You will find when bicycle touring Germany that this country has a great bike culture. You can discover numerous well signed national and regional bike routes that range from easy to challenging that are well used by visitors and local citizens alike. In fact at times things can get a little confusing as numerous cycling paths merge.
Bicycle Touring Germany, Top 7 Routes
1. The Rhine Route – this very popular bicycle touring route starts in the Netherlands and has you riding through Germany before ending your journey in Switzerland. Some cyclists even take a short side trip into neighboring France. The main cycle route in Germany is 330 km (205 miles) along the Rhine River on a well maintained and paved route which is fairly flat. Highlights include the Rhine castles and watching the river traffic as you ride along. This is a well known wine region too.
2. Danube Bike Trail (German section)– actaully starts at Donaugschingen in the Black Forest region and takes you for 525 amazing kilometers (326 miles) to Passau on the Austrian border. Your bicycle touring across Bavaria takes you through picturesque towns and medieval cities including Regenburg. This route continues to Vienna, Budapest and the Black Sea. I have used and recommend the Bikeline guide Danube Bike Trail for the bicycle touring Germany section because of the excellent detailed maps.
3. Romantic Road Bike Route – starting in Wurzburg near Frankfurt this scenic route takes you through three walled medieval cities, past several fairy tale castles in Bavaria, vineyards and ends at Fussen near the Austrian border, a distance of 420 km (261 miles) away. Expect a few climbs along the way. Spend a few nights in Schwangau so you can visit Neuschwanstein castle, copied by Disney, which is worth the visit (tours are available in English). This is a favorite route of mine.
4. Moselle River Trail – starts in Germany along the Rhine and ends in France at the Metz River. Along the way this 304 km (189 mile) route follows the vineyard lined Moselle River and visits historic towns which feature some really interesting castles.
5. Mozart Bike Route – visits the southeastern corner of Germany around Berchtsgaden, Chimsee (the largest inland lake) before crossing into Austria for some cycling around the Austrian lakes and Salzburg. Expect some hills along the your cycling journey. Highlights include the Salzburg fortresses and the Herrenchiemsee Palace on an island at Chimsee.
6. German Border Bike Route – starting at the Czech border this route meanders for 1,400 km (870 miles) before reaching the Baltic Seas.
7. Bodensee Bike Route – for some easy bicycle touring for 4 or 5 days around Lake Constance including 3 countries: Germany; Austria and Switzerland. Great scenery, interesting towns and opportunity to see the different cultures. Connects with the Rhine River route or head in the other direction into Switzerland.
I used the Germany by Bike: 20 Tours Geared for Discovery roughly although I changed the routes somewhat, I still recommend this book for the basic ideas on bicycle touring Germany.
When is the best time for Bicycle Touring Germany?
The months of May or June in the spring and September or October in the fall are the best times. Attractions are not as busy and accommodation is easier to find. In the fall expect to discover many local wine and beer festivals.
Bicycle Touring Germany with its amazing network of signed bike routes makes it one of the premier destinations in Europe.