The very long Main bike trail from Bayreuth to Mainz.
This 12 day trip starts in a every special place: In Bayreuth, famous for its yearly festival! From here, you will cycle past Kulmbach through the wide Main valley seamed by the gentle hilly Fraconian landscape of the beer-brewing part of the region. Unique highlights of this trip will be the monastery of Vierzehnheiligen, Bamberg and Würzburg. Then, you will also experience two completely different landscapes: Close to Bamberg, you will dive into the wine-growing part of Franconia where the vineyards displace the hilly hops fields. Further on behind Würzburg, the vineyards disappear again and leave their place to the green forests of the Spessart extending down to the Main plains. Until Mainz, you will be able to enjoy even, well-paved bike trails taking you from one sight to another.
1. day Arrival Bayreuth
Arrive in time to visit Bayreuth with the margrave’s residence still revealing the charm of the past and famous in the whole world for the Richard-Wagner-festival. It is possible to arrive by train/ parking facilities at the hotel/ rental bike at the hotel.
2. day Bayreuth - Lichtenfels 61 km
Follow the young Red Main to Kulmbach today! Let the cozy atmosphere of this charming Franconian landscape at the confluence of the Red and the White Main and at the foot of the Frankenwald and the Fichtelgebirge captivate you. Visit the Old-town of Kulmbach and Plassenburg castle, enthroned majestically above the town. Now as red and white have flown together, you will actually move on by the side of the “real” Main in order to reach soon the pretty town of Burgkunstadt inviting for a short stop. And then, finally, todays final destination lies just ahead of you: Lichtenfels, famous for its basket-weaving art far past the limits of Franconia. Here, a short side trip to the baroque pilgrimage basilica Vierzehnheiligen, constructed by the famous architect Balthasar Neumann, is absolutely recommendable!
3. day Lichtenfels - Bamberg 47 km
Let’s begin the day with a short visit of Banz monastery. Along the route to Bamberg, you will see how the Main River is ponded in small lakes several times. You will find your hotel in Hallstadt, about 5 km from the Old-town of Bamberg. Benefit from this closeness and cycle into the Old-town, classified world cultural heritage by the UNESCO.
4. day Bamberg - Haßfurt 37 km
Follow the Regnitz for a short moment until you reaching the Main River, taking you now to the beautiful pilgrimage church Maria Limbach. You will soon reach the first vineyards marking the border between the beer-brewing and the wine-growing areas of Franconia. Let a sunny day come to its end in Haßfurt where another historical Old-town will impress you.
5. day Haßfurt - Volkach 56 km
A short side-trip to Theres is recommendable today: In the afternoon, you will cross Fahr, town of the “Bocksbeutel” (the local wine is sold in this unique kind of container), to reach Volkach, famous for its excellent wines!
6. day Volkach - Würzburg 65 km
Leaving Volkach behind, you will follow the Main-channel before catching up to the Main River again in Schwarzach. Via the even and well-paved bike trail, you will reach Würzburg quickly and have enough time to discover the town individually.
7. day Würzburg - Lohr 60 km
Past Veitshöchheim with the prince-bishop’s summer residence and the French rococo garden, you will continue to Karlstadt and its worthwhile town centre. Along the route you will witness how the landscape changes from the characteristic vineyards into wide, green forests providing shade on the bike trail. Even paths take you to Gemünden, where three rivers meet.
8. day Lohr - Wertheim 46 km
The wooded hills seem to cuddle up closer, leaving just enough space for the Main to wind itself through. Past the small town of Rothenfels, whose castle seems to watch over the valley attentively, you will reach Marktheidenfed and Wertheim. The gracious half-timbered houses and the Old-town’s maze of narrow streets will fascinate you!
9. day Wertheim - Aschaffenburg 77km
You will reach Miltenberg around noon. The town presents itself with pride: Let the half-timbered style architecture and the market place amaze you. On even bike trails, you will quickly reach the sandstone-built Johannisburg castle of Aschaffenburg after passing the Spessart and the Odenwald.
