Bavarian holiday by bike? Good idea - it keeps you fit and you get a long way. Gently along the riverbank, over undulating hills or up and down mountains. We present 16 eventful tours
Long Distance Cycle Routes in Bavaria: 16 Tips
Follow the water: the Donauradweg
At 2,850 kilometres, the Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga. In Bavaria, a cycle trail accompanies it for around 420 kilometres. Easy to manage in individual day stages. A cycle trail for everyone, awarded four stars by the ADFC (German Cycling Club). In Bavarian Swabia, flanked for a large part of the way by the Donaumoos conservation area.
At Ingolstadt you are in Upper Bavaria, then you pass Weltenburg Abbey, Kelheim and Regensburg in Eastern Bavaria. The route continues in Lower Bavaria via Straubing and Vilshofen to Passau. And then on beyond… The cycle route is well served by inns and hotels. It is also possible to book package deals with tour operators who will transport your luggage.
Charming neighbours: explore the valleys of the Danube
The route explores fourteen tributary valleys of the Danube covering over 300 kilometres in Bavarian Swabia. Well marked routes, between 16 and 100 kilometres long. Occasionally dipping into Württemberg territory. The tours run through the landscape between the Iller and the Danube, along the meandering Zusam, and through woods and past pools along the Egau and Kessel rivers.
They pass through the heather-clad moors of the Swabian Alb with views of the Danube, while along the Günz, Kammel, Mindel and Glött rivers you find lakes, ponds and natural bathing pools.
donautaeler.com (only in German)
Cycle loop through the Allgäu
Enjoy a 475 km circuit through the Allgäu. From easy to challenging. The ADFC (German Cycling Club) has awarded this route four stars. This is due to factors such as the extensive network of trails with standard waymarking, various elevation profiles and its own e-bike area. It can be mastered in nine variants.
The basic route is the classic one that passes through Sonthofen, Nesselwang, Füssen, Kaufbeuren, Bad Wörishofen, Ottobeuren, Memmingen, Wangen and Fischen. Special bed-and-bike facilities are ideally suited to the needs of long-distance cyclists. With more than fifty stations on or near the route, this circuit is also very well connected to the rail network.
allgaeu.de (only in German)
Schlossparkrunde in the Allgäu
This five-star long distance cycle route leads almost 220 kilometres through the eastern Allgäu. Divided into five stages. Past castles and palaces, lakes and mountains. And following the spirit of the Fairy Tale King Ludwig II: he left his mark in the castle ruins of Falkenstein (Ludwig also wanted to build a fairy tale castle here but the project was never realised) and the royal palaces of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.
Route: Füssen, Lechbruck, Kaufbeuren, Buchloe, Bad Wörishofen, Irsee, Görisried, Nesselwang, Pfronten and back to Füssen. For some light relief from pedalling, you can take in a Kneipp treatment or spend a day walking over the moors. Tours with moderate, sometimes also steep gradients. Frequent use of disused railways. Route mostly on country roads with little traffic. Some of the stages can be shortened or divided up. Good infrastructure for cycle tourists.
fuessen.de (only in German)
Bending and curving: the Main-Radweg
Follow the winding route of the Main River from its source to its mouth. On the White Main (Bischofsgrün) or the Red Main (Creußen). Almost 600 kilometres long, the route uses standard waymarking in both directions.
Cyclists will find a variety of landscapes and impressions: the original Fichtel Mountains and the Franconian Forest, romantic Franconian Switzerland, the expansive Obermain-Jura, the Steigerwald and Haßberge Mountains, the sunny Franconian wine region and the Liebliches Taubertal, woodlands in Spessart-Mainland and Untermain. For most of the route, you follow the Main with very few hills. Very good infrastructure. Cycle-friendly inns and hotels abound. Travel arrangements with luggage transport can be booked.
mainradweg.com (only in German)
Captivating: the Tauber-Altmühltal-Radweg
Bronnbach Monastery (a former Cistertian Abbey, founded in the 12th century) plus delightful places such as Tauberbischofsheim, Bad Mergentheim and Rothenburg ob der Tauber are some of the highlights of this route. Others include the Danube Gorge near Weltenburg, castles, bathing lakes and the Nature Parks Frankenhöhe and Altmühltal.
