Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads
Itinerary SummaryView Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Würzburg
Highlights: Bicycle fitting, Test ride, Würzburg baroque architecture
We gather today in Würzburg, a historic medieval center (dating back as early as the 7th century) that sits on the banks of the Main River. Come a day early to explore the exquisite Baroque palace, churches and gardens dating to the 18th century. After fitting bikes this afternoon we'll gather for introductions and dinner together.
Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D
Lodging: Hotel Novotel
Day 2: Bicycle from Würzburg to Bad Mergentheim
Highlights: Hill rides and castles
Our ride today takes us through the hills of central Germany to the medieval town of Mergentheim. In the early 20th century the name was changed to Bad Mergentheim in honor of the discovery, a century before, of natural mineral springs in the area. Today the village is dominated by the castle complex on the edge of the historic town. Take time this afternoon to explore this wonderfully preserved medieval town.
Distance: 58 km (36 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Bundschu
Day 3: Ride from Bad Mergentheim to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Highlights: Rothenburg's market and architecture
Today we continue through the rolling hills of central Germany to the medieval village of Rothenburg. Perched high above the meanders of the Tauber River, Rothenburg enjoys a nearly perfectly preserved town center surrounded by its 14th and 15th century walls. You'll enjoy exploring the market center and the streets lined with Gothic and half-timber houses. We'll enjoy a wine tasting at Weingot Glocke this afternoon.
Distance: About 50 km (31 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Romantik Hotel Markusturm
Day 4: Pedal from Rothenburg to Dinkelsbühl
Highlights: Medieval towns of Feuchtwangen and Dinkelsbühl
We ride over undulating farmlands from one fairy tale village to another today. Like Rothenburg on the Tauber, Dinkelsbühl is nearly perfectly preserved from the middle ages. As early as the 11th century, the town was a major center at the intersection of two medieval trade routes. Tonight we'll learn more about the town and the history of the area as we take a guided tour of the town with one of the Nightwatchman.
Distance: 45km (28miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Deutsches Haus
Day 5: Bicycle from Dinkelsbühl to Donauwörth
Highlights: Ries Basin meteor impact crater, medieval town of Donauwörth, Danube River
The landscape changes today as we pedal across the 12-17 mile wide, nearly circular Ries Basin. Unlike most of the areas we bike, which are mixed forests and farmland, the geology of this area doesn't allow rich forest lands. We are back in the "typical" landscape of Bavaria as we approach historic Donauwörth on the banks of the Danube, western Europe's longest river.
Distance: 75 km (47 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Drei Kronen
Day 6: Ride from Donauwörth to Augsburg
Highlights: Lech River, the Cassian Way, Augsburg, brewery visit
Our ride takes us up the valley of the Lech River today to Augsburg, which was founded by the Roman emperor Augustus in 15 BC. As you might expect, there is plenty to see here this afternoon. We will visit the award winning Riegele Brauerei brewery.
Distance: 62km (39 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Dom
Day 7: Pedal from Augsburg to Landsberg
Highlights: Landsberg, the "Bavarian Gate"
As we bicycle from Augsburg to Landsberg we are back in the forests and farmlands, which are densely settled with small villages and hamlets all along the way. Under the Holy Roman Empire in the medieval period, Landsberg was a fortified border town separating the duchy of Swabia from that of Bavaria. Historic walls, towers and gates define the architecture of the community, including one of the best town gates in Germany, the "Bavarian Gate."
Distance: 52km (32miles). Meals:B, D
Lodging: Hotel Goggl
Day 8: Bicycle from Landsberg to Füssen
Highlights: The ancient Claudia Augusta Way
Today we continue to parallel the Lech River and the ancient Claudia Augusta Way, which eventually became the medieval trade route that gave its name to the "Romantic Way." Our destination is Füssen. The town sits near King Ludwig's most famous castle, Neuschwanstein, at the foot of the Austrian Alps.
