Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads Plus! the Austrian Alps
***If this sounds great, but you prefer a shorter tour, join us on our 8-day Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads tour.***View 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 Rebstock
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. Our hotel tonight has one of the best restaurants in the city so be sure to save your appetite for dinner.
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 looks perfectly preserved but the town center surrounded by its 14th and 15th century walls was rebuilt after WWII. Enjoy exploring the market center and the streets lined with Gothic and half-timber houses, and take a tour on the walls of the city, or explore them on your own.
Distance: About 50 km (31 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Glocke
Day 4: Rest Day
Highlights: Rothenburg, wine tasting
Take your time to enjoy this fabulous medieval city and the views it offers of the Tauber valley. This afternoon we will take a tour of a special vineyard with a beautiful collection of rare varietals. After which we'll continue our wine education and meet one of the last vintners in Rothenburg, who just so happens to own our hotel, and enjoy some of his wines.
Distance: Optional loop ride. Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Glocke
Day 5: 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. In contrast to Rothenburg on the Tauber, Dinkelsbühl is indeed 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 is another opportunity to enjoy the rewards of a good handcrafted German kitchen at our top rated hotel restaurant.
Distance: 45 km (28miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Deutsches Haus
Day 6: 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 a mixture of forests and farmlands, 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: Hotel zur Promenade
Day 7: Ride from Donauwörth to Augsburg
Highlights: Lech River, the Cassian Way, Augsburg, brewery visit
Our ride today takes us up the Lech River valley 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 and taste some of their modern beers before a traditional Bavarian dinner.
Distance: 62 km (39 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Dom
Day 8: 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: 52 km (32 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Goggl
Day 9: Bicycle from Landsberg to Roßhaupten
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 Roßhaupten, close to the Forggensee and King Ludwig's most famous castle, Neuschwanstein, at the foot of the Austrian Alps.
Distance: 55 km (34 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Kaufmann
Day 10: Crossing the border into Austria
Highlights: Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen
The "faux" medieval Neuschwanstein Castle was built by mad King Ludwig in the late 19th century and is one of the most famous attractions in southern Germany. A predecessor and inspiration for the Disney-style castles that 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 ride to the bustling town of Füssen and then cross the border into Austria to Heiterwang, a small village in the Alps. Our hotel tonight is beautifully situated next to a crystal clear lake.
Distance: 48 km (30 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Fischer am See
Day 11: Tour ends today in Heiterwang
Highlights: Tour end
Our last breakfast together features views of the lake and reflections of the surrounding mountains. Stick around and enjoy the hotel's natural sauna, or treat yourself to a massage! If you are headed home, the Munich airport is 3 1/2 hours away by train. Gute Reise!
HighlightsBad Mergentheim, Augsburg, Castle Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, Würzburg, Rothenburg on the Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, Landsberg, Austrian AlpsKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 11 days, 10 nights accommodation, 8 dinners with wine or beer, 10 breakfasts, 1 wine and beer tasting, a guided visit of Neuschwanstein castle plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartFrankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) / Munich Airport (MUC)
Total Distance445 km (275 miles) Additional mileage available.
Daily DistanceAverage per riding day 55 km (34 miles)
Rating201 Rolling hills; some are steep but not long. Small roads or excellent bike paths with very little traffic.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Jun 21-Jul 1, 2015 $4900 $650 Book it Aug 2-12, 2015 $4900 $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
ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews The Hangman's Daughter and The Dark Monk
Books set in Germany
ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews a book series set in 17th century Bavaria.
Germany Trip Planner
Read up on country customs, what to expect while visiting Germany, and more!
We Are ExperiencePlus! Meet your Tour Leaders
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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