Hops, beer gardens & breweries – Cycling the Hop Loop in Upper Bavaria –

Bike Touring Collection by Oberbayern

Following beautiful cycle paths along the Danube and Isar rivers, the Hop Loop is a wonderful ride through Upper Bavaria in Germany. Extending north from Munich, the route is one of three Wasser-Radlwege (Water Cycleways). On the way, you’ll discover amazing sites along the water’s edge such as Leopoldine Island in Neuburg an der Donau, as well as the Eisbach’s legendary surfing wave in Munich.

As well as water, you will find hops and beer in abundance on the Hop Loop as you ride 173 miles (280 km) between Ingolstadt, Munich, Schrobenhausen and Freising. On the way, you will explore some unique hop-related highlights: cycle through the largest hop-growing area in the world in Hallertau; Visit the oldest active brewery in the world in Weihenstephan; and stop off at the Hop Museum in Wolnzach. There are, of course, also countless beer gardens and breweries en route where you can try a pint of local beer.

In this Collection, we guide you around the Hop Loop from Munich in nine stages, but you can start at any point on the circular. Depending on your fitness level, you can also combine the routes together to complete the route in fewer days. We also show you two possible ways to Erding, known for the famous beer brewed in the city since 1886. You choose whether to ride all the routes in one go or in individual sections. No matter what you decide, you will find plenty of accommodation en route as well as restaurants, cafes, and breweries. The ADFC Bed & Bikes offer great bike-friendly accommodation geared towards cyclists.
For information on travelling to and from your adventure by train, visit: bayern-fahrplan.de/en/journey-planner.

If you are also interested in the other two loops of the Water Cycleway in Upper Bavaria, which form 745 miles (1,200 km) of cycle paths, you can check out the Salt Loop or the Culture Loop from the centre of Munich. Alternatively, you can join the Salt Loop in Freising or Erding. You can find an overview of the Water Cycleways here: komoot.de/user/oberbayern/collections.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:04
    21.1 mi
    10.2 mph
    300 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In the center of Munich your tour starts on the hop loop of the water cycle routes in Upper Bavaria. You cycle past the Hofgarten eastwards, where you cross the royal Hirschgarten.On the way you pass the majestic Nymphenburg Palace and reach the famous view from the city. Before, before many residential areas were built, you could see from Nymphenburg Palace to Blutenburg Castle, hence the name.After cycling past Blutenburg Castle, you drive on flat paths through the Munich foothills to the idyllic Olchinger See and on to the Amper. Through the beautiful nature on the banks of the Amper you roll to Dachau, which was once an important colony of artists.

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  • Intermediate
    02:50
    27.9 mi
    9.9 mph
    925 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    From Günding, at the gates of Dachau, you cycle along the Maisach and reach the hilly Dachau hinterland. Here you can enjoy incredible views of Munich, Fürstenfeldbruck and up to the Alps from the higher points with good foresight.Passing wide fields, lush green meadows and quaint villages, you cycle in gentle ups and downs through a wonderful landscape. In Altomünster you have completed just over half of this section and can take a break in one of the inns or in one of the breweries. A visit to the beer museum is also worthwhile.Then you cycle through the wonderful country idyll to Aichach.

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  • Easy
    01:07
    11.9 mi
    10.7 mph
    125 ft
    225 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Aichach the route of the hop loop becomes pleasantly flat again. You leave Aichach parallel to the Paar river and cycle on smooth asphalt through a beautiful backdrop of meadows and fields.You can take a leisurely break at Radersdorfer See. Here you will find refreshments and in summer you can jump into the water and relax on a large lawn.Rested you roll on the flat route parallel to the couple towards the northeast, where you finally reach Schrobenhausen.

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  • Easy
    01:49
    18.3 mi
    10.1 mph
    300 ft
    400 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You leave Schrobenhausen and drive through an idyllic field and meadow landscape that is decorated here and there by pretty villages.A subtle descent finally takes you to Donaumoos. The former fen is now drained and used for agriculture. Potatoes are mainly grown here. Large fields stretch to the left and right of the path while you cycle comfortably on a flat route through the moss and its villages.Past the Neuburg air base you will reach Neuburg an der Donau, which enchants with its beautiful location on the river and the fairytale castle.

