Castles, wine and trails — a weekend in the Ahr valley

Dominik Ketz | www.ahrtal.de

Castles, wine and trails — a weekend in the Ahr valley

Mountain Biking Collection by komoot

Bizarre rocky landscapes alternate with lush vineyards. Castle towers peek out atop every hill. Dusty trails and gravel paths wind through the landscape. And a river meanders through it all. This must be somewhere in France, Spain or Italy—a holiday in an exotic corner of Europe. And while that assumption is fair, it couldn't be further from the reality: We're still in Germany, smack-bang in the middle of it—we're in the middle of the Eifel, in the Ahr Valley: Germany's red wine paradise. And all this barely a stone's throw away from cities like Cologne, Bonn and the rest of the Ruhr area.

On paper, the Ahr valley is really nothing special. The hills are not unusually high, the cities rather small and the river after which everything is named relatively unimpressive in size. But even the Romans appreciated what the Ahr valley really has to offer. This mix of sunny climate, steep vineyards, countless castles, rugged rocky landscapes, historic towns and wildly romantic meadows and forests. And it's this that makes the Ahr valley the perfect destination for your weekend bike trip.

The Rides
We start in the wine village Altenahr, the most famous and busiest place in the Ahr valley, where there is always something going on. Here, whether spring is being welcomed or autumn celebrated, a wine festival is always possible, and it's the perfect place to set up your camp with innumerable accommodation options to hand. And this is where our rides start and end.

The Ahr valley is a really interesting area for biking: There are many steep, technically demanding trails that offer a lot of elevation so that you should even prepare yourself for an Alpine style of riding. But, of course, there are also moderate routes that are suitable for a relaxed ride. We have put together three rides for you which represent a good mix. Enough for a long weekend - the right one for every taste and riding style.

Bike & Stuff
A normal all-mountain or enduro bike is absolutely fine. However, some trails are technically demanding. Beginners should, therefore, be prepared to descend from time to time. However, as we all know, you only really learn by doing, with each challenge propelling your skills forward leaps and bounds.

Get there
Altenahr is about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Bonn and therefore easily accessible by car. But you can also get there quickly and easily by train. There is a direct train connection from Bonn if you'd prefer to leave your car at home.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    23.5 mi
    6.7 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,150 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The Ahr valley is characterized by its steep slopes, which delight the winemakers as well as mountain bikers. They can not get enough of the tight serpentines and many technical trails that meander along the river, where you can always get a fantastic view. But the Ahr Valley is not always demanding and demanding. This tour presents the river valley from its relaxed side. There remain flowing trails and the fantastic view that opens up again and again and at the end of the tour you can top it off with a little detour to the ruins of the Are Castle.Otherwise, this tour has everything to offer what a beautiful bike tour can offer. You drive along idyllic valleys with gently babbling brooks. And you can learn a lot. For example, on the so-called "Galaxienweg", a nature trail that offers you a lot of interesting information about our universe and impress you with a great view of the radio telescope of the Max Plank Institute, which with its 100 meter opening width is considered worldwide for a long time largest mobile radio telescope was valid. Also exciting is the mining history of this area, from which you can get a small impression by looking into an old gallery.At the end of this tour, it would be a shame if you do not take some time left to end the day in the beautiful village of Altenahr. Although the wine town on the Ahr is one of the most visited cities in the Ahr valley, it is totally idyllic here. If you feel like a taste test: Around Altenahr red Pinot noir is grown, as well as white Riesling and Pinot Blanc.

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    24.1 mi
    6.0 mph
    3,150 ft
    3,175 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Of our three tour suggestions through the Ahr valley, this is the most demanding. It goes up or down permanently, you hardly go through the plane. At about 39 kilometers, just under 1000 meters of altitude come together. This meandering the route always along the Ahr, which always gives you a wonderful view - so it pedaled much easier.You start by the nature reserve Ahrschleife, in which loads of great trails are waiting for you. Along the Ahr you will be impressed how beautiful it is here. Maybe you feel like you're on vacation. The similarity to the Italian Tuscany can not be denied.About halfway through the tour it will be especially good. Here are two straight switchback trails on you. A mixture of mini Alpentrail and Garda-Geballer. Only in the middle of Germany - who continues to travel, it is your own fault.The trails today are all feasible. If you are not fit enough to switch hair, take it as a workout. Since it is sometimes quite steep and rocky, we would still recommend to simply pack the knee pads. Would be stupid if you after the tour the delicious red wine (which we simply recommend you in the Ahr Valley) must enjoy with scrawny knees. In this sense: Santé and probably get it!

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  • Difficult
    20.3 mi
    5.9 mph
    2,725 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On this tour, the Ahr valley shows its most beautiful side, but also of its demanding. The trails are sometimes quite beautiful in itself and are technically as well as in terms of height profile quite demanding: After all, you make flat on the just 33 kilometers around 870 meters.But be sure: you will have a lot of fun, even if one or two challenges may be waiting for you. There is also a princely reward for every curve. That can take place in the form of a wonderful view. Sometimes it is also a beautiful structure, such as a chapel or a historic bridge. Of course, castles should not be missing, as are picturesque vineyards and lonely river valleys. The first part of this tour is so remote that even in the small towns you will find it difficult to find a supermarket or anything like that.Towards the end of the tour, the highlights pile up. Finally comes the long-awaited opportunity for a strengthening. The Steinerberghaus is located on one of the highest mountains in the Eifel - good views are included. If the weather is good, you can reach the "Hohe Acht", the legendary mountain over which the equally legendary "Grüne Hölle" of the Nürburgring runs (which you can experience by bike as part of the annual event "Rad am Ring") highly recommend).Now follows a true trail paradise. Whether fast and flowing or technically highly sophisticated and interlocked - the last section of the tour has it all and you'll be thrilled. Finally, there's something for the eye again. The return trip to Altenahr via the Ahr cycle path will give you a postcard-ready panorama to enjoy.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    67.9 mi
  • Duration
    10:58 h
  • Elevation
    8,000 ft

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Castles, wine and trails — a weekend in the Ahr valley