For those looking to travel through Germany, a cycling vacation makes a lot of sense. The country is home to a range of natural splendour and history that’s best viewed from two wheels. If you’re planning a trip of this kind, there are several routes worth considering. Many of them are covered by the major cycling tours in Europe, but all can be conquered with the right planning and a little bit of experience.
The Baltic Coast
This route between Kiel and Fehmarn is perfect for those looking for an adventure beside the sea. There are myriad long sandy beaches and sheer cliffs to explore, and the views across the sea to Denmark are reliably arresting.
Rhine Cycle Route
Along the famous Rhine Valley you’ll find plenty of historically significant (and beautiful) structures, both natural and artificial. There’s the famous Lorelei slate rock, which has been the site of countless maritime disasters over the centuries, and then there are several gorgeous castles, like the Marksburg – which must count as one of the most attractive, unspoilt castles in the world.
Danube Cycle Route
If you’d prefer to cycle alongside a very different river, then there’s the Danube cycle route. The part of the river that runs through Austria is probably more popular with cyclists, but the German part tends to be less crowded, and it still offers plenty of spectacle to the cycling tourist. If you’re unsure of where you’re going, it’s a good idea to look into a guided cycling tour.
Since it was established in 2007, Rocken am Brocken Festival has established itself as one of the best niche festivals on the continent. Sited in the wilderness of Saxony, it can easily form a winning part of a successful cycling trip. Check the lineup before you head out, but bear in mind that most of the acts are going to be smaller German performers, with the occasional British one thrown in.
Elbe Cycle Route
For an entire decade, the Elbe Cycle Route was voted best in Germany. It runs along the banks of the Elbe, and it’s approachable even for less capable cyclists, in spite of the fact that it crosses nearly the entire country. There are virtually no hill climbs along the entire trip, which makes this a beautiful, leisurely way to see large swathes of the German countryside without breaking too much of a sweat.