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  • Easy
    01:59
    16.0 mi
    8.1 mph
    200 ft
    225 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Also on this section of the hop loop you can expect pleasantly flat paths. At the start you leave Neuburg through the English Garden. Here you cycle through a beautiful forest that stretches along the Danube.Passing the fairytale hunting lodge Grünau you reach Weichering via picturesque fields and idyllic forest passages. Here, halfway there, you can take a leisurely break and stop for example in the beer garden of the Vogelsang country inn.Freshly strengthened, you cycle through fields and forests to Ingolstadt, where you meet the Danube again. In 1516, the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm had the Bavarian Purity Law announced in the picturesque town.

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  • Intermediate
    03:27
    28.8 mi
    8.4 mph
    400 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You leave Ingolstadt along the Danube. Through largely untouched floodplain landscape with unique flora and fauna, you follow the river to Vohburg. Here you can take a first break and explore the beautiful old town, where you can also find refreshments.Then you cycle south. Another stop at the Geisenfeld wakeboard facility is worthwhile. From the sun terrace of the restaurant located here you can watch the hustle and bustle on the lake.Via Geisenfeld and past fields and hop plantations you reach Wolnzach, where you can visit the Hop Museum at the end of the section.

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  • Intermediate
    02:44
    26.4 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Wolnzach, the route winds through the largest hop growing area in the world, the Hallertau. In the slightly hilly region, the hop gardens are lined up and form a unique cultural landscape.You cycle through this fascinating backdrop to Au in the Hallertau. Here you can fortify yourself during a break in the castle brewery Au-Hallertau.With renewed energy you drive further south past picturesque hop plantations and idyllic forest areas.After Zolling you cross the Amper and cycle the last kilometers to Freising, where you can finally visit the beautiful old town and the cathedral.In Freising you have the option to continue on the main route of the Hopfen loop towards Munich or to switch to the Salt loop. Alternatively, you can also cycle on cross-connection 1 to Erding.

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  • Easy
    01:58
    16.2 mi
    8.2 mph
    375 ft
    250 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Before you leave Freising, it is worth visiting the Weihenstephan State Brewery, which you can visit as part of a guided tour. In the Bräustüberl you also have the opportunity to fortify yourself with good food and fresh beer before the bike tour.After crossing the Moosbach behind Freising, you come across fields and meadows to the Isar. Here you cycle directly along the bank. From the bike you can let your gaze wander over the shimmering water and enjoy the untouched nature of the riparian forests that line the river.At Garching you leave the river bank and cycle through forest and fields for the last few kilometers to the city center.From Garching you can either continue on the main loop or take the cross connection 2 to Erding.

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  • Easy
    01:11
    9.65 mi
    8.1 mph
    200 ft
    75 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At the end of the hop loop, a flat section is waiting for you again.From Garching you cycle south on the flat Isar cycle path. The route leads you directly along the bank of the river and passes the idyllic riparian forests of the Isar. This green oasis leads you to Munich.Through the English Garden you roll comfortably towards the city center. Passing the courtyard garden you will then reach the starting point of the hop loop.Since the center of Munich is the central hub of the Upper Bavaria water cycle path, you can switch here to the art loop and the salt loop.

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  • Easy
    01:32
    15.6 mi
    10.2 mph
    225 ft
    150 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    To start the cross connection, cross the Isar and then cycle past Munich Airport. A break in the free visitor park is worthwhile here. From a hill you can look at the airport tarmac and watch the mighty planes take off and land.On a flat route you drive further south-east via Schwaig. Passing wide fields and green meadows, the route takes you across the Isar Canal to the Kronthaler pond. In summer you can take a bath break at the lake before rolling the last few meters to Erding.In Erding you can treat yourself to a wheat beer that has been brewed here since 1886 or relax in the thermal bath. Here you also have the option to switch to the salt loop.

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  • Intermediate
    01:27
    16.0 mi
    11.0 mph
    200 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Coming from Garching you cross the Isar at the beginning of the tour and then pass Ismaning. You cycle to the northeast via quiet farm roads that lead you past wide fields, small ponds and streams and through imposing avenues. Your bike rolls almost by itself on the flat, well-paved route.At Moosinning you will pass several lakes where you can take relaxed breaks. You can also swim in some of the lakes.After crossing the Isar Canal, you will reach Erding, where Erdinger wheat beer has been brewed since 1886. You can find out more about the world-famous drink in the Erdinger brewery.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    208 mi
  • Duration
    22:09 h
  • Elevation
    4,375 ft

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