Cycling tour to the land of the Nibelungen: Heidelberg, Speyer, Worms, Neckar and Odenwald in one week

8 Days

Your trip

Hand on heart – have you ever visited the German Emperors?

This tour offers you a round arc from the legends of the Nibelungen at Worms, the High Middle Ages with the imperial cities and imperial congresses at Speyer and to Worms, the Kurzpfalz with its ancient capital Heidelberg, the lovely wine route on the edge of the Odenwald with its castles and picturesque half-timbered towns, all the way to the Neckar Valley Cycle Route into the land of the Baden struggle for freedom against Prussia around the Romantic Four.

Oh and yes – you can also pay your respects to the emperors!

Strictly speaking, it was the Salians who built the cathedral at Speyer justify. About 1000 years ago, Emperor Conrad II died in 1039. He was still buried on the construction site of ‘his’ cathedral. Twenty years later, the roof was then close over the graves. The founder’s grandson, Emperor Henry IV, was able to consecrate the cathedral in 1061. At that time it was the longest church in the world. Today you enter a living church, the episcopal seat of the diocese. You can also visit the tombs of the emperors in the crypt of the church under the high altar. Take some time to let the impressions of 1000 years of power, splendor, loss, destruction, resurrection and faith take effect on you.

But so be it – you want to ride a bike!

Along this tour you will encounter history(s) at every turn. The Celts were the first to settle the Heiligenberg above Heidelberg. The Romans fortified this land, built the first bridge over the Neckar River. The electors had the first stone bridge built in the 18th century. The Baden freedom fighters wanted to blow it up, the German Wehrmacht blew it up.

But you notice – I digress.

And that’s exactly what we’d like to invite you to do with this tour: digress. Cycle what you have always wanted to know and see. Welcome to the Rhine and Neckar!

TWIN tour twin

Please note: This tour has a ‘little sister’. Journey 225b is like it to a T. With one difference: it offers you less demanding daily routes. A variant for connoisseurs, so to speak. The beauty of it is: you can combine both tours as you like. One participant of your group or family can ride the easy version, another can dare to ride the challenging one. And the beauty of it: you can choose and change every day. Real TWIN just!

Accommodation and catering

You will stay in two very high quality, regiotypical hotels on ***star to ****star level. A rich breakfast is included in the price.

The route and its requirements

The proposed cycling tours are quite demanding. Especially the first two and the last day will get you going. In the middle of the week you can relax a little – but do not have to …

You cycle up to 80 km a day, mainly on paved cycle paths and country roads. They travel along the Neckar River, in the Rhine Valley, but also in the low mountain range of the Odenwald.

With the exception of Day 3, you can shorten each tour almost at will or replace it with alternative, shorter routes. Therefore, we classify this trip as “challenging” and “felxible”.

The trip is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for detailed information if needed.

Rental bicycles

Sturdy unisex touring bikes, 7 speeds with hub gears and coaster brake or 21 speeds with derailleur and freewheel (please choose when booking), comfort saddle, 28 inch with different frame heights. On request also 21-speed men’s bike possible.

Electric bikes: unisex e-bikes with electric pedal assistance up to 25 km/h; 8-speed gears with coaster brake; range approx. 80 – 120 km (depending on riding style).

Own bikes

It is possible to bring your own bikes, but at your own risk. For possible damages etc. on the own bike during the whole bike trip as well as during transport trips can not be liable. Please note that especially the tour through the Odenwald on day 7, the Siegfried cycle path, leads through beautiful forest and field paths. We therefore recommend a sturdy touring bike. If you are on a road bike, you should use the parallel federal road.

We recommend that you always wear a bicycle helmet on all bicycle tours.

Arrival and transfers

We recommend that you arrive by train. Get in on the vacation at home. Arrive here relaxed. Dream a little during the return trip. Make yourself comfortable and book one of our rental bikes. Please book a train ticket to Schriesheim.

Please drive via

> or via

> by long-distance or regional train.

