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Around Thuringia — 7 stages through Germany's green heart

Martin Donat

Around Thuringia — 7 stages through Germany's green heart

Road Cycling Collection by Martin Donat

7

Tours

27:09 h

361 mi

19,775 ft

Thuringia is a land of castles, palaces and historic old towns with all their myths and stories. It’s a land of bratwurst (although, it's not really my thing) and dumplings, and the land of glass and porcelain. It’s in the middle of Germany and full of culture and beautiful landscapes. Thuringia is so versatile, which is why it’s also the land of the road bike! What better way to discover all the beautiful spots than on two wheels?

At least, that's what I thought when I signed up for the small ‘Thüringen Erfahren’ event in 2018. The plan was to cycle 500 kilometres (310 mi) through Thuringia in one go. Okay, it was ambitious, but doable. Unfortunately, I somehow had a bad weekend. My body didn't really want to play and so I had to give up. However, I found the route (or at least the part I managed) so beautiful that I wanted to make this Collection. After all, you can experience Thuringia in several stages rather than doing it all in one go! So, across seven stages, this Collection takes you through the south-east of Thuringia. Characterised by the Saale River with its impressive dams, tranquil villages, shady forest slopes and sun-drenched vineyards, you’ll experience Thuringia (and parts of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony on a few small detours) in a way that no other means of transport can.

As with ‘Experience Thuringia’, the starting point of this adventure is the university town of Jena. The cool thing about it is that you can easily take the train back to Jena from any stopover. This means that, despite the long distance, you always have a plan B up your sleeve in case you can't make it or the weather changes. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to cycle the stages individually or to ‘build’ your own adventure, which may only last two or three days. Or, you can try it like I did and decide to do the whole round in one go. When you run out of beans, the train will take you back – that's exactly what I did.

If you want to take your time, my route is also suitable for a relaxed cycling holiday. In each stage town, you'll usually find a large selection of hotels and guesthouses as well as shopping facilities, restaurants and cultural highlights. That means there’s plenty to discover even after the day’s ride is over. The individual Tours are relatively short, so you can do them even if you're not in top shape. If, on the other hand, you want to challenge yourself a little more, you can simply combine one or two stages. Keep in mind, however, that Thuringia is quite hilly so it doesn't hurt to take it a little easier. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your journey of discovery through beautiful Thuringia!

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Thüringen total – mit dem Rennrad durch Deutschlands grünes Herz

353 mi

19,450 ft

19,450 ft

Last updated: December 21, 2021

Tours through Thuringia

  • Intermediate
    04:55
    70.3 mi
    14.3 mph
    2,725 ft
    2,825 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The first stage of the Thuringia tour is all about the Saale and Unstrut and the beautiful cycle paths that run along these rivers and are also ideal for racing bikes.

    

    It starts in the university town of Jena, whose typical high-rise skyline you may have seen from afar. Today you get to know the city

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  • Difficult
    03:13
    44.9 mi
    14.0 mph
    2,000 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today the route starts in Saxony-Anhalt and only takes you back to Thuringia towards the end of the stage. The stage is characterized by two long sections on beautiful cycle paths (partly former railway lines) and is therefore completely traffic-free for long stretches.

    

    It starts directly at the Saale

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  • Intermediate
    03:35
    44.6 mi
    12.5 mph
    2,475 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    From Gera, the route makes a detour to Saxony and takes you wonderfully quietly through picturesque villages and idyllic valleys to tranquil Netzschkau.

    

    After leaving Gera behind you, the track bends directly onto a quiet bike path that takes you to Ronneburg. It is remarkable that years ago it looked

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  • Intermediate
    02:47
    35.9 mi
    12.9 mph
    2,475 ft
    2,425 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    The short stage from Netzschkau to Zeulenroda is all about water. First you circle the Pöhl dam before you head for the Zeulenrodaer Meer.

    

    Today the way is the goal. There are no special sights or larger cities waiting for you on the way. But a lot of water, a lot of nature and the wonderful peace in

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  • Difficult
    04:35
    57.8 mi
    12.6 mph
    3,850 ft
    3,975 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today's stage also has a few wet highlights in store for you. It starts off well when you cross the Zeulenroda dam and can enjoy a great view of the large reservoir. Incidentally, it is all the more beautiful the sooner you set off, because then you can enjoy the magical light of the rising sun here

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  • Intermediate
    03:54
    51.8 mi
    13.3 mph
    2,775 ft
    2,950 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    After a few kilometers of leisurely rolling up, it's back to business today. After a tough climb you are really warm and will be rewarded with a great view of the reservoir. And with a beautiful descent that takes you back to the banks of the Saale, directly to the district town of Saalfeld, which is

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  • Difficult
    04:10
    55.1 mi
    13.2 mph
    3,500 ft
    3,925 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    It starts today in the spa town of Bad Berka via a federal road to Blankenhain. From there it gets rural. You drive through an idyllic valley where you encounter a bizarre feature. Suddenly funny figures are standing, floating, hanging and lying on the side of the road. They want to lure you into the

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    361 mi
  • Duration
    27:09 h
  • Elevation
    19,775 ft

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Around Thuringia — 7 stages through Germany's green heart

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