Along the River Neckar, the winemaking culture stretches back over centuries. But the 4-star Neckar Valley Cycle Route (Neckartal-Radweg) offers much more than wine tasting and vineyards. Its 370 km / 230 miles link the historic kingdoms of Baden and Württemberg (and cross some Hohenzollern territory, too). You pass imposing castles and half-timbered towns, dense forests and open meadows. And, of course, there is always the river, with constantly-changing vistas. There are eight suggested stages from Villingen-Schwenningen to Mannheim, but for a short break, many pedal only the last three. From Besigheim to Mannheim, the 142 km / 88 miles take in Heidelberg, with its romantic castle and Heilbronn, a centre for award-winning wine production. Even Stuttgart, SouthWest Germany’s capital, has its own vineyards and winery. Photogenic Tübingen is home to one of Europe's oldest universities. The Odenwald’s gentle landscape mixes woods and valleys, villages, farms and country cottages. Stop for a glass of wine; it tastes even better when matched with a panorama, such as the backdrop of Dilsberg Castle or Guttenberg Castle. No wonder enthusiastic cyclists reckon that the Neckar Valley Cycle Route offers more contrasts and variety than any other trail in Germany.
Start: Villingen-Schwenningen, 90 minutes southwest of Stuttgart.
Finish: Mannheim, 90 minutes northwest of Stuttgart