There please get on the streetcar line 5

> Direction Weinheim / Mannheim (coming from Heidelberg) or

> Direction Weinheim / Heidelberg (coming from Mannheim)

um. Please take line 5 to Schriesheim train station.

Notes

Please note our information on entering Germany, Austria and Switzerland under our country information. Please also see our notes on package tours.

Unforgettable

  • The cathedral at Worms, at Speyer
  • Heidelberg, its warmth, its castle
  • The wine country of the Bergstrasse with its castles and half-timbered towns
  • The Odenwald with its Nibelungen saga, its simple beauty and vastness
  • The Neckar with its cycle path, the Romantic Four with their old towns and castles

From day to day

Individual arrival :
Day 1

Individual journey to Schriesheim

Are you traveling by train?

Please travel by train via

  • Heidelberg HbF or via
  • Mannheim HbF.

Please change to streetcar line 5 in the direction of

  • Weinheim / Mannheim (coming from Heidelberg) resp.
  • Weinheim / Heidelberg (coming from Mannheim).

Take line 5 to the Schriesheim Bahnhof stop.

Are you traveling by car?

Please drive directly to the starting hotel. Public parking is available within walking distance of the hotel.

Castles of the Bergstrasse and the Nibelungen City of Worms :
Day 2

Round trip: Castles of the Bergstrasse and the Nibelungen city of Worms, approx. 80 km, 250 m ↑↓

Your first day of cycling takes you along the western slopes of the Odenwald, first through the vineyards to the north. The road is good to drive. In the vineyards you cycle mostly on car-free paths.

In the picturesque half-timbered towns along the route with their castles, follow the long-distance cycle route, which is always green signposted, along village and local roads.

They start below the Strahlenburg in Schriesheim. Once played here Heinrich von Kleist’s knight play
Das Käthchen von Heilbronn.

Drive in the direction of Leutershausen. The three wine villages of Großsachsen, Hohensachsen and Lützelsachsen lead you to the two-castle town of Weinheim. With the Windeck Ruin on the Schlossberg and the Wachenburg on the Wachenberg, Weinheim amusingly offers a home to the oldest and the youngest castle on the Bergstrasse. Take some time to visit the castle park and the town’s marketplace. The trail continues north across the Weschnitz River, which flows from the Odenwald into the Rhine.

Drive via Sulzbach to Hemsbach and Laudenbach, the two northernmost communities in Baden. They cross the borders and continue north in Hesse.

The first Hessian municipality to greet you is Starkenburg Castle and the wonderfully pretty, medieval-looking town center of Heppenheim, capital of the Bergstrasse district. Take a break at the market and then turn left, heading west. drive in the direction of Lorsch. The bike path is signposted, but its entrance is a bit difficult to find. The best way to navigate the route is to use the komoot app.

Lorsch? You will be amazed!

As tranquil and picturesque as the Carlogin town appears today, it was once so powerful and significant. Almost all the castles and estates you have passed through today once belonged to the powerful Benedictine abbey and immediate imperial monastery of Lorsch. Only the gate hall, the so-called King’s Hall, has survived from this proud time of Charlemagne into the high Middle Ages.

It stands directly on the market and is one of the oldest preserved houses in Germany, a testimony to Carolingian architecture. Take some time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archaeologically developed former monastery complex.

From Lorsch, the once powerful center of the region, you continue west and meet the Rhine behind Bürstadt.

Crossing the Nibelungen Bridge, you will reach your destination for today: the city of the Nibelungen, the Imperial Diet, the trial of the Causa Martin Luther before the Emperor Charles V, the city and Imperial Cathedral of Worms. Welcome to Rhineland-Palatinate!

Back please continue to follow our tour description on komoot.de.

Your way leads you again over the Nibelungen Bridge, which was destroyed in the Second World War, and then southwards first past the old Lampertheim arm of the Rhine through Lampertheim, fields and forests to Viernheim, Heddesheim back to Schriesheim.

