Headwater - Bavarian Castles and Rivers Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Trip Code:
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Min age: 12

Trip Overview

Like Andalucia to Spain, Bavaria is very much the archetypical Germany. Bratwurst, beer and Lederhosen are still the mode of fashion. Behind this caricature of German psyche lies a stunning region surrounded by the German Jura Mountains, dissected by a network of beautiful rivers, pine-clad hills, hilltop castles and pretty towns and villages around every turn in the road.

At a Glance

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 Days cycling
  • Departs Every two days from 03 May '19 to 14 Oct '19
  • All breakfasts and 3 evening meals
  • GPS route navigation provided 
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Countries visited: Germany

Trip Highlights

  • Beautiful, unspoilt landscapes of archetypical Germany: four rivers, fairytale castles, pretty towns and villages
  • Stunning German Jura Mountains backdrop
  • UNESCO-listed charming city of Regensburg
  • A great mix of 3 and 4 star hotels, including a converted brewery

Is This Trip for You?

Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance on move on days: 45km (28 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain and route: The routes are mostly on dedicated cycle tracks that are a mix of tarmac and gravel, with the occasional short stretch of hard packed earth.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Starting and finishing in the mediaeval UNESCO city of Regensburg, which lies on the banks of the imperious Danube, you'll cycle past four rivers: the majestic Danube, the stunning Altmuhl, the Sulz and the Schwarze Leber. 

Following the Danube Trail right along the riverside, you'll visit the spa town of Bad Abbach with its mix of relaxing gardens and lively cafes. Along the way you can immerse in the local culture and cycle or enjoy boat trips from the pretty towns to stop off at traditional breweries - it is Bavaria, after all! 

Cycling along the stunning Altmuhl river, which cuts through a deep beautiful valley, there are wonderful vistas of high- perched castles and the 'Tatzelwurm', a waved wooden bridge spanning over 600m to admire. Look out for fishing herons and speedy kingfishers splashing in the waters en route. Pfraundorfer See is a popular local swimming spot you can pedal to, where you can cool off and dip your toes. 

Along the way you'll pass through scented pine forests, green meadows and quaint towns complete with fairytale castles and friendly locals. Your final stretch takes you from the charming town of Parsberg along the Schwarze Laber back to the jewel that is Regensburg, where you can marvel at the architecture, take part in the custom of Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and a large portion of cake) or enjoy lunch and a beer in one of the gasthofs.

En route, sample the famous bratwursts that appear on every menu, as well as fresh, local dishes. You can wash these dishes down with the great beers and excellent wines from slightly north of the region.


As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age:
Child min age:

Child max age:



Land Only

Start City:
End City:

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
End City:

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Regensburg

    Head out to choose from one of the many restaurants in this charming city, maybe visiting a traditional beer garden, which are often the best places to sample the local food. (Staying at Hotel Jakob)

  • Day 2

    Regensburg to Kelheim

    You take the Danube Cycle Way today which follows the river for the whole of the day's cycle. You cycle through the wide verdant valleys of the Danube, passing pretty hamlets, stunning cliffs and lovely churches. En route you pedal through the spa town of Bad Abbach, with its relaxing gardens and lively cafes. (Staying at Hotel Dormero)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 38 km / 24 miles
  • Day 3

    At Kelheim

    Kelheim sits in the confluence of rivers Danube and Altmuhl. The town itself is a nice place to wander, or either cycle or take a boat trip along the Danube to the 7th century Benedictine Abbey Kloster Weltenburg, complete with its own brewery and brewery museum. Alternatively, cycle to Abensburg to the Kuchlbauer brewery complete with crazy art deco tower! (Staying at Hotel Dormero)

    Meals included:
  • Day 4

    Kelheim to Beilngries

    You follow the Altmuhl river today, which meanders its way through the stunning Altmuhl valley with its high peaks on either side. Look out for fishing herons and speedy kingfishers, and for the 'Tatzelwurm' - a waved wooden bridge spanning over 600m. Take time to wander around riverside Reidenburg and stop in one of the beer gardens en route. (Staying at Hotel Fuchsbrau)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 46 km / 29 miles
  • Day 5


    The pretty town of Bielngries is nice place to relax; there is a small toy museum or you can walk up to the Schloss Hirschberg , where you will find the rock cellar brewery museum. Alternatively, take a boat ride along the canal to pretty Berching, or pick the Altmuhl river and follow it to the Pfraundorfer See, a popular local swimming spot. (Staying at Hotel Fuchsbrau)