10. day Aschaffenburg - Offenbach 48 km
Spend your lunch break in the romantic small town Seligenstadt, whose winding alleys and friendly half-timbered houses almost urge you to stay. Hanau is not less worthwhile: Steinheim castle, the German House of Goldsmiths and the castle of Philippsruhe are absolute highlights. Just like Offenbach, which is 1000 years old, where you will stay your night. Do not miss out on the Renaissance façade of Isenburg castle. Bed and breakfast in Offenbach.
11. day Offenbach - Mainz 47 km
It is up to you to decide how much time you wish to spend in Frankfurt on the Main. Be aware, that today’s destination, Mainz, also has a lot to offer. Cycling and culture will complement each other very well today. Bed and breakfast in Mainz.
12. day Departure Mainz
After breakfast your nice cycle holiday ends in Mainz near the main station. Departure is possible by German railway.
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Prices are per person.
18.04. – 30.04.2020
28.09. – 11.10.2020
01.05. – 22.07.2020
31.08. – 27.09.2020
23.07. – 30.08.2020
bookable additional nights
- IMPORTANT: the prices for the extra nights in Bayreuth are on request during the Bayreuther Festspiele (20 July until 31 August).
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Worth knowing about your bike trip Main Bayreuth - Mainz
Please find more information about your bike trip below. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us by phone: 0049 - (0) 6421 - 886890.
Arrival by train
Bayreuth is easily accessible from all major cities in Germany by train. We recommend to take a taxi from the station to get to our partner hotels in Bayreuth. Current schedule information and price information can be found at: www.bahn.de.
Parking facilities at the hotel
Our partner hotels in Bayreuth always provide parking (subject to a fee) possibilities for the entire duration of your bike trip. There are always plenty of parking spots available, no pre-reservation is necessary. Detailed information on parking at your hotel, you will receive together with the detailed travel documents two weeks prior to departure.
Condition of cycle paths
As Germany's first bike route the Main bike trail got awarded with five stars by ADFC in 2008. Important criteria for this award were the almost universal asphalting and the nearly traffic-free routes. The specially signposted cycle track runs mostly every time directly at the Main riverside and is without significant gradients.
Available rental bikes
If you choose to rent a velociped-rental bike for the tour, we take it to your first hotel and bring pick it up at your destination. You can choose between woman’s and men's bicycles either with 7-speed gear shift and coaster brake or 21-speed gear shift and freewheel or electric bikes. All ladies' bikes have a low opening that makes mounting and dismounting much easier. The bikes are suitable for all ladies from 150 cm in height and for all gentlemen from 165 cm in height. On our Velociped tours we use high-quality e-bikes of the FLYER brand. They are technically mature and very robust. You simply specify your wishes at time of booking.
Transfer back to the starting point
Back to Bayreuth you can travel by train. Trains leave every two hours (duration 3,5 - 5 hours). For more information please visit the following website:
Extra costs which are not included in the tour price
A possibly applicable tourism tax is not included in the tour price and has to be paid locally.
7 day hotline service
Just in case the bike chain breaks, flooding makes it impossible to continue your tour or any other nasty surprise: You can reach us seven days a week and we will do anything to help you as fast as possible.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
Bayreuth is a city that has historically grown as a Margravial Residence and is in the meantime world famous because of the Richard Wagner Festival. It is the largest city in Upper Franconia. Today, it is a modern Economic, Congress and University City that is on it´s way to becoming a High-Tech Centre of the region. Bayreuth’s places of interest, it´s Museums and its diversity of cultural offers promises exciting days throughout the year. Bayreuth has the most beautiful preserved Baroque Theatre in Europe with the Margravial Opera House. It is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 2012. In 2014 it was elected on the list of the TOP 100 attractions in Germany. Charming castles, the historical Eremitage Park with its dreamy grottos and fountains, the Festival Theatre with its unique acoustics, as well as a variety of interesting museums awaits you. Numerous music and theatre festivals provide cultural experience at it´s highest level.
