Cycling over 40-meter-high viaducts, through tunnels - masterpieces of their time - and along waterways once used by the Romans: On a tour through North Rhine-Westphalia, you can discover not only gorgeous landscapes, but also plenty of places steeped in history. Some routes even take you through several regions at once. We present three particularly beautiful tours on which you can experience the diversity of the state.


The Roman-Lippe Route: A journey through time along the river

Roemermuseum in Xanten, exterior view by day © GPh
The RömerMuseum in Xanten is one of 42 projects that received awards in the "best architects 09" competition © Axel Thünker DGPh

From the archaeological park with amphitheater to the Roman museum: along the 295 kilometer long Roman-Lippe Route there are plenty of historic places to discover. The bike path leads from Detmold across the Ruhr area to Xanten on the Lower Rhine - always along the river Lippe. The Roman legionaries used the Lippe as a traffic and transport route more than 2000 years ago and set up numerous camps on the river banks. Today, special resting and viewing points are located here. These include the Haltern Roman Museum, the Bergkamen Roman Park and the Anreppen Roman Camp. If you are interested in the history of the region, you should start your bike tour in Xanten. The Xanten Archaeological Park, with its amphitheater, parts of the old city wall, harbor temple and several reconstructed buildings, is the ideal thematic introduction to Roman life.

Water also plays a major role on the Roman-Lippe Route: on their way through the Teutoburg Forest, the Sauerland, the Münsterland, through the Ruhr metropolis and to the Lower Rhine, cyclists encounter bathing lakes, floodplain landscapes and canal systems with large locks. If you are in the mood for refreshment right at the beginning of the tour, you should start at the Hermann Monument in Detmold and then follow the course of the river from the source of the Lippe in Bad Lippspringe to the Lower Rhine. And if the 300 kilometers aren't enough, the route can be supplemented by eleven trail loops that are dedicated to different thematic areas over a total of 150 kilometers. 

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Detmold: Plan arrival.


The Bergisch Panorama Cycle Route: Always Following the Tracks

Quite contrary to its name, the Bergisch Panorama bike path is by no means just for ambitious mountain bikers. On the contrary, its 130 kilometers from Hattingen in the southern Ruhr region through the Bergisches Land region to Olpe in the Sauerland region run largely along disused railroad lines. And since trains in the past as well as today do not like inclines, cyclists hardly break a sweat on the way. The special thing about the route is the evidence of the art of engineering: 14 tunnels, viaducts up to 40 meters high and numerous bridges, including the Müngsten Bridge, Germany's highest railroad bridge, line the route. 

There is also plenty for families with children to discover along the way: Burg Castle in Solingen, for example, the largest reconstructed castle complex in western Germany with a museum and knights' hall. Here visitors can gain exciting insights into life in the Middle Ages. In Wuppertal, it is also worth changing vehicles for a short time and gliding over the city on the suspension railroad - an unforgettable experience. By the way, it's easy to change bikes on the way: The Bergische Fahrradbus picks up tired cyclists along the route. It stops in Hückeswagen, Wipperfürth and Marienheide.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Hattingen: Plan arrival.


The Niederbergbahn panoramic bike trail: with incomparable views

The Niederbergbahn Panorama Cycle Route lives up to its name © BSW, Gawandtka
The Niederbergbahn Panorama Cycle Route lives up to its name © BSW, Gawandtka

Like the Bergisches Panorama-Radweg, this tour also leads along an old railroad line - and is therefore well suited for families and recreational cyclists. The 40 kilometer long Panorama trail Niederbergbahn from Heiligenhaus via Velbert and Wülfrath to Haan winds its way through the hilly Neanderland region, but is largely flat. Along the route, impressive evidence of engineering and construction from the past 100 years can be explored, including numerous bridges and listed viaducts from which cyclists can enjoy impressive views of the landscape.

There are several highlights along the way: There is, for example, the Nordstadt amusement park, a huge, freely accessible playground for children of all ages. Or the Zeittunnel in Wülfrath, where visitors can travel back in time through 400 million years of the earth's history thanks to an exhibition. The tunnel is only open in summer, as it serves as a roost for bats in winter. Beyond the region, the Niederbergbahn panoramic bike path is linked to other bike paths, such as the Ruhrtalradweg near Essen-Kettwig or the Korkenziehertrasse near Haan, and can thus be extended as desired.

By train and bus comfortably to Heiligenhaus: Plan arrival.

Cover photo: More than 500,000 visitors come every year to experience the Hermann Monument up close and enjoy the 360-degree distant view over Lippe © Tourismus NRW e.V.

In collaboration with Tourism NRW e.V.

Reasons for a Vacation in North Rhine-Westphalia there are plenty - the living Cities, the old Castles and palaces and the unique Nature are just a few of them.


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