The River Rhine has its source at an altitude of 2345 metres, in a small shimmering lake surrounded by high peaks. From Lake Toma, the small torrent cascades down the hills, joins other streams and becomes increasingly larger as it continues its journey over 1233 kilometres through Switzerland, Germany, France, to its mouth in the Netherlands.
Eurovelo 15 leaves its mountainous section and comes into a flatter, more populous area, but just as attractive. The river has deepened its bed between the Black Forest and the Jura, sometimes wide and slow, other times narrow and rapid, thereby creating varied landscapes sculpted over the passage of time.
From the Swiss border onwards, the Rhine forms a natural border between France and Germany, Alsace and Baden-Wurttemberg, the Vosges and the Black Forest. The Rhine cycle route follows the two banks over almost 200 kilometres, alongside nature reserves and hydroelectric works, passing through the picturesque Alsace villages, visiting Strasbourg, the capital of Europe, before entering Karlsruhe.
The Rhine cycle trail leads cyclists through some of the most beautiful natural and cultural landscapes in Europe: the Upper Rhine Plain, surrounded to the east by the Black Forest, the Kraichgau region and the Odenwald, and the the west by the Vosges, the Palatinate Forest and the Highlands of the Rhine and the Hesse.
From Bingen, Eurovélo 15 extends to the north west, towards the Lorelei Valley. UNESCO listed the Upper Middle Rhine Valley - one of the oldest and most impressive natural landscapes in Germany - as a World Heritage Site.
The penultimate section of Eurovélo 15 begins in Cologne and meanders up towards the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the Rhine splits and joins up with other rivers. Because of the many names of the rivers it takes, with waterways, rivers and canals, the Dutch section of the international Rhine Cycle Route is called the Rhine Delta Cycle Path.