Five Rivers Cycle Path — 5 stages along Bavaria's most beautiful rivers

Bike Touring Collection by

Five rivers that flow in cheerful loops through the middle of Bavaria - sometimes calmingly leisurely, sometimes excitingly wild. They are bordered by green meadows, wide fields and romantic wooded hills on which fairytale castles throne. Straight as a die canals stretch between the rivers and charming towns and cities such as Regensburg or Nuremberg adorn the banks. Everything is connected by the Five Rivers Cycle Route, which the ADFC recommends in its brochure "Discovering Germany by Bike" thanks to so much variety and beauty.

You can cycle the approximately 300 km long Five Rivers Cycle Route along the Danube, Altmühl, Pegnitz, Vils and Naab in five stages that are between 35 and 75 km long. The starting point of the circuit is Regensburg. Of course, you can also get on at any other point on the cycle path. You can reach Regensburg easily by local and long-distance trains or via the Danube cycle path. From there you cycle clockwise along the Danube and the Altmühl. In Nuremberg you meet the Pegnitz and then follow the Vils and the Naab back to Regensburg.

In all stage destinations you will find a good selection of accommodation and refreshments. Along the way you also have plenty of opportunities to eat and drink, be it in the countless towns and villages you cross or in the cosy beer gardens and inns along the way. If some stages are too long for you, you can simply cut them in half or shorten them. Along the cycle path there are always overnight accommodations and also some railway stations. In summer there are leisure buses in the region, where you can take your bike with you, and at the Danube and Altmühl you also have the possibility to change to ships. You can customise your cycle tour on the Five Rivers Cycle Route to suit your fitness level and adventure plans. Have fun!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    23.3 mi
    9.3 mph
    550 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In Regensburg begins the Five Rivers Cycle Route, where you can easily get on the train. The Danube Cycle Route, which you also follow on the first leg of the Five Rivers Cycle Route, also takes you to the starting point. On the banks of the river you cycle from Regensburg, past the Naabmündung into the beautiful nature on the banks of the Danube. Green meadows or wooded hills with partly rugged rocks line the big river on both sides. The bike path takes you along the entire length of the route, so you can always enjoy the view of the water and the opposite side. Beautiful swimming spots invite you to refresh yourself on hot days and you can stop off in the places you cycle through.Shortly before the destination Kelheim you reach the mouth of the Altmühl in the Danube. From here you will ride along the banks of the Altmühl River, which will take you to Kelheim, where the first stage of the Five Rivers Cycle Route ends.

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  • Intermediate
    34.9 mi
    8.0 mph
    725 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Kelheim you cycle through the beautiful Altmühltal, surrounded by hills and forests. Always on the bank of the river, you always have the sparkling water in view. Every now and then it is worthwhile to look over the hills, because there you can see fairytale castles perched on dizzyingly high rocks. The charming places on the Altmühl, which you pass on this stage, are perfect for resting on the way. Here you can stroll through the romantic streets and relax in one of the cafes or restaurants.On the second half of the stage you will reach the Main-Danube Canal, which shares the riverbed with the Altmühl. At Dreifurt on the Altmühl the Altmühl and the canal flow together. Here you leave the bank of the canal and cycle upstream through the wide meadows of the Altmühl. At Beilngries you finally say goodbye to the Altmühl and join us again on the banks of the Main-Danube-Canal, which will take you on the slightly ascending bike path to the final destination Berching.

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  • Intermediate
    41.7 mi
    13.0 mph
    900 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In Berching you drive directly to the shore of the Ludwig-Danube-Main-Canal and follow its course almost to the final destination. The bike path on the dead straight canal leads you almost always along the shore, so you can enjoy the view of the water again today. Alternating you cycle past wide meadows, through quiet forests and pass after the first third of the beautiful city of Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate. Here already offers a first break. If you are not hungry yet, you will also pass through cozy places and inviting restaurants, where you can stop in peace.On the last part of the stage you will cycle through beautiful forests into which you will dive right before Nuremberg. Here you can enjoy nature to the fullest, because time seems to stand still here: on the sluggishly flowing water of the old canal grow partly romantic water lilies. Enchanted stone bridges here and there connect to the other side of the river and old locks remind of the time when the canal was still actively used. In the middle of the forest you leave the bank of the Ludwig-Danube-Main-Canal and cycle past the Dutzendteich to the stage destination Nürnberg.

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  • Difficult
    47.0 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At Wöhrder See you drive out of Nuremberg. On the outskirts of the lake, the lake passes into the Pegnitz, the course of which you follow to the east. At the beginning of the stage you cycle through some places like Röthenbach an der Pegnitz and Lauf an der Pegnitz, which connect almost seamlessly with Nuremberg. Then you dive into the beautiful nature of the Pegnitz Valley. Lush green meadows, romantic forests and wide fields await you here. You cycle along the relatively straight bike path through this magnificent landscape, while the river meanders in small, playful loops a few meters from you through the terrain. Half way, you can take a break at Baggersee Happurg and refresh yourself on warm days in the water.Well recovered, you continue your bike tour then. While the Pegnitz turns off to the north, you first cycle eastwards. Passing beautifully wooded hills, the cycle path meanders through the beautiful landscape. You have some altitude to overcome here, but thanks to the many rest areas on the bike path you can always take relaxed breaks. Shortly before the final destination you will reach the Vils, where you will roll to the old town of Amberg, the destination of today's stage.

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  • Difficult
    38.9 mi
    7.9 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the last leg of the Five Rivers Cycle Route, you will set out on your way back to Regensburg, the starting point of the tour. On the banks of the Vils you cycle from Amberg. After leaving all the foothills of the city behind you, you will enjoy the beautiful surroundings of forests, meadows and fields. On some sections, you will ride directly along the banks of the Vils and enjoy the view of the natural river. In the small places in the Vilstal, through which you come on the way, you can insert breaks again and again. In addition to pretty town centers with castles, mills and churches you can also expect cozy rest stops.After two thirds of the way you reach Kallmünz. Here you can not only admire the house in the rock, the castle ruins and the pretty town center, but also the mouth of the Vils in the Naab. And this is exactly what you are following now through its wildly romantic, forested hills lined valley to the Danube. On the outskirts of Regensburg, the Naab flows into the Danube and here you have reached your destination. You have visited five unique rivers on your round trip through Bavaria and have now landed again on the Danube. From here you can either cycle to the center of Regensburg to let the tour end comfortably and then return home by train or you continue your adventure on the Danube Cycle Route.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    186 mi
  • Duration
    19:55 h
  • Elevation
    5,550 ft5,550 ft

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