Johanna

Riding the German Limes Cycle Path from the Rhine to the Danube

Agatha

Riding the German Limes Cycle Path from the Rhine to the Danube

Bike Touring Collection by Johanna
9-19 days
3-6 h / day
508 mi
30,800 ft
29,875 ft

The German Limes Cycle Path leads 800 kilometres (500 miles) through Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, and Bavaria. It traces the former course of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, one of the most important archaeological monuments in Central Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The cycle path is hugged by idyllic fields and meadow scenery. Deep forests such as the Odenwald and Swabian Forest also lie en route. The hilly landscape is challenging, but rewards with fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. You can look out across the fields from replicas Limes watchtower replicas which are dotted along the route. You can learn more about the rich history here at Roman forts and Limes museums, too.

In this Collection, I show you how to ride the German Limes Cycle Path in 17 stages, averaging around 45 kilometres (28 miles) in length. Your adventure begins on the banks of the River Rhine near the municipality of Rheinbrohl. You can reach the start by following the Rhine Cycle Path, or catching a train to a nearby station in Rheinbrohl, Bad Hönningen, or Bad Breisig.

You can find overnight accommodation in guesthouses, inns, hotels, or holiday rentals at the stage destinations. There are often train stations too, making it easy to cycle individual parts of the route. The cycle path concludes in the town of Regensburg where you can catch a train home after your incredible adventure through four federal states. If you prefer to continue your cycling adventure, you can do so on the Danube Cycle Path – have fun!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    03:14
    26.8 mi
    8.3 mph
    2,625 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The beginning of the German Limes cycle path is on the banks of the Rhine near Rheinbrohl. To get to the starting point, you have several options: Either you take the train to one of the train stations in Rheinbrohl, Bad Hönningen or Bad Breisig, which is on the other side of the bank. A ferry takes you from there over the Rhine to the starting point. Alternatively, you can simply travel by bike on the Rhine Cycle Path.Only a few meters from the starting point you will find the first lane of the Limes, whose former course you will follow on this cycle path. At the Limes watchtower Rheinbrohl you can take a look around to start and get in the mood for the upcoming tour.Then it really starts: After you have crossed Rheinbrohl, you climb up the hills that line the Rhine. On the way you are surrounded by picturesque meadows with fruit trees and romantic forest. Once at the top you will find further traces of the Romans, including the Roman tower number twelve, from which you can enjoy a great view over the Rhine Valley.The path leads you through extensive, quiet forests and finally in a rapid descent down to Niederbieber. In moderate ups and downs you cycle over wide fields and through several pretty places to Bendorf, which is located directly on the Rhine. From here it goes back to the wooded hills along the river, where you reach the stage destination Höhr-Grenzhausen. In the city you will find various accommodation options, such as hotels, guest houses or holiday apartments.

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    Difficult
    04:24
    33.6 mi
    7.6 mph
    2,975 ft
    2,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Immediately behind Höhr-Grenzhausen you dive back into the beautiful forest, in which you will always find traces of the Romans, such as a small fort. Sometimes these are a bit off the bike path, so keep an eye out for signs.On a slightly hilly route you drive through the wonderful nature of the forests and cross small towns. From clearings you often have wonderful views over the charming landscape. A long descent through the Emsbachtal then brings you to the beautiful Bad Ems an der Lahn. In the spa town, it is worth taking a long break, during which you can gather new energy for the onward journey.After the stop, you first cycle a short distance along the banks of the Lahn, then you climb back up into the wooded hills. At a little over 400 meters you reach the highest point of the stage and discover the ruins of a Roman watchtower in the middle of the forest.A long descent leads you from up here along the Hombach to Marienfels. There follows a short, crisp ascent through the forest. After you have left the last trees behind you, the slope becomes flat and wide fields surround you. Here you can let your gaze wander over the picturesque landscape.Past the small fort Pohl you cycle through this beautiful area to the stage destination Holzhausen an der Haide, where there are various inns as overnight accommodation.