Congratulations! The longest bike ride of the week is behind you. From now on – just let it roll …

Breakfast
Hotel
Speyer :
Day 3

Round trip: The Electoral Palace of Schwetzigen and the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, approx. 70 km, 200 m ↑↓

Today’s route takes you directly west to the ancient Roman town of Ladenburg on the Neckar River. On when the day is still fresh: Take a little time for the old town and the Neckarpark. It boasts of being the most beautiful in Germany. Take the ferry, cycle over the railroad bridge – you’ll end up in Neckarhausen.

Neckarhausen Castle and its once widely praised English garden became the scene of the – unfortunately futile – defensive struggle of Baden freedmen against the advancing Prussian army in 1849. Three cannonballs from Prussian guns set into the castle walls still bear witness to this.

Please continue to follow the route description on komoot.de exactly across the fields in the direction of the Heidelberg border farm. A look at the small hamlet is worthwhile.

You continue towards Planckstadt and reach the baroque and former hunting and pleasure palace of Schwetzingen. If you like, you can descend here and spend the whole day in the magnificent castle gardens. Even if the garden costs admission – it is worth its own trip!

Are you cycling on? That’s it! You will be rewarded.

Drive past the castle park towards Ketsch and the Ketsch Old Rhine Island. You pass the Zur Schnarke kiosk – and suspect why it’s called that. If you have time – and antibrumm: A detour to the Ketscher Rhine Island is worthwhile – a bath in the Altrhein, by the way!

They follow the Rhine – upstream to the south – and soon come across the Salier Bridge, blown up by the Wehrmacht at the end of the World War. Cross the Rhine from Baden to Rhineland-Palatinate and find yourself in the old imperial city of Speyer.

The Speyer riverbank, the park around the cathedral, the old town, the Electoral Palatine Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Memorial Church of the Protestation. Speyer is worth a whole day. Let the city and the stream have an effect on you. Take your time for the cathedral. You will experience an impressive place that is in awe of all its historical contradictions. You will not forget it, the cathedral of Speyer.

Back please follow the tour description on komoot.de. You cross the Rhine again and take a firm look at the Heidelberg Königsstuhl on the horizon. Cycle through the fields of the wide Rhine Valley towards Hockenheim with its world-famous Ring.

You will then drive through the Hockenheim Forest and catch an idea of what the land looked like here before it developed into the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.

You cross the A5, pass the Bruchhausen farms and reach Heidelberg on Speyerer Straße for the first time on this tour. We still leave the castle and the old town to the right.

We meet Heidelberg’s youngest district, the Bahnstadt. Directly behind the new architectural “Speyerer Tor” of the Bahnstadt we turn right towards the high Gaisberg and follow in a wide arc the former railroad line towards the old town and Bismarkplatz. From here we follow the streetcar through Neuenheim, Handschuhsheim and Dossenheim back to Schriesheim.

Done!

Heidelberg - the Romantic Four - Eberbach :
Day 4

Bike tour: Heidelberg – the Romantic Four – Eberbach, approx. 50 km, 450 m ↑↓

Today, the route first leads us south through the vineyards via Dossenheim and the Heidelberg villa districts of Handschuhsheim and Neuenheim – past Tiefburg Castle – over Elector Karl-Theodor’s Old Bridge into the heart of the Electoral Palatinate, Heidelberg.

Note the inconspicuous square of black cobblestones on the bridge just before the bridge gate. Here the defenders of the Baden Republic wanted to blow up the bridge against the advancing Prussians. However, it was not until the Wehrmacht retreated in the spring of 1945 that it was blown up. Today you may pass on foot again.

Take a little time for Heidelberg. Leave your bikes safely locked at Neckarmünzplatz and walk towards Karlsplatz, Kornmarkt, Altstadt.

If you like, climb the steps to the castle, the sky ladder high up to the Königsstuhl or take the mountain railroad. If you like, just stroll a little along the main street.

You are back on the saddle ?

Then we continue up the romantic Neckar valley.

You can ride on both sides of the Neckar. We recommend that you cross directly above the old town over the lock bridge back to the right, the north bank of the Neckar. Then turn right to the east up the Neckar River in the direction of Haarlass. You pass below the Benedictine Abbey Stift Neubug and cycle through the Heidlberg mountain town of Ziegelhausen.

