Kat Morgenstern, cycling expert, answers all of our burning questions about a pedal-pushing adventure through the fairy tale-esque Black Forest in south-east Germany...
The Black Forest, a mountain range in south-east Germany, has a lot to offer visitors: Mummelsee Lake, multiple peaks for keen hikers, and low-key outdoor adventures. Fairy tale fans will want to wander the dense woodlands and eerie castles - they're said to have inspired The Brother's Grimm stories Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel.
It's also a must-visit for keen cyclists. There are multiple routes that can take as long as a week to complete, showcasing everything the region has to offer.
However, it doesn't always have to be such a high-stakes challenge. There are plenty of opportunities for casual cyclists who prefer a gentler pedal.
It is certainly not necessary to bring your own bicycle. All local tourist offices can provide a list of local bike rental shops. And don’t worry about not speaking German, most people will have some English.
Most multi-stage routes take between five and eight days. However, the Southern Black Forest Route is relatively easy to adapt. For example, the regular five-day route can be shortened by skipping the last couple of sections.
If you want to make it easier, book a package that includes hotel and luggage transfer, and for an additional charge, you can also get a touring bike (with panniers to carry your gear) or an e-bike.
Alternatively, there are shorter day routes. Try the Kaiserstuhlradweg, Kinzigtalradweg or a section of the Südschwarzwaldradweg along the Rhine (Lauchringen-Rheinfelden). Freiburg is a fine base, and bikes can be rented at the RADstation behind the railway station.
All these routes run along local train lines, so you can always shorten them by getting the train back. On the Offenburg-Basel line, bikes are transported free of charge after the morning rush hour; on smaller lines, bikes are charged at the adult rate.
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