"We are South" - and not only the many hours of sunshine, but also wine, culture and culinary delights convey a Mediterranean attitude to life. Two of Baden-Württemberg's most beautiful long-distance cycle paths, the Kocher-Jagst and Neckar Valley cycle paths, lead you through narrow romantic river valleys that run through the sunny south in countless loops. They lead you past picturesque meadows stretching from the shores to the lush forests on the surrounding hills—and alongside the steep vineyards and rugged rocks that line the river banks.
Both cycle paths have been awarded 4 stars by the ADFC, which confirms the awesome infrastructure of the paths. This means that you are guaranteed to find things such as rest areas, restaurants, and accommodation along the paths, as well as a picturesque route, excellent signposting and a great riding surface.
Getting to the starting point is also a cinch: All of the various stages of the Neckar Valley cycle path are connected to public transport networks, meaning you can join—or finish—wherever you prefer.
On the Kocher-Jagst cycle path, you can cycle 332 kilometers (210 miles) over seven stages from Aalen via Schwäbisch Hall, Bad Friedrichshall, and Crailsheim. The cycle path takes you through the Kocher and Jagst valleys, through beautiful countryside, over impressive old wooden bridges, and through legendary medieval towns.
From Villingen-Schwenningen on the edge of the Black Forest, the Neckar Valley cycle path winds along the Neckar for about 370 kilometers (230 miles) to Mannheim in the north of Baden-Württemberg. On the way, from its origins to the Rhine, it passes not only spectacular landscapes but also beautiful cities such as Tübingen and Heidelberg—a route that you can cycle in seven stages.
In this Collection, we show you the two 4-star cycle paths through beautiful Baden-Württemberg.
In the former free imperial city of Aalen, the circuit starts on the Kocher-Jagst-Radweg. Thanks to the good connection to public transport, you can easily take the train to the starting point. From there it goes on 46 kilometers mostly downhill to Gaildorf.From Aalen you cycle north to Hüttlingen, where you turn west and drive through the picturesque Kochertal valley. The cycle path meanders through the valley following the course of the river. In many places you roll right next to the shore of the Kocher, on other sections you drive through beautiful countryside with lots of forest, lush meadows and above all a lot of pure nature.On the way along the cycle path, there are some unusual highlights waiting for you, such as the "Silent Room", where you can take your time to relax, enjoy nature or just take a break. At Laufen am Kocher you have the opportunity to change to a bicycle trip or at least take a look at the extraordinary vehicle.After driving past Sulzbach am Kocher, you head straight for the stage destination Gaildorf. Here you can end the day in one of the many charming restaurants or visit the Old Castle, where you can see the exhibition "Witches, hangmen and scoundrels". In the summer there is an open-air cinema in the courtyard, also a great thing to end the first day of the tour.
Today's stage takes you on 52 kilometers from Gaildorf to Künzelsau. There are exciting sections and many highlights waiting for you.Right at the beginning behind Gaildorf you can look forward to two small climbs, which then end in a rapid descent to Schwäbisch Hall. As soon as you drive into the city following the stove, you'll have a picture-perfect view of the old town, which is definitely worth a break. The market square is one of the most beautiful in Germany and the church of St. Michael impresses with the outside staircase, where every year the open-air plays take place. Nice street cafés and restaurants invite you to stop off in the beautiful medieval Schwäbisch Hall.Strengthened, you then continue your journey at the Kocher and follow his loops, which he draws through the beautiful valley. Shortly before Braunsbach, one of the most impressive buildings in Europe opens up in front of you: the Kochertal bridge. It is the largest bridge of its kind in Europe and impresses with its enormous height. As a cyclist you suddenly feel very tiny when you drive underneath.In Braunsbach you then have the opportunity to switch to a canoe and continue your journey on the water. As a special service, your bike will be brought to the exit point. But the Kocher-Jagst-Radweg is also beautiful and therefore you can easily continue riding as usual until you arrive in Künzelsau, today's stage destination. Here you can spend the rest of the day, for example, in the free Kocherfreibad right on the river.
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Today it is on the 49 kilometers from Künzelsau to Bad Friedrichshall again largely downhill, so you can enjoy the day's stage without much effort to the fullest.From Künzelsau the Kocher-Jagst-Radweg winds its way first into the wine town of Forchtenberg. From there it is always in the immediate vicinity of the river through the beautiful wine landscape of Heilbronn country. Lush forests on shallow hills and idyllic green meadows, which extend next to the bike path, are also part of the landscape at this stage.On the way to the stage goal you come again and again through contemplative places where you can comfortably rest and stop, as for example the pretty Neustadt am Kocher with its charming half-timbered houses.In the stage destination Bad Friedrichshall you can use the rest of the day to take a canoe trip on one of the three rivers Kocher, Jagst or Neckar, which all converge here in the vicinity. Alternatively, you can also make a detour to the Neckar Valley Cycle Path before you follow the Jagst on the Kocher-Jagst Cycle Path the next day.
