A cycling tour for nature lovers, explorers and culture enthusiasts.
Arrive relaxed and use rental bikes from the local rental companies. The capacity for taking bicycles on the 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 bicycle parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the station.
In front of the train station in Eichstätt Stadt, turn right and take a short walk along Weißenburger Straße and Gemmingenstraße to reach the Rentamania bike rental shop.
If you want to rent a bike or e-bike in Eichstätt, you can do so with a clear conscience. Rentamania not only relies on bicycles for mobility, but also protects nature in its own small, idealistic business. It is supplied with green electricity and gas, and Rentamania also pays attention to sustainability when it comes to finances, IT and materials. Because the business deliberately uses only small areas to extend the life of bicycles with repairs or to store rental bikes and e-bikes, advance booking and reservation is necessary. The team then adjusts the opening hours to the wishes of the customers. Spontaneously and without reservation, two e-bikes and four bicycles are available at the cooperation partner at the Eichstätt Tourist Information at Domplatz 8.
Fully equipped, you continue your way in the same direction. Before the Schlagbrücke bridge over the Altmühl, turn left and soon take the Mariensteiner Steg instead. In this way, you accompany the river southwards along both banks for a short distance. Then follow its side arm to Rebdorf. From here, you continue west and south. At Kirchenweg you have to expend a little energy, it is a little steeper here. You cycle through the forest for a bit and turn north on an open field along the Kinderdorfstraße. Soon you reach your first destination: the Blumenberg visitor quarry.
The Blumenberg was part of a seascape 150 million years ago. Today it offers a wonderful view of the Altmühl valley (which is still not completely dry), baroque Eichstätt and Willbaldsburg Castle.
Over 800 fossil species have been found in the quarry on the Blumenberg in recent decades, many of them very well preserved. Animals and plants from prehistoric times that once lived in the tropical climate in and around the Jurassic Sea and at some point fossilised covered in lime mud. Beaked fish, giant dragonflies and even a fish with its prey in its mouth. The most spectacular find on the Blumenberg, however, is the rare prehistoric bird Archaeopteryx. Hobby collectors should not expect to come across an Archaeopteryx themselves, but they can expect to find snail-shaped ammonites or perhaps an ancient relative of the starfish. And the best thing is: you can take your prehistoric find home with you!
If you want to marvel at the variety of finds in the region, take a detour to the neighbouring Bergér Fossil Museum.
Eichstätt OT Blumenberg
It's just a few steps on the pedals and you've arrived at Harthof, where you can discover, among other things, what others have recovered from the stone before you at the Bergér Fossil Museum.
The Bergér Museum tells the story of how living creatures became fossils. On the one hand, it is about how they lived before their death and what it looked like here millions of years ago. On the other hand, the most important fossils of the region are exhibited here.
There is a lot to discover: many fascinating insect fossils, especially unusually well-preserved dragonflies, a dry aquarium with corals and marine animals and the exhibition "Gemstones, Minerals and Jewellery". The other exhibition, "Wald und Flur" (Forest and Field), is dedicated to the landscape. A litho press, over 150 years old and still fully functional, shows how stone drawings can be reproduced.
The museum on the Harthof has been in existence since 1968, and fossils are still prepared in the museum today. Those who have not found what they are looking for in the neighbouring visitor quarry can take a piece of prehistory home with them from a large selection of fossils and minerals in the museum shop.
Continue between quarries and through fields towards Schernfeld. Keep your eyes open at the entrance to the village! The old water tower from 1909 is now an unusual family home.
Most of your route still lies ahead of you. If you want to fortify yourself for the coming kilometres and take your time looking at your finds, it is worth taking a short detour down to the Altmühl. Here, at the Schernfeld bridge, the beer garden with the shepherd's cart offers slow food, beers and wines from the region, always as seasonal as possible, close to nature and sustainably produced.
From Schernfeld you drive over fields and through forests towards the southwest. In Dollnstein, a visit to the Altmühlzentrum in Dollnstein Castle is worthwhile.
My place at the Schernfelder Bruck' bridge
At the Schernfelder bridge, 91795 Dollnstein
Tel.: 0151 26204758
Dollnstein Castle is situated on a rocky bank on the Altmühl River. It dates back to the 12th century and was owned for centuries by the Counts of Grögling, who temporarily also called themselves von Dollnstein and then von Hischberg. Around the turn of the millennium, the municipality succeeded in acquiring the castle piece by piece. From 2005 to 2009, it renovated the listed buildings, of which parts of the outer bailey, the castle gate and the "castle stables" added to the castle wall in 1444 have been preserved.
The "Altmühlzentrum Burg Dollnstein" houses the tourist information centre and an exhibition about the castles of the Altmühl valley, the archaeological finds in the castle itself and about the history of the river and the landscape. Also on display are landscape paintings by the architect Heinrich Ullmann and a documentary about the "Bavarian Leonardo da Vinci": Konrad Kyeser. The castle even has its own treasure chamber. Here you can see the Dollnstein treasure: almost 4000 silver coins and various items of jewellery that were found here during the archaeological excavations in 2007.
From Dollnstein, the route goes downhill. After that, the tour will remain largely flat. You continue cycling south through the pretty Urtal valley of the Danube.
If you have become hungry in the meantime, you have the opportunity to indulge yourself in the beer garden of the Schmutter Inn in Ried. The inn is known in the region for its home-raised geese and for its friendliness during the meal.
A little further on in Wellheim, you will catch a glimpse of another castle ruin as you pass by. Follow the valley along the edge of the forest and the banks of the Schmutter to the west until you reach Nassenfels. Here you finally turn north and head back to the Altmühl and west into Eichstätt. If you haven't seen enough castles yet, wander off to the right in the north bend in Nassenfels for a short 200 metres to take a look at the moated castle with its high towers.
Rieder Hauptstraße 1, 91795 Dollnstein
Tel.: 08422 252
Start/EndeBahnhof Eichstätt Stadt