A tour through German romanticism
Along the young Ilm you will enjoy idyllic trails until reaching its mouthing into the Saale. The bike trails are mostly flat and lead along the river and through wide landscape gardens, Goethe’s summer houses and Weimar, a place of great German history.
In Weimar you will participate in an interesting guided tour of the town. Then, the Saale takes you to the beautiful Naumburg with its famous cathedral and then on to the medieval Merseburg. Nature, culture and culinary arts are the main themes of this trip. In our category A many admissions are already included in the price.
1. day Ilmenau Arrival
After the information meeting and the hand over of the rented bicycles, you have the choice between a leisurely stroll through the old town or you take advantage of the transfer offer to Ilmquelle. In that way you can still cycle the first 15 km along the river.
2. day Ilmenau-Kranichfeld 42 km
A magnificent day on your bikes along the Ilm lies ahead of you. The calm bike trails lead closely along the river and are seamed by willows and alders. At times, the river will widen to small lakes or wind through glades accompanied by the croaking of frogs. Marvel at historic saline towers, Thuringia’s greatest market place in Stadtilm and at the spectacular limestone walls of the Ilm valley. In the evening, we recommend a relaxing walk through Kranichfeld with 2 castles.
3. day Kranichfeld-Weimar 30 km
The historic timber bridge near Buchfahrt helps you cross the Ilm in a wonderful environment. Shortly before Weimar, the landscape dilates into a park by the Ilm. Did you know that Goethe himself planned the parkway that also hosts his famous summer house?
Enjoy the town of the great genies. This is where the heart of the German culture beats. The greatest poet laureates, composers, philosophers, architects and aesthetes were attracted by this place. A guided tour through the historical Old Town of Weimar will let you feel the prominence of this place.
If you wish so, it is possible to book an additional night in Weimar.
4. day Weimar-Bad Sulza 35 km
A day like in a picture book! Landscape gardens take you to Tiefurt castle, the stunning summer residence of the Duchess Anna Amalia. Wide meadows with scattered fruit trees lead to the town of bells, to Apolda. Today, the largest bell manufactured in Apolda rings in the cathedral of Cologne! Look forward to Wickerstedt and Eberstedt, because with its historic mill and the floating hut village you will see on your way to the spa town of Bad Sulza not only cultural but also small culinary highlights.
5. day Bad Sulza-Naumburg 20 km
Today, the landscape will change significantly. Leaving behind Bad Sulza, you will cycle through the Thuringian wine gate and dive into the northernmost wine growing region in Germany, the Saale –Unstrut region. Rolling through lovely vineyards, small local restaurants invite for a short break every now and then before reaching Naumburg. The cathedral St. Peter and Paul, one of the most significant cultural monuments dating from the Middle Ages, and the historical Old Town are worth a visit. Alternatively, a short side trip along the Unstrut to the champagne cellars of Freyburg is possible.
6. day radial tour Freyburg 20km
Today your day target is Freyburg - the city of sparkling wine. Look forward to enjoy the ambiente of picturesque vine terraces. End your day trip with a visit at the famous sparkling winery Rotkäppchen while having a glas of the golden water.
7. day Naumburg departure
Your magnificent bike trip along Ilm, Saale and Unstrut ends here in Naumburg after breakfast.
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.
17.04. – 18.10.2020
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
- information talk at the beginning of the tour
- guided city tour Weimar
- 24-hour ThueringenCard Weimar (free entrance in several museums)
- Merian travel guide
- sparkling wine tour in Freyburg
- 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
Below you will find specific information about the Ilm and Saale bike trail and surroundings. If you have further questions about this trip, you simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.6421 - 886890.
Arrival by train
Ilmenau 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 Bamberg. Current schedule information and price information can be found at: www.bahn.de.
Parking facilities at the hotel
Our partner hotels in Ilmenau always provide parking possibilities for the entire duration of your bike trip (according to availability). Detailed information on parking at your hotel, you will receive together with the detailed travel documents two weeks prior to departure.
Available rental bikes
If you choose to rent a velocipede-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. You simply specify your wishes at time of booking.
Condition of cycle paths
You cycle mostly on well developed routes, sometimes on natural and gravel paths. The bike course is flat and sometimes gently hilly.
Transfer back to the starting point of the journey
The driver comes to pick you up at your hotel and has much room for you, your luggage and where required your own bicycle. The bus takes you back to your first hotel, thus ensuring a perfect return service without transfer and the hassle of hauling luggage.
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.
Goethe Museum Ilmenau
The most important museum of the city is the "Goethe Stadtmuseum" in the" Amtshaus am Marktplatz". One of the focal points is the work of J. W. von Goethe in Ilmenau, his official activities and his efforts to revive the mining industry in connection with his scientific studies and his poems.
Pauline tower Bad Berka
A not to be overlooked landmark over Bad Berka is the Pauline tower on the 416 meter high Adelsberg. The Paulin tower is 26 m high and made of Berka limestone. 143 steps lead to a viewing platform from which you have a wonderful panoramic view. The town of Bad Berka (273m) lies at the foot of the Adelsberg mountain range which is covered with beech trees, in the midst of the landscape protection area "Mittleres Ilmtal".
Anna Amalia Library Weimar
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library was founded in Weimar in 1691 by Duke Wilhelm Ernst. The oval, three-storey rococoosa is world-famous. Since 1998, the Duchess Anna Amalia has been part of the ensemble "Klassisches Weimar", a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. On the evening of September 2, 2004, a fire in the Duchess-Anna-Amalia Library destroyed 50,000 books. Reopening took place on 24 October 2007.
Baroque style house of Goethe
One of the most important testimonies of classical Weimar. For almost 50 years, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived in a Baroque-style house on the women's plan. It was rebuilt and designed according to the specifications of the poet. Today the state of Goethe's last years of life is largely visible.
Market square Naumburg
The picturesque Naumburg market square forms the center of the former council town. The buildings around the market arose in 1517 after the city fire.