The Main Cycle Route


Main-Radweg, Aschaffenburg


Main-Radweg, Wertheim


Main-Radweg, Würzburg

Wine on the Main Cycle Path

Main-Radweg, Ochsenfurt

The almost 600-kilometer Main Cycle Route begins at the sources of the White and Red Main rivers near Kulmbach in Upper Franconia. In Mainz, the river flows into the Rhine. On this page, you will find information on the length, topography, and signposting of the trail, as well as tips on how to get there and the ideal time to travel. Of course, selected cycling holidays along the Main should not be missing either.

Among the river cycle paths, the Main Cycle Route is one of the classics in Germany. No wonder, you will find all the ingredients for a successful cycling holiday here. Visit towns worth seeing such as Aschaffenburg in Lower Franconia, the old bishop's town of Würzburg, the beer town of Bamberg, and the home of the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. In between, there are beautiful little towns such as Gemünden, Lohr am Main, and the half-timbered idyll of Miltenberg. These lovely little towns are connected by a first-class cycle path that takes you through the wonderful, varied landscapes of Beer- and Wine-Franconia. The Main Cycle Route is considered first-class not only in terms of its signposting and trail quality. Look forward to the delicious Franconian cuisine, world-famous beer, and full-bodied wines.

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Map Main Cycle Route

Short & simple: The Main Cycle Route

  • Length
    approx. 600 km
  • Topography
    Altitude profile ●●○○○
    The Main Cycle Route runs without any major climbs. Along the source rivers, the Red and White Main, the ride on the Main Cycle Route becomes more strenuous.
  • Signposting
    The cycle route is signposted throughout with the Main Cycle Route logo in both directions. Only one side of the river is signposted at any one time, although both banks are passable.
  • Quality
    Most of the time you cycle along the Main on separate cycle paths or low-traffic country roads and service roads. Rarely do you cycle on unpaved forest or field paths.
Cycling break, Main cycle path
Break on the Main cycle path

On the way from the source to the mouth

South of the festival city of Bayreuth, the Red Main has its source, which joins with the White Main near the margrave town of Kulmbach to form the Main. The Main Cycle Path officially begins in the middle of Bayreuth's old town. Passing Kulmbach, you reach the German wickerwork town of Lichtenfels. At the next turn of the Main, the Gesamtkunstwerk Bamberg awaits you. Thanks to the completely preserved old town ensemble and the lively beer tradition, it is one of the highlights of the Main Cycle Route. Our cycle tour tip: Bamberg is the starting point for the Cycle tour along the Main!

From Bamberg, you cycle almost automatically to Weinfranken. Cycle past vine-covered hills and gradually reach the towns of Haßfurth and Schweinfurth as well as the Volkacher Weinschleife in the heart of Franconian wine country. The old episcopal city of Würzburg in the middle of the Main Triangle is also one of your stops, as is the medieval Wertheim in the Tauber Valley. Incidentally, a trip along the Main can be perfectly combined with a detour into the Tauber Valley.

You can also experience the small town of Miltenberg, the gateway to the Spessart and Odenwald, as well as the Bavarian Nice Aschaffenburg along the Main. A few kilometers before the Main flows into the Rhine, you can see the skyline of the global metropolis Frankfurt am Main. The Main Cycle Path ends in the cathedral city of Mainz. The cycle path can also be easily cycled in the opposite direction. Our travel tip: On the great cycling vacation on the Main, you can cover almost the entire Main between Bayreuth and Aschaffenburg in 11 days.

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Travel time

As soon as the weather permits, usually between mid-April and mid-October, nothing stands in the way of a tour along the Main Cycle Route. The reawakened nature welcomes you in spring. In summer, shady trees accompany you as you cycle and the next beer garden is rarely far away. Summertime is the most popular time for cycling tours along the Main. Wine lovers especially enjoy the late summer and autumn, when the green shining vineyards turn golden and red and the winegrowers taste their young wines.

Retzbach, Main cycle path
Vineyards near Retzbach


If you want to cycle along the Main Cycle Route with your own bike, we recommend traveling by car or train. All major towns on the Main are connected to the motorway and federal road network as well as to the regional and long-distance services of Deutsche Bahn. If you are traveling by train, please enquire in advance whether your chosen connection allows you to take your bicycle with you. If you are traveling a long way and have booked a rental bike, we recommend using the airports in Nuremberg and Frankfurt am Main in addition to the car and train. From here you can easily reach all the larger towns on the Main by train.

Würzburg, Main cycle path
The Main cycle path near Würzburg


Some railroad lines run almost parallel to the Main Cycle Path. If the weather doesn't play ball, an unforeseen breakdown occurs or you want to take a day out on the bike, you have the option of shortening the stage by train. In the summer months, you can also break up your stages with a short boat trip on the Main.

Landscape near Aschaffenburg, Main cycle path
Vines near Aschaffenburg

Who is the Main Cycle Route suitable for?

The Main Cycle Route is ideal for pleasure cyclists who are curious about Franconian cuisine and delicious wine. Nature lovers will be thrilled by the varied landscapes on both sides of the Main. Or do you, as a family with children, appreciate relaxed cycling away from the major roads? Garnished with countless historic towns, castles, and palaces, culture and history enthusiasts will also get their money's worth. The Main Cycle Route is suitable for everyone!

The wide paths are well-suited for the use of a child's trailer. Since you cycle on low-traffic routes, you can let your children cycle long sections by themselves. The almost gradient-free route and the manageable stages on the Main Cycle Route make a cycling holiday just as enjoyable for beginners as for sporty cyclists who plan their stages accordingly.

Between Bamberg and Gemünden am Main and between Wertheim and Aschaffenburg, the route is also suitable for racing cyclists.

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