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Tucked away in the Black Forest, the spa and culture town of Baden-Baden sprawls across the surrounding hills and mountains. Step out of the beautiful art-nouveau town itself and there are fantastic cycle routes waiting to be explored.
Baden-Baden, and the woodland area that surrounds it, has over 200 miles of cycle tracks to discover. The variety of terrain, from mountainous peaks in the Black Forest, to simple, marked routes that run along the iconic Rhine Valley, mean that there is something for everyone. So, if you want to spend an entire day scaling the peaks of the Hornisgrinde then the challenge awaits, but likewise, if you want an hour along a quiet, flat route with a glass of Riesling waiting at the end, there’s plenty of choice in the surrounding wine country.
A number of the cycle routes largely consist of asphalted or semi-natural paths, making them accessible and enjoyable for even the most unexperienced of riders, while large parts of the Rhine Cycle Route run right along the riverbank, offering unique views of the water, riverside forests, vineyards and pretty villages.
Definitely factor in stop-offs during rides, with plenty to keep you occupied when not on the bike. With local historic sites, renowned food and drink and sporting activities from golf, to hiking and kayaking, you can tailor bike journeys to whatever takes your fancy.
Looking for a little cultural fix whilst being on bike tour? For fans of art and jewellery, Baden-Baden is home to the The Fabergé Museum, the first of its kind in the world to dedicate itself entirely to the work of the iconic Russian jeweller Carl Peter Fabergé. The museum has more than 700 Fabergé masterpieces, as well as hosting the world’s largest collection of cigarette cases and animalistic miniature figures, as well as copper and brass articles.
The Museum Frieder Burda, built by New York star architect Richard Meier is a must-see for guests who enjoy art and architecture. The museum fascinates with a private art collection that includes selected masterpieces of the Classical Modernism, but also with its extraordinary architecture.
Cycling requires refreshment and thankfully the Rhine Valley produces some of the most exquisite wines in the world. As the southernmost, warmest and sunniest wine-growing region, it’s the only area in Germany to be situated in European Union wine growing zone B rather than A, which means a higher minimum required maturity of grapes and less chaptalisation (the process of adding of sugar) allowed. Rebland, located just 6 km outside of Baden-Baden and one of Germany’s most popular Riesling growing districts, is an insider tip for gourmets and connoisseurs.
Baden-Baden is a place to be pampered and to relax, with a big emphasis on health as part of the enjoyment. The area enjoys the natural gift of thermal springs, meaning there are plenty of spas, thermal baths and retreats to be found. Today, the warm spa water, with its rich mineral content, is used for both customary as well as modern therapies. There are numerous specialized programs for personal recuperation, fantastic after a long day in the saddle. Today the modern Caracalla Spa offers 4,000sqm of soothing relaxation in curative thermal water with a huge Roman sauna landscape, a rock grotto with hot — and cold — water pools, water current channels, marble whirlpools, an aroma steam bath and a new stylish wellness-lounge.
The local terrain ensures there are plenty of hiking and climbing options, if cycling isn’t providing enough exercise. Awarded as Germany’s most beautiful hiking trail, the Panoramaweg panoramic trail has five different stages around Baden-Baden that all provide differing options and is great for families looking for an adventure together.
Depending on your level of fitness, the time you have available, or even how you’re feeling that day, it’s easy to find a route to suit. Here’s a small selection.
Easy: from the Fremersberg to the Yburg, or to the vantage point on top of the Schartenberg (less than 1 hr).
Intermediate: from the Fremersberg to the Schwarzenbach dam (4 – 5 hrs); from the Merkur to the Battert Rock (1 – 2 hrs).
Difficult: to the peaks of the Baden-Badener Höhe and the Hornisgrinde (2,5 – 5 hrs).
If the idea of cycling through the idyllic area is appealing, but there is concern regarding the physical effort, then you could always e-bike. There are e-bike tours that can be done that pass picturesque castles, palaces and outdoors spaces, following the 27km across the historical downtown of Baden-Baden. The “Grüne Einfahrt” (The Green Route) takes you first to the heights of the Black Forest, before leading you to the “Neues Schloss” (The New Castle) and from there to “Altes Schloss” (The Old Castle). Steeped in history, the views also provide a spectacular view of the city as well as the surrounding hills of the Black Forest to the valleys of the Rhine.