The Thuringian Town Chain - discover history on two wheels


The Thuringian Town Chain - discover history on two wheels

Bike Touring Collection by komoot



3-4 h

/ day

142 mi

4,400 ft

4,525 ft

The seven most beautiful cities in Thuringia line the Town Chain cycle path like pearls on a necklace. From the Wartburg town of Eisenach in the west of the Free State to the skating city of Altenburg in the east, you will experience rich history, charming cities and beautiful landscapes. The 143 mile (230 kilometer) cycle path is divided into six stages varying in length from 14 to 37 miles (23 to 60 kilometers). The route is mostly flat, with one hillier stage through spectacular rolling hills. The Thuringian Town Chain has something for everyone whether you want to explore mighty castles and palaces with your family, celebrate with your friends in a different city every night, or if you're interested in medieval architecture. You will have a lot of fun on the town chain.

Beautifully landscaped parks, impressive monuments, castles, rustic restaurants and medieval streets await you in every city. To get there, you will ride on well-developed bike paths through idyllic villages, meadows and forests. From Eisenach, you will cycle to Gotha and on to Erfurt, passing the "Drei Gleichen", an extraordinary ensemble of castles along the way. Next, you will continue on to Jena via Weimar following in the footsteps of Germany's most famous poets, Schiller and Goethe and discovering the impact of the composer Franz Liszt and the optician Carl Zeiss. The section from Jena to Gera is particularly beautiful as you cycle along streams and past countless mills. The last stage leads you finally to Altenburg, where for skat was threshed for the first time.

Nothing can get in the way of your bike ride through history: all cities are well connected by rail and you can often hop on a train along the routes. The cycle path is marked continuously and mostly in excellent condition. You will also find enough places to stay in all of the cities from campsites to luxury spa hotels. After your bike ride, you can relax with a delicious bratwurst and a refreshing dark beer.

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    22.9 mi
    9.2 mph
    650 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The bike tour through the history of Thuringia begins in the pretty town of Eisenach at the foot of the famous Wartburg Castle. It starts at the market square in the old town. Ducal palaces and medieval half-timbered houses give Eisenach a unique flair and it pays to stroll through the streets before cycling.On the shores of the Hörsel …

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  • Intermediate
    24.8 mi
    10.6 mph
    425 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You leave the historic city of Gotha via the Gotha Viaduct, which spans the valley of the Wilden Graben instead of the former 140-meter-long sandstone bridge. You drive past the zoo and over a dirt road and small streets until you reach Günthersleben. Here you can visit the remains of a former moated castle.Soon you will reach Mühlberg. The …

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  • Difficult
    16.0 mi
    10.0 mph
    500 ft
    425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This stage begins with a drive through the interesting old town of the Thuringian capital Erfurt. You meander through the medieval streets and cross the Krämerbrücke, a special river crossing full of half-timbered houses. As you drive through the Old Town, you realize that Erfurt has always been an important trading center and a major city.You leave Erfurt by …

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  • Easy
    14.6 mi
    10.4 mph
    450 ft
    675 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You've already mastered the first half of the Thuringian city chain, now the second one begins. You leave the city of poets over Ilmtal. The park areas on the Ilm run like a green ribbon through the city and are a popular recreational area. There you will find large meadows, shady spots and several interesting buildings, such as the garden house of Goethe, the Roman house or the bee museum.

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  • Intermediate
    37.8 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In front of you is the longest and hilly stage on the Thuringian town chain, but also the most beautiful in terms of landscape. The tour also begins in a paradisiacal way. The "Jenaer Paradies" is a large park near the center of the city directly on the river Saale. You drive through the park, follow the Saale and later the Roda.

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  • Intermediate
    25.9 mi
    9.6 mph
    975 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last stage on the Thuringian town chain takes you from Gera to Altenburg. It starts along the Gessenbach slightly uphill. On your route you will find well-kept gardens, a species protection tower in the tower of a former manor, the strawberry stadium and much more. So you can look forward to a varied and exciting bike ride.Just before …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    142 mi
  • Duration
    14:29 h
  • Elevation
    4,400 ft4,525 ft

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The Thuringian Town Chain - discover history on two wheels