This long distance cycle route runs for 350 kilometres along the Tauber and Altmühl, from the Main to the Danube. It has very few climbs and avoids busy roads. Along the way you can experience history, culture and the Franconian way of life. In eight stages from Wertheim to Eichstätt and Kelheim. With bicycle-friendly accommodation along the route.
tauber-altmuehl-radweg.de (only in German)
A touch of romance: the Regnitz-Radweg
The route links Nuremberg with Bischberg near Bamberg, where the Regnitz meets the Main. It connects Franconian Switzerland with the Steigerwald forest. The Regnitz valley is noted for its alluvial forests and sandy meadows. Old water wheels add a touch of romance. The towns of Forchheim, Erlangen and Fürth are well worth a visit along the way.
While the valley route runs for 85 kilometres through villages and small towns, at 75 metres the shorter canal route follows the Main-Danube canal and the Regnitz. You can switch between the two as you go. Culinary treats are plentiful, including Franconian beer and fish dishes as well as fresh fruit and vegetables from the region.
regnitzradweg.de (only in German)
Through carp country: the Aischtalradweg
A rich and varied cycle tour, well suited to families due to a lack of major gradients and some pristine paths. The Aischgrund is a charming river landscape with an extensive network of lakes and many springs and streams. Over 7,000 ponds make it the largest pond landscape in Europe. Over at least 120 kilometres, the cycle route links the two historic state cities of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bamberg, connecting the so-called Middle and Upper Franconia.
The Old Towns of Burgbernheim, Neustadt an der Aisch and Höchstadt, the spa town of Bad Windsheim and pretty Franconian villages are all worth a stop. Many train stations on the route, good network with other cycle routes. Inns and Biergartens offer refreshments. Speciality: carp, of course!
frankentourismus.de (only in German)
Volcanoes and Zoigl: Upper Palatinate Bike World
A new, 500-kilometre-long and well-signposted route winds through the Upper Palatinate Forest in the north-east of Bavaria in the shape of a lying eight. The start is in Weiden. Along the way you will find beautiful landscapes such as the Waldnaab and Fichtelnaab valleys, primeval volcanic cones like the Rauhe Kulm and numerous panoramic views.
The route also crosses tranquil towns such as Tirschenreuth or Waldsassen with its famous Abbey Library and the baroque church of Kappl, leads to the Sybillenbad spa and passes ponds and castle ruins. Comfortable thanks to railway stations, charging stations for e-bikes, numerous inns and hotels. You can use disused railway lines, cycle along rivers or tackle steep climbs.
In addition, two to four-day tours open up various Upper Palatinate "worlds of experience" such as the "Water Worlds" route to the lake district near Schwandorf. The "Zoigl & Fisch" route introduces you to the region's culinary delights: bottom-fermented Zoigl beer from small municipal breweries and carp from the region's many ponds.
Sporty: the Trans Bayerwald
Getting down to business: pedal your mountain bike through the Bavarian Forest. Up hill and down dale over a total of around 700 kilometres. There are two different variants, each seven day stages long. They can also be merged to form a circuit.
The southern route follows the Donaukamm mountain ridge and leads from Furth im Wald via Sankt Englmar and Bischofsmais to Passau. Moderate stretches alternate with more challenging trails and meaty ascents. At the start you can also add in a trip to the Czech Republic. Numerous mountain huts along the way. Almost 344 kilometres, 8,300 metres elevation gain.
The northern route runs in the opposite direction from Passau to Furth im Wald, through forests and over the peaks of the Grenzkamm and Arberkamm, through the Bavarian Forest National Park and the Bavarian Forest Nature Park and the Upper Bavarian Forest. 361 kilometres, 8,350 metres elevation gain. A cross connection is possible. Package deals with luggage transport are offered.
trans-bayerwald.de (only in German)
Eastern Bavaria: the Fünf-Flüsse-Radweg
This romantic circular route combines five beautiful river valleys in Eastern Bavaria. Each river has its own character and charm: the Danube, Altmühl, Pegnitz, Vils and Naab. The route follows the rivers for around 300 kilometres, with no noteworthy ascents and very little traffic.
Ideal for families! Highlights along the way include historic towns and castles, caves and rocks, churches and abbeys, such as the World Heritage Site of Regensburg old town, the historic old town of Berching, Weltenburg Abbey, Burg Prunn, Kallmünz and much more. You can do the tour in five stages, for example from Regensburg to Kelheim, Berching, Nuremberg, Amberg and back to Regensburg.
