Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads Plus! the Austrian Alps

Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads Plus! the Austrian Alps

We'll bicycle along Germany's famous Romantic Road which stretches from central Germany to the Austrian Alps. This route provides a link back in time, extending from the Roman occupation of Transalpine Gaul into the medieval and Renaissance periods. Today some of the best-preserved towns and villages from the 15th through the 18th century are strung out like pearls throughout Bavaria. You'll bicycle through the fairy tale landscape of the brothers Grimm and gain a better understanding of this historic part of central Europe. A visit to the extraordinary Neuschwanstein Castle and crossing the border into the Austrian Alps are memorable highlights. Join us for a perfect combination of cycling, nature, and the occasional spa hotel.

***If this sounds great, but you prefer a shorter tour, join us on our 8-day Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads tour.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jun 30-Jul 10, 2019
USD$4900
USD$650
 
Jul 28-Aug 7, 2019
USD$4900
USD$650
 

* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 11 Days
  • Total Distance / 507 km (313 miles). Additional mileage available.
  • Avg. Distance / 55 km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 2.0
  • Countries / Austria, Germany
  • Begin/End / Würzburg/Heiterwang
  • Price / From USD$4900
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Bad Mergentheim, Augsburg, Castle Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, Würzburg, Rothenburg on the Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, Landsberg, Austrian Alps

    Keep 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.

    Some small sections of dirt paths but easily rideable on any style of bike. We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available since they haven't been needed traditionally. Separated twin beds are rare in many places; instead there will be two mattresses together that sit on the same base.
  • Includes
    Use 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; and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) / Munich Airport (MUC)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    58km / 499m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    3
    50km / 557m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    68km / 733m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    5
    45km / 433m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    6
    73km / 552m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    7
    67km / 443m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    8
    54km / 369m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    9
    57km / 525m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    10
    39km / 576m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 2.5
    11
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Rolling hills; some are steep but not long. Small roads or excellent bike paths with very little traffic.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily 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.

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 mi)
  • Gain: 499 m (1637 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Ride from Bad Mergentheim to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Highlights: Rothenburg, wine tasting

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. This afternoon we will visit a special cellar 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.

  • Distance: 50 km (31 mi)
  • Gain: 557 m (1827 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Rest Day or Optional loop ride

Highlights: Rothenburg's market and architecture

Take your time to enjoy this fabulous medieval city and the views it offers of the Tauber valley. For those who want some cycling we have a relaxing ride towards Bad Windsheim, another opportunity to explore Bavaria's picturesque countryside. We’ll suggest a fascinating open-air museum which will transport you to the last 700 years of Franconian life. After the ride, there is still plenty of time to enjoy 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: 68 km (43 mi)
  • Gain: 733 m (2404 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

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 (28 mi)
  • Gain: 433 m (1420 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 73 km (46 mi)
  • Gain: 552 m (1811 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

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: 67 km (42 mi)
  • Gain: 443 m (1453 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 54 km (34 mi)
  • Gain: 369 m (1210 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Bicycle from Landsberg to Rosshaupten

Highlights: The ancient Claudia Augusta Way, Rosshaupten

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: 57 km (36 mi)
  • Gain: 525 m (1722 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Crossing the border into Austria

Highlights: Neuschwanstein Castle

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 cross the border into Austria to Heiterwang, or nearby Reutte.

  • Distance: 39 km (24 mi)
  • Gain: 576 m (1889 ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Tour ends today in Reutte

Highlights: Tour end

If you are headed home, the Munich airport is 3 1/2 hours away by train. Gute Reise!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive in Würzburg

Lodging: Hotel Novotel Wuerzburg

Meeting time 2:30 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

Arrive at Frankfurt Airport and proceed to Day 1 Hotel

  1. Train from Flughafen Terminal 1, Frankfurt am Main to Würzburg Hbf (1.5 hours/fares vary)
  2. Taxi from the Würzburg train station to the Day 1 Hotel (5 min/EUR 10)
  3. Walk from the train station to Day 1 hotel click here for map

Look up German train schedules at Bahn.de or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

Day 11: Departure Information

Tour ends today in Reutte

The tour ends with a complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle drop-off at 9:30 a.m. at the Heiterwang-Plansee train station, which offers direct connections to Munich central station every 2 hours.

Reservations required. Please make your shuttle reservation by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date.

Train tickets will not need to be purchased in advance and Tour Leaders can assist with advice and purchase.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio.

We recommend flying out of the Munich International Airport (MUC)

To get from Heiterwang-Plansee to MUC

  • Train from From Heiterwang-Plansee to München Flughafen Terminal; 1 change at Munich central station München Hbf to the commuter train S1 or S8 (3 hours 15 min/Fares vary)

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep 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.

Some small sections of dirt paths but easily rideable on any style of bike. We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available since they haven't been needed traditionally. Separated twin beds are rare in many places; instead there will be two mattresses together that sit on the same base.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • Fabulous trip. Beautiful scenery - a must!

    Susan C., Charlotte, NC
  • 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
  • Of the 30 tours we have taken, this one ranks near the top.

    Carolyn and Harold M., Centerville, UT
  • The website description did not do justice to the actual experience.

    Nancy and David B., Baltimore, 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
  • The trip was excellent and I can''t think of anything I would change. It was an easy biking cruise through beautiful Bavarian villages. It truly was the "Romantic Road".

    Bill S., Whangarie, NZ - July 2017
  • Wonderful, once in a lifetime, trip!!!

    Daniel F., Menlo Park, CA
  • 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
  • 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
  • Rolling hills but not too difficult, picture book scenery, great food, great guides and very compatible group members. I only chose this tour because it fit in the time frame we had. It was one of my favorite tours yet!

    Nora B., Junction City, OR - July 2017
  • A great, fun trip.

    Rod H., Fort Collins, CO
  • Tour of a lifetime-it is everything that is advertised and more.

    Chris L., Orinda, CA
  • We started looking for our next ExperiencePlus!adventure before we finished this trip.

    Scott W., Salisbury, NC
  • I have been describing it to anyone who will listen as a "must do". We had been to this area of Germany on vacation in the past and have talked about it ever since. We decided that we would make this a once in a lifetime trip but it turns out it will be just the first of a lifetime of cycling trips. We are already looking to schedule our next cycling adventure with ExperiencePlus!

    Rich B., Windsor, CO
  • Like a luxury cruise, only on a bike! What was your favorite experience on this trip? Too many to count- pedaling in to Fussen and seeing the Alps was amazing. Loved Deutsches Hause hotel in Dinkelsbuhl.

    Anne G., Fort Collins, CO
  • Easy cycling, most of it on paths separate from roads. Pleasant farm scenery, prettier approaching mountains at the end of the trip. Many old scenic towns/villages. Very good hotels.

    David G., New York, NY - July 2017
  • 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
  • Another great tour!

    Russell B., Arcadia, CA - July 2017
  • 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
  • This was second tour with ExperiencePlus! and was once again very impressed. Love the arrows.

    Phillip R., Beverly Hills, NSW
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