SouthWest Germany: Europe’s most bike-friendly Region


Copyright: Thurgau Tourismus

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, invented by Karl Drais in SouthWest Germany. Today, the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg scores for being cycle-friendly, in cities like Karlsruhe, throughout the Black Forest and around gorgeous Lake Constance. Within easy reach of Stuttgart Airport, it is easy to rent regular bikes, e-bikes, mountain bikes, even e-mountain bikes. Pedal on wide bike lanes; cruise streets where cyclists have priority over cars. Relax. Have fun. Raise a toast to Karl Drais!

Lake Constance – Glorious Scenery in Four Countries

Nothing beats cycling round Lake Constance. Known as “Bodensee” in German, the lake is bordered Germany, Austria and Switzerland; while the Principality of Liechtenstein is a short detour away. Cycling is easy on the Bodensee Radwege, the 170 miles/273 km of clearly-marked, well-paved trails that follow the lake shore. Along the way, are medieval Meersburg, Friedrichshafen and grand mountain views. Or pedal the scenic 40-year-old Danube-Lake Constance route from pretty Ulm to Kressbronn, set in apple and cherry orchards and hop fields.

More information: 

The Black Forest – Memorable Holidays

With some 5,000 miles/8,500 km of cycle trails, the Black Forest is a perfect destination for cyclists, from families and couples to enthusiastic mountain bikers. Paths are clearly marked; hotels and inns are cycle-friendly; along the way, local crafts, charming villages and breath-taking views provide excuses to stop. With its rolling hills and clear lakes, rushing streams and dense woodland, the Black Forest is all about the Great Outdoors. And if hiking is more your thing, choose from the 14,000 miles/23,000 km separate, but equally well-marked, walking trails.

More information: 

Karlsruhe – A Nature Bicycle Tour

Karl Drais, the inventor of the Draisine, the forerunner of the bicycle, was born in Karlsruhe. Today, this is one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. Not only do streets have cycle lanes, some give cyclists priority over cars. Opening in June, the NaturRADtour leads through eight nature reserves, including attractions, such as Oberwald Zoo. Starting and finishing at Karlsruhe’s splendid palace, this flat, 30-mile/48km path is family friendly. But there are also public parks, forests and nature reserves to be explored. And when you feel tired, put your bike on the tram: it’s allowed!

More information: 

Stuttgart Airport – The Gateway to Green Holidays  

Within a couple of hours’ drive from Stuttgart Airport, you can be pedalling or hiking though some of Europe’s prettiest countryside, enjoying wildflowers, bird song and fresh air. H ike or bike in the beautiful Black Forest; at Lake Constance, cycle along the shore or take a ferry to one of the islands. And Stuttgart is so easy to get to, thanks to daily, direct flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, as well as regular, frequent flights from London Stansted, Manchester and Edinburgh.

More information: