From Alpine peaks to the Auenwald — 7 stages on the Isar cycle path

Esther Wattendrup

From Alpine peaks to the Auenwald — 7 stages on the Isar cycle path

Bike Touring Collection by Isarradweg
4-7 days
3-5 h / day
198 mi
4,725 ft
6,675 ft

The nursery on the Isar is truly idyllic: surrounded by Alpine peaks, the Isar sees the light of day in the impressive Karwendel nature reserve. As a fresh mountain stream, the Isar splashes happily along as it slowly grows until it tells its native Austria "Pfiat-di" in the Tyrolean village of Scharnitz to experience new adventures in picturesque Upper Bavaria. Passing idyllic beer gardens, houses with artistic paintings and the breathtaking scenery of the foothills of the Alps, the small river slowly grows up until it leaves the rural idyll behind Bad Tölz to seek its fortune in the big city of Munich. Afterwards it becomes calm again. The Isar flows as a sublime river through the floodplain forests of the district of Freising, where it is dammed up here and there and is a source of electricity for the people, but also a habitat for countless water birds. Behind Plattling, the Isar River blooms once more and forms its wonderful estuary before it merges forever with the Danube near Deggendorf.

In seven stages you will accompany the Isar on its journey from Austria to Lower Bavaria. The river cycle path runs mostly car-free on cycle paths that are sometimes paved, but mostly gravelled. If you follow the path from the source of the river Isar to its mouth, it tends to go downhill, so that the individual stages can also be easily mastered by occasional cyclists. On the way you will always find beautiful bike rest areas, restaurants and beer gardens as well as all kinds of cultural highlights such as exciting museums, picturesque old towns and historic castles and palaces.

In every stage there are enough accommodations, which provide for a pleasant stay. Every town has at least one Bett+Bike accommodation — these are ADFC-certified, especially cyclist-friendly establishments, which have specially adapted to cyclists like you. You can find more information here: The Isar cycle path is also listed in the ADFC brochure "Discover Germany by bike".

To get to the start of the Isar cycle path, you can drive to Scharnitz by car. The train will bring you back from the finish of the tour in Deggendorf in about five hours, so that you can pick up your car again. Alternatively, we recommend the following arrival concept: park your car in Munich and take the train to Scharnitz. In Deggendorf there is only a two-hour train drive back to Munich waiting for you. Maybe you'll even spend another day exploring the Bavarian capital in peace and quiet?

On The Map

The Stages On The Isar Cycle Path

    20.2 mi
    8.1 mph
    825 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Isar origin lies in the middle of the idyllic, car-free Karwendel nature park. All around is nothing, except a small rest area for hikers and cyclists, as well as an informative plaque. Here you can sit in peace and enjoy a drink of fresh Isar water and the fantastic views of nature.In order to get to the Isarsprung, you start the trip on the Isar cycle path but first in the opposite direction. Because - regardless of whether you arrive by car or train - closer than to Scharnitz you can not get to the official start of the bike path. So the first few kilometers of the tour take you upstream and thus uphill to the Isar origin. The road is very pleasant to drive on and the great Landschft compensates you in every way for the initial Warmup program. In addition, you can always look forward to the fact that the entire remainder of the Isarradweg leads without significant counter ascents downhill to the river mouth to Deggendorf.After you have enjoyed the beautiful atmosphere on Quellrastplatz extensively, you roll back relaxed to Scharnitz and from there to the finish Mittenwald. It is worth taking a walk through the historic center or a visit to the violin making museum. Various bed + bike accommodations provide after a good night's sleep.You can travel to the small town of Scharnitz by car or by train. From the finish of the entire tour in Deggendorf (stage 7) there is a train back, but it takes about five hours. To distribute the train journey "evenly" on round trip, you could simply park your car in Munich - the Munich central station is about half way and there you have to change anyway.

