The real Germany can be found in the gemütliche ‘Freistaat’ Bayern, the fairylike land of lederhosen, timbered houses and beer festivals. In the northern part of this region an ancient canal connects the major rivers Main and Danube. The modern Main-Danube Canal was formerly called Ludwig Canal, and has been originally laid out by the famous King Ludwig.
On bike and aboard the barge La Belle Fleur you will travel from Bamberg on the Main to Regensburg on the Danube. Both cities have a magnificent mediaeval town centre, both listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The route leads through the varied Bavarian countryside, along the “beer city” Erlangen and the historic city of Nuremberg.
Along the way there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy some gastronomic delights in one of the many ‘Biergarten’!
Saturday: Arrival and try-out bike
Around 13:00 hours the crew and the tour guide of the barge La Belle Fleur will welcome you aboard in the harbour of the city of Bamberg. In the afternoon a try-out bike trip is organized to get acquainted with your bike. This short trip leads through the quiet green suburbs of Bamberg. This is followed by an excursion to the old centre. Bamberg is a world class monumental town with beautiful baroque buildings, traditional half-timbered houses and lots of tiny alleys to wander around.
Sunday: Cycling ± 45 km
Right after breakfast the first cycle trip starts, it will head for the small town of Forchheim. You cycle along the Main-Danube Canal, alternately through forests and open field. After leaving Forchheim you change direction, cycling the “Regnitz Radweg”, through the valley of the river with the same name. Of course, on the way, there will be a coffee (or beer) with cake stop at one of the many typical Bavarian “Biergarten”. You will meet the barge again in the city of Erlangen. This “beer town of Germany” knows an exuberant nightlife with many sidewalk cafés and bars!
Monday: Cycling ± 45 km
The skipper starts the engine early in the morning and brings the guest to the city of Nuremberg. A city with a rich but turbulent history, especially before, during and after WW II. The centre of Nuremberg, which dates from the Middle Ages, was completely destroyed during the war, but has been restored with much care. Just take a stroll through the many alleys and streets!
In the afternoon you take the bike to cycle further along the Main-Danube Canal. This canal originally has been constructed as “Ludwigs Canal” by King Ludwig. In former days the canal counted a 101 small locks. The route bends away from the canal and crosses the Rothsee natural area to reach the small town of Hilpoltstein. You will end this lovely day with a view over the beautiful Bavarian landscape from the sun deck of your hotel barge!
Tuesday: Cycling ± 40 km
After a coffee break in the historic centre of the city of Freystadt you cycle to the gracious pilgrim church “Wallfahrtskirche Maria Hilf”. This building is an architectural masterpiece of the Baroque, situated amidst nature. You continue to the fortified town of Beilngries.
You may end the day enjoying a locally brewed beer at the historic centre.
Wednesday: Cycling ± 40 km
Today the route takes you through the nature park Altmühltal. Along the mountain slopes you cycle on winding roads through the valley. From time to time the old Main-Danube Canal shows up. In short, a wonderful day of cycling through beautiful nature!
You stay overnight in Essing, a small place owing the longest wooden bridge of Europe!
Thursday: Cycling ± 45 km
A final stretch of the Main-Danube Canal takes you to the boards of the wide Danube river. Here lies the mediaeval city of Regensburg. It is a pleasant and safe idea that you will enter the city via a green pedestrian-bicycle zone. Regensburg is one of the best preserved mediaeval cities in Germany. A great finish for this unique cycling and sailing holiday!
Friday: City walk and goodbye
Right after breakfast your tour guide invites you for a guided walk in the centre of Regensburg. You may prefer to use the final morning of your holiday to set out on your own. At noon it’s time to say goodbye to the crew, your tour guide and fellow travellers.
The next tour goes in opposite direction and starts in Regensburg.
(subject to change)