutch branch of the Rhine river. Stroll around town to visit the ancient city walls and gates, as well as the numerous ancient buildings and churches spanning from the 15th to the 19th centuries.

DAY 12: Kampen to Amsterdam

Highlights: Waterfront riding, bike paths, Amsterdam

We’ll ride due west today following small bike paths that border inlets from the North Sea that spread deep into the Netherlands, reminding us that many parts of the country are at, or below, sea level and that water management is crucial here. We'll finish the day in Amsterdam, a magical city built on canals. Our hotel overlooks the Ij, a body of water that acts as Amsterdam’s "waterfront" and that connects the North Sea to the interior’s water ways. We’ll enjoy a walk and dinner together tonight.

  • Distance: 109km (68mi)
  • Gain: 272m (892ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 13: Rest day in Amsterdam

Highlights: Guided tour, the city

Enjoy a leisurely morning and then meet up for a guided tour of the city. The tour finishes by 12:30 and you’ll have time this afternoon to visit any number of the city’s attractions— museums like the Anne Frank house, canals, quaint neighborhoods, hip locales and a lively night scene.

DAY 14: Amsterdam to Gouda

Highlights: Hollandic Waterline defense system, Utrecht, Gouda

Follow bike paths out of Amsterdam and head into the region of the Hollandic Waterline, a defense system born in the 17th Century where castles and military forts could be used to turn Holland into an island to keep out invaders through integrated systems of flooding. A century later the water froze creating a bridge for the French army to attack. Our first stop of the day is the tiny, quaint center of Utrecht and its unique bars dug into old working tunnels. Enjoy lunch at one of these outdoor cafès before heading to Gouda (pronounced Gowda), famous for its orange cheese. Enjoy a visit to the town’s cheese museum before dinner together tonight.

  • Distance: 90km (56mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15: Gouda to Antwerp, Belgium

Highlights: Kinderdijk Windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antwerp

Leave early today to enjoy time at a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site along our route: Kinderdijk. Nineteen majestic windmills align to form a memorable and stunning sight. After exploring the windmills you'll keep pedaling south through Dordrecht to reach Antwerp, historically known as the city of diamonds but also the birthplace of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. Our hotel is centrally located so that you can visit the famous painter’s art in the city’s cathedral, the historic city center, or the diamond district.

  • Distance: 124km (77mi)
  • Gain: 379m (1243ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 16: Antwerp to Ghent

Highlights: Antwerp, Ghent, Jan van Eyck’s “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”

A short ride permits a late start as we leave Antwerp and head west through historic marshes. These marshes provided fodder for sheep and Ghent became one of the richest cities in the world during the Middle Ages because of its wool industry. While not as wealthy as it once was, this lively university city is still one of the prettiest cities in Belgium. Admire its traditional tall Flemish buildings towering over the small streets and plazas.

  • Distance: 55km (34mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 17: Ghent to Bruges

Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage Site Medieval City Center of Bruges

Another short ride today takes us to Ghent's historic and cultural rival Bruges and its city center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll along the canals that were once main arteries of the city and don't miss a visit to the medieval square and City Hall which features the fantastic architecture that characterizes this unique city. Bruges is bustling with sites to see including the stepped gable houses, market square with the belfort, and historic neighborhoods such as the "Beguinage", an architectural complex created to house a community of lay women from the 13th century.

  • Distance: 50km (31mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18: Rest day in Bruges

Highlights: Guided walk of the city, brewery visit

We’ll enjoy a leisurely guided walk of the city as well as a visit to the city’s brewery. Although not one of the elite Trappist breweries present in the country, we’ll learn about how this important export is made and imbibe is some tasty samples. A fitting part of a rest day in Belgium.

  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 19: Belgium to Roubaix, France

Highlights: Cycling West Flanders, Kortrijk, Roubaix velodrome visit

We’ll leave Bruges today and head south through West Flanders. One of Europe’s most densely populated areas, this region is known for its ferocious WWI battles, and its beer. We will pass by important historical towns like Kortrijk along the way and enjoy a lunch amidst the Medieval and Renaissance architecture before continuing into northern France. This industrial area is also known for its famous one day bike race the Paris-Roubaix. We’ll enjoy a guided visit to the Roubaix velodrome where the race has ended every year since 1943.

