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    Tips for gravel bikers – from the Ore Mountains to the Alps


    “Gravel biking” or “Graveling” for short is the mega trend in recreational cycling. The English word “gravel” means gravel in German. When it comes to cycling, this means: Gravel bikes, racing bikes with wider tires, are just as comfortable on gravel roads, forest floors or narrow paths as they are on asphalt.

    German holiday regions are now also discovering gravel fans as an attractive new target group. In addition to the classic cycle path networks and signposted mountain bike routes, they are increasingly offering special offers for off-road racing machines. The palette ranges from selected half-day tours to special themed routes to complete all-inclusive arrangements for the gravel clientele.

    Hunsrück: Gravel fairy tale for Gravel fans

    Tourists in the Hunsrück take advantage of the versatility of gravel bikes and advertise with “Hunsrück gravel fairy tale”. These are nine routes specially designed for gravel bikes, each of which is between 30 and 60 kilometers long. Beginners, for example, can look forward to a relaxed half-day tour with the “Warm-Up at Teufelskopf” (36 km).

    Forested, with a lot of gravel under the tires and beautiful views in view, it goes “over the ridge of the high forest” (58 km), while experienced hikers don’t shy away from the 1000 meters of altitude difference of the “condition tour to the Primtalsperre” (53 km). All tours are available as GPX tracks for download via Outdooractive and Komoot.

    Further information:

    Tölzer Land: Touring tips from the gravel expert

    In the Tölzer Land south of Munich, the tourism association has designed seven tours in cooperation with long-distance cyclist and gravel bike expert Sara Hallbauer. They lead between 30 and 90 kilometers through the Upper Bavarian picture book landscape, depending on the route 380 to 1130 meters in altitude have to be mastered.

    The “Graveln durch den Isarwinkel” tour (54 km) is peppered with scenic highlights. According to Hallbauer, an insider who lives in the region, a “gravel classic that you absolutely have to do once” is the tour “From Bad Tölz to the source of the Isar” – 80 kilometers from the spa town via Lenggries, Vorderriss, Krün and Mittenwald to Scharnitz and back.

    Incidentally, all seven tours start near a train station, so that gravel fans can travel by S-Bahn or Bayerische Oberland-Bahn (BOB).

    Further information:

    Sauerland: Gravel routes from proven paths

    Existing path networks often serve as the basis for new gravel routes. In the Sauerland, for example, 18 of the more than 40 routes that are presented under the Bike Arena Sauerland umbrella brand are now also designated for gravel bikers – with many narrow trails and gravel paths away from the busy roads, they offer the best conditions for undisturbed cycling fun.

    These include short stretches to break in, such as the 15-kilometre circuit “Over the Pastors’ Meadow”. Most of the routes are between 25 and 40 kilometers long, such as the scenic Panorama Tour.

    The “Hochsauerland-Zweitausender” route is only recommended for cyclists in good physical condition, with 71.7 kilometers and almost 1700 meters of altitude difference, it is the longest and most strenuous tour in the region in southern Westphalia. The same applies here: The routes are not signposted, but can be downloaded as a GPS track from the homepage.

    Further information:;

    Ruhr area: stockpile hopping with a gravel bike

    Gravel bike tours in the Ruhr area are exciting: A varied (trail) combination of paved sections, beautiful gravel and field paths, tricky forest passages and challenging ascents up to the heaps is the basis for sporty gravel tours. For example, the 49-kilometer “Haldencross mit dem Gravelbike” circuit connects three such heaps (Rhine Prussia, Northern Germany and Pattberg).

    Other recommendations are a “Gravel Tour through the Kirchheller Heide” (53 km), the sporty “Ennepe Tour” (45 km), the “Gravel Tour through the Recklinghausen district (50 km) and the “Border Crossing Tour with the Gravel Bike” (50 km ) through the Hohe Mark Nature Park.

    Further information:

    Inn-Salzach region: Gravel on themed routes

    In contrast to racing cyclists, who are often said to only have an eye on their speedometer, gravel bikers are considered to be relaxed connoisseurs who also take the time to look around on the go. That’s probably why the Inn-Salzach Tourist Association has designed 24 themed routes for gravel bikers. The mix of off-road routes and well-developed asphalt sections, combined with a special theme, should guarantee “a very special gravel experience”.

    The “Three Lakes Tour” (55 km), for example, combines bathing and biking in the area between Neuötting and Burghausen. There is an “Ice Age Tour” (34 km) and a shady speed tour through former ducal forests under the motto “Forstrundweg (38 km). The “Inn-Spritztour” (39 km) is offered by the tourism association as a “round trip on gravel past white-tailed eagles and night herons in the Unterer Inn European reserve”.

    Further information:

    Kraichgau-Stromberg: Gravel from big city to big city

    The increase in gravel fun are so-called overnighters – i.e. two-day or multi-day bikepacking tours. The Kraichgau-Stromberg region, for example, offers this with “city hopping” in its Komoot collection. “From big city to big city” is the motto of the three tours available, which are presented in detail in the Komoot Collection: from Mannheim to Stuttgart, from Heidelberg to Pforzheim and from Karlsruhe to Heilbronn.

    The three overnight tours, each with one night’s accommodation, are between 130 and 170 kilometers long, the altitude difference to be covered is between 1400 and 2000 meters. The bikes roll on a mix of gravel paths, cycle paths and mostly quiet side roads. The tours are all classified as difficult, with daily driving times averaging six hours, so nothing for beginners.

    Further information:

    Ore Mountains: Package holiday with gravel bike

    If you don’t want to look for a bed for the night yourself, you can now get gravel fun as a package. For example in the Ore Mountains, where there is a four-day arrangement in a four-star hotel in the spa town of Bad Schlema from 400 euros (per person in a double room).

    In addition to three nights with half board, the price includes two individually tailored tours (using a GPS track) and a ride on the mountain time trial route on the Auersberg (10.7 km with 530 meters in altitude) as well as a biker lunch after returning from the tour, a biker Package for on the go with power bars, dried fruit and powdered drinks, plus a bicycle garage with a small workshop and bike wash.

    If there are at least four participants, guided gravel tours through the Erzgebirge landscape can also be organised.

    Further information:

    Ammergau Alps Nature Park: Gravel bike festival with yoga

    For many gravel freaks, visiting a gravel bike festival is one of the highlights of the season. Such is taking place for the first time this summer in Bad Kohlgrub. At “The Gravel Fest” (August 31 to September 3), bikers can take selected routes that shine with plenty of gravel and gravel under their tires for four days. The routes, between 40 and 150 kilometers long, lead through the Ammergau Alps Nature Park and to Lake Staffelsee near Murnau. Details of the routes will only be announced at short notice.

    The festival program includes a challenge and the title “The Gravel Chase”, for which teams of two have to navigate to various checkpoints and solve tasks. During meals together, you can talk shop as you please. There will also be campfires, cinema, yoga sessions, lectures and a riders party. Tickets for the festival cost 225 euros and include the tour program, breakfast, dinner and snacks.

    Further information:;

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