Main, Isar, Wiesent, Lech, Inn – Bavaria is richly blessed with rivers which make kayakers’ hearts beat faster. Anyone who is looking for a particularly beginner-friendly body of water will find what they are looking for in Franconia with the Altmühl. 120 low-current kilometres between Treuchtlingen and Töging provide relaxed hours of kayaking.
Pure peace. That is what Caro and Jan Torge from Ingolstadt have travelled to the Altmühl for. To paddle evenly and move slowly through the water in the kayak, to watch the clouds pass by, to get away from the stress of their everyday lives.
The river moves between rocks, riverside forests and picturesque villages like a green ribbon; it is lined by resting places and campsites at frequent intervals. If you rely on comfortable beds instead of the romance of tents in your canoe tour, you can stay in a guesthouse – almost every place on the riverbank has one. Shady beer gardens also invite you to linger a while.
“We often come to the Altmühl; it is just so nice here,” says Jan. As he and his wife live less than an hour away by car, the river provides the two of them with an excellent destination for weekend trips. “It doesn’t always have to be kayaking. You can also go biking, climbing and hiking here,” adds Caro. There are also a lot of cultural attractions in the area, for example the imposing Pappenheim Castle and the old town of Eichstätt with its baroque market square.
The river flows so sedately through the green nature that you automatically relax in the canoe.
The two boat slides on the Altmühl are exciting and thrilling. “Action is in fashion there,” explains Caro. In this case the boat slide at the hammer mill, or rather a boat lane in a natural stone weir, at the 108th kilometre of the river.
Loud shouts of jubilation can be heard, as there is an “exceptional situation” here when it comes to speed on the Altmühl: the kayaks briefly pick up speed. Otherwise, the Altmühl has one of the lowest flow speeds in Germany. However, no one should set off on its water without any experience, as there are a couple of weirs which require alertness and want to be bypassed.
“If had to give points for suitability for beginners, I would still give this river top marks,” says the experience kayaker Jan. And the logistics are also nice and simple, as you can easily get back to the car by train or the shuttle service of a canoe hire company.
It is no surprise that people are particularly relaxed when they return to their working lives after a couple of days on the Altmühl.