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Short info about the Altmühltal-cycle path

With a total length of 245 kilometres the Altmühltal-cycle path mostly leads you on flat terrain and winds almost entirely around the riverbanks. Several tours lead you through Germany’s third-largest national park, the Altmühl-valley all the way to Kelheim, where the river finally flows into the Danube. The cycle path is mostly asphalted and far away from traffic which allows you to leisurely enjoy the beauty of nature without any annoying traffic noise in the background. In addition to the fascinating nature scenery there are also the cultural highlights to look forward to. Since here you cycle along the tracks of the Romans and Aristocrats and get to know two different eras. Immerse yourself in the stately antiquity and the magnificent Middle Ages.

Cyclist on cycle path through the valley Altmühltal

The most beautiful cycle tours along the Altmühltal-Cycle Path


Cycle Holiday Rothenburg – Regensburg

This cycle tour from Rothenburg to Regensburg is considered an absolute classic along the Altmühltal cycle path. From the source to the end you cycle the entire cycle path in seven or eight days and experience the fascinating beauty of the Altmühl-river valley. Already at the start in Rothenburg allow yourself to be enchanted by the charm of the old medieval town and taken back in time. Along the way one natural and cultural highlight follows the next. The renowned Welenburg monastery, the lovely Baroque town of Eichstätt, the reconstructed Roman fort Vetoniana and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Regensburg all await your visit.

Cyclist on bridge in Herrieden

Altmühl-Valley and Danube

From Regensburg you cycle along the river Danube as well as the river Altmühl to Bad Gögging, Neuburg, Eichstätt, Beilngries until you finally arrive back at Regensburg. This cycling loop tour offers both interesting cultural highlights as well as stunning nature backdrops. Discover the region Bavaria along the two popular rivers.

Bavaria’s Five Rivers

Pack your bags and off to Barvaria! The region in Southern Germany is always worth a cycling holiday. Since Bavaria is diverse and definitely endearing! In addition to the glistening lakes the raging rivers are particularly impressive. And they exactly are the focal point of this cycle tour: Vils, Naab, Danube, Altmühl and Pegnitz - your hiking companions for the next eight days.

The Course of the River Altmühl

From Rothenburg ob der Tauber until Kelheim

The Altmühl-source

The river Altmühl rises north-east of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the ‘Hohe Leite’. There was a big discussion about the actual source of this river for a long time before the Bavarian Hydrotechnical Bureau in Munich determined the drain ditch of the Hornauer Weiher-pond for it in 1904.

Mouth of the River

Below Kelheim the river Altmühl flows into the largest river in Central and Southern Europe, the Danube.

Length of the river Altmühl

With a length of 227 kilometres the river Altmühl is the second longest river in Bavaria. The river flows south-east from Rothenburg via Herrieden, Gunzenhausen, Treuchtlingen, Eichstätt, Beilngries and Reidenburg all the way to Kelheim, where it finally flows into the Danube.

Altitude Profile

The start of the river Altmühl near Rothenburg ob der Tauber is situated at an altitude of about 460m, its confluence with the river Danube at about 339m above sea level.

Questions & Answers about the Altmühltal Cycle Path

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The Altmühltal Cycle Route starts in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and ends in Kelheim.

The Altmühltal Cycle Path is 245 kilometres long in total.

The ideal time to travel the Altmühltal Cycle Path is between April and October. July and August are the busiest months for cyclists due to the season.

Our cycling tours on the Altmühltal Cycle Path are classified as medium tours. This means that these tours are particularly suitable for cycling beginners and newcomers with a good level of fitness.

The individual daily stages naturally depend on the respective cycling tours. But in general you can expect about 40-60 kilometres of cycling per day.

On our cycling tours along the Altmühltal Cycle Path you will stay in well-selected and cosy hotels, inns and guesthouses.

The cycle tour from Rothenburg to Regensburg offers numerous impressive highlights. But as the saying goes, the journey is the destination and that applies perfectly to this tour. Because the Altmühltal Cycle Route leads through the gentle Franconian Lake District and ends in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Regensburg. 