In Bad Friedrichshall you say goodbye to the cook, who flows here in the Neckar, and is called in a few hundred meters away Jagstfeld welcome the Jagst, which also unites there with the Neckar. From today you are back on the way back to the starting point Aalen and follow the Jagst upriver, which means that on this 41-kilometer stage from Bad Friedrichshall to Jagsthausen it's easy and continuous uphill.Behind Jagstfeld, the bike path meanders through the picturesque Jagsttal and passes beautiful villages, including Möckmühl. In Möckmühl you have already cycled over half the stage, which is why the beautiful city is ideal for rest. In a medieval ambience, you can fortify yourself here in one of the numerous cafes and restaurants.After you have cycled further sweeping loops through the tranquil Jagsttal, you have already reached the stage destination Jagsthausen. Here you can not only go in the footsteps of the Romans and admire the remains of a Roman bath in the open-air museum, but also admire the Götzenburg, which was the ancestral castle of Berlichingen. There is also a hotel in the castle where you could spend the night for the crowning glory.
Even today, the 51 kilometers from Jagsthausen to Bächlingen on the way through the beautiful Jagsttal lead you steadily uphill, as it continues upriver.Just behind the starting point Jagsthausen you cycle through Berlichingen, where you will learn more about the Berlichingen and especially the knight Götz von Berlichingen. Afterwards you drive past the monastery Schöntal, where you can already take a break and visit the impressive complex. Then we continue through the pretty landscape in the Jagsttal and through tranquil places like Westernhausen and Krautheim.Through the nature reserve St. Wendel to the stone you will then cycle through beautiful nature with dense forests and steep rocks. You will also pass the one or other pilgrimage chapel, where you can pay a visit to a small rest stop.Continue in several turns through the valley, which is lined by lovely wooded hills to the stage destination Bächlingen, a district of Langenburg. A detour into the city is worthwhile, because in contrast to Bächlingen it lies at the height and from there you have a fantastic view of the Jagsttal. Langenburg also attracts with many cozy cafes, restaurants and its beautiful castle. If you still have excess energy, you can let off steam in the forest climbing park.
From Bächlingen the Kocher-Jagst-Radweg winds its way further southeast through the beautiful Jagsttal. On 56 kilometers you will get to know the section between Bächlingen and Ellwangen today.On the first kilometer to Crailsheim, the cycle path meanders through the dreamy narrow valley. At the beginning you usually drive along the Jagst and cross the river on impressive old bridges. Later, the bike path sweeps away from the river and leads you over beautiful mountains, which offer you in many places a beautiful view over the valley and the surrounding villages.In Crailsheim you have made half the stage and earned a break in the beautiful city and one of the many cafes or restaurants. From there, the landscape of the Jagsttal changes a bit. The valley is more open and wider and it is not so much uphill, but almost even to the final destination Ellwangen. Here you can stroll through the beautiful old town at the end of the day and discover the beautiful houses with their magnificent facades.
Today, the last leg of the Kocher-Jagst-Radweg is already underway, taking you from Ellwangen back to the starting point in Aalen for almost 37 kilometers. Since this is the shortest of the stages, you can take your time on the many highlights and enjoy them to the fullest.From Ellwangen you drive along the fairly flat cycle path along the Jagst until you come to the Bucher reservoir, where the river was dammed to a lake with 27 hectares of water. The lake invites you to swim on the long sandy beach. If you are interested in birds, you will get your money's worth in the nearby bird sanctuary "Vorbecken Buch".After enjoying the lake extensively, continue on the Kocher-Jagst cycle path. As soon as you discover the Kapfenburg on your hill, you can adjust yourself to the upcoming climb, because shortly thereafter, it goes quite steeply up to the heights. Here you cycle for several kilometers on a plateau through cool forests and wide meadows, until you leave it with a fast descent and then comfortably on the downhill bike path to the finish of the bike ride to Aalen rollst.Here you can end the day in the beautiful city, for example, by paying a visit to the market place and letting the ambience take effect on you in one of the cozy sidewalk cafés. Do not let yourself be disturbed by the Aalener Spionle, who smokes his pipe in the old town hall tower and watches over the town of Aalen. He only enjoys his fame as a folk hero and is only a statue anyway.With great memories of the seven-day tour and countless stories about folk heroes and legends in your luggage, you can then comfortably start your journey home from Aalen Central Station.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.