A fantastic self guided tour through beautiful scenery, historic towns and points of interest. Accomodation was top notch, and baggage transfer was seamless, bikes were well matched to the task. A couple of the days were a little long and prevented visiting points of interest. An update on changed conditions would have been handy (the low river flow in the Danube prevented the boat from getting to Weltenberg Kloster,meant an unexpected cycling leg).
My 10 year old nephew and I had a wonderful ride through the Altmuehl Valley. The riding was safe (almost entirely on bike paths) and very doable for a 10 year old. Beautiful scenery every day and plenty of fun things to explore along the way. The hotels were quaint and lovely - all offered great breakfasts to get us started each day. The bikes were nice and maps generally very helpful. I would definitely book another trip.
Great trails, not well organized
This trip follows well marked German bike trails which are very easy to navigate and quite scenic. The hotels are fabulous. However, we did not have a good experience with the German bike company (Radweg Reisen) that operates the trip on the ground. We were self-guided, and our information package was not available the day we arrived, so we didn't have maps and guiding information in advance. When the packet arrived the next morning, we discovered that it contained very little about sights near the tour route. We were able to Google plenty of side trips but wondered: isn't that the job of the tour company? Also, our bikes were delivered late on the day we were supposed to start, so we lost a morning of biking (and actually the bikes were eventually delivered not by the tour company but by an English family to whom the bikes had been misdelivered). We called Radweg Reisen but their corporate office was located hundreds of km away. We have been on lots of trips with biketours.com and find that the smaller shops are much more attentive and give better service. Radweg Reisen is too big to care about 2 self-guided bikers.
Altmuehl Valley, Round Trip from Regensburg
Our first European Bike Tour was a success! We very much enjoyed the experience. The villages and scenery were interesting to pass through. The Altmuehl Valley is beautiful and the choice of cities for the overnight stays were great. Our bikes were first rate and we didn’t experience any problems with them. BikeTours.com were very supportive through the process. One of the disadvantages of the self guided tours is that you need to make it to the hotel selected for you that night, instead of the flexibility to stay at places of interest along the way. Speaking of the hotels, they were conveniently located, older, but renovated nicely. Unfortunately, none of them had air conditioning (we travelled through very hot weather). Air conditioning would have been muchly appreciated at the end of the day. As the hotels were in a central location, the rooms were on the noisy side of the street. We did get lost twice and perhaps more detailed maps, between each city would be useful. Saying that, we are looking forward to our next trip. My wife will be renting an electric bike next time!
First bike trip.
Wow, what a trip! I usually plan everything so it felt a little strange not doing a thing. We showed up at our first hotel and everything was ready to go. Hotels were lovely. Breakfast was adequate, kept us going until lunch. Our luggage was at the hotel when we arrived. We were very happy with the services provided.
The scenery was amazing, the river, the fields, and the valley. The valley was our favorite. The boat trips were enjoyable. And so many castles!
A couple of days on the trail were a little harder than I thought they would be. The trail surface was rough and hard to pedal on. When the trail was smooth, the cycling was a breeze. We had no trouble with the bikes although It might have been better if we would have rented the 21 speed bikes. We were on the trail 5 -7 hours each day. All and all, we would do it again. I see another trip in our future.
Responses from Biketours.com
We love helping plan the right tour and we're delighted to hear you had a great time! We hope to help you again in the future.
Fantastic way to see Germany!
Really enjoyed this self-guided experience. The bikes were comfortable, appropriate accessories were included, the luggage pick up and delivery was reliable. The selected accommodations were in the main part of the town.....clean, comfortable, with hearty breakfasts...two spots even had a sauna! Opportunity to enjoy local sights, food and culture, frequently woke to the sound of church bells. Maps and info provided...would recommend bringing a GPS and taking time in advance to understand German road signs ...occasional difficulty finding street names or missing turn-offs...which happens and is a part of the adventure.
Great first-time bike tour
We went on this tour with our 9- and 12-year-old boys. It was an adventure at times, but everyone loved it.
We averaged about 36 miles per day, with the longest ride 43 miles. With a couple exceptions (detour on second day; climb to scenic vista on beginning of third day), the route was generally flat and easy to ride. Outside of towns, the route follows dedicated bike paths and quiet roads. There were a couple spots, both at Danube river crossings that we found a bit intimidating with the kids, but they were ultimately no problem. With our stops and side trips, we typically had long days (arriving at hotel between 4:30 and 6 or 7), but the rides were not overly taxing physically.
The scenery was interesting and the towns were charming. Not too many other tourists on the route or in the towns during the week, but on Friday and Saturday there more tourists, mainly Germans cyclists, kayakers, hikers. A couple of the hotels were outstanding, a couple others were merely acceptable. We had quad rooms everywhere, except one hotel provided adjoining double. Included continental breakfasts were good, more or less as expected. Luggage was picked up from and delivered to the next hotel each day without problem.
Bikes were about as expected, but could have been better. A bit heavy, and could have used tune ups. We did have a flat tire, and the included tools were sufficient to get the tire changed (which we had never done before).
Signs were typically excellent, but there were a couple missing signs. It is helpful to know when you are following a long-distance or primary bike route (shown on area maps provided) because there's additional signs. For the most part, following bike route signs to the next town was sufficient. We missed turns a few times, but we got better at reading the maps and following the routes after the first day or so.
E-Bikes Are the Way to Go!
For the most part this was a GREAT trip. A few things (in no particular order) might be improved: More detailed descriptions of the routes, especially getting into and out of the larger towns. That's usually when we got lost even with the routes provided. Loved all the hotels, newer and older. Meals everywhere were great. The e-bikes were a lot of fun. They could have used a bit of an overhaul before we took them out, however. gears (especially 5 and 8) slipped. I had virtually no 5th gear. None of it was so difficult that we bothered to stop and get anything fixed. The scenery was fabulous. We had a couple of rainy days, but they didn't' interfere with our fun.
Beautiful Bavarian countryside
Each day was a unique experience. Starting with the Danube path, then the lush fields and rocky backdrop of the Altmuhl valley, and the ferry rides along the Danube gorge and the canal. The villages along the way were so picturesque.
The maps and descriptions provided us with a wonderful guide to the sights along the way. The hotels were comfortable, centrally located, and very helpful about what to see and good restaurants for dinner. Our overnights were in towns with rich history and traditions, and there were always interesting spots to stop along the way.
We finished the tour knowing that we would like to go back.