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Travel Story: Isar Cycle Path for Families

Our three-generation time-out in the south of Bavaria
Family cycling

We still fondly remember our last cycling vacation "Drau Cycle Path for families". Two years later, with our second child now with us, we’re ready to travel again. This year, we chose the Isar cycle path for families, drawn by its short journey and stunning natural landscapes. Bavaria has always been our favorite cycling destination. My parents are joining us this time, making it extra special for the children to have grandma and grandpa on vacation with us!

In this travel report, I'll share our experiences from our cycling tour, explain why Bavaria is perfect for families, and discuss why you should consider booking an electric bike instead of dismissing the idea outright.

Family cycling

Where there's a will, there's a way

That's my response to David's concern about how we'll manage over 30 kilometers a day with two young children. You see, Mara is 1 year old and Timo is 4, so his worries aren't entirely unfounded. We've got Mara's transportation sorted: she'll ride in a cozy bike trailer with an adjustable backrest, side pockets for snacks and drinks, and all the necessities. But Timo, well, he's already riding on his own, which presents our first challenge. Currently, he covers an impressive 15 kilometers a day. But what about the remaining distance? Fortunately, the bicycle industry has come up with a clever solution for this exact situation: the FollowMe, a type of tandem coupling. This family-friendly contraption attaches to the back of the parent's bike and resembles a bike stand where the child's bike is securely fixed and can be pulled along when needed. And when it's no longer needed, it can be easily and quickly folded up. You see, we're getting pretty close to the ultimate all-purpose solution here!

Family cycling in the countryside

From Lake Starnberg through the Ostersee group

At last, the moment has arrived: The Hotel Seeblick in Bernried sits just a stone's throw from Lake Starnberg. We indulge in delectable redfish (Rotbarsch) on the hotel terrace, serenaded by live music that whisked us into vacation mode. Our inaugural night is spent in the comfort of a generously sized family room.

The cycle region of Bavaria welcomes us with beautiful weather: We relish the exhilarating descents through the forest and the breathtaking vistas of Lake Starnberg. Upon reaching the southern shore, we veer away from the water, opting for low-traffic side roads and quaint forest paths winding through the picturesque Ostersee group of lakes. "Time for a break," Timo declares, spotting a somewhat concealed entrance to the expansive Großer Ostersee at a secluded clearing. "This is our top-secret swimming spot!" As you can tell, it's the children who dictate the rhythm of our family cycling adventure. Because, as improbable as it may sound, as a mom, I've come to realize that when the kids are happy, so are the parents. Cheesy, isn't it?

Child with cycling helmet at the lake

Through the Murnauer Moos to Lake Kochelsee

A cycling route couldn't be more tailored to families: short, flat, predominantly on well-maintained gravel paths, and culminating in a fantastic swimming opportunity. Departing from Murnau, we glide past the renowned frescoes adorning the charming pedestrian zone before the cycle path guides us through the gentle foothills of the idyllic Murnauer Moos. En route between Ohlstadt and Schwaiganger, we're treated to scenic vistas of lush flower meadows and verdant pastures. The gentle murmur of the river Loisach accompanies us for the final stretch of our journey. And what better way to cap off a summer afternoon than with a dip in the outdoor pool? Nestled directly on Lake Kochelsee, the Kristall Therme trimini caters to lake enthusiasts, pool aficionados, and waterslide enthusiasts alike—aqua fun for the whole family.

Bike with pendant and mountain panorama

Klosterbräustüberl Benediktbeuern & Bad Tölz

We cycle along the beautiful Prälatenweg trail through lush green Bavarian countryside to Benediktbeuern. Ever since we decided on this cycling tour, the two men in the group have only been talking about one item on the itinerary: the morning pitstop at Klosterbräustüberl Benediktbeuern. And I must confess, looking back, I can now fully appreciate their enthusiasm. We savor traditional Bavarian delights like Weisswurst sausage, pretzels, and beer, while the kids indulge in apple fritters paired with creamy vanilla ice cream for a second breakfast. After all, if not on vacation, then when? Plus, for our young cyclists, there's even a playground conveniently located next door to keep them entertained and shorten the wait for food.

Later, we arrive in Bad Tölz after traversing the undulating Bavarian countryside, ready to spend the afternoon by the water. The Eichmühle natural swimming lake entails a steep ascent, but fortunately, it's just a short bike ride from our lodging. Besides, we would have had to tackle the climb regardless. But with e-bikes, no hill is too daunting!

Pedestrian zone in Bad Tölz

The finale back to Lake Starnberg

Before embarking on today's journey, we make a pit stop in the town's pedestrian zone to stock up on provisions. According to our travel documents, there won't be any refreshment stops until we reach Lake Starnberg. After conquering a challenging ascent, we pedal along a lightly trafficked country road, winding through the unspoiled Bavarian countryside. Eventually, we find ourselves back on the southern shore of Lake Starnberg, traversing gravel paths. From this point onward, the route feels familiar as we follow the lakeside path reminiscent of our first day of cycling.

Our recommendation: Make the family owned Hübl Lido in Bernried your final destination for a refreshing swim before heading home. It's not just about the pristine waters; the hospitable owner also offers delicious homemade snacks and cakes for sale. We fuel up for the journey ahead with spicy taboulé, salmon rolls, and apricot cake, bidding a fond farewell to Lake Starnberg with a quiet "Servus"!

Flower and cyclist

The E-bike, our friend and assistant

The shortened version of our Isar cycle path for families tour offers a moderate level of difficulty, meaning there are indeed some challenging climbs to conquer. So, if you're traveling with a bike trailer or FollowMe, I highly recommend booking an E-bike from Eurobike for your first family cycling vacation. Should you find yourself not requiring assistance at certain points, you can easily switch it off. However, when faced with situations where the kids no longer wish to pedal on the tandem, you'll appreciate any assistance available.


The 5-day Isar Cycle Path for Families tour showcases typical Bavarian Alpine foothills, rustic restaurants, and especially family-friendly hotels. Throughout the journey, the Free State of Bavaria reveals its most hospitable side.

What makes the cycling vacation so special for children? Delicious Bavarian home cooking, grazing animals along the way, and opportunities to swim during or after each day's stage—there's always something for the little ones to look forward to. A delightful cycling vacation for all generations!

My favourite place

On the cycling stage from Kochel to Bad Tölz, the journey itself is, perhaps even more than usual, the destination. First, we traverse a gravel path alongside the railroad tracks, and later, the paved Prälatenweg guides us through lush green meadows and colorful flower fields in the idyllic Bavarian Alpine foothills. You could almost lose track of time as you roll through this picturesque landscape. But wait! Remember to check the time now and then because at the Benediktbeuern monastery, the Klosterbräustüberl awaits with its morning Weisswurst! The cozy beer garden is the perfect place to relax, while children can have fun at the adjacent playground. It's the ideal rest stop for cyclists of all ages!

Pretzels and white sausages
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