The Route links the region’s past with the present day. Many communities along the route were once in the former County Palatine of the Rhine – Electoral Palatinate. Even if this is not the case for all towns and villages along the route, the Palatinate era with its residences in Mannheim and Heidelberg has shaped the entire metropolitan region.
Thematically, the Route can be divided into six sections.
1) In the Palatinate Forest
Lambrecht, the starting point of the tour, is located in the largest contiguous area of forest in Germany, the Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve. Visitors can explore the area’s numerous castles and palaces, some of which are in very exposed locations. Natural monuments and rock formations such as the Devil’s Table mushroom rock in Hinterweidenthal and the Karlstal valley nature reserve ensure plenty of scenic diversity.
2) On the sun terraces
The western section of the Electoral Palatinate Route crosses the sun terraces of the German Wine Route. Vineyards, wine-growing villages and wineries dominate the landscape here. The favourable location and climate is reflected in the diversity of agricultural products, and in the cultivation of wine, fruit and vegetables.
3) The Rhine Plain: Urban landscapes, pockets of green and the vibrant Neckar
When the Rhine was straightened and canalised in the early part of the 19th century, its banks attracted new life and led to the growth of today’s well-known urban and industrial landscape. Nevertheless, the extensive agricultural areas where a range of regional products are cultivated remain an important feature of the Rhine Plain.
4) Romantic Neckar valley and excursions into the Odenwald forest
History is everywhere in the Neckar valley, and it features an obvious wealth of natural and cultural monuments. A multitude of castles and palaces line the river between the university cities of Heidelberg and Heilbronn. The western foothills and dense woodlands of the Odenwald forest are the perfect place to explore.
5) Through the Odenwald forest
The landscape of the Odenwald forest is a real lesson in geology, featuring quiet forests and rugged rock formations. Visitors can explore a huge network of educational and interactive trails and information centres which bring 500 million years of geological history to life for everyone to enjoy. The Romans also left their mark – the remains of the Odenwald Limes, a defensive frontier line, bear witness to their time.
6) In the Bauland – across wide fields
This section is in sharp contrast to the narrow, carved valleys along the Neckar river. The hilly, open landscape is dominated by agriculture, and its broad plains are popular with cyclists and hikers alike.
Rest stopsRestaurant Dürkheimer Riesenfass
Safety informationCyclists must obey the German highway code (StVo).
Tips and hints
Feedback, errors or omissions? Contact us by email: email@example.com www.radwanderland.de (responsible for infrastructure and route description).
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
EquipmentPlease wear a helmet. Touring bicycle or bike with multiple gears, weatherproof clothing, drinks and supplies.
- 18 Waypoints
- 18 Waypoints