Continue to follow the bike path along the Neckartalstraße until you reach Neckargemünd. We recommend that you take the Friedensbrücke bridge directly at the entrance to the town across the Neckar River. Immediately before the large traffic light intersection on the other, left, side of Neckargemünd, please take a sharp right and cross under the bridge in the direction of Altstadt Neckargemünd.

Welcome to the land of the Romantic Four!

Cross the Elsenz River and take a break on the old town shore. The tour then continues up the Neckar River towards Rainbach and around the fortress town of Dilsberg, which is located high above.

If you have a little time, take a break at the Neckarsteinach lock and hike up Dilsberg from there. The former Electoral Palatinate fortress town is well worth seeing and rewards the effort of the climb with a magnificent panoramic view. You can cycle up from Rainbach. But the path is long and steep.

If you want to continue, please cycle on this, the south side of the Neckar further up the river to the east. You leave the Nibelungen town of Neckarsteinach with its four castles on your left (or you treat it to a detour via the lock). By the way, in 1622 the Bavarian General Tilly stood here and shelled the Dilsberg with his men during the Thirty Years’ War. The fortress held firm. Only when Heidelberg fell into the hands of the Catholic League a short time later did Dilsberg also surrender.

Please continue past the hamlet of Neckarhäuser Hof with its pretty ferry promenade to Hirschhorn.

In Hirschhorn, the pearl on the Neckar River, we strongly recommend that you take a break. Cross the Neckar lock, stroll through the old town and climb the castle. There is hardly a more beautiful castle complex in Germany than this ensemble of old town, city walls, castle and palace.

If you are on the castle, you will inevitably pass the “Wedekind Stone” in front of the middle gate. It testifies to a battle, a then much admired respectable success of the Baden revolutionary troops against the attacking united armies of the German Confederation under Prussian leadership. The freedmen managed to hold the castle for a few days before they had to flow to Eberbach. Cannonballs in the Hirschhorn mill, defensive ramparts and partisan graves in the forest still bear witness to the battle.

After the detour into Hirschhorn’s past, please cross the lock again and follow the usual path upstream to the east for the last stretch for today. After a few beautiful forest kilometers along the river, past old quarries for the Heidelberg Castle & Co you reach the day’s destination Eberbach.

Congratulations!

Breakfast
Zwingenberg :
Day 5

Bike / Hiking tour to Eberbach – Zwingenberg – Wolf Gorge

Today is a day of rest. But even if the mountain town of Eberbach itself is worth a day, we have prepared a nice excursion idea for you – active, that is.

Set out for the festival town of Zwingenberg am Neckar with its wonderfully pretty castle of the Princes of Baden. Go by canoe, go on foot, just as you like.

In Zwingenberg we recommend a short stitch hike through the Wolfsschlucht. You will find the entrance at the end of the village directly below the castle. According to legend, this very gorge found its famous echo in Freischütz. Whether true or not. Carl Maria von Weber’s opera with its magical elements makes the gorge a legendary place with a magical flair.

If you want to spend a little more time in the forest, you are welcome to extend the hike to a nice round trip Zwingenberg Castle – Wolfsschlucht – Odenwaldhöhen Schollbrunn – Waldsee Neckargerach. You will then be on the road for about 6 hours over just under 17 km with about 500 meters of altitude gain. The route description can be found, as always on komoot in the collection for the tour as“Option: Round hike Zwingenberg Castle – Wolfsschlucht – Waldsee Neckargerach” or directly under the link: https://www.komoot.de/tour/1175603177.

If you want to dare the canoe tour, please book the option“excursion canoe tour” with. You need a little courage, but you can paddle without any previous experience. We will briefly introduce you to the paddling and steering techniques and show you the start and finish.

Breakfast
Hotel
Mosbach :
Day 6

Day 6: The great Odenwald tour Eberbach – Mosbach, approx. 30 km or 65 km or 70 km, 750 m ↑↓

If you like, today will be very sporty on the bike again.