    translated byView Original
    37.4 mi
    9.5 mph
    775 ft
    1,650 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage on the Isar cycle path leads you through the picturesque alpine world of Karwendel, where the formerly small river spreads in an ever-widening valley. Small, green islands and white gravel banks framed by the stunning mountains make you feel like you're cycling through the wilds of Canada.From Mittenwald you follow the course of the Isar and cycle along a country road, later on the main road, usually slightly downhill to Sylvensteinsee. Here you can relax in the inn and cool off in the lake. From Krün to Vorderriß on the other side of the Isar, there is a gravel path that is much calmer, but also harder to drive on and needs a bit more time. It's your choice.After the Sylvensteinsee you steer the stage destination Bad Tölz. You cycle alternately on the bike path that accompanies the main road or on parallel running roads, which are often gravelly and always idyllic past the banks of the Isar. From the bike path it is only a few turns of a crank to the historic old town of the idyllic baroque town of Bad Tölz. Here you can relax in one of the cozy restaurants or cafes. Then you can take a walk along the historic market street or a visit to the puppet theater.In Bad Tölz several bed + bike accommodations invite you to stay overnight. There is also a good, direct train connection to Munich.

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Intermediate
    36.0 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,550 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From cozy Bad Tölz you drive today to bustling Munich. From the idyll to the big city - this is the third stage on the Isarradweg something very special, because Munich differs from the otherwise consistently quiet milestones. But as Munich is simply beautiful and totally worth seeing, you can look forward to the destination of your bike tour today.You start in Bad Tölz and will be thrilled with a great view of the Isar from the beginning. If you look back, you have a wonderful view of Bad Tölz, the beautiful river landscape of the Isar with its turquoise waters and the characteristic gravel banks opens up in front of you. After about three kilometers it goes a good deal uphill - another small feature of this stage, because it will not be the last climb of the day.Fortunately, there are always great opportunities for a break on the go. Cozy cafes, great viewpoints, idyllic swimming on the river - at picturesque resting places is not lacking. Although you are heading for the big city, the bike path nowadays shows its natural side: a large part of the route leads away from large roads on cycle and gravel paths, where you can enjoy the beautiful river landscape in peace.Then you reach Munich. Here are endless opportunities to end the day. When the weather is fine, a visit to one of the many cozy beer gardens is a delightful option. But also a walk through the beautiful city center or the visit of many sights in Munich are highly recommended. Maybe you even plan a rest day in the Bavarian capital, to explore it in peace.In Munich there are several biker-friendly bed + bike accommodations. From the central station you are perfectly connected to the railway network. If you drive the Isar cycle path only halfway or want to cancel your tour, for example, due to a change in weather, that is easily possible in Munich.

    translated byView Original
    24.3 mi
    8.6 mph
    375 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    On the fourth leg over the Isarradweg you leave Munich and follow the Isar to the large county town of Freising. On the way, the idyllic floodplain landscape of the Isar provides a quiet contrast to the bustling destination of the previous stage.In the middle of Munich the Isar is a kind Ruhepol. Although it is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and tourists, nevertheless, here in the middle of the city a nice prelude to the fourth stage awaits you. Especially in the morning, the atmosphere here is magical - maybe you feel like starting today's stage early.After about ten kilometers you have reached the outskirts of Munich. Now you can still Ismaning right and reach the wonderfully quiet Isarauen. Most of the time you have a great view of the river, which invites you to take a little break - just stop and enjoy the calm flowing water for a while or even a lively rapids, in which the power of the water comes to the fore.From the bike path you can already see the spiers of the impressive Freisinger Mariendom, which is well worth a visit at the end of the stage. In general, Freising has a lot to offer. The old town is as well worth seeing as the city's museums. A special highlight, however, is the visit to the Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan. The oldest still existing brewery in the world is elevated on the Weihenstephaner mountain and makes with a hearty meal in Bräu Stüberl tired cyclists again lively. Two bed + bike accommodations ensure a good night's sleep afterwards.

