Planning a July vacation in Germany
My wife and I are going to be in Europe starting the 5th of July. We'll be leaving Gotenburg Sweden on the 7th of July. We are thinking we will probably drive through Copenhagen and take a ferry from there, rather than the rest of the Denmark drive.
So that starts the Germany part of the trip. Mostly I am looking for a good route, but I need at least one destination along the way.
So from any of the copenhagen ferry cities we need to get to the Nurburgring. Between the two we would LOVE to find a good place to mountain bike. Not city bike, but real mountain biking. We'll need rental bikes so a legit resort type place would be best. We'd heard about Frankenwald, and are considering it. Alternative to biking, any thoughts on other adventure destinations? Interlaken is too far away for this trip, but caving, canyoning, bungee, parasailing are all on the table.
We've also been told that Rothenburg ob der Tauber is pretty beautiful and we should try to get a night in, but it is not a must see.
We are flying out of Amsterdam on the 17th, so I thought we would probably swing clockwise through Germany.
So which ferry should we take and where can we bike/adventure along the way?
From any point that you reach the German coastline from Copenhagen you have to drive 300 something miles until you reach any mentionable mountains. I dont know any bike resort in Germany north of the Alps (because north of the Alps there are only small ski resorts in winter, the mountains are not high enough).
Look into www.viamichelin.de or any other routeplanner to get a overview.
There is a quite ok Bikepark in Braunlage/Harz, they have good DH Bikes like Yeti and Trek for rent. If you dont know any locals, you wont find the really great singletracks in the area. The Harz, especially the Brocken, is famous since Goethe (Faust) and Heine.
Going farther south (direction Rothenburg o.d.T., which IS a must, because the U.S. people (re)built it AFAIK), there is the Thüringer Wald, the Rhön and the Fränkischer Wald; the Fichtelgebirge (Bikepark Ochsenkopf www.fichtlride.de , bike rental www.bullheadhouse.de ) is near Bayreuth (Wagner, you know) - you wont find the singletracks etc....
Bayrischer Wald will be too far off of your route ( Bikepark Geisskopf Bischofsmais), but if you would be driving to Prague via Dresden (both a MUST SEE), you could make a stopover there.*
Anyway, from Rothenburg to Nürburgring it is not that far and you could drive along the river Rhein from Mainz to Koblenz, which is also a must .
In that area there are no mentionable bikeparks. Pfälzer Wald (Kaiserslautern) is far more southwest, but it is a very fine region for mountain biking. I dont know if you can rent bikes there in any town.
When you reach the Nürburgring, you will be in the Eifel mountains. Especially the Ahrtal around Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler is very beautiful and very good also for technical mountainbiking and rolling over hills and through quiet valleys. I would suggest to try to find a nice Hotel around there (Nürburgring itself is dead ugly) and try to rent bikes there. It is not too far away from e.g. Bonn or Koblenz, there are many big bicycle shops, so it should be possible. On the other side of the border there is the Luxemburgische Schweiz, also a great place for MTB.
Remember, Germany is quite small and you can drive as fast as you like on most autobahns, so you can cross Germany from east to west or from north to south in under 6 hrs, if you want to.
PS just saw that you are ssp`ing - Dresden is THE town for that: www.eingangradforum.de
*PPS: may I make a suggestion for your roundtrip, including the most of famous cities, mountains and car-related places:
- Rostock-Berlin-Dresden and the Sächsische Schweiz-Prague - Bayrisch Eisenstein/Spicak Bikepark- Bischofsmais Bikepark- - Regensburg (one of the most ancient cities in Germany, with the Walhalla) - Ingolstadt (AUDI Museum) - Dinkelsbühl & Rothenburg o.d.T. - Heidelberg (Hockenheimring, if there is a race) - (if you are into old Citroens, there will be a gathering near Speyer from 11th-13th July www.citroen-cx-club.com ) - Rhine valley from Mainz to Koblenz - Canyon bicycles shop in Koblenz (www.canyon.com) - Mosel valley if you like german wine - Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler / Nürburg .
Look on the map and add up the miles, you will see this can easily be done in 12 days; some cities (e.g. Rothenburg o.d.T.) you can do in a 2 hr walk and then drive on.
For those other adventur sports I dont know, but except for climbing (Sächsische Schweiz), hiking and parasailing you will have to go into higher mountains (Alps, Riesengebirge (Poland)).
Last edited by cxfahrer; 06-09-2010 at 12:15 AM.
I highly recommend Winterberg, Its a small ski town although technically a city, in fact i believe its the highest point in western Germany. I go there twice a year once for skiing and once in the summer for the mountain biking (In fact we heading there at end of the month). The have a really nice downhill bike park http://www.bikepark-winterberg.de/ which stretches round a bobsleigh run. There's great runs for both noobs like me and seasoned bikers (my goal this year is to at least attempt some of the harder routes) and it has a ski/bike lift to take you back up to the top, which is great so much easier than walking back up.
If you dont like the whole downhill thing and would prefer to do some real cross country routes, off the top of my head I cant remember how long/difficult they are, however we did a 20km one year which was a nice ride with a well maintained trail and im pretty sure that was one of the easyer/short trails as we dragged my sister round. There were in the 10's to choose from round wooded areas.
There is a rental shop at the bike park with all different types of bikes, if i remember correctly it cost something like 50 euros for a downhill bike, full face helmet and armor for a half a day, and a couple of euros each ski/bike lift ride up.
Its a nice place too, most of the people there are normally retired or bikers themselves so its a quite a peaceful place if you just want to laze around and relax for a couple of days. Its also got some nice pubs and restaurants which is always a bonus. I recommend the bistro on the high street, i dont no what sauce they put on the burgers but there the best ive ever tasted.
p.s Ive just looked at google maps and it appears to be only 2 hrs of the quickest route from copenhagen to Nurburgring which is a bonus
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