    Meals included:
  • Day 6

    Beilngries to Parsberg

    Following the Sulz river out of town to the stunning village of Berching, you'll leave the waterways behind. Climbing a little you'll pass through pine forests, high meadows and small farming communities. You'll then descend through Dasswang and continue downwards to Parsberg and your upscale Bavarian-style hotel for the next two nights. (Staying at Romantik Hotel Hirschen)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 42 km / 26 miles
  • Day 7

    At Parsberg

    Parsberg is a quaint town and you can visit the castle close to the hotel. Alternatively, leave the bikes today and take the train to Nuremberg, where you can explore the streets and walk along the completely walled old town. Admire the stunning Schloss that looms over the town and sample the Nuremberger sausage, perhaps the most famous in the region. (Staying at Romantik Hotel Hirschen)

    Meals included:
  • Day 8

    Parsberg to Regensburg

    Today you mostly follow the Schwarze Leber, as it flows into the Danube, passing through forests, beautiful villages and along lovely meadows. Look out for the popular climbing rocks and lunch at one of the gasthofs en route. Finish the day following the majestic Danube as you return to Regensburg for your last night in this jewel of Bavaria. (Staying at Hotel Jakob)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 55 km / 34 miles
  • Day 9

    Leave Regensburg

    Meals included:

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.



You'll stay in a good mix of accommodation styles: the modern *** Hotel Jakob, the boutique **** Dormero Hotel in Kelheim, a converted **** brewery in Beilngries and a classic Bavarian **** upscale hotel.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £368.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 3 evening meals included.

What is your first thought when you think of German food, Bier und Bratwurst or Beer and sausages, and if this is what you want then you will not be disappointed. However there is much more to Bavarian cuisine. Meat and freshwater fish are heavily used but vegetarians are also well catered for. Germans tend to follow similar eating patterns to the UK, with breakfast, followed by a small lunch, and large evening meal, dinners tends to be taken fairly early and restaurants will start serving from 6pm. Throughout the towns there are a good choice of differing places to eat, the most traditional of these are the beer halls, these are not just places to
drink the local brew, they are also offer traditional cuisine, they can be nice for lunch as they offer small plates of tasty morcels, you will also find the local bratwurst in served them. The most social of places are the beer
gardens, these offer really good food in an outdoor setting many have indoor eating areas as well, don’t let the name put you off they also normally have a fairly good wine list too. Then there are the restaurants you will find in most towns a good choice of both German and International cuisine.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Average temperatures in summer are in the region of 25'C-30'C. The warmest month is usually July whilst the coldest is mainly January. Every month has its share of precipitation on an average of 14 days per month.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

The tour itself normally begins at the start hotel in Regensburg on the afternoon of Day 1 in the itinerary.

The tour only prices for this holiday include our standard transfers. If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge). British Airways Heathrow to Munich 09:00/11:55 then rail Munich HBF to Regensburg 14:44/16:11 and transfer to hotel 5 minutes. Return: Transfer to station 5 minutes then rail Regensburg to Munich HBF 11:46/13:17 then British Airways Munich to Heathrow 16:25/17:30. Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports.

Full joining instructions including route notes, hotel list, map and local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Standard transfers
Transfers included from Regensburg train station at 16:11 and back to Regensburg train station at 11:30.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Location start:
Location end:

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Helmets are compulsory in Austria for all customers under 12 years, you must bring one as they are not provided locally.

Warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures

Swimming costume

Windproof and waterproof layer

Comfortable shoes and clothes for the days off the bike if you want to explore the towns.

Self-Guided Hire Bikes

We use custom made Headwater hybrid bikes. All bikes are supplied with:

  • 1 handlebar map holder
  • 2 rear panniers
  • 1 bike lock per 2 people
  • 1 puncture repair kit per 2 people, which includes puncture repair spray and a pump

GPS Route Navigation

Ride with GPS logo

We've teamed up with RideWithGPS to provide our carefully researched and checked itineraries in a convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.

Before you travel we'll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free RideWithGPS app. It's available for iPhone and Android and the routes can also be used on any regular GPS device such as the Garmin Edge bike computers or Forerunner fitness devices. 

 For more details and to watch the demonstration video, please visit our GPS Route Navigation page.

Reading List

  • Lonely Planet Guide to Munich, Bavaria and the Black Forest
  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide - Munich and the Bavarian Alps
  • Berlitz - Munich and Bavaria Pocket Guide

Practical Information



Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.



Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.



There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Germany's Timezone:
Europe/Berlin CEST (GMT +02:00)


Germany's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.


Germany's Currency

The national currency of Germany is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2018) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.86 to the USD, 0.66 to the CAD, 0.61 to the AUD and 0.56 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip. Cards are widely accepted. 

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch or dinner is not included expect to spend €10-€15 for lunch and €15-€35 for dinner.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.



The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.


These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.