Markgräfliches Opernhaus Bayreuth
The Margravial Opera House, one of the most beautiful Baroque theaters in Europe, still bears witness to the life, work and artistic inclinations of Margravine Wilhelmine. The Prussian princess and favorite sister of Frederick the Great, one of the most important female figures in Germany in the 18th century, turned the royal town of Bayreuth into a shining cultural metropolis. Her favorite project and at the same time the most magnificent venue was the Margravial Opera House.
Hoch über Kulmbach thronend, zeugt die imposante Burganlage, die 1135 erstmals erwähnt wird, von einer wechselvollen Geschichte. Aufgrund eines Erbvertrags gelangte die Burg 1340 in den Besitz der Burggrafen von Nürnberg. Damit begann die Herrschaft der Hohenzollern über die Plassenburg, die sich bis zum Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts erstreckte.
Immediately before the gates of Lichtenfels lies the famous " Franconian Triumvirate " - the legendary Staffelberg , the magnificent Banz Monastery and the unique Basilika Vierzehnheiligen , an architectural masterpiece of European renown.
The region "Upper Main Valley" is a paradise for active holidaymakers and a well-being for body and soul: pleasure hiking, cycling, Nordic walking, water sports, spa, the thermal brine Bad Staffelstein, culinary delights, Franconian microbreweries and warm hospitality.
As visitors wander through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bamberg, they are particularly enchanted by the city's many different facets. In the hill city Bamberg portrays itself as the Franconian Rome, the island city with Little Venice is its lively heart, the market gardeners' district a part of town steeped in tradition. Bamberg, this means beer from nine breweries within the city, supped in traditional brewery pubs, this means shopping in modern shops and a historical atmosphere. And in the Old Town everything is very close together: Explore the imperial cathedral just a few minutes from your hotel or holiday apartment!
The small, historic city on the Main is an important wine and tourist resort in the Franconian wine-growing region. Volkach and the Mainschleife is unique in Germany because only here the Main has formed this loop. The Mainschleife is also the wine, fruit and asparagus region in the Franconian wine country. Winemakers and wine festivals invite wine tasting everywhere. In autumn, the grape harvest is on. From a culinary point of view, there is a distinctive cuisine. Typical Franconian dishes or exclusive asparagus and fish dishes with the matching wines are on the menu.
‘If I could choose my place of birth, I would consider Würzburg’, wrote author Hermann Hesse, and it’s not difficult to see why. This scenic town straddles the Main River and is renowned for its art, architecture and delicate wines.
Founded in the 10th century, Würzburg served as the home of powerful prince-bishops for many centuries. It is renowned for the Residence, regarded as one of the finest palaces in Europe and a high point of Baroque art (also UNESCO cultural world heritage). Würzburg is also home to one of the oldest churches in Germany, built in the 8th century on top of a former pagan shrine. One of its most famous structures, Festung Marienberg, is a fortress which now surrounds the church.
The Residence Palace is one of Europe’s most renowned Baroque castles and has been registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1981. The castle was built by Balthasar Neumann and includes a much acclaimed staircase with awe inspiring frescos by the Venetian artist Tiepolo.
Veitshöchheim Palace and Court Garden
The summer palace of the Würzburg Prince-Bishops, built in 1680/82, was enlarged in 1753 by Balthasar Neumann. The rooms furnished in 1810 for Grand Duke Ferdinand of Tuscany with their rare paper wall-coverings are a highlight of the interior.
The famous Rococo garden, a magnificent creation with lakes and waterworks, dates from the reign of Prince-Bishop Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim (1755-1779). It is populated by over 200 sandstone sculptures of gods, animals and allegorical figures by the court sculptors Ferdinand Tietz and Johann Peter Wagner.
