It’s all thanks to a meteorite that cyclists can enjoy richly varied tours between the Nördlinger Ries and Steinheimer Becken craters and through the Swabian Alb.
Some 14.5 million years ago, a meteorite smashed into the eastern Swabian Alb, creating two craters with diameters of 25 and four kilometres. In 2006 the area became the Ries National Geopark. On the eastern route from Nördlingen, you are taken across the basin and up onto the rim of the crater near Kirchheim. Along the western loop, you ride through an enchanting landscape of juniper scrub and solitary oaks. Near Oberkochen you encounter the source of the Schwarzer Kocher river. At the meteorite crater museum in Steinheim you can learn all about the impact, before stopping to visit a castle or take a swim in a lake on your journey back to Nördlingen.
Terrain: the route has an eastern and a western loop, is mainly on asphalt and is mostly traffic-free. Flat stretches alternate with hilly sections and steep climbs.
Scenery: the route links two meteorite craters in Ries Geopark, alternating between flat and hilly landscapes. Heathland, conservation areas and riverscapes.