Note: Alternatively, you can also take a hiking day around the highest mountain in the Odenwald, the Katzenbuckel, or shorten the big Odenwald tour – just as you like.

From Eberbach we first drive through a beautiful forest path up the Ittertal valley in the direction of Gaimühle. In Höllengrund please leave the Itter and turn right towards Antonslust, Unterhöllengrund and Oberhöllengrund. If you like, the country inn Zur Mühle welcomes you in the Höllental.

It hardly gets any more Odenwald than here!

From the Höllengrund you work your way up towards Waldbrunn – Strümpelbrunn and Mülben. As soon as you emerge from the valley forests, you are greeted by an overwhelming panoramic view and the sometimes icy wind of the Odenwald.

Here you now have the choice:

> If you want to take a shortcut, follow the long-distance cycle path from Strümpfelbrunn or Mülben westwards towards Oberdielbach and Zwingenberg back to the Neckar and – just like yesterday – back to Eberbach.

Your tour will then be shortened from a total of 65 km to about 30 km.

> If you would like to climb the highest mountain in the Odenwald, the old Katzenbuckel volcano with its magnificent views and rocky lake, in a detour, your tour will be about 6 km longer. You simply cycle from Strümpfelbrunn via Waldkatzenbach to Katzenbuckel and back. You can not miss the mountain. He towers sovereignly above all the treetops of the Odenwald.

> If, on the other hand, you would like to continue – or are coming back from the Katzenbuckel – then you can now look forward to a long, fast descent: continue to the small Mülbener Waldsee lake. From there, go a little further east through the forest. Before Wagenschwend, please turn south across the wide fields towards Rodern, the Roderner Waldsee and down the old railroad line directly into the Elztal valley to Mosbach.

In Mosbach, you’ve earned yourself a thick ice cream – preferably in the wonderfully pretty old town with its castle, one of the few remaining and yet once so common in the Electoral Palatinate, Protestant-Catholic simultaneous churches with dividing walls and all the winding half-timbered houses.

If you are driving out of Mosbach, please make sure to cross the federal road at the Elzpark or train station, see route map on komoot.de. If you stay on the old town side, it will be very troublesome to cross the road, the railroad and the commercial area later. Follow the cycle path along the Elz river to the west in the direction of the Neckar river and Mosbach – Necharelz.

In Neckarelz you cross the Neckar River and cycle along the Neckar Valley Cycle Path past the former Obrigheim nuclear power plant back towards Zwingenberg and Eberbach. You will cross the Neckar three more times: from Gutenbach to Neckargerach and before Zwingenberg and in Eberbach.

Done! Congratulations!

Breakfast
Hotel
Eberbach - Odenwald - Schriesheim :
Day 7

Bike tour: Eberbach – Odenwald – Schriesheim, 45 km (6oo m ↑ 800 m↓), 65 km (1,000 m ↑↓) or 85 km (1,350 m ↑↓)

Today you have a second choice:

> Variant A: Pure bike or

> Option B: by train and bike or

> Variant C: Pure bike ++ for sporty people or e-bikes

over the Odenwald.

> If you opt for the short variant B (~ 45 km) by bike and train, please be at platform 4 or 5 in good time before the departure of the Odenwaldbahn at 08:38 (10:38) from Eberbach station.

Please board the VIAS Odenwaldbahn in the direction of Erbach – Groß-Umstadt – Darmstadt and travel 3 stations. Immediately after the – with 3 km longest single-track railroad tunnel in Germany – under the Krähberg, please get off at Beerfelden Hetzbach station.

Follow the variant Day 6 B of the route description on komoot.de. This variant starts from Beerfelden Hetzbach station.

> If you opt for variant A (~ 65 km), please follow the route description day 6 A on komoot.de directly from Eberbach. This variant is easily manageable with e-bikes. For cyclists with their own muscle power, the first climb up to Beerfelden in particular represents a real sporting challenge.

