The Altmühltal-Radweg is among the most popular cycle paths in Germany. For 241 kilometers, it leads you along the river Altmühl, from its origin to its mouth into the Danube near Kelheim. Enjoy this three stage cycle tour through the idyllic nature park Altmühltal.
Start in the upper Bavarian town Rothenburg ob der Tauber and follow the signposted way over the Altmühlquelle (the spring of the river Altmühl) at the Hornauer Weiher (Hornauer pond). From here, you cycle almost entirely downhill until Gunzenhausen. For these first 85 kilometers, the Altmühl flows through vast lowlands, past Colmberg, Leutershausen, Herrieden and Ornbau, until it reaches Altmühl lake. Here, at the east bank of this lake, lies Gunzenhausen.
On the second leg of your journey, you cycle 26 kilometers without any major gradients towards Treuchtlingen, then further on through Pappenheim, Solnhofen and Dollnstein. Finally, you will reach the old bishop town Eichstätt.
As well as passing by sites of natural beauty in the Altmühltal nature park, you will cycle by impressive rock gardens from the Jurassic period.
The last stage leads you on well-developed forest tracks through Dietfurth, the nearby castle Prunn and Riedenburg, and all the way to Kelheim.
In Kelheim, the Altmühltal-Radweg and the Donauradweg (Danube cycle path) meet. This offers biking fans the possibility to continue their cycle tour to Regensburg together.
Where to eat
The tour takes you past numerous possibilities for getting a bite to eat. In almost every town you pass, you can expect bike-friendly restaurants and cosy beer gardens, like for instance the "Gutshof Gentner" in Gunzenhausen.
Recommendable also is the beer garden "Riedenburger Brauhaus", where you can try characteristical beer specialities and fine home cooking. It is located directly along the cycle path.
If you plan to cycle in three stages, it is best to reserve accommodation in Gunzenhausen, Eichstätt and Kelheim ahead of your journey.
- With an overall length of 153 miles the bike trail is currently the longest bike trail in Germany available on TouriSpo.
- If you get hungry along the way, there are places to rest and get food. Nevertheless it’s recommended to also have enough water and food in your backpack when hiking or biking.
Highlights of the tour
Highlight of the tour is - no doubt - the trip along the seamlessly flowing river Altmühl, and past mighty rock formations from the Jurassic period, mills and castle ruins.
Another highlight of the tour is the archeology park between Dietfurt and Kelheim, which is interesting for the young and the old.
Last but not least, a beautiful place to visit is also the Hofgarten of the Eichstätter Sommerresidenz (courtyard garden of the summer residence in Eichstätt).
The original trail can be modified in many places. Idyllic cycle paths are signposted all over the nature park Altmühltal.
In Gunzenhausen you can cycle an extra round of 72 kilometers around the Brombachsee and Weißenburg, and back to Gunzenhausen.
If you like, you can even do some of your journey by ship on the Main-Danube canal. Landing stages are in Beilngries, Dietfurt, Eggersberg, Riedenburg and Kelheim.
You reach Gunzenhausen via the autobahn A7, exit Rothenburg/Tauber. From here it is only another two kilometers to the center.
If you prefer going by rail, take a train from Würzburg or Ansbach, via Steinach to Rothenburg.