The Neckar Valley Cycle Path — in 7 days from the Black Forest to the Rhine

Bike Touring Collection by
Neckartal-Radweg

At the edge of the Black Forest begins the Neckar Valley cycle path, which accompanies the Neckar to the north. The river meanders in countless loops through Baden-Württemberg to the Rhine. On its way, it flows through picturesque valleys with wooded slopes, steep vineyards and rugged cliffs. On other passages, green meadows line the banks of wide fields and idyllic towns.

Along the river, the Neckar valley cycle path from Villingen-Schwenningen to Mannheim covers about 230 miles (370 kilometers). On the way from its origin to the mouth of the Rhine, it flows past not only beautiful countryside, but also beautiful cities such as Tübingen and Heidelberg.

We have divided the long-distance cycle path for you into seven stages each around 30 miles (50 kilometers) long. If you would like to spend more time on the Neckar, you can also divide the individual rides because there are plenty of big and small cities on the way, which are suitable as additional stopover destinations.

Accommodation options such as hotels, guesthouses, holiday apartments or camping sites are distributed along the entire Neckar valley cycle path. The cycle path on the Neckar is also very well equipped as far as catering facilities are concerned. In addition to rest areas for self-catering, you can look forward to many restaurants, cafés and casual beer gardens.

Arrival and departure is also very easy. To Villingen-Schwenningen, this trips starting point, you can comfortably take the train. And in Mannheim you can also connect to all local and long-distance trains from the main station.

All this awaits you on the Neckar valley cycle path as you cycle through the middle of nature. So, jump on your bike and get going.

The Neckar Valley Cycle Path is recommended in the brochure "Deutschland per Rad entdecken" by the ADFC (German Cyclist's Association) and is ranked as a quality cycle route with four stars. More information (in German): adfc.de/artikel/radurlaub-als-sternstunde

On The Map

The stages of the Neckar Valley Cycle Path

  • Intermediate
    03:05
    30.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,775 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It starts with the Neckartal bike path in Villingen-Schwenningen at the train station, so you can easily travel by train. In Villingen-Schwenningen is also the origin of the Neckar, which you will follow on this tour to its mouth in the Rhine.Right at the beginning of today's stage, which will bring you to Oberndorf am Neckar on almost 50 kilometers, you will pass by the source of the Neckar. From there you follow the river to the north and come through beautiful places like Rottweil, which are great for a rest.Even the scenic Neckar valley has a lot to offer on this first stage. The still relatively small river is here near its origin predominantly natural and blends in with its surroundings, which is characterized by green meadows and forests.In the stage destination Oberndorf am Neckar you can choose from various accommodation options such as hotels, pensions and a campground. If you only want to drive this one stage, you can also take the train home from here.

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  • Difficult
    03:27
    31.7 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,800 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today, it's 51 kilometers from Oberndorf am Neckar to Rottenburg am Neckar. The track holds some slopes for you. But it tends to go downhill, especially at the end of the stage on the way to the finish.This tour takes you right back along the Neckar River through beautiful green valleys and interesting cities, such as Horb am Neckar. Along the way, you will also pass comfortable rest areas, some of which are equipped with a hut and barbecue area. Another highlight of today's tour is the Pfahljoch bridge near Neckarhausen, which is one of the oldest surviving bridges of its kind.In Rottenburg am Neckar, the stage destination, a pretty old town waiting for you, which is worth exploring. In addition, Rottenburg offers many restaurants, accommodation for overnight stays and also has a train station if you want to leave or continue by train.

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  • Intermediate
    03:00
    31.5 mi
    10.5 mph
    500 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The third stage of the Neckar Valley Cycle Route is also just under 50 kilometers long and brings you near Stuttgart to Wendlingen am Neckar. Thanks to the pleasant gradient along the entire route, you can really enjoy the panorama of the Neckar valley today.Right at the beginning of the tour you come through the beautiful city of Tübingen. The university town enchants with its relaxed atmosphere, the beautiful old town with the impressive town hall and the punt marks on the Neckar. A small stopover in the city is definitely worth it.Then it continues along the Neckar always towards the northeast. On the way you have several times a magnificent view of small places that are located on the other side of the river and of course the Neckar itself.In the stage destination Wendlingen am Neckar you have many accommodation options as well as connection to regional trains and the S-Bahn to Stuttgart.

