The Saarland is a Federal State in southwest Germany. It is the smallest of the area countries and has just under a million inhabitants. The second smallest country borders in the north and east and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in the south at the French Grand Est region and in the west, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Saarland has retained its personal character and is a paradise for gravel cyclists.
To discover the region with a gravel bike, we take the Saarland Cycle Path. It circles the Saarland over 350 kilometers. Naturally, I begin our gravel trip from home and ride the gravel bike to the start of the route at Homburg, Germany.
Early in the ride, one will experience the first grades that climb through the forest. Another challenge is the long long trek to ride 600 meters vertically to the mountain Höchen. The demanding descent through the forest takes concentration and later, you will see abandoned villages as you make your way north. Some of the route is maintained over an old former railway line, still covered with gravel.
At Losheim, we follow a small stream that runs parallel to the path through the forest. At Mettlach, we encounter the Saar river and enjoy an ice cream break, a nice reward after some hard kilometers on the gravel roads!
We follow the Saar river and discover a dream path that follows the river for several kilometers.
Later in the day, we ride into the river valley of the Moselle. One one side is Luxembourg, the other side, France.
From here, the landscape becomes even more lovely we are in the Saargau. Essentially, this is a ridge between the rivers Saar and Moselle. Along the way, farms and small villages dot the route. In Überherrn, we find an Italian ice cream parlor. We eat hot Apple Strudel which helps to brighten the mood after riding in the rain for four hours.
From here, we ride on the old Huguenot Trail, and feel the gradients as we make our way back to the Saar river and spot the state capital of Saarbrücken.
The Saarland Cycle Path continues to follow the river over old towpaths into France. At the small French commune of Saareguemines, we turn left towards Bliestal.
We arrive safely back at Homburg, the starting point of our journey. Now, another 75 kilometers to ride and make it home! If you factor in the Saarland Cycle Path route, about 217 miles / 347 kilometers in length plus our ride to and from, it was an almost 500-kilometer adventure. So much fun!