The individual stretches are between 30 and 75 kilometres long. In addition, there are seventeen possible day tours.
Enjoyable tour of Lower Bavaria
Spas, beer, Baroque and much more. These are all to be found on a route that runs almost 245 kilometres through Bavaria’s golf and spa region. Seven day stages in the south of the Danube between Regensburg and Passau. You can enjoy delightful water meadows, take health-giving spa waters, taste the fine art of brewing or marvel at works by Baroque artists such as the famous Asam brothers.
The landscape is shaped by the valleys of the Danube, Inn, Isar and Hallertau. Worth a visit on the way: the Baroque highlights of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau and Weltenburg Abbey, Aldersbach and Rohr (famous Asam church!). The Africa Museum in Schweiklberg Abbey and the old town of Landshut. In the Biergärten and abbey inns, you can tuck into home-brewed beer and various Bavarian delicacies.
Relaxation and wellness in Bad Gögging and Bad Abbach, in the Danube bathing bay in Matting or in the lakes along the route.
ostbayern-tourismus.de (only in German)
Around Munich: the Wasser-Radlwege
Explore Upper Bavaria by bike. 1,200 kilometres of waterside cycle routes await you. A network of routes in which you are frequently travelling next to the water, and Munich is your hub. There are three partial routes: the Hopfenschleife (Hop Loop) offers water and hop experiences such as the Leopoldineninsel in Neuburg an der Donau, the Hollertau, the oldest active brewery in Freising or Munich’s Eisbach.
In the southeast, salt reigns supreme, and there is a focus on the history of this product along with the Inn and Salzach rivers and towns such as Mühldorf, Traunstein, Altötting and Burghausen. The southwest loop runs between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It leads through the Murnau Moos region and the landscape of rivers and lakes around Lake Ammersee. There are various cross connections.
oberbayern.de (only in German)
Along the Ammer and Amper
A route through the Bavarian Alpine foothills. This cycle route starts at the source of the River Ammer in Graswangtal, goes past Oberammergau and leaves the Alps behind as it follows the river downstream. It then crosses the hilly landscape of the Pfaffenwinkel with its many cultural monuments.
The route passes Lake Ammersee then continues along beside the river, which is now called the Amper. It passes the towns of Fürstenfeldbruck, Dachau and Freising with their various attractions. After Moosburg, the Amper flows into the Isar. Total cycle route: around 200 kilometres, which can be comfortably completed in four days. It is easy to reach the start in Oberammergau by train, and other entry or exit points along the route are also accessible by rail.
ammer-amper-radweg.com (only in German)
Devout! Biketour Benediktweg
Not to be missed. Not just because of the papal namesake. Also because of the good waymarking! This circuit, almost 250 kilometres long, follows in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI. In five day stages. The route starts and finishes in Altötting, having run through the Chiemgau and past Lake Chiemsee.
The route is a thread running through the life of Joseph Ratzinger. From his birthplace in Marktl am Inn to places where he lived: Traunstein, Tittmoning and Aschau am Inn. For most of its length, the route runs on cycle paths, field and forest trails and quiet roads.
You can enjoy the landscape of the Bavarian Alpine foothills and visit sights that are famous or less well known, such as Burghausen and its famous castle, the former Cistercian monastery of Raitenhaslach, the abbeys of Gars and Seeon or the towns of Wasserburg and Mühldorf.
inn-salzach.com/benediktweg (only in German)
Rich and varied: the Isarradweg
The Isar rises in the Hinterautal in the Tyrol near the border with Bavaria. It flows almost three hundred kilometres and meets the Danube near Deggendorf. Along the way, the Isar shows various faces and crosses some delightful regions - from mountain scenery and gentle hills in the Alpine foothills through to alluvial forest in its lower reaches.
There is plenty to see as you travel along the banks of the Isar: you start in the Olympiaregion Seefeld region in the Tyrol, cross the Alpenwelt Karwendel and the Tölzer Land, past the Bavarian capital of Munich, the districts of Freising, Landshut and Dingolfing-Landau and eventually end up at the mouth of the Isar in the Deggendorf region. Duration: from four day stages. Various package deals for gourmets through to sports enthusiasts are available.
isarradweg.de (only in German)