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  • Intermediate
    03:20
    34.4 mi
    10.3 mph
    625 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today it is urban, because the fourth stage of the Neckartal cycle path takes you from Wendlingen via Stuttgart to Marbach am Neckar. On the approximately 55 kilometer long way some highlights await you, which provide variety.From Wendlingen you follow the course of the Neckar and drive to Plochingen, where the beautiful Hundertwasserhaus stands, and Esslingen past, and then drive a good distance through Stuttgart. You do not come directly through the center, but through the neighborhoods that lie on the Neckar.After Stuttgart it becomes more rural again and you can look forward to lots of nature, small idyllic villages and impressive steep vineyards that line the Neckar valley.The stage destination is Marbach am Neckar, which is the birthplace of Friedrich Schiller. The city lies high above the Neckar and enchants with a beautiful old town. In Marbach you can either stay overnight or continue on the S-Bahn.

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  • Difficult
    03:02
    31.0 mi
    10.2 mph
    700 ft
    900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to carry your bike.

    From Marbach, the Neckar and thus also the Neckar Valley Cycle Route meanders 50 kilometers to Heilbronn. The beautiful cycle path on this route is dominated by steep vineyards that rise on both sides of the Neckar.On the way you come for example past the impressive Hessigheim rock gardens, a rock formation that towers high above the Neckar. Under the rocks stretch steep vineyards, which round off this beautiful landscape. Not far from the Enz flows into the Neckar. At the Enzmündung also ends the Enztal cycle path, another beautiful long-distance cycle path in the region.On the way to Heilbronn you also drive through several small towns, such as Lauffen am Neckar, which invite you to take a break and stroll through the old town. In Heilbronn itself, today's stage destination, you have countless accommodations and access to the train service.

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  • Intermediate
    03:29
    36.0 mi
    10.3 mph
    950 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The penultimate stage of the Neckar Valley Cycle Route is a bit longer than the others. 58 kilometers lead you from Heilbronn to Eberbach. On the relatively flat stretch you can look forward to some small slopes and, above all, unique panoramas along the Neckar.Today's tour is all about castles and palaces, because on the way you can see some, such as the castle Horneck and Zwingenberg Castle, both of which are high on rocks and hills above the Neckar. The unique landscape that surrounds the buildings makes for a fantastic sight, as in a postcard idyll.Today's stage destination Eberbach is also very idyllic and enchanted with a beautiful old town. In the small place you have the possibility to stay overnight or continue by train or S-Bahn.

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  • Intermediate
    03:45
    38.2 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,475 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today is the last and longest stage of the Neckartal cycle path, which brings you from Eberbach to Mannheim to Neckarmündung. At the same time, the Neckar Valley is once again at its best and presents such wonderful cities as Heidelberg and Ladenburg, which lie on the track.Let's start with some small climbs, which provide for action at the beginning of the tour. After that, the route usually leads comfortably downhill and so you can enjoy cycling to Heidelberg, where you are welcome to take a break to get a closer look at this fairy-tale city.On the way to Mannheim you come through other pretty towns, such as Ladenburg, which also have a very beautiful old town. Then it goes into the city, always along the Neckar, up to its mouth in the Rhine. This is where the Neckar Valley Cycle Route ends and the seven-day cycle tour from Villingen-Schwenningen to Mannheim.In Mannheim, you have both connection to the regional and to the long-distance traffic of the train and can travel comfortably and easily by train back home.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    233 mi
  • Duration
    23:10 h
  • Elevation
    7,075 ft
    8,900 ft

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