Health- and eco-conscious, Germans have embraced bicycles for getting around urban centers every day, and on leisure time in the countryside. Visitors can take a cue from the locals and explore the country on two wheels, too.
Germany has a strong cycling infrastructure, including rental, repair and other services catering to cyclists, plus a vast, nation-wide network of cycling trails that give you new perspective into the country’s fascinating ancient and modern history, its culture and lifestyle.
Here are four cycling routes in different corners of the country to let you experience Germany like a local – on two wheels - on your next trip to one of the largest countries in Europe.
De Küst: Coastal Scenics and Tasty Crab
This 40-mile coastal cycling trail along Germany’s North Sea in Lower Saxony brings you up close to the country’s seaside life.
In addition to miles of picturesque coastline, you’ll see landmarks like a romantic lighthouse, dikes and other man-made water works, and three historic cutter harbors.
If you love to breathe the fresh sea air and dine on local seafood including delicious local crab rolls, this is the cycling tour in Germany for you. Here you will find perfect conditions for bikers, including special bike farms that offer service for everything to do with your bike, including repairs.
Spa Cycling Route: Alpine Wellness
Indulge in idyllic German wellness, spa hopping with a view of the Alps along this 150-mile trail that connects spa resorts, thermal baths and tranquil, historic Old Towns.
Don’t let the word ‘Alps’ scare you! The route is described as ‘slightly hilly,’ and with so many spas along the way, even if you break a sweat, you’ll have the perfect excuse – and multiple choices of destinations – to relax in a natural hot spring ‘bath.’
The Spa Cycle Route starts off on the hilly side in Überlingen by Lake Constance. It charts a course through a number of well-maintained thermal baths that are hard to resist, and stunning natural scenery featuring lakes, hills and moorland, forests and meadows, nature reserves and parks. The final leg of the journey involves a ride along the railway tracks to the market town of Ottobeuren, followed by a hilly section to the destination of Bad Wörishofen, with views of the Alpine foothills along the way.
100 Castles and Palaces: A Romance of History Route
This ambitious, 600-mile route may ‘lord’ it over all other cycling routes in Germany, celebrating as it does the country’s fairytale castles and palaces.
Luckily, you don’t have to tackle the whole 600 miles! Four interconnecting loops, which are predominantly flat, wind their way through green parks, meadows and pastures with more than 100 castles and palaces in the Münsterland region in Germany’s northwest.
Cyclists can choose where to start from, and in many cases the attractions are only short miles apart. The glorious heyday of knights, barons and princes is brought back to life by pretty Old Towns, gardens reminiscent of Versailles and buildings in the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. In more good news for cyclists, the Münsterland region is known for its extensive range of facilities for cyclists.
(Image courtesy German National Tourism Board; Julia Nimke)
Berlin Wall Trail: Meeting Modern History
The Berlin Wall divided the German capital for 28 history-making, tense years, perhaps the most famous symbol of the 20th century’s Cold War. The best way to explore what is left of the former border installations in the heart of the capital of the former East Germany is on two wheels.
The Berlin Wall Trail is a hundred-mile loop leading cyclists on mostly flat terrain past the last remaining watchtowers, museums and memorials through the modern-day city center and around the old border. The blend of nature and dramatic history makes the Berlin Wall Trail a themed city tour and a scenic route and an ideal outdoor activity in one – all in one of Germany’s most exciting cities.
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