Distance: 76km (47miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Sonne
Day 9: Loop from Füssen to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
Highlights: Castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
The turrets and "faux" medieval castle built by mad King Ludwig in the late 19th century is one of the most famous attractions in southern Germany. This is truly a predecessor of Disney-style castles, which have captured the imagination of children for a century and a half. We'll pedal or walk to the castle for a 35 minute guided visit. After our visit we'll suggest a ride that allows you the best photo opportunities of this and the second castle in nearby Hohenschwangau. If you prefer not to ride today, we'll provide shuttles to the castles.
Distance: 17 km (11 miles) to visit the castles; additional mileage is optional. Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Sonne
Day 10: Tour ends today in Füssen
Highlights: Tour end
Our tour ends after breakfast today. Take time to relax and explore nearby Austria. Or if you are headed home, the Munich airport is 3 1/2 hours away by train. Gute Reise!
HighlightsBad Mergentheim, Augsburg, the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, Würzburg, Rothenburg on the Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, Landsberg
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 10 days, 9 nights accommodation, 6 dinners with wine or beer, 9 breakfasts, 1 wine tasting, and a guided visit with the nightwatchman of Dinkelsbuehl, a guided visit of Neuschwanstein castle plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartFrankfurt am Main Airport (FRA), Nüremberg (NUE) or Munich Airport (MUC) /Frankfurt or Munich
Total Distance426 km (265 miles) Additional mileage available.
Daily Distance18 - 80 km (11 - 49 miles)
Rating201 Rolling hills; some are steep but not long. Small roads or excellent bike paths with very little traffic. Some small sections of dirt paths but easily rideable on any style bike.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Jun 21-30, 2015 $4295 $650 Book it Aug 2-11, 2015 $4295 $650 Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
Book Review: The Hangman's Daughter and The Dark M
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ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews a book series set in 17th century Bavaria.
Germany Trip Planner
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Comments from traveler Rod Harris on Bavaria's Back Roads
Interview with travelers about Bavaria
A dash of history and splash of scenery in the Bavarian hills, and you've got a recipe for a memorable cycling trip.
Rick Steves' European Ultimates
Rick Steves thinks that Rothenburg is a European highlight; we agree!
- Book Review: The Hangman's Daughter and The Dark M
Tour of a lifetime-it is everything that is advertised and more.Chris L., Orinda, CA
The website description did not do justice to the actual experience.Nancy and David B., Baltimore, MD
Wonderful, once in a lifetime, trip!!!Daniel F., Menlo Park, CA
A great, fun trip.Rod H., Fort Collins, CO
I have told our friends about the scenic countryside, quaint towns, beautiful flowers and gardens, friendliness of the German people, delicious food, perfect cycling on paths and small country roads, good bicycle , super guides, and an overall outstanding experience. Loved the arrows on the roads.Phyllis M., Hockessin, DE
Fabulous trip. Beautiful scenery - a must!Susan C., Charlotte, NC
We started looking for our next ExperiencePlus!adventure before we finished this trip.Scott W., Salisbury, NC
What was your favorite experience on this trip? Riding bike trails; beautiful countryside; charming villages, litter-free streets; smooth pavements; low to moderate traffic!Dave F., Columbia, MD
We had a marvellous trip. The tour leaders were nothing short of wonderful. The path system, scenery, towns, were amazing.Irwin F., Toronto, Canada
My favorite experience was riding through the foothills of the Alps singing the songs from The Sound of Music on a sunny warm day.Sari R., Glastonbury, CT
We had a great time. Finished up in Munich with a fine Bavarian beer to celebrate my birthday. Our best to all of you until we ride together again!Mike H., Sewell, NJ
Riding in Bavaria on the last day in Heidi and Sound of Music country. I felt like I was in a post card. Days like this are why I cycle.Linda M., Livermore, CA
Great trip. Great tour leaders. Great bikes. Wonderful German scenery, medieval towns, countryside, people.William W., Mt Pleasant, SC