© ETM Katrin Spors

Cycling in Erlangen – discover the heart of Franconia

Bike Touring Collection by Franken Tourismus

Beautifully situated between the rocky mountains of Franconian Switzerland and the lakes of the Aischgründer Karpfenland in the heart of Franconia, lies Erlangen, Bavaria’s smallest city. In this Collection, we present four impressive bike Tours which reveal the best sites in and around this wonderful city.

With many historic squares and buildings, this Huguenot city can look back on a rich history. As early as the 19th century, Erlangen already had an international reputation as the German city of beer. Although the city has since had to relinquish this title, its beer culture is still very much alive today.

Erlangen is surrounded by unique landscapes which have withstood the test of time with Franconian Switzerland to the east, the Aischgründer Karpfenland to the west and the Sebalder Reichswald and the Tennenloher Forest nature reserve to the south. In the north, the Main-Danube Canal connects Erlangen with Bamberg and the Nuremberg city region, which is a true paradise for cyclists.

The Tours in this Collection showcase this picturesque nature. Whether you prefer a leisurely half-day ride around Erlangen or a more demanding mini bike trip through the heart of Franconian Switzerland, you will find the right route for you here.

By the way, almost all of the Tours start and end directly at Erlangen railway station. This means you can start the Tour directly when you arrive, if you travel by transport. To keep up your energy levels along the way, you can stop for hearty Franconian dishes and, of course, a cool beer at breweries. There’s one in almost every village!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    30.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    This varied tour with a few inclines connects the Huguenot city of Erlangen with the surrounding districts and its green lungs, the Tennenloher Forest, where a forest adventure trail and a wild boar enclosure are waiting to be discovered. You can ride it comfortably in the form of a half-day or full-day tour, as well as to work off after work.Coming from the train station in Erlangen, the tour first takes you over the Regnitz and along the meadow ground, which is populated by storks in spring and summer, past Alterlangen. From here it goes through idyllic green forests to the most famous swimming lake in the city, the Dechsendorfer Weiher - a good opportunity to take a short swim.Through the forest area of Mönau, where a detour to the Celtic grave "Kosbacher Altar" is worthwhile, the route continues along the borders of the Aischgründer Karpfenland to the historic Frauenaurach. The traces of a former women's convent can still be seen here today. In this context, it is worth stopping at the Black Eagle halfway here, which was built on the foundations of the former Dominican Order.From Frauenaurach we continue over the seemingly endless fields of the districts of Kriegenbrunn and Hüttendorf - with good visibility you can enjoy a unique view from here to Nuremberg, whose skyline appears on the horizon over the treetops. Behind Hüttendorf you cross the meandering Regnitz again and now drive via Eltersdorf to Tennenlohe, where the Tennenloher Forest Experience Center invites you to an experience-rich stop in the green thicket.The path then continues over the Brucker Lache nature reserve to the Exerzierplatz nature reserve, which, with its sandy soil and summer-dry ponds, is a special biotope for rare amphibians and other native animals and plants. Finally, the route follows the idyllic Schwabach at the foot of the historic Burgberg, where the local beer cellars are bustling with activity from spring to late summer.

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    51.5 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This decent day tour takes you west of Erlangen through the landscape of the Aischgründer Karpfenland, which is a small insider tip for nature lovers with its wild and romantic backdrop and numerous ponds that were built hundreds of years ago for carp breeding. In this unique lake landscape there are many picturesque Franconian places where the mills of time still grind slowly.From the starting point at Erlangen main station, after only a few hundred meters you will reach the Regnitz and the Wiesengrund, which marks the eastern border of the carp country Aischgrund. Beyond the Dechsendorfer Weiher, the tour leads along the many small ponds that are strung together like pearls on a chain and shape the landscape. The typical Franconian villages with their country inns and beer cellars offer you the opportunity to refresh yourself again and again.Via Adelsdorf, the route bends westwards towards Höchstadt. In the former district town, a short walk through the historic old town is worthwhile. From September you can also taste the legendary, regional mirror carp here. Another sight worth seeing is a detour to Höchstädter Kellerberg.After a short section along the main road, the gentle, green hills with other idyllic villages are waiting for you to be explored. In Voggendorf, a steel cyclist monument greets you at the foot of a beer cellar, including the carp on the luggage rack, which is mandatory for the region. The tour takes you on winding paths through the picturesque pond landscape. Place names such as Gottesgab reflect the beauty of this wonderful piece of nature. From Rezelsdorf the path leads alternately through forests and over fields back towards Erlangen, where you can stop off at the local fish restaurant in Kosbach.By the way: If the tour with its just over 80 kilometers is too far for you for one day, then simply split it up into two stages. Halfway around Höchstadt an der Aisch and Uehlfeld there are some rustic inns, some even with an affiliated brewery.