If you like cycling along rivers, we have the ideal cycle tour for you - Five Rivers of Bavaria. The five rivers Vils, Naab, Danube, Altmühl and Pegnitz are your companions for eight days. Beautiful old towns, small dreamy villages and diverse landscapes await you along the way.

The Altmühltal and Danube cycle tour takes you around Regensburg. This tour combines the most beautiful sections of both rivers.

The most beautiful towns along the Altmühltal-cycle path

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Once you have visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber you cannot stop raving about it. This small town situated in Northern Bavaria will immediately enchant you with its charm and flair. Cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and the city wall featuring towers will take you back a thousand years into the Middle Ages. Here it seems as if time has just stood still. In addition to the culture viniculture and the proximity to nature are also a major focus. Hence this makes Rothenburg ideal for an active holiday.

Markusturm in Rothenburg


Another large town on the river Altmühl is Eichstätt. This large district town situated in Upper Bavaria is also the administrative seat of the Altmühltal Nature Park. Wonderful cycling- and hiking tours start from there. But it is not only the nature park, which has a lot to offer, but also the town itself convinces with numerous sights. Since the town is also known as a Baroque jewel, beautiful historic buildings such as Eichstätt Cathedral, Walburg Monastery, the Church of the Guardian Angel and the Willibaldsburg Castle await you. Here nature meets culture and tradition.

Cyclist on square in Eichstätt


In the town of Kelheim located in Lower Bavaria, the river Altmühl flows into the Danube. And here too the past has left its mark. Medieval city gates, chapels, church ruins, an old canal port and many other buildings are reminiscent of a bygone era. The entire town tells a story and enchants you with its very special flair. Do not just cycle past it along the Altmühltal cycle path along your cycling holiday but also take time for a short detour into the town centre. We are sure you will not regret it.

View over Kelheim at the river Danube


Even though Regensburg is not directly located on the river Altmühl, most cycle tours lead along the Altmühltal-cycle path to the UNESCO World Heritage city. That is why we do not want to withhold this fascinating and historic city from you. Stroll through the small, narrow streets, past the historic walls across the stone bridge to St. Peter’s Cathedral and Thurn and Taxis Castle. After that, at the latest, the city, also known as ‘Germany’s medieval wonder’, has cast its spell on you.

Ship on the Danube in Regensburg

Useful information about the Altmühltal-Cycle Path

The Climate

The climate in Southern Germany, precisely speaking Bavaria, proves to be optimal for us cyclists. In short: hot summers and very cold winters. Typical of the continental climate that prevails there. Spring and autumn are usually very pleasantly warm and perfect for a bike tour. Just like almost everywhere in Germany, downpours can also be more prevalent in Bavaria. But we will be spared these on a cycle holiday along the Altmühltal-cycle path. We think positively and chances are good for sunny cycling days in the beautiful Alpine region.

Natural park of Dollnstein

Bavarian Cuisine

If you think about Bavarian cuisine, immediately Weißwürste-sausages, roasts, sauerkraut and beer jump to mind. This association is absolutely correct since Bavaria is known for its hearty, rustic and down-to-earth cuisine. Especially meat-, roast- and dumpling dishes can be found on every menu. Typical dishes such as ‘knuckle of pork’ with bread dumplings, meat loaf with potato salad or roast pork with sauerkraut delight every meat-eating tourist. However the absolute classic in Bavaria is probably the white sausage ‘Weißwurst’ with Pretzel and wheat beer ‘Weißbier’ – and not only around the Octoberfest-period.

Weisswurst and wheat bear

Did you know, that …

  • … the river Altmühl is Germany’s slowest flowing river?
  • … the name is Celtic and means ‘placid, holy river’?


  • … there is a Christmas museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber?
  • … the Altmühl-Valley Nature Park is world renowned as a fossil region?

On the Altmühltal Cycle Path you will experience the perfect combination of nature and culture. You can find more fascinating cycling & culture tours here.

Other popular cycle paths in Europe

Paula Plafinger

"If you have any questions about your cycling trip along the Altmühltal Cycle Route, I will be happy to help and advise you!"

Paula Plafinger
Travel Specialist
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