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  • Difficult
    03:35
    26.5 mi
    7.4 mph
    2,500 ft
    2,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    You leave Holzhausen an der Haide to the south and drive first on a relatively flat route over beautiful fields, then a crisp ascent leads you over the Grau Kopf through the forest. After a refreshing descent you will reach Laufenselden, where you can take a break.Afterwards you drive through a hilly landscape, which is characterized by fields and wooded areas. Here you can enjoy wonderful moments in the untouched nature of the forests and unforgettable views over the wide fields into the distance. A long, rapid descent finally brings you down to the Aar valley and the town of Adolfseck. This is about halfway through the stage and is therefore ideal for a break.With renewed energy, you can then start the second part of the stage, which starts with a steep ascent and turns into a hilly route over idyllic fields and through quiet forests. On the way you have great views of the surrounding landscape from the higher points.Shortly before the stage destination, you can take a look around Fort Zugmantel, a former Roman garrison site. The last kilometers to the stage destination you finally roll on a long descent through the forest. When you arrive at the stage town of Idstein, you have a good selection of overnight accommodations and connections to the regional trains of Deutsche Bahn.

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    Difficult
    04:09
    29.4 mi
    7.1 mph
    3,050 ft
    3,375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    From Idstein you cycle in moderate up and down over wide fields and through quiet forests, right at the beginning you will pass a Limes tower that you can climb. From above you have a wonderful view of Idstein and the Taunus.In Schloßborn, a long ascent to the Kleiner Feldberg begins. Once at the top, you can take a well-deserved break in the Feldbergkastell. After you have rested and regained your strength, you cycle past the summit of the Großer Feldberg and then enjoy a long descent through the extensive forests of the Taunus to the Köpperner Tal.On the other side of the valley you cycle back into the forest and roll on quiet forest roads through the beautiful nature. Again and again you come across idyllic clearings and have picturesque views through the trees.Finally you will reach the Usa valley, where the stage destination Langenhain-Ziegenberg is located. There is a motel here where you can stay the night.

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    Difficult
    03:08
    30.0 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,875 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    From Langenhain-Ziegenberg you drive through the forest via Wiesental up to the Gerhardsköppel. Arrived on the bare mountain, you have an impressive view of the Wetterau. Then you can enjoy a relaxing descent over wide fields before climbing back up into the wooded mountains of the Taunus.At an altitude of 380 meters you have reached the summit of the Kisselberg and the highest point of today's stage. This is followed by a rapid descent through a magical forest to Butzbach.From here you cycle steadily up and down through a beautiful landscape that is characterized by wide fields, green meadows and quiet forests. On the way you will pass Roman traces, such as replicas of the Limes tower and the small castle Holzheimer Unterwald.The further you leave the Taunus behind you and advance into the Wetterau, the flatter it becomes. At the Arnsburg Monastery you cross the weather and roll over extensive fields to the stage destination Hungen, where you will find a small selection of overnight accommodations.

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    Difficult
    03:12
    32.6 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    At the start of the sixth stage, you leave Hungen heading south and cycle first to Inheidener See, then past the Knappenseen.In the further course of the route, you will be accompanied by the wide fields and meadows of the Wetterau, which extend to the left and right of the path. Numerous birds such as storks feel at home in the lush meadows. With a little luck and patience, you can see them from the various observation stations that you will pass along the way.From Stammheim it gets a bit hilly again. A crisp ascent leads you through an idyllic forest. During the subsequent descent, you not only enjoy the wind in your face, but also a great view of Altenstadt, which you roll down into.Then the slightly hilly route takes you alternately through quiet forests, over picturesque fields and charming villages to the stage destination Erlensee. In the city and the immediate vicinity you will find various accommodation options, including a campsite.

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    Intermediate
    04:39
    46.9 mi
    10.1 mph
    675 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today a mostly flat stage awaits you on the German Limes cycle path, at the beginning of which you leave the city of Erlensee to the south. Here you will pass the lake and nature reserve of the same name. Through an extensive forest, in which you pass the Neuwirtshaus small fort, you cycle to Großkrotzenburg an der Main.Directly on the shore you follow the picturesque loops of the majestic river to Aschaffenburg. Here you have completed half of the stage and can treat yourself to a well-deserved break - either on the banks of the Main or in one of the cozy restaurants in the pretty old town.Freshly strengthened, you follow the Main further upriver. On the way you can keep your eyes wandering over the water and enjoy the view of the forested hills and vineyards that line the Main Valley.In Kleinheubach you finally reach the stage goal. In the small town on the Main you will find various accommodations and a train station with connections to the regional rail network of Deutsche Bahn.

