Go on a fascinating journey through time by bike: from an impact crater to miraculous pilgrimage churches - a unique combination of history, spirituality and adventure!
A cycling tour for nature lovers, culture lovers and explorers.
Arrive relaxed and use rental bikes from the local rental companies. The capacity for taking bicycles on trains is limited and taking your own bike on the train cannot be guaranteed depending on the capacity.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
There are 268 bicycle parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the station.
To hire a well-maintained bicycle for your tour, take the Donauwörth city bus line 6 from the station.
Get off either at the Zirgesheim Stillbergweg or Zirgesheim Ost stop. From there it is a 2 or 5 minute walk to the bike rental.
At the Donauwörth bike rental, the bikes can be tested during a test ride and are also individually adjusted to the respective body posture.
Delivery of the rental bikes to the station is only possible in exceptional cases (by prior arrangement). In any case, all rental bikes must be reserved in advance by telephone and a pick-up time must be arranged.
Of course, all bikes are always well maintained and the batteries of the e-bikes are fully charged.
If you have your own bikes, you can also contact the Donauwörth bike rental service in the event of a breakdown.
You and your e-bike are fit and you are fully equipped? Then it's first of all back. Your route takes you along the "Panorama" cycle path.
Now you head west along the former railway embankment of the König-Ludwig-Eisenbahn, always along the idyllic Wörnitz, until you first reach Felsheim and finally Wörnitzstein.
15 million years ago, a meteorite struck this area. The almost circular basin that was formed during the so-called Ries event is today the best-preserved crater in Europe and one of the best-preserved large impact craters on Earth. It has a diameter of 25 kilometres and a crater rim up to 150 metres high. The largely unwooded but densely populated basin of the Nördlinger Ries impact crater is clearly visible in the landscape.
During the meteorite impact, chunks of rock were ejected from the earth and fell as colourful debris around the crater. The Kavalerienberg geotope lies in the middle of the geological debris field and is part of the Ries Geopark, one of only five UNESCO Geoparks in Germany. A nearly two-kilometre-long nature trail leads through the geotope.
The path also leads to the Sendenberg. From here, the views extend into the Danube valley with Donauwörth, to the Schellenberg and the Holy Cross Monastery, as well as into the Wörnitz valley, to Ebermergen, the Rauhe Bürg and the Großer Hühnerberg.
Take the bridge over the Wörnitz and head west and south across fields and forests towards Oppertshofen. In doing so, you leave the Franconian Alb and cross the foothills of the Swabian Alb.
After an ascent, you roll down into the Kesseltal valley. Behind Oppertshofen, the cycle path leads to Kesselostheim and north to Buggenhofen.
Here you have the opportunity to get off the bike and take a look at the pilgrimage church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is simple on the outside but very ornate on the inside.
More than half a millennium ago, more precisely: in 1471, the inhabitants of Buggenhofen found a miraculous carved figure of Our Lady together with an altar in a thicket. The construction of a pilgrimage church began in the same year.
200 years later, the devastation and repeated looting during the Thirty Years' War forced a first reconstruction. At the beginning of the 18th century, the tower was renewed and for the 300th anniversary of the pilgrimage, the church received a completely new interior in Baroque and Rococo style, which is still preserved today.
Particularly impressive are the delicately coloured frescoes by Johann Baptist Enderle from 1769, but also the stucco work by Laurentin Hieber and numerous figures and sculptural furnishings by Johann Georg Bschorer.
The church is usually open daily from 8 am to 6 pm.
You are probably too early, because Meinhard Steinle's pilgrimage restaurant does not open until the evening. (Buggenhofen 2, 86657 Bissingen, Tel. 09084 920 429) But locals recommend stopping here and enjoying the finely selected and lovingly prepared food on the spacious terrace in summer.
The next stage takes you first uphill past Rohrbach before you reach Untermagerbein an der Kessel downhill.
Before you reach Fraunhofen, you will come across the perhaps somewhat spooky stage destination on the Michelsberg below the Frohnhofen castle stables - a departed tower hill castle from the High Middle Ages.
Halfway up the steep north side of the Michelsberg is the small Hanseles Hohl cave. A hundred years ago, excavations uncovered a rich Ice Age fauna, a Palaeolithic human tooth and evidence of a Neolithic settlement layer.
The Bandkeramics, the oldest farming culture of the Neolithic period that settled in permanent settlements, lived in this area over 7000 years ago. It is named after the characteristic band patterns of angular, spiral or wavy lines with which they decorated their ceramic vessels.
Whether and if so, why these people might have eaten other people is something that scientists are still debating today. In any case, at the beginning of the 20th century, archaeologists discovered charred human bones on a Neolithic fireplace in front of the Hanseles Hohl cave. Did they find traces of cannibalism? Did sacrificial rituals take place here many thousands of years ago?
Ahead of you is first a longer climb that takes you to the highest point of the tour near Gaishardt.
Now the route goes steeply downhill to Unterbissingen and again along the Kessel, this time on the south bank. Then via Brachstadt to the forest chapel of Maria Magdalena near Erlingshofen, which has a unique history.
The forest chapel of Maria Magdalena does not go back to a miracle or an apparition of a saint. It originated from a beer mood of thirteen footballers. When they celebrated Father's Day in 1989, as they do every year, at the lookout point at the "Fuchsbau", one of them spontaneously had the idea of building a chapel. On the same evening, pledges of 15,000 Marks were collected. By the Morgan, the project was forgotten.
Three years later. The promissory note from that evening has resurfaced. Various chapels in the surrounding area were visited and Mayor Alfred Stöckl gave his consent for a building on community land. The football friends build their forest chapel.
Today, the people of Erlingshofen and their guests find a Gothic-style building with four prayer benches on a hill at the edge of the Fronholz north of the village. The altar inside is lined with frescoes of the patron saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Francis of Assisi.
Now it's back to the starting point in Donauwörth.
If you would like to enjoy some good Bavarian-Swabian cuisine, then stop by the Goldener Hirsch in the heart of Donauwörth before you leave. (Reichsstraße 44, 86609 Donauwörth, Tel. 0906 3124) Here you can expect fresh and varied dishes from the region.