The MainRadweg cycle trail is a great blend of pleasure and culture: It combines the worlds of Franconian wine and beer with three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The MainRadweg cycle trail is almost 600 km long and – as its name suggests – follows the River Main. The route, which can easily be divided into 13 one-day stages, shows its diversity from the start. Cyclists can choose to set off from the source of the White Main at Bischofsgrün below the Ochsenkopf Mountain before heading through the Fichtel Mountains and the Frankenwald (Franconian Forest). The alternative starting point is Creußen in Franconian Switzerland, from which point the route follows the Red Main.
The two waterways don’t stay separate for long: In Kulmbach they merge to form the River Main, which the route follows from here on. The river and its accompanying cycle trail criss-cross the countryside of the Obermain Jura, the Steigerwald, the Haßberge, the Franconian wine lands, Lieblichen Taubertal, Spessart-Mainland and Hessian Untermain. Eventually, the River Main joins the Rhine just above Mainz.
The whole diversity of Franconian nature is on display along the way – not to mention some unexpected cultural treasures. Three of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bavaria are situated along this route: the Margravian Opera House in Bayreuth, Bamberg Old Town and the Residence in Würzburg. And there is also so much more culture to discover on the MainRadweg cycle trail: the splendid trio of the Staffelberg, Banz Abbey and the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica at Bad Staffelstein, for example, as well as the surprising art collections in the museums of Schweinfurt and Roman splendour in Aschaffenburg.
The River Main also acts as a guide to Franconian culinary culture. For one thing, the MainRadweg cycle trail crosses Franconia’s beer country, which has the highest density of breweries in the world and which features quaffable highlights such as the beer towns of Kulmbach and Bamberg. For another, the vines on the River Main produce outstanding Frankenweine (Bavarian wines of Franconia), which find their best conditions in the Maindreieck and Mainviereck areas. What could be better than toasting the end of a wonderful day by the river with a “Seidla” of fresh draught beer or a glass of Frankenwein (Bavarian wine of Franconia)?
Main, Tauber, Altmühl and Bavarian Danube: Four rivers, which are linked by the “Tauber Altmühl Radweg” cycle trail and a great deal of nature, culture and sheer indulgence.
Relaxed cycling pleasure in the west of Franconia: this is the promise of the 350 km long “Tauber Altmühl Radweg” cycle trail that runs between Wertheim and Kelheim. The route not only links four rivers, but also four Franconian holiday regions with their culture and cuisine.
Evidence of this can be seen soon after the start in the Lieblichen Taubertal, where the path through Tauberbischofsheim and Bad Mergentheim is flanked by vineyards. Grape varieties such as Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Schwarzriesling and the local Tauberschwarz thrive here.
The vines point cyclists in the direction of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and then on into Romantic Franconia. This former free imperial town with its medieval walls and lanes is a real jewel, which even has snow in summer – in the form of the Rothenburger Schneeballen (Snowball cake), a creatively designed lardy cake. Here the cyclists leave the Tauber and enter the Nature Park Frankenhöhe. Herds of Frankenhöhe lambs graze on its slopes, with their healthy meat gracing the menus of the region.
Thus fortified, the cyclists reach the Altmühl, and follow its course to Colmberg Castle and into the Franconian Lake District, where they can stop and marvel at the Upper-Germanic Roman Limes in Gunzenhausen. This ancient frontier is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Gunzenhausen is also the gateway to the Nature Park Altmühltal with its characteristic landscape of rugged rocks and sunny juniper moors. This is home to the Altmühltal lambs – “four-legged conservationists” who prevent the valuable habitat from being overwhelmed by trees and bushes.
The Baroque cathedral city of Eichstätt makes a wonderful culinary and cultural interlude before the Altmühl and the trail continue on their way. At Dietfurt the Altmühl is absorbed by the Main-Bavarian Danube canal. The cyclists follow this man-made waterway for the final stretch before reaching the Bavarian Danube – accompanied by views of the mountains above Riedenburg and the impressive monument of the Befreiungshalle above Kelheim.
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