Fascinating river landscapes, majestic low mountain ranges, impressive castles, historic towns with half-timbered buildings, deep forests and wide fields – a bike Tour through Hesse in Germany is extremely diverse and exciting. The Hessian Long-Distance Cycle Route R7 runs through the entire state from the Rhineland-Palatinate border to the Thuringian border.
Along the way, you visit towns such as Limburg an der Lahn, Weilburg, Wetzlar, Giessen, Grünberg, Ulrichstein, Lauterbach and Bad Hersfeld, to name just a few. The first 100 kilometres (62 mi) follow the course of the River Lahn and are relatively easygoing. Next, you cross the Vogelsberg mountains where the terrain is no longer flat. You encounter many of Hesse’s rivers along the way such as the Ohm, Lauter, Jossa and Fulda. Overall, the bike path offers a great mix of flat valleys and occasional climbs through a beautiful low mountain landscape.
I’ve divided the route into four stages. You can easily plan individual sections of the route as day trips thanks to the train stations in all stage towns. Most of the route is paved and possible on a road bike. However, there are occasional gravel sections so a gravel bike or classic touring bike may be the better choice, if in doubt.
Compared to the other long-distance cycle routes in Hesse, there aren’t too many climbs. The route mostly runs along blissfully flat river valleys. In the second half of the route, however, you often leave the valleys and head up a hill or two. Don’t let this put you off as you’re always rewarded with wide views and fast descents.
You can easily reach the starting point in Diez by train or via the Rhine Cycle Path from Koblenz. At the other end of the route, Vacha in Thuringia also has a train station. You have plenty of options. Of course, you can also cycle this route in the other direction if you prefer. On the way, you pass many typical Hessian villages with half-timbered houses and cosy places to stop. Don't miss the regional specialties and take your time to explore the sights.
Hesse has an extensive network of bike paths, including nine different official long-distance bike routes. These numbered paths are linked together at various points so you can easily combine them. In some cases, they also overlap with other cycle paths. By the way, you can also find the other Hessian long-distance cycle routes in my Collections.
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Last updated: November 8, 2021
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
The first stage on the Hessian long-distance cycle path R7 follows the Lahn and is accordingly flat. It is perfect for curling up before heading into the hills of the Vogelsberg. There are only a few short climbs to be mastered in places where you leave the bank, as the Lahn valley is cut very deeply…
The first half of the second stage is shaped by the Lahn, which you continue to follow upstream. You roll comfortably through the floodplains towards Wetzlar on well-paved, mostly asphalted bike paths. You cross the city directly on the shore. You can use the historic and beautiful old Lahnbrücke for…
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The third stage is high up into the Vogelsberg. You follow the upper reaches of the Ohm and cross some quaint villages. The area is very rural and sparsely populated, but you always have the opportunity to stop by. You can make good use of the energy, because now a strenuous section awaits you. A long…
The first half of the last stage is pleasantly flat. You roll relaxed along the Fulda and enjoy the sparsely populated river landscape. Then the last difficulty is a longer ascent, which takes you from Bad Hersfeld an der Fulda over to the Werra and the destination of the tour in Vacha. But first you…
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