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

8 Days

Your trip

Hand on heart – have you ever been to the Kurpfalz?

This tour offers you a round arch through the inner Kurzpfalz with its old capital Heidelberg, the lovely wine route at the edge of the Odenwald with its castles and picturesque half-timbered towns up to the Neckar valley cycle path into the land of the Baden freedom fight against Prussia around the Romantic Four:

Eight castles in Eight days – and I bet you’ll find more!

You will visit the faded remains of the mighty imperial monastery of Lorsch. The former Benedictine abbey once ruled over castles and the countryside. Today, a highly visitable archaeological park right next to the pretty specialist market Loschs with its ‘open-air laboratory’ bears witness to spiritual, religious, economic and – yes, also – military greatness. You will cycle through the Roman town of Ladenburg on the Neckar and pay your respects to Elector Carl-Theodor in his baroque residential palace and beautiful park in Schwetzingen. You will see him again later in Heidelberg, the symbol of the transience of power and the persistence of beauty par excellence.

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 ‘big sister’. Journey 225a is like it to a T. With one difference: it offers you conditionally more demanding daily routes. A variant for the ambitious, 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 bike tours are technically easy and good condition. In the middle of the week you can relax a little – but you don’t have to. You can flexibly switch to the ‘power level’ of the Parallel Tour 225a at any time …

You cycle up to 60 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.

Maps and navigation

You can find the entire tour as a collection at komoot . If you want to use the maps for navigation, please install – if not already done – the komoot app on your mobile device a few days BEFORE your trip. To do so, please register at komoot.de. Then download the tours from this collection to your device. Please contact us with any questions in advance of your trip.

You can find the Komoot app at the following link: https://support.komoot.com/hc/de/articles/4402496387098-Komoot-App-herunterladen.

You need the Komoot app and the tour descriptions from this collection if you want to ride according to navigation prompts. Of course you can also follow the clouds “free nose”.

Your route is described in the Komoot Collection https://www.komoot.de/collection/1897007.

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.

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 under our country information. Please also see our notes on package tours.

Unforgettable

  • 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.

Hotel
Round trip: Castles of the mountain road :
Day 2

Round trip: Castles of the mountain road, approx. 60 km, 220 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.

Shortly before the city gates of Bensheim under its imposing Auerbach Castle, turn left, i.e. west, and head towards Lorsch.

You will be amazed!

As tranquil and picturesque as the town with its beautiful market square appears today, it was once so powerful and important. 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.

You have reached your first destination of the day. 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 will drive back south through the Rhine plain. Please follow our tour description on komoot.de.

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

Breakfast
Hotel
Round trip: The baroque pleasure palace of Schwetzingen :
Day 3

Round trip: The Roman town of Ladenburg and the Baroque pleasure palace of Schwetzingen, approx. 40 km, 120 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!

Back you drive the old Kurpfälzer axis exactly towards the Heidelberg Königsstuhl. It’s a joy to get closer and closer to the mountain – and a shame what 50 years of screwed-up traffic policy have done to this former baroque axis. Not even the official bike path still dares to come here. To be sure, there are plans upon plans.

But first we cycle – albeit over hill, dale and potholes – towards Heidelberg.

We meet Heidelberg’s youngest district, the Bahnstadt. A little zig, a zag and we’re at the Cafe Altes Bahnwerk with the fire department playground. We continue to follow the former railroad line in the direction of the old town and Bismarkplatz in a wide arc. From here we take the streetcar through Neuenheim, Handschuhsheim and Dossenheim back to Schriesheim.

Done!

Bike tour: Heidelberg and the Romantic Four :
Day 4

Round trip: Heidelberg and the Romantic Four, approx. 50 km, 500 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
Hotel
Cycling or hiking tour to Zwingenberg :
Day 5

Canoe, bike or hiking tour to Zwingenberg

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 hike through the Wolf Gorge. 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 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, finish and stopover in Zwingenberg.

Breakfast
Hotel
Round trip Eberbach - Höllental - Katzenbuckel - Zwingenberg :
Day 6

Day 6: Round trip Eberbach – Höllental – Katzenbuckel – Zwingenberg, approx. 30 km or 38 km, 700 m ↑↓

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

Note: Alternatively, you can also take a hiking day around the highest mountain in the Odenwald, the Katzenbuckel, or simply turn around in the upper Höllental – 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 in the direction of Waldbrunn – Strümpelbrunn. 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 would like to climb the highest mountain of the Odenwald, the old volcano Katzenbuckel with its magnificent distant view and rocky lake in a side trip, your tour will be extended by about 8 km. 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 if you are coming back from the Katzenbuckel – then you can now look forward to a long, racy descent: continue in the direction of Oberdielenbach and then down through the forest to Zwingenberg. You know your way around here.

Cross the Neckar River and take the route down the Neckar River back to Eberbach that you paddled yesterday. Hooray!

Done! Congratulations!

Breakfast
Hotel
Bike tour: Eberbach - Odenwald - Schriesheim :
Day 7

Bike tour: Eberbach – Odenwald – Schriesheim, 45 km, 6oo m ↑ 800 m↓

The first part of the journey today is on the Odenwaldbahn.

To do so, please be at platform 4 or 5 in 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 route description on komoot.de.

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 westwards up the Marbach valley and then the former railroad line of the Überwaldbahn to Wald-Michelbach. We recommend a stop at the trolley station of the former Überwaldbahn 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 Hiileshain.

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

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, if and as booked
  • Parking at the starting hotel, if available

not included

  • Anything not explicitly listed as included, including in particular:
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Arrival and departure
  • Admissions

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 €
Transfer 70 €
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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