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.
There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.
***If this sounds great, but you prefer a shorter tour, join us on our 8-day Bicycling Bavaria's Back Roads tour.
There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.
What's not included:
See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.
Tour Level Note: 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
If you are headed home, the Munich airport is 3 1/2 hours away by train. Gute Reise!
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
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
For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.
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.
Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!
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), one water bottle , and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We had a marvellous trip. The tour leaders were nothing short of wonderful. The path system, scenery, towns, were amazing.Irwin F., Toronto, Canada
Tour of a lifetime-it is everything that is advertised and more.Chris L., Orinda, 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
We started looking for our next ExperiencePlus!adventure before we finished this trip.Scott W., Salisbury, NC
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
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
A great, fun trip.Rod H., Fort Collins, CO
Wonderful, once in a lifetime, trip!!!Daniel F., Menlo Park, CA
Great trip. Great tour leaders. Great bikes. Wonderful German scenery, medieval towns, countryside, people.William W., Mt Pleasant, SC
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
This was second tour with ExperiencePlus! and was once again very impressed. Love the arrows.Phillip R., Beverly Hills, NSW
The website description did not do justice to the actual experience.Nancy and David B., Baltimore, MD
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
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
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
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
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
Of the 30 tours we have taken, this one ranks near the top.Carolyn and Harold M., Centerville, UT
Another great tour!Russell B., Arcadia, CA - July 2017
Mostly flat terrain has just a few rolling hills that rarely require you to change gears. It might contain a bit of climbing, but those climbs will be short and at a very gentle slope with little need for increased pedaling or downhill breaking.
Rolling hills refers to multiple gentle slopes (3-4% grade) with minimal need for changing gears or increasing in pedal power. Elevation gain should be less than 100m per hill and braking may not be necessary to control speed on downhills.
Hilly terrain has repeated hills and some of them may be require more pedal power as it has steeper inclines (up to 5%). You will change gears throughout the day and braking may be necessary to control speed on descents.
Very hilly terrain includes multiple hills on your ride, some of which can be steep or long climbs. You will change gears and need to use your brakes to control speed on your descent.
Mountainous terrain includes one or more sustained (more than 5km) climbs with frequent steep grades (over 7%). Mountainous rides may also feature multiple steep grades (greater than 6%) for extended periods of more than 5km. You will need to shift gears and brake on descents to control your speed.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain (or lack thereof), it will be a very comfortable ride for beginner cyclists, those traveling by bicycle for the first time, or multi-generational groups with a desire for a nice and easy bike tour with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, this day is ideal for riders newer to bicycle touring looking for a bit of a challenge, or for individuals who desire shorter days on the bike. You will likely be riding on rolling terrain.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, we suggest riders spend some time in the bicycle saddle before joining this tour so they you can enjoy the views at the top of some of the climbs you'll face.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, this day is best described as a great day on the bike for passionate cyclists or very active individuals.
This day is not for a casual cyclist but for riders looking to push their limits. Suffice it to say your delicious meal at the end of the day will be well earned!
These are the definitions...
Level 1 tours will be mostly flat and daily distances will rarely exceed 30 km. Level 1 tours are suitable for beginner cyclists, those traveling by bicycle for the first time, or multi-generational groups with a desire for a nice and easy bike tour with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Level 2 tours are a great option for those new to bicycle touring looking for a bit of a challenge, or for individuals who desire shorter days on the bike. The average mileage on level 2 bike tours is 30-50 km on mostly rolling terrain. There will be multiple climbs at 3-4% grade throughout the tour, but only an occasional steep climb.
Level 3 tours are for active individuals (who run, bike, swim etc. on a regular basis) with the desire to cover longer daily distances on the bicycle. These tours are a great workout when you’re riding as you will average 50-70 km daily with total gain of 2,000-2,800 ft. There will be multiple 4-6% climbs throughout the tour.
Level 4 tours are for passionate cyclists or very active individuals. This level tour is great for cyclists looking to stay in shape and pedal hard they travel across regions or countries. Level 4 tours cover 70-90km daily with 2,800-3,600 ft of gain. Cyclists on a level 4 bicycle tour can expect multiple climbs, some climbs might be short and steep (6-8% for 1-3 km) while others may be sustained (6+ Km) at a 4-6% grade.