Ride in car country
Why you should go there: Internationally Germany is famous for anything but biking…unjustifiedly though! Although Germany only has a small share of the alps you can find many sub-mountainous areas which are ideally suited for biking due to their dense network of (hiking) trails. Consequently Germany is an all-year destination offering high altitude riding in the bavarian alps during summer and fall and all year destinations in the MIttelgebirge. There is also a variety of bikeparks to choose from. In Germany you can plan a bike holiday according to your liking. If you like it quiet, stay on the countryside – due to the dense populousness there is always a city close by if you like for more nightlife-, culture- and restaurant choices.
Who is it for: If you like bike tours on natural trails and don´t mind pedalling in combination with discovering cultural sites and cities, Germany is worth a trip. There are also a few good bike parks.
Who should avoid it: Shuttle lovers will only find limited offer outside the bikeparks. Although in practice mostly relaxed, some places are dominated by hikers and some struggle with the shared trails concept, be prepared for occasional killing glances (Allgäu or Black Forest) 😉
Germany slowly develops into a mountainbiking country with increasing acceptance of various trail users. In some locations unfortunately the legal situation is a little behind societal reality and prohibits biking on some trails. One example is the “2 Meter rule” in Baden-Württemberg… If you yield to other trail users and are friendly you should not have any problems though.
Unfortunately german authorities do not offer the official topographic maps for free. The best alternative in our opinion is Open Topo Map.
Trails & Tours
Most weather websites and apps work well in our experience. We would recommend Kachelmann Wetter, lots of information available and good forecasts.
Germany is a car nation… Public transport works very well for getting around in and between larger cities, but is less well developed in rural areas. Our recommendation for getting around, especially if you have the bike with you, is by car. In case you plan using public transport, please keep in mind that bikes are not allowed on all highspeed trains (ICE). Bikes also need a reservation for long-distance trains (IC/EC/ICE).
Restaurants and accomodation are available at affordable rates if you stay on the countryside in most of the sub-mountainous areas. In very touristic places like the Bavarian Alps and the Allgäu prices are a little higher but not outrageous. To be soft on the budget stay in an appartment or B´n´B and buy food in the supermarkets.
We´d advice you to always carry some cash since in many (rural) places card payment is not accepted for smaller amounts.
Top Natural Trail Regions
Many regions have a dense network of hiking trails which are maintained by regional hiking clubs or the german alpine club (DAV).
Pfälzerwald: Rocks, Castles and Trails! This region in the southwest of Germany has magnificent lanscapes, good food and wine, and brillant flowy trails.
Freiburg: The beautiful town of Freiburg is known for its mild climate and picturesque old town. There is also an exemplary trail network worth discovering…
Odenwald: Natural Park with several official routes with fun trails. One of the best official offers in Germany. (article coming soon)
Top Bike Parks
Here are some recommendations for bikepark riding.