© Florian Trykowski

Cycling in Franconia – romantic German landscapes & local food

Bike Touring Collection by Franken Tourismus

Surrounded by colourful meadows and fragrant forests, riding through Franconia is like cycling through the pages of a fairytale. This picturesque region of southern Germany is known for its half-timbered houses, magnificent castles, palaces and fruit orchards, not to mention its hearty regional dishes and giant schnitzels.

In this Collection, we present 11 rides through this wonderful region. We have included four Tours which make up the bicycle butterfly, a butterfly-shaped route marked with blue, red, purple, and green trails. These rides show you the most beautiful spots around the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. You’ll explore tranquil villages, shady forests, and former railway lines, as well as the occasional impressive castle.

The routes in the northeast of Franconia near the city of Nuremberg take you to baroque churches and unusual sculptures as you ride through the Zenne, Farrnbach, and Bibert valleys. In the south, you can take a dip in wild swimming lakes as you ride around the Hesselberg, the highest point in Franconia, and along the Wörnitz River. Don’t forget to pack your towel and maybe a picnic too. Afterall, what could be nicer than a picnic on a blanket beside a shimmering lake?

You can reach these Tours by train from across Germany. As many of them are circular routes, you can easily plan a flexible adventure.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    04:29
    41.9 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A good 67 kilometers of romantic Franconian flair lie ahead of you on this beautiful circular tour. Old castles, half-timbered houses, wonderful landscapes - there is nothing missing from the blue wheel butterfly.In the romantic-medieval city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber you swing on your saddle. You leave civilization along the pretty half-timbered houses and the impressive, historic city wall and soon find yourself on the Romantic Road. You roll on the old railway line via Gebsattel to Diebach and finally to Insingen, where the three wings of the wheel butterfly meet.As you follow the blue route, it leads you to Colmberg with a view of Schillingsfürst Castle across fields and the forest. The imposing castle is only five minutes away from your tour. You can cycle up, enjoy the view from above, take a closer look and stop in the restaurant or beer garden.The final sprint takes you over the Tauber Altmühl bike path to beautiful Binzwangen and to Windelsbach. A detour to the barefoot path and natural bathing pond in Nordenberg is worthwhile to cool your hard-working feet. Through a forest area you come back from the Frankenhöhe to the starting point in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

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    Intermediate
    03:41
    33.9 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Following the red wing of the wheel butterfly, you wind around 55 kilometers through the southern part of the Frankenhöhe Nature Park. Pack a few bathing suits, because alongside the fantastic landscape there is also an inviting natural outdoor pool.The round tour starts in the city of Schillingsfürst. You have hardly left the city behind you, you are already in the woods on an old railway embankment and pass many small mills on the way to Neuweiler. We continue to the east, where in Leutershausen the idyllic Altmühl river pool and a Kneipp facility to cool your feet wave. The monument to the famous aviation pioneer Gustav Weißkopf also rises here and offers a great photo motif.You roll over Weinberg and Vehlberg further into the valley of the Sulzach and from there to Dombühl. If you are interested in culture, you can visit the magnificent fortified church. The spacious natural outdoor pool invites you to take a dip in the cool water before you get back on the saddle for the last few kilometers back to Schillingsfürst.

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  • Difficult
    04:07
    38.2 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Picturesque landscapes and beautiful towns await you on the approximately 62-kilometer circular tour of the purple wheel butterfly, on which you cross the Bavarian border and enter Baden-Württemberg.The tour starts in the tranquil Insingen, which goes back to an Alemannic settlement. There are numerous old half-timbered houses and historical buildings for you to admire. Before you get on the saddle, you can pay a visit to the fortified church of St. Ulrich and Sebastian from 1488.You pass lush meadows, fragrant forests and small mills along an old railway line. In Rothenburg ob der Tauber, medieval charm welcomes you as you drive through the imposing Kobolzeller Tor. The beautiful old town tops the great impression yet again.From there we continue to Baden-Württemberg and Schrozberg, which is known for its beautiful moated castle and baroque church. At the end you roll over blooming meadows and wide fields back to Insingen.