From 1702 a flower garden was created which formed roughly a square around the "Summer Residence", the present palace. It was entered from the Dorfstrasse and on this side was designed around the main entrance and drive as the front garden of the palace. On the north side was a kitchen garden with a carp pond and on the south side a long garden full of trees, where pheasants and deer were kept.
Lohr - Town of Snow White
In Lohr locals will tell you references of the Snow White tale. The “Gate of Spessart” which is thought to have been the opening to the escape route for Snow White as she vanished “on seven hills”, the Mountain Trail (Wieser Strabe). The journey through the seven Spessart Mountains from Lohr would have taken her to the kingdom of the Seven Dwarfs.
Documented for the first time in 1237, the city looks back on a lively past. Viniculture, wine trade, river traffic and fishery, as well as wood and stone industries were the most important growth engines of trade and craft. The favourable location at the old trading artery Nuremberg – Frankfurt and the staple right very early led Miltenberg into economic flowering periods. During the early 19th century the city suffered the loss of being the top quality location of the Electoral State of Mainz and as a result found itself unfortunately situated on the brink of the Kingdom of Bavaria. The major phases of urban development were history and hence the medieval townscape was preserved to this day.
Once the domicile of the Counts of Wertheim the fortress (extension during 15th to 17th century) is one of the most picturesque ruins in Germany with a deep moat and impressive bulwark. In 1618 the castle was partly destroyed by an explosion; during the Thirty Years' War in 1634 and 1647 it was under heavy fire. Today the castle is owned by the Community of Wertheim growing into a more and more attractive setting for cultural events.
Whatever the season Aschaffenburg is always worth a visit, whether for the magnolia blossom in spring, for Pompeiianum Palace in summer, for Bavaria's oldest English landscaped park in autumn, or for the works of Cranach, Grünewald, Kirchner and Schad in winter. And with Aschaffenburg being a compact town, you can discover its many sights on foot.
The route from Johannisburg Palace to the town hall is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, where traditional bars and quaint restaurants occupy pretty little half-timbered buildings.
The Johannisburg palace, made of red sandstone, is one of the most significant and beautiful Renaissance buildings in Germany. Its unique features include the chapel (complete with Renaissance altar, pulpit and portal sculptures by Hans Juncker), the royal living quarters, the world's largest collection of architectural models made from cork, the state gallery with paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Palace Museum of Aschaffenburg that houses works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Christian Schad.
This replica of a Roman villa was built at the behest of King Ludwig I, who was inspired by the excavations in Pompeii, and it is the only one of its kind in the world. Architect Friedrich von Gärtner did not overlook a single detail in his design of the atrium and interior. The exquisite frescoes and floor mosaics, for example, give art lovers an ideal replica from which to broaden their understanding of classical culture. The Pompeiianum was badly damaged during the Second World War but reopened in 1994 following several phases of restoration. Since then it has been used to exhibit original Roman works of art from the holdings of the State Antiquities Collections and the Glyptothek in Munich.
German Leather Museum
The German Leather Museum is the worldwide only museum that presents the manufacture, ornamentation and utilization of the material leather. It was founded in the year 1917 by Hugo Eberhardt in the leather-city Offenbach am Main, originally as a collection of historic samples for the training of young craftsmen, designers and leather goods producers.
The state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate combines an ancient culture with joie de vivre. It is the home of the German Wine Institute and is the wine capital of Germany; outside the city is the largest German wine-growing area, Rheinhessen, with a number of award-winning vintners. In the picturesque old town around the Romanesque St. Martin’s Cathedral, you can stroll through winding streets. Behind the lovingly restored half-timbered, Baroque and Rococo façades, jewellery and clothing boutiques, little studios, typical Mainz wine taverns and restaurants invite you on a journey of discovery.
St. Stephan’s Church, Mainz
Lovers of the works of Marc Chagall make a pilgrimage to St. Stephan’s Church with its famous blue stained glass windows, unique in Germany. The largest Roman theatre north of the Alps can be found in the southernmost part of the old town as well. The cityscape and the various city panoramas are shaped by St. Martin’s Cathedral.