Germany's diversity on one river — The Main River Cycle Route
© Fränkisches Weinland Tourismus | Holger Leue
Picturesque small towns, proud castles, mighty cliffs, meadows, forests and wine. The Main River Cycle Route (MainRadweg) is one of the most beautiful long-distance cycle routes in Germany. Along the way, you immerse yourself in history, relax in nature and enjoy the culinary highlights of Franconia and Hesse.
The best time for a multi-day cycle Tour on the Main Cycle Route is from spring to autumn. The wonderful landscape shows itself in all imaginable shades of green, the birds sing their song and the days are warm enough to visit cosy beer gardens along the way. Take a closer look at the individual stages and book your accommodation for your Franconian cycle Tour sooner rather than later – whilst you still have the freedom to choose.
We present the Main Cycle Route as a 12-day adventure which is easy to master for both leisurely cyclists and sporty families. The River Main originates at the confluence of the White Main and the Red Main near Kulmbach. You can choose to begin your journey at either source. This Collection starts in Creußen at the Red Main as you can easily arrive by train. But, we also prepared the route from the White Main for you: komoot.com/tour/103854913.
The infrastructure along the route is excellent. You can easily reach almost all stage towns by train. This means you can also cycle individual stages and divide up the almost 600-kilometre (372 mi) journey. You'll find plenty of accommodation along the way, and thanks to the countless restaurants, you'll always have enough to eat. The cycle path is well developed, which is why the route is also suitable for less experienced cyclists and children. There is hardly any altitude difference along the river; only a few stages are slightly hilly.
The landscapes along the Main are very diverse. You cycle through vineyards into romantic villages, through dense forests and floodplains, beneath steep slopes and finally along the mighty river that flows into the Rhine at Mainz. The Main Cycle Route leaves nothing to be desired in terms of culture either. From medieval half-timbered houses to futuristic skyscrapers, monasteries and castles to modern art, Franconian beer to Franconian wine to Ebbelwoi (apple wine): The Main Cycle Route is a journey rich in experiences.
Have you got a taste for what to expect and want to get to know north Bavaria even better? Then take a look at our Franconian Collections and find inspiration for your next adventure: komoot.com/user/frankentourismus/collections.
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: December 9, 2022
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
The multi-faceted bicycle adventure along the Main begins in Creussen. This pretty medieval town can be easily reached by train. Up to the actual Main source, or rather the origin of the Red Main, it is almost nine kilometers steadily uphill. But after you've completed this climb, that's almost the same…
The second stage of the MainRadweg is mostly flat. After the White Main and the Red Main have united to the Main, the river flows leisurely through the Mainauen. Here you can expect beautiful nature as well as some ponds and small lakes. In the gravel you can even go for a swim.
About halfway lies Burgkunstadt…
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From Lichtenfels it goes first through the lower gate and then up a few meters. From the top you have a nice view of the Banz Monastery, which is perched on a hill. The rest of the stage is almost completely flat. The route takes you through a colorful meadow landscape and you always have the opportunity…
This stage takes you from the confluence of the Main and the Main-Danube Canal in Bischberg to Schweinfurt. The first half is slightly wavy, while the second half is completely flat. Although the mighty river has been made navigable, you will find plenty of pristine nature along the Main. For example…
From Schweinfurt you follow the course of the river Main to the south. In addition to the pretty nature right on the river, the old arms and countless lakes are impressive. Before you cross the Main at Wipfeld with a ferry, it's worth taking a little trip to the town with its tranquil market square.
After crossing the Alte Mainbrücke in Kitzingen, you will reach the district of Tatsashausen. On this side of the Main, the Landesgartenschau took place in 2011. Today runs a great bike path through the beautifully landscaped waterfront.
The sixth stage is characterized by the contrast between old and…
You leave the outstandingly beautiful city of Würzburg via the Alte Mainbrücke, the history of which goes back to the 12th century. The view of the Marienberg fortress rounds off the experience.
There is an extraordinary Rococo garden in Veitshöchheim. You can reach it when you cross the Main on the narrow…
Today's stage is a bit more demanding than the previous ones at 450 meters, but you are already reasonably well trained. You will not find long climbs anyway, but always small climbs. But the landscape on this stage is fantastic!
From Gemünden am Main you always cycle directly along the Main to Wertheim…
This stage is now much more relaxed than the last one. It is shorter and you overcome less altitude. That means you have plenty of time to take another walk through Wertheim in the morning. The town lies at the mouth of the Tauber in the Main and is the northernmost town in Baden-Württemberg. Wertheim…
The tenth stage begins with a small climb, otherwise the route is completely flat. For the first bit you can also leave the official bike path and drive on the main road. Then you will cycle through the beautiful old town with its unique half-timbered houses. Before you cross the Main, you drive past…
The bike tour along the Main is slowly coming to an end. This is the penultimate stage and it takes you from Aschaffenburg to Frankfurt am Main. Right at the beginning of the tour you will pass two impressive buildings: the Johannisburg Palace and the Pompejanum, a replica of an ancient villa.
The last stage of the MainRadweg is short and short and leads around 40 kilometers from the largest city on the Main to its mouth. You leave Frankfurt on the pretty waterfront. If the weather is nice, there can be a bit more going on here.
Passing the Niederrad light and air bath, you follow the mighty…
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