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    Difficult
    04:19
    40.4 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    A castle, tranquil cities and fantastic landscapes characterize the 65-kilometer route of the green wheel butterfly. The tour starts in the beautiful city of Schillingsfürst, where you can see the magnificent castle and hunting falcon flight show before you climb on the bike.Then it goes out to the villages. You roll through the center of Wörnitz with the pretty church and half-timbered houses, then across meadows along the Wörnitz. As soon as you have turned west, you will find an inviting bathing area near Schnelldorf with the Erlensee.In Wallhausen, the nature adventure pool offers another opportunity for a dip in the cool water. At Weikersholz you have reached the origin of the Tauber and can take a break on the promising bench.Before you get back to your starting point in Schillingsfürst, you pass a historical highlight with betting rings. After all, the village dates from the Merovingian period and is home to a stately fortified church with an altar worth seeing.

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    Intermediate
    02:35
    23.7 mi
    9.2 mph
    600 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    With its length of around 38 kilometers, the Ansbach Carp Cycle Route from Leutershausen to Windsbach is an ideal basis for extended tours. After leaving your starting point behind you will find yourself in the middle of open fields. You cross the Zobelholzbach and there is the first and only climb.You step up about 180 meters and as soon as you have reached Hinterholz, you can jet down the entire climb. At the idyllic Scheerweiher you can stretch your legs and take a break in nature. After that it will be of particular cultural interest. In Ansbach you can expect a picturesque city center and the magnificent residence. You can dine regally in the associated orangery with the impressive courtyard garden.Along the Franconian Rezat, you now head south-east across vast fields. You hiss through some small villages and can be happy because it tends to go downhill. On the route you will always find information boards that tell you more about water management and the habitat on the river. In the historic city of Windsbach you have reached your destination and can stop off comfortably.

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    Intermediate
    01:44
    14.8 mi
    8.6 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A good 22 kilometers of relaxed rolling through the most beautiful landscapes make this wonderful circular tour a great excursion for the whole family. You always have the Hesselberg in view and you pass idyllic ponds.Your tour starts in beautiful Wittelshofen and leads you over the leisurely flowing Wörnitz for the first time. If you like, you can take a little detour to the LIMESEUM and Römerpark Ruffenhofen and find out how the Romans used to live on the Limes. But if you want to get going first, the next wonderful swimming pond is just three kilometers away in Gerolfingen.Promising field landscapes accompany you as you roll past Röckingen and into Ehingen. Here you can stop and look at the Hesselberg from a new perspective. Freshly strengthened, you now cycle along the north side of the Hesselberg. The geological nature trail tells you exciting things about the geological history of the region and accompanies you back to your starting point in Wittelshofen.

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    Intermediate
    02:34
    22.8 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This relaxed 37 kilometer round tour takes you along the Sulzach to picturesque villages and towns with their half-timbered houses typical of Franconia. The most beautiful nature and physical well-being are of course not neglected.Your tour starts at the magical market square of Feuchtwangen. You leave the city behind you on the Museumstrasse and Ringstrasse and now roll across open fields along the winding Sulzach. The undulating landscape accompanies you to Dürrwangen with its former moated castle.The Sulzach remains true to you on the way to Haslach and Langfurth. Before you turn to the northeast, a small detour to the walk ponds is worthwhile. Allow around three kilometers more for the return trip. You cycle through shady forest over Schwaighausen, past the long decaying circle chapel.On the last piece, picturesque pond chains accompany you along the Romantic Road via Thürnhofen to Feuchtwangen. You deserve a stop here at the latest.

