The Black Forest in southwestern Germany is well known for many things: chocolate cake, natural hot springs, and Schnapps. But the Black Forest also acts as basecamp for many pro cyclists. Blessed with an abundance of challenging hills, this sunny corner of Germany invites cycling enthusiasts from around the world to test their biking fitness. And when off the bike, why not soak up some history and soak your legs in one of the several natural hot springs that have been in use here since Roman times?
We’ve chosen Badenweiler as our base for the week due to it’s ideal cycling location on the edge of the Black Forest. They’ll be lots of climbing this week, but the climbs are almost always followed by a sweeping descent through beautiful forest. We’ll balance the hilly terrain with some riding in the flats of the Rhine river valley and vineyards of the Markgräflerland. Midweek, we’ll cross the Rhine for the day (into France) and ascend the famous Tour climb of Le Grand Ballon.
Our inn for the week is the family run Hotel Vitana, which specializes in hosting cyclists. It’s just a short walk from the central pedestrian area of Badenweiler and the famous Cassiopeia Therme (hot spings, Roman baths and saunas).
Trip Details & Map
Location: Badenweiler, Germany
Trip Length: 6 days / 5 nights
Trip Type: Road Biking
Price*: US$2,790 per person, double occupancy
2013 Dates: May to September
Activity Level: Moderate to Challenging
Daily Rides: 25 - 90 miles
Accommodation: Hotel Vitana (click to learn more)
Notes: This trip is suitable for non-bike riding guests who wish to join their travel companions
* Prices subject to change. Once you book your trip, the price is guaranteed
Notable Routes: Belchen, Hoch Blauen, Feldberg, Schluchsee, Ride into France, Le Grand Ballon
Daily Ride Overview
Day 1: We’ll meet in Freiburg im Breisgau and then shuttle a short distance to Badenweiler. We’ll have lunch, assemble our bikes and then head out on a short ride through the vineyards and small villages just to the north of town. We’ll rejoin later in the evening for cocktails, to discuss the week and then dine as a group.
Ride: approximately 40 km (24 miles) with 249 m (817 feet) of climbing.
Day 2: Today is a excellent introductory cycling loop into the Black Forest. There are few sections that are truly flat, but the first third of the ride gently rolls southward before we start the true climbing for the day. With three distinct climbs, we’ll ride our way through the undulating forest roads before the final, thrilling descent back into Badenweiler. Dinner tonight will be as a group in town. Ride: 100km (62 miles) with 1867 m (6125 ft) of climbing.
Day 3: Into France! The French border is only a few kilometers away and nearby is the most famous climb of region: Le Grand Ballon, located in the Voges Mountains. Our ride will start by heading due west across the Rhine. We’ll cycle the flats of the Rhine Valley for approximately 50 km (30 miles) before the ascent begins. The challenging climb lasts for about 16 km (10 miles) before we loop down to the town of Guebwiler. This is a great chance to grab a French café and croissant before we spin back across the border to Germany. We’ll eat as a group this evening at our inn.
Ride: 140km (87 miles) with 1349 m (4426 feet) of climbing.
Day 4: We’ll take it a little easier today. With yesterday behind us and tomorrow’s challenge, today is a perfect day to explore the Germany wine country (Markgräflerland) by bike. They’ll be plenty of free time this afternoon to take to the thermal waters, do some wine tasting, or perhaps enjoy a slice of Black Forest Cake. Dinner tonight is on your own. There are several choices in town, from fancy to simple. Ride: 65km (40 miles) with 331m (1086 feet) of climbing.
Day 5: With your legs well rested, today is a bit more of a challenge. We return to the heart of the Black Forest to bike over three of the best known peaks in the area. After a good warmup in the first few kilometers, we’ll start cycling up the Belchen, the shortest of our climbs today. Then turning eastward, we’ll continue climbing up the slopes of the Feldberg, the Black Forest’s highest peak. On the descent we’ll ride along the banks of a mountain lake, the Schluchsee. Our final ascent of the day is the Hoch Blauen. From it’s glorious peak, one can see three countries at once: Germany, France and Switzerland. The final few kilometers are a breathtaking, forested descent back into Badenweiler. Tonight, we’ll gather together for our farewell dinner.
Ride: 130km (81 miles) with 2728m (8950 feet) of climbing
Day 6: For those who wish, we’ll have a short morning spin amongst the vineyards, before we say “Auf Wiedersehen” to Badenweiler and drive back to Freiburg for the conclusion of the trip.
This trip includes:
All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners
Transfer to/from Freiburg train station at trip start/end
GPS bike units for each guest to use during trip
Accompanied route support every day with van support
Snacks (energy bars, fruit, etc.) and drinks (hydration mixes, water, etc.) provided every da
2 experienced English speaking tour leaders
Secure bike storage
Transportation to and from trip (i.e airfare)