    translated byView Original
    27.3 mi
    8.8 mph
    475 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fifth stage on the Isar cycle path starts in Freising and leads you from the beginning along the Isarufer car-free in the direction of the northeast. Here and there you cross the Isar over a bridge and change the shore. But you will never leave the beautiful landscape that spoils you today with tranquility and idyll.After about 20 kilometers you will pass Moosburg. Here it is worth taking a short detour from the Isar cycle path to the small but beautiful old town, where you can take a look at (and into) the impressive Moosburger Münster and treat yourself to a short break in one of the cozy cafés. Afterwards, the Moosburger and Echinger reservoirs are waiting to spoil you with great views. Parallel to the Isar runs here the Mittler Isar Canal with its two reservoirs that serve to generate electricity. However, the large bodies of water attract so many birds that the area has now been set up as a "bird sanctuary Mittlere Isarstauseen" under nature conservation. A particularly beautiful and varied section is waiting for you here.Only a few kilometers, then you have already reached the stage destination Landshut. The residence city attracts with many sights and a large selection of restaurants and beer gardens, where you can enjoy the Bavarian joie de vivre and end the day properly. Then you can relax in the city hotel Herzog Ludwig, the only bed + bike accommodation in Landshut, or in one of the many other hotels and guesthouses in the city. From Landshut there is a fast train connection to Munich, if you want to end your tour here.

    translated byView Original
    22.1 mi
    8.1 mph
    600 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the beautiful city center in Landshut you start the sixth stage on the tour along the Isarradweg. As soon as you have left the city, you are back on the idyllic cycle path, which usually brings you along traffic-free cycle paths and gravel paths along the river Isar to Dingolfing.Even today you will come back to different, picturesque Isar reservoirs, whose banks are ideal for a quiet rest. In between, however, you pass again and again small villages that lure with interesting town centers or just invite you to a leisurely break in the beer garden. We have included a few such short trips in this tour, which offer a little rest.In the stage goal Dingolfing many sights wait to be discovered by you. The historic old town with all its attractions is also worth a visit, as the largest European BMW plant on the outskirts, where you can even book tours. For relaxation, a visit to the water park Caprima is recommended in advance. There are a lot of accommodations in Dingofing, two of which are also certified by the ADFC as bed + bike accommodation. There is also a good connection to the railway network.Incidentally, this stage is also part of the Lower Bavaria tour, which leads from Regensburg to Passau. So if you want to extend the tour on the Isar cycle path, here is the opportunity: In Landshut you can follow the tour to Regensburg Bavaria, from Dingolfing it continues to Passau.

    translated byView Original
    30.8 mi
    8.2 mph
    550 ft
    675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    In Dingolfing starts the seventh and last stage on the Isar cycle path, which has led you from the source of the Isar to its mouth to Deggendorf.First, the bike path along the river leads through the beautiful, tranquil Aulandschaft the Isar. Here you can enjoy car-free dirt roads again and again and have great views of the river, which has grown from the small mountain stream to a considerable stream. A special highlight can be reached with a short detour to about 13 kilometers: The bizarre formation of the "Growing Rock" is definitely worth a break, which you can enjoy on a quiet walk to the full while the bike stops for a few minutes.In the further course you pass again and again small, cozy villages, which alternate with the picturesque meadows of the Isar. Shortly before Platting-Pielweichs you cross the river one last time. The bike path now leaves the direct course of the Isar and heads for Deggendorf. The actual Isarmündung is located just outside, southeast of Deggendorf. The area of ​​the mouth of the Isar is a remarkable natural area, the unique floodplain landscape is considered a natural treasure of international importance and is under conservation. The area itself can only be reached by bike via unpaved trails. But you can turn in Plattling on the southern Isarradweg, which brings you to the Infohaus Isarmündung. Here you can park your bike, inform you in peace about the peculiarities of the mouth of the Isar and walk on a small tour on one of the trails through the wetland undertake. Especially beautiful is the Stichweg, which leads you directly to the mouth of the Isar in the Danube.For seven days you drove along the bank of the Isar, accompanied her from her nursery at the spring to her mouth. Here's your time to review the beautiful tour and say goodbye to the river that gave you such a great time.From the train station in Deggendorf you are now heading home. If you have parked your car in Munich, the train will take you there in about two hours. However, if you have parked at the starting point of the tour in Scharnitz, there are still around five hours of train travel waiting for you.

    translated byView Original

Like this Collection?



Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    198 mi
  • Duration
    22:50 h
  • Elevation
    4,725 ft6,675 ft

You Might Also Like


From Alpine peaks to the Auenwald — 7 stages on the Isar cycle path