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    Intermediate
    02:28
    22.2 mi
    9.0 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Romantic half-timbered houses, idyllic villages, meadows and art works along the way - the almost 36-kilometer round tour is the epitome of variety. The changing path types, however, require a certain level of fitness and ability.Your journey of discovery along the Bibert river valley starts in the pretty town of Stein. A couple of times you have a beautiful view of the Rednitz, then you turn west and roll through wide field landscapes and short forest areas. Typical half-timbered houses delight in Oberbüchlein, the small town mainly consists of old farmsteads.Further west you drive to Roßtal, which welcomes you with medieval charm. The parish church of St. Laurentius with its castle-like walled cemetery and late Gothic half-timbered houses shape the cityscape and make it unique. Before you move slowly towards the stone, you can stop off at the Lindenhof.After the delicious refreshment there is still room for an ice cream. Close to the orchard at the end of Ammerndorf, an ice cream parlor beckons with cold treats. The section along the Ammerndorfer Kunst- & Naturweg is then entirely up to your own interpretation.

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    Difficult
    03:16
    31.2 mi
    9.6 mph
    800 ft
    825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    A wonderfully extensive circular tour around the Farrnbach Valley with natural cycling through the picturesque landscape awaits you on this 50-kilometer route. The road conditions and distance require a good level of fitness from you.In historic Cadolzburg you get on your saddle and start towards the magnificent castle that you have already seen from the starting point. In the old walls you will not only find out everything about life 500 years ago in the permanent exhibition - you can even try on a real knight's armor!After this exciting experience you dive into the shady forest and cycle to Banderbach, where the river of the same name flooded almost every year until it was drained. Kids and the young at heart are sure to be delighted with the Playmobil sculptures that adorn the market square in Zirndorf. Nearby, the famous Playmobil FunPark attracts with lots of opportunities to play, climb, run around and more about the characters.Shortly before Ammerndorf you can let your imagination and interpretation run free while you roll past the sometimes curious sculptures of the Art & Nature Trail. In Roßendorf at the latest you absolutely deserve a stop. The Gasthaus Zur Alten Schmiede provides you with exactly the strengthening you need now. And it is not far to the starting point.

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    Intermediate
    03:13
    29.6 mi
    9.2 mph
    975 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Discover and relax is a top priority on this almost 48-kilometer circular tour. The route takes you along beautiful nature through beautiful, historic inner towns, field and meadow landscapes and one or the other culinary temptation.The journey starts in the tranquil Seukendorf. You drive north across fields and through shady forest areas and cross the pretty towns of Siegelsdorf, Obermichelbach and Tuchenbach. Shortly after you have turned south, the first sweet temptation at Eis Carlo is waiting for you. You can definitely have a delicious ice cream sundae after about 15 kilometers.Then you roll relaxed through the fantastic nature of the Fembach Valley and always very close to the winding Zenn. Along the railroad tracks you go to Langenzenn, where the ZennOase welcomes you with a cozy beer garden and hearty dishes. The adjacent playground is a must, especially for families. You can see half-timbered art and baroque architectural style in Wilhermsdorf, then it slowly goes back.In Keidenzell you can cool your hard-working feet in the natural swimming pool and take a dip in the water before you tackle the last few kilometers to Seukendorf.

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    Intermediate
    04:12
    39.9 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Springs, ponds and lakes full - that's what the 64-kilometer circular tour of the Dinkelsbühler Karpfenlandroute promises. It follows the course of the water and spans the extensive pond areas of the region.In tranquil Halsbach you start the varied round tour that follows the course of the Wörnitz between Dinkelsbühl and Wassertrüdingen. The river meanders through the landscape in innumerable turns. During the tour you always have the Hesselberg in view and if you can't get enough of it, a trip to its summit is worthwhile.You will find a special gem in the quietly located ponds and ponds surrounded by grass, which are lined up in the north of the Hesselberg. Pond by pond, pond by pond you roll through the water landscape. You can take off your shoes in one of the Kneipp facilities or even climb a few steps into the Wörnitz.A hearty stopover awaits in Wassertrüdingen. By the way, the pretty place was the center of the Bavarian State Garden Show in 2019. If you have some time left, you can also stop by the FLUVIUS museum. Here you will learn exciting things about life on the river. Before you get back to Halsbach, take a detour to the ponds to the north and stretch your legs at the end - it's worth it!

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    339 mi
  • Duration
    36:39 h
  • Elevation
    12,175 ft

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