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    Difficult
    03:11
    29.5 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Right at the start of the eighth stage you will pass the magnificent Löwenstein Castle. Shortly afterwards you leave the Main Valley and cycle along the Mud into the Odenwald. In the valley of the river it is still quite flat, while the romantically wooded hills of the low mountain range tower around you.Behind Amorbach it gets a little bit more attractive and you master a long ascent through the forest to Walldürn. On a plateau with wide fields you cycle comfortably behind the city. A little climbing on the Rehberg will make you sweat again. At 451 meters, however, you have reached the highest point of the stage and then enjoy a refreshing descent through the Great Forest and further over wide fields to Bofsheim.In a slight up and down, you then cycle alternately across picturesque fields and through rustic forests until you finally roll down to Osterburken, where you reach the stage destination.In Osterburken you have various accommodations to choose from as well as connections to rail transport. There is also a Roman museum in the city, where you can learn more about the Limes and the Romans in the region.

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    Difficult
    02:50
    25.1 mi
    8.9 mph
    2,550 ft
    2,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The ninth stage starts with a steep climb that takes you up to a watchtower. After you have taken a short break here, you continue in a steady up and down through a beautiful landscape of fields, meadows and forests. On the way you can enjoy wonderful views and pass various Limes watchtowers.After a little more than half of the stage, you roll down into the Jagsttal in a rapid descent. In Jagsthausen you can take a long break and fortify yourself in one of the cozy restaurants or cafés. A visit to the free Römerbad open-air museum is also worthwhile.With new strength, you climb out of the Jagsttal onto a wooded hill and dash down the other side into the picturesque Kocher valley. Here in Sindringen you can recharge your batteries before you start the last, big ascent of the day that leads you out of the valley of the Kocher.As a reward for your efforts, you will find three watchtowers on the wooded hill. Then you cycle through the beautiful, hilly landscape to the stage destination Öhringen, where you have access to rail traffic and a good selection of overnight accommodations.

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    Difficult
    02:55
    24.9 mi
    8.5 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Öhringen, the start of the tenth stage is a long climb up to Heuberg, which at the end really picks up. Once at the top, you will find a nice resting place where you can take a breather with the best view.Then it goes continuously uphill. On the way you either enjoy an unrestricted view of the hilly landscape around you or drive through refreshing forests.In Mainhardt you have made about half of the stage and more than deserved a refreshment in one of the local inns. Here you will also find a Roman museum and various Roman forts.With renewed energy, you cycle in steady up and down most of the time through the beautiful forests of the Swabian Forest. After a refreshing descent you will reach Murrhardt, the destination of this stage. In the city you will find a train station and numerous accommodations.

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    Difficult
    03:14
    28.1 mi
    8.7 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Murrhard you climb back up into the mountains of the Swabian Forest at the start of this stage from the picturesque Murrtal. It goes quite steeply up to Köchersberg, then you drive in moderate up and down through the beautiful forest and meadow landscape. Especially from the higher, unwooded areas, you can enjoy wonderful views.After about 15 kilometers you will reach the Ebnisee, where you can take a leisurely break on the idyllic shore. On hot days you can also cool off in the water, you can strengthen yourself at the kiosk. It continues with renewed energy.Through shady forests and past wide meadows and fields you reach Welzheim halfway. At the end of the village you will find a Roman fort, which is worth a stop. You cycle through rural idyll to Pfahlbronn.Behind the village, a refreshing descent through the forest begins, which leads you into the Remstal to Lorch. From here you roll comfortably on flat paths along the river and reach the stage destination in Schwäbisch Gmünd. In the village you have access to the train and a good selection of overnight accommodations.

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    Intermediate
    03:04
    28.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,400 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After you have left the beautiful Schwäbisch Gmünd, you cycle along the Rems and follow it to Essingen, where the river has its origin. In the village you can also take a leisurely break and stop in one of the restaurants or cafés, because here you have already made almost half of the stage.Freshly strengthened, you continue to Aalen, where you can pay a visit to the Limes Museum. From here you cycle on a gently sloping route through the magical Kochertal valley, always along the river to Hüttlingen.After you have crossed the place, you climb a hill. At the highest point there is a replica of a watchtower, from which you can enjoy an unforgettable view of the extensive landscape with lush green meadows, idyllic villages and dark green forests.Shortly after the watchtower you reach the stage destination Schwabsberg. In the small town there is a train station with a connection to the regional train and a country inn for overnight stays.

