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German city hopping: bikepacking in land of 1,000 hills

© Martin Donat | lifecyclemag.de

German city hopping: bikepacking in land of 1,000 hills

Bike Touring Collection by Kraichgau-Stromberg: Land der 1000 Hügel

6

Tours

34:52 h

287 mi

17,300 ft

Ride from Mannheim to Stuttgart, Heidelberg to Pforzheim or Karlsruhe to Heilbronn – these are the three new bikepacking adventures that you can explore with a gravel or touring bike in the land of 1,000 hills. With one overnight stay each in the middle of the Kraichgau-Stromberg region, you cycle past castles, through the Stromberg-Heuchelberg Nature Park, across sunny vineyards and right into the middle of half-timbered villages. Bathing lakes and inns provide refreshing stops along the way.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maulbronn Monastery is one of the highlights along both the Heidelberg-Pforzheim and Karlsruhe-Heilbronn routes. Castles like the moated Eichtersheim Castle and small half-timbered gems like Bretten also await you between scenic gravel paths and shaded forest trails. Regional beer and local wines are among the highlights of these three overnighters too. Check out our Besen Guide app (kraichgau-stromberg.de/besen-guide) to find the opening times of the inns in this unique landscape – many are seasonal.

The three adventures are between 130 and 170 kilometres (81–106 mi) long and entail 1,500 to 2,000 metres (4,900–6,600 ft) of elevation gain. A mix of gravel tracks, cycle paths and quiet lanes connect the major towns on the edge of the Kraichgau-Stromberg region. This makes it easy for you to get there and back by public transport. The two stages are perfect for a gravel weekend in the saddle.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Mannheim to Sulzfeld — bikepacking Mannheim-Stuttgart

    Difficult
    05:56
    54.4 mi
    9.2 mph
    2,225 ft
    1,900 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The first stage from Mannheim to Stuttgart starts at Mannheim main station. The Rhine accompanies you for the first few kilometers before you turn off to Schwetzingen. After you have admired the castle there, it goes on wonderful gravel paths through the Schwetzinger Hardt. You will then reach the Kraichradweg

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  • Difficult
    06:46
    52.0 mi
    7.7 mph
    3,525 ft
    3,275 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a restful night you leave Sulzfeld and can make a detour to Ravensburg. Gravel paths take you to Zaberfeld with the Ehmetsklinge reservoir and then to Sternenfels - from the Schlossberg tower you can enjoy a wonderful view over the hills. From here you cycle through the Stromberg Heuchelberg Nature

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  • Difficult
    05:02
    42.4 mi
    8.4 mph
    2,200 ft
    1,900 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    From the starting point of today's stage, Heidelberg Central Station, you cycle the first few kilometers along the Neckar. With a view of the romantic castle, you drive to Neckargemünd, where you turn off to Wiesenbach. A quiet section follows along the Elsenz river to Sinsheim, the gateway to the land

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  • Difficult
    05:07
    39.5 mi
    7.7 mph
    2,750 ft
    2,475 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Eppingen it goes straight into the Stromberg-Heuchelberg nature park. At the beginning you step up onto the Ottilienberg with its impressive chapel. After a look inside, you cycle through the Hartwald to one of the most beautiful wine views in the Kraichgau. You cross Kürnbach and after a small

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  • Difficult
    06:00
    49.0 mi
    8.2 mph
    3,150 ft
    2,825 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    This two-day tour starts at the main train station in Karlsruhe, from where you ride on a good cycle path along the railway tracks to Durlach. You leave the big city behind you and follow the route through the Weingartener Moor to the center of Weingarten. Afterwards it gets hilly and you cycle through

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  • Difficult
    06:01
    49.2 mi
    8.2 mph
    3,450 ft
    3,650 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a night in Vaihingen an der Enz you start heading north and climb the Eselsberg. Once at the top, you have a breathtaking view over the hilly landscape. Passing forest and wine, you cycle down into the Mettertal, and then cycle on to Sachsenheim on field and gravel paths. In Bietigheim, the Metter

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    287 mi
  • Duration
    34:52 h
  • Elevation
    17,300 ft

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