The second stage of our trip takes us through lush meadows and placid villages. The day’s highlights include the Wurzacher Ried, the health resort of Wurzach from which it takes its name, and the town of Leutkirch.
Behind Ochsenhausen the cycle route climbs up the first hill of the day. Over the next few hours our eyes rove over narrow country roads, scattered villages and tracts of greenery. The hills of the Altdorf Forest can be seen to the west, with an altitude of up to 776 metres, while to the south there tower the mighty Allgäu Alps with their impressive peaks, ridges and wild, romantic valleys.
We cruise along at a leisurely pace and then swoop down into the basin of the Wurzacher Ried. We owe this picture-book scenery to the huge, moving sheets of ice that once covered the northern part of the pre-Alpine region. Several times, the last being in the Würm glaciation period, which ended some 10,000 years ago, vast glaciers buried the terrain under masses of ice and rubble, sculpted the hills and excavated valleys and lake basins. The wide expanses of moorland, the colourful reed meadows and the countless ditches of the 1,812-hectare nature reserve provide a perfect habitat for some 800 varieties of plants and around 1,500 species of animals.
In the nearby health resort of Bad Wurzach, the Vitalium thermal spa offers relaxation. An important feature of the Upper Swabian Baroque Route is the three-winged castle with its opulently decorated staircase.
In the town centre of Leutkirch, today’s destination, one also automatically becomes a time traveller in its cobbled alleyways bordered by handsome timbered buildings and patrician houses, of which the Gothic House, completed in 1379, is among the oldest in the region.
‘Hohbäumle’ viewpoint in Füramoos
Visit the Vitalium Thermethermal baths or the baroque staircase in Schloss Bad Wurzach
Detour to the Schmidsfelden glassmaking village or to the Zeil renaissance castle near Leutkirch im Allgäu