> If you decide on variant C (~ 85 km), then please follow the route description day 6 C on komoot.de directly from Eberbach. This variant leads you first along the Neckar River to Hirschhorn. Behind the castle you then go “right” up the Finkenbach valley. It gets steep when you leave the river and head up to the Odenwald heights to Kortelshütte and Rothenberg. For this you will be rewarded with a magnificent distant view. The route boasts of being the “most beautiful country road in Germany”. With e-bikes and a full battery, the tour is easily manageable. For cyclists from their own muscle power, the tour is a crisp challenge.

The three variants are planned in such a way that they can be used together. So you can split up and wait for each other in Hetzbach and then continue cycling together. The train takes you up the first climb into the Odenwald. Over the heights and downhill to Schriesheim you then follow the same route in both variants.

It is about 18 km to the train station Hetzbach. In view of the gradient, please allow around 1.5 – 2 h cycling time.

From the train station Hetzbach please cycle through the village down the beginning valley of the river Mümling to the crossing Marbach. Please turn left at the crossroads and cycle up the Marbach valley first over the dam wall of the Marbach lake.

Continue following the Siegfried Cycle Path west up the lovely Mossau Valley. Please note that the bike path leads through the forest in sections as an unpaved forest path. This section is not suitable for road bikes. If you are on a road bike, please use the parallel federal road.

Then you follow the former railroad line of the Überwaldbahn to Wald-Michelbach. We recommend a rest at the trolley station in Wald-Michelbach.

After Siedelsbrunn, the route climbs uphill one last time. At about 530 meters above sea level, you will reach your highest point of the day at Buddha’s Way Monastery. Please follow the Neckarstraße via Ober- and Unter-Abtsteinbach.

In Unter-Abtsteinbach, the “gateway to the Überwald”, please make sure to turn right into Weinheimer Straße. Please do NOT drive down the hill towards Heiligenkreuzsteinach!

Instead, the route goes slightly uphill first in the direction of Weinheim. At the exit of the village at the“Am Kreuzacker” hiking site, please turn left onto Hohenstraße in the direction of Hilleshain.

From now on, the route goes rapidly downhill with great views via Altenbach directly to Schriesheim.

Please note that the bike path from Hilleshain to Altenberg is an unpaved forest path that sometimes leads steeply downhill over roots, rocks and impassable terrain. Please drive carefully. This section is not suitable for road bikes.

Done! Congratulations!

Breakfast
Hotel
Individual departure :
Day 8

Farewell day – or extension

Stay – or come back! There is still so much to experience.

If you have to go home in between, we wish you a good trip.
If you – just like us – have fallen in love with the region: We are always looking for good colleagues :-)!

Services

contain

  • 7 x overnight stays in typical, family hotels of outstanding quality and character
  • 7 x breakfast and packed lunch
  • 1 x rental bike, as booked

not included

  • Anything not explicitly listed as included, including in particular:
  • Parking, arrival and departure
  • Entrance fees and train rides
  • Lunch & Dinner

Dates and prices

Travel start 2024: Tue or Sat possible in …
Season 1 04.05. – 02.11.
The day of arrival determines the season.
All prices per person. The prices in the booking form or shopping cart apply.
Travel package Season 1
Double room with breakfast / pers 850 €
Single room w. breakfast 1.500 €
Extra nights
Schriesheim: Double room w. breakfast / pers 90 €
Schriesheim: single room w. Breakfast 120 €
Additional services
Rental bike e-bike 250 €
Rental bike tours 150 €
Please note: Depending on the accommodations we book for you, the overnight stops may differ from the start and finish points indicated in the route plan. Please refer to your individual hotel list for accommodation locations! Also, in many places you have freedom to shorten the path or make it different. The proposal presented here is therefore more for inspiration and orientation than for compulsive imitation. We recommend: Download the komoot app on your phone, search for this "Collection", download the routes on your phone and let the app guide you as navigator and inspirer. Especially in the Rhine Valley, the navigation is very helpful not to get "stuck" in any dead ends and commercial areas.

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