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    Difficult
    04:15
    41.7 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the 13th stage it goes straight uphill behind Schwabsberg, because you follow the Röhlinger Sechta upstream to Pfahlheim. This is where the 20 km long tributary of the Jagst has its origin.After you have crossed the village, you continue uphill over picturesque fields. From the highest point at almost 550 meters you can enjoy a wonderful view over the wide, open landscape.On a well-deserved descent you then roll through fields, meadows and small wooded areas to the outskirts of Mönchsroth, where you leave Baden-Württemberg and cross the border to Bavaria.Here you cycle on a gently sloping route along the Wörnitz and start pedaling harder again from Wittelshofen, because from here it goes steadily up and down through the beautiful landscape. On the way you can expect great views as well as beautiful nature in quiet forests, idyllic lakes where you can swim and of course Limes towers and other Roman relics.You reach the stage destination in Gunzenhausen on Altmühlsee. There is a train station in the city and many places to stay and stop for a break.

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    Difficult
    03:09
    27.6 mi
    8.8 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Gunzenhausen you drive in a few ups and downs through mostly open landscape. At the edge of the path, wide fields stretch out like a colorful patchwork quilt. Short passages through shady forest areas provide a little refreshment, especially on warm days.In the valley of the Swabian Rezat you have reached the lowest point of the tour. You roll comfortably near the river to Ellingen, where you can take a long break. There are nice places to stop for refreshments and the castle park is worth a visit.With new energy, you cycle slightly uphill to Weißenburg, a few kilometers away. The old town is one of the most beautiful in the region and deserves a little detour. Then a steep ascent leads you to a hill in the Raitenbucher Forest. Up here you will find several information boards about the Limes, a fort and a watchtower.Immediately afterwards you will reach the stage destination Raitenbuch, where you have several guest houses to choose from as accommodation.

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    Difficult
    04:00
    33.4 mi
    8.3 mph
    1,725 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Raitenbuch, at the start of the 15th stage, you cycle gently up and down the edge of the Raitenbuch forest. Over wide fields, it continues on a gently sloping route before you dive into the next forest area.You cycle through idyllic forest and meadow landscape adorned by charming villages to Kipfenberg, which lies in the deeply cut valley of the Altmühl. Here you have made about half of the stage and can strengthen yourself with a stop for the onward journey.With renewed strength, you then climb on the other side of the Altmühltal on a rather steep ascent into the forest. On the way you will pass the geographical center of Bavaria. After you have made the ascent, you continue through the refreshing forest and soon reach wide fields again.In steady ups and downs, which flatten out towards the end of the stage, you cycle through a wonderful landscape with forests, meadows and fields as well as pretty villages to the stage destination Altmannstein. There is a country inn and various holiday apartments for overnight stays.

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    Intermediate
    02:17
    21.2 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,300 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    On the penultimate stage of the German Limes cycle path you cycle comfortably from Altmannstein to Kelheim. In moderate ups and downs you roll past wide fields and cross wild and romantic wooded areas.After 13 kilometers you will reach the Danube at Hienheim and cross it with the Danube ferry. On the other side of the river in Eining you will find a cozy beer garden for a refreshment. You can also admire the remains of a Roman fort in the place.Then you roll on a beautiful route that has hardly any inclines through the agricultural region. At Weltenburg you cross the Danube again and have a unique view of Weltenburg Abbey from the other bank.Then you leave the Danube Valley and master a crisp ascent up to the Weltenburger Enge nature reserve. Here you drive through the silence of the deep forest, where you are very close to nature, before you whiz down to Kelheim on a rapid descent. Here in the stage town you have a large selection of accommodations.

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    Intermediate
    02:23
    22.6 mi
    9.5 mph
    425 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the last stage there are hardly any inclines and the route leads almost the whole time along the water. With picturesque views of the Danube, you can once again review the incredible journey on the German Limes Cycle Route from Rhineland-Palatinate to Bavaria.At the beginning of the stage you cycle along the Altmühl, which flows into the Danube in Kelheim. Continue on the banks of the Danube and take all the loops of the imposing river with you. On the way you will pass beautiful bathing spots that invite you to refresh yourself on hot days. You can also enjoy unforgettable views of the wooded banks of the river along the way.After a leisurely 36 kilometers you will reach Regensburg, the destination of your bike tour. Here you have covered a total of over 800 kilometers and can proudly look back on what you have achieved.In the cathedral city on the Danube, you can end the day with a stroll through the old town before you start your journey home from the train station. If you want to stay a little longer, you will also find numerous overnight accommodations here.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    17
  • Distance
    508 mi
  • Duration
    57:38 h
  • Elevation
    30,800 ft29,875 ft

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Johanna

Riding the German Limes Cycle Path from the Rhine to the Danube