‘The Iller, Isar, Lech and Inn rivers flow towards the Danube’ – I recently verified one of these claims by cycling from the mouth of the Iller River to its source 🚴♀️ And what can I say...: It's true! 🙌
The Iller Cycle Path leads 150 kilometres (93 mi) between the mouth of the Danube near Ulm and the source of the Iller near Oberstdorf in the Allgäu Mountains. I’ve divided the route into three stages, each of which is beautiful in its own way and has its own character.
The starting point in Ulm is a highlight in itself and I recommend setting aside some time to visit. On the first stage, the bike path leads almost continuously along smooth gravel directly beside the river, passing through the natural beauty of the Bavarian-Swabian region. There are also a few charming villages for you to discover en route. Cycling hardly gets more relaxed than this. 🚲🧘♀️
On the second day, I made a small detour to Memmingen with its beautiful and well-preserved old town. Memmingen is the gateway to the Allgäu Mountains. Shortly afterwards, the bike route leaves the river, framed by steep banks, and leads through the green, hilly landscapes that characterise the Allgäu, and also point to the fact that you have a few climbs to contend with. 💚🐮
The third stage to Oberstdorf is probably my favourite thanks to the beautiful views of the Allgäu Alps that gradually open up here. The bike path directly follows the course of the river again, which is wilder at higher elevation. 🏔🤠
Shortly before Oberstdorf, you reach the river’s source where the three headwater streams – Trettach, Stillach and Breitach – flow together and form the Iller. Standing there with the knowledge of the path the water takes from here (at least as far as the Danube 😉) was a super cool feeling. For that reason alone, it's worth cycling the whole route!
More info about the route can be found at: illerradweg.de.
The original route can be found here: komoot.de/collection/896.
I start my 3-day tour on the Iller cycle path in Ulm, even if common sense would actually mean that one should cycle river cycle paths with the direction of flow of the water. Then it's always slightly downhill, while I opt for around 300 extra meters of altitude (even if you don't really notice it…
An extensive breakfast at the kiosk at the campsite ensures a comfortable start to my second stage on the Iller cycle path. Yes, you could of course also ride the cycle path in two stages, or even in one particularly sporty way. Then you wouldn't have that much time to see and do all the things that…
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A little behind Altusried, the Iller cycle path meets its namesake again - and will remain true to its banks for the rest of the stage. The banks here in the upper course of the Iller are closer to nature than further north, and you repeatedly come across gravel banks that are suitable for swimming breaks…
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