The Romantic Road is a 423 kilometre bike route from the middle of Germany to the border of Austria near Fussen. Known locally as the Romantische Strasse this is a well signed route that rarely travels along the tourist road by the same name. The bicycle route is mostly paved and follows country lanes and bike paths when reaching a town.
Start your cycle tour in the town of Wurzburg, where several rivers and bike roads cross. It is located a short train journey from Frankfurt. For the few part you are cycling through the Tauber Valley along a river in part, through interesting towns, passing colorful gardens with one major climb but otherwise rolling countryside.
One thing we noticed early was that the bike route always seems to head into the local town where you can buy lunch or snacks. I have completed this route twice and both times also had to visit bike shops along the way for quick repairs where they do not speak English but do wonders in fixing bikes quickly. We did stop in the quaint town of Tauberbischofsteim for lunch and to see the bike shop. Bad Mergentheim was where we stopped for the night.
Expect to see lots and lots of local cyclists on the next section as you head over a lot of gentle hills into Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This medieval is worth a stop to walk the ancient walls and sightsee. Considered the best-preserved town in Germany expect to see lots of tourists and take care when cycling over the cobblestone streets.
The Romantic Road bike route gives you more medieval experiences as you reach walled Dinkelsbuhl and Nordingen. In Nordingen do visit one of the many chocolate shops, the town of the cathedral and see the town walls. In Dinkelsbuhl we followed the path around the outside of the town walls for a very unique view of this historic town.
Along the next section we stopped at Harburg Castle for the tour where English visitors receive a printed sheet of information. However on both my visits (at lunchtime) there were only a couple of German visitors so the guide did the tour in English and German. On finishing we noticed a line-up of German tourists so we were lucky. Continue to modern Donauworth on the Danube River where you can overnight.
The terrain changing here and as you cycle along forested paths and farmland until reaching Landsberg am Lech with a steep descent into town. There are many cafes and hotels and we stopped overnight. Do cycle around town as many of the homes near the river have interesting architecture.
We have arrived in Bavaria so expect many hills, great scenery and the Alps in the distance as you cycle ever closer. At Wies the bike route goes right by the famous church which is worth a stop. We opened our pannier to grab a snack and some goats thought that we a good idea and did the same thing.
We cycled and stayed in a small town at the base of the famous Neuschwanstein. In the morning cycling early and buy tickets for the English language tours to both of the castles. Built by the mad King Ludwig II they will take you a full day to visit. We headed back to our hotel in the nearby town for a beer in the outdoor cafe just as the cows came walking back into town from their day in the field stopping all traffic.
The final part of the Romantic Road Cycle Route takes you to Fussen which has its own castle and you can continue into Austria if you wish on regional cycling routes as we did. Along this bicycle touring route expect to see many walled towns, historic castles, beautiful scenery and a lot of rolling countryside.
Pack you panniers with a few sets of cycling clothing while exploring Germany along the Romantic Road Bike route.