  • Distance: 74km (46mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 20: Bicycle the famous cobblestones of Roubaix

Highlights: Pavé cobblestones of Roubaix, Douai, Medieval city of Arras

We’ll ride a few of the cobblestone streets that characterize the annual Paris-Roubaix bike race, before returning to pavement to continue our ride around Lille and then south to Douai and Arras. Douai merits a stop to visit its Gothic belfry, one of the most impressive in the region. Continue cycling to Arras which also has an amazing belfry, listed since 2005 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the impressive Town Hall, or visit the underground maze 10 meters below ground, or visit the Roman city ruins before enjoying one of the many restaurants or café’s in town.

  • Distance: 82km (51mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 21: Arras to Amiens

Highlights: Australian WWI Memorial and Museum at Villers Bretonneaux, Amiens

We’ll cycle south today and cross the Somme River, the site of multiple deadly battles in WWI, a war that devastated this region of northern France. We’re headed to Villers-Bretonneaux where Australians erected a WWI memorial commemorating their fallen military personnel. This town was the site of two battles in 1918 that heavily impacted the Australian regiment. 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of these battles, and you can spend time at the memorial and at the museum in town before riding or shuttling the final 20 km (12 miles) to our hotel in Amiens.

  • Distance: 84km (52mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 22: Amiens to Beauvais

Highlights: Amiens, UNESCO Site Gothic Cathedral, the newly formed French region “Hauts-de-France”, Beauvais

We can enjoy a later start this morning to explore Amiens, with its UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gothic Cathedral, and the Jules Verne museum at the prolific author’s former home. We'll pedal south in one of France’s newest regions, the “Hauts-de-France” which was formed in 2014 and named in 2016, and is composed of two smaller regions. On our way to Beauvais, heavily damaged in both WWI and WWII, we’ll cycle through a mix of agricultural and wooded areas. Today the city is known for its airport, Paris Beauvais, which is a major hub for low cost airlines. The city center does merit a visit.

  • Distance: 69km (43mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 23: Paris, city of lights!

Highlights: Seine River, Arc de Triomphe, Paris

We continue south to enter Paris passing by two natural parks following the Oise River before meeting up with the Seine River at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, built at the confluence of the two rivers. A mix of hidden bike paths and larger city streets will bring us into the center of Paris where we’ll enjoy a champagne toast celebrating our arrival before a festive dinner together near our hotel.

  • Distance: 114km (71mi)
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 24: Tour end

Highlights: Tour de France finish

Our tour ends today as does the Tour de France. Anybody wanting to participate in this historic finale check our departure information for recommendations for viewing packages. Others may choose to avoid the hullabaloo and visit the many sites this amazing city offers!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive Copenhagen

Meeting time 10 a.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on your itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Copenhagen Airport (CPH).

From the Copenhagen Airport to the Day 1 Hotel

  1. Metro to Norreport station (15 min/DKK 36; we recommend using the ticket machines, credit card only)
  2. walk from Norreport station Day 1 Hotel (7 mins)
  • Or Taxi from the airport to the hotel (20 min/DKK 250-300)
  •  

Day 24: Departure Information

Tour end

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

Tour de France Tickets: Anybody wanting to participate in the historic finale of the Tour de France can choose from various companies who offer tour end viewing packages. We recommend Custom Getaways. Tell them we sent you!

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

Flying out of CDG:

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to Eoile Champs-Elysees bus station (10 min/EUR 20)
  2. Bus L2 from Etoile Champs-Elysees to Airport CDG (30 min intervals) (50 min/EUR 17)

Other options to get to CDG from the ending hotel:

  • Taxi from the ending hotel to CDG (40 min/EUR 65)
  • Super shuttle (book online, time and fares vary)

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.

We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available. Separated twin beds are rare in many places instead there will be two mattresses together that sit on the same base.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Expedition Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Expedition tour at the Expedition page.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • Sailing the boat, every afternoon relaxing on the boat after biking and swimming, lovely dinners, hearty breakfasts, bee keepers, traditional dinner out, rides through the islands (up and down!), guides, fellow passengers, crew on the boat-- really it was ALL great.

    Cheryl A., Colchester, VT - June 2021
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