The Ilm Valley Cycle Route, awarded four stars for quality by the ADFC, doubles as a tour through Germany’s cultural history and is one of the most popular cycling routes in Thuringia.
The first section, starting in the Thuringian Forest, is an easy downhill. Almost all the small towns along the way are worth a stop to visit some of their museums, breweries, mills and churches. The most famous place on the route is Weimar, a UNESCO World Heritage site associated with Goethe, Schiller and the Bauhaus. Other highlights include the Wieland estate in Ossmannstedt, the floating holiday cottages in Eberstedt, the vineyards in Bad Sulza and the bell- making town of Apolda. And all along the route, of course, you can enjoy Thuringian specialities such as bratwurst sausages, beer and wine.
Terrain: predominantly flat, gentle climbs on occasion. The route is not always traffic-free. The paths are mostly asphalt, but some are paved or surfaced with crushed brick/stone.
Scenery: densely wooded hills, vineyards, broad plains with riverbank meadows, plus extensive parks, idyllic villages and the cultural hub of Weimar.