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  • Intermediate
    41.6 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This medium-sized day tour leads you in a wide arc both around and through the Sebalder Reichswald and the Tennenloher Forest. On the way you will encounter tall hop fields and make you thirsty for a traditionally brewed beer, which you can best enjoy with a wonderful view of Franconian Switzerland. The highlight of the tour is the medieval old town of Lauf an der Pegnitz.You start at the train station in Erlangen. From here you follow the Pegnitztalradweg along the Schwabach out of the city and you will soon find yourself in idyllic green nature between forest and floodplains. After a short detour to the Habernhofer Mühle, you cross the Dormitzer Forest in a southerly direction and crank up on the Hirschberg to 415 meters to Kalchreuth. You have already mastered the steepest part of the tour and, when you arrive at the top, you reap the reward for your efforts: wide views over the foothills of Franconian Switzerland.You continue on gently rising roads to Tauchersreuth, where you leave the highest point of the day behind you with again sensational views towards Franconian and Nuremberg. After this small mountain stage, you have earned a stop at Oedenberg Castle, before the route leads a little deeper into the Sebalder Reichswald on brisk bike paths for a short distance.It doesn't take long and the opportunity for a second, somewhat longer break opens up. The old town of Lauf an der Pegnitz invites you to take a leisurely stroll and the castle also wants to be explored. From here you follow the Pegnitz on its way to Nuremberg to the Pegnitztal Ost nature reserve. You drive around the suburbs of Nuremberg in a small arc and take a short detour to Nuremberg Airport - maybe you're lucky and a plane is landing. Then the route leads you again a little deeper into the forest.Now it goes through the Tennenloher Forest, past the sculpture axis and the Tennenlohe Forest Experience Center. If you want, you can make a short detour to the enclosure of the primeval Przewalski wild horses. Via the nature reserve Brucker Lache the way leads you back to Erlangen and to your starting point at the train station.

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    64.7 mi
    9.2 mph
    3,075 ft
    3,200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This very demanding day tour takes you in a double arc from Erlangen via Franconian Switzerland through the Trubach, Wiesent and Leinleitertal to the beer town of Bamberg. From there it goes along the Main-Danube Canal by train back to Erlangen.With over 100 kilometers and almost 1,000 meters of altitude, the route can be done within a day, but it is much more pleasant, you divide it into two or even three stages. There are several places to stay, including in Ebermannstadt halfway, but also along the way, for example at Grandma Eichler's cozy campsite in the Trubachtal. It is also possible to drive the route as a circular route from Bamberg on the Main-Danube Canal back to Erlangen. The cycle path on the canal is comfortable and flat, but also adds 40 kilometers to the total route.You start at Erlangen train station and follow the Pegnitz cycle path along the Schwabach out of town. You drive over fields and small villages to Weißenohe, where you can take a short break to strengthen yourself. A short time later, the first mountain stage awaits you at Graefenberg. The climb is quite steep and will make your calves glow even over the short distance. In Graefenberg itself it is therefore worthwhile to take a short break to cool off in a local brewery.Once at the top you can take a deep breath and enjoy the view. On the horizon, Hiltpoltstein Castle heralds the last steep section of the mountain before it goes down idyllic roads into the Trubach Valley. The pleasant wind and the view of the wooded slopes, interrupted here and there by craggy rocks, will put a smile on your face. Many other outdoor enthusiasts feel the same way, because Franconian Switzerland is a climbing paradise and, with around 12,000 climbing routes, is a true Mecca for climbing.From now on you follow the Trubach valley to the estuary in the Wiesent near Pretzfeld. The wonderfully cool water of the river is a welcome refreshment, especially on hot days. A little further north near Gasseldorf you also have the opportunity to make a short detour to Streitberg. There is the entrance to the Bing Cave, whose 300 meter long cave system invites you to explore.Following the Leinleiter upstream, you crank yourself on gently sloping dirt roads up to the last mountain of the tour, here and there you need to put a little more pressure on the pedals, then you've made it: a delightfully rapid descent to Bamberg awaits you! Be careful not to get too fast on the graveled forest roads at the beginning - it goes steeply downhill.In Bamberg you take a little dangling into the southern part of the city, where the unpunched lager from the Mahrs brewery is waiting for you to refresh yourself - a very special beer specialty. If you want, make another small detour from here to the center of Bamberg on the Regnitz before you start your journey home - it's worth it!

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    188 mi
  • Duration
    20:23 h
  • Elevation
    7,200 ft

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