After the start in Basel you will follow a series of nice roads along the river Rhine. Leaving the lovely Rhine valley you will soon face a shock as you have to carry your bike through a cascading gorge that we nicknamed ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Soon you will cross into the hillrange of the Schwäbische Alb which holds some of the most scenic terrain, but also some of the most challenging climbs of the route. You will find yourself pushing your bike quite a few times here.
Crossing into the Bavarian region of Frankonia you will transit some country that breathes history in every square inch: You will pass by the famous historic town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is just a few kilometers off-route, and into a region called Frankonian Switzerland with neat little historical town centers and castles along the route.
Cruising on deserted forest roads through the Fichtel Mountains you will reach the point where the borders of Eastern Germany, Western Germany and Czechoslovakia met during the Cold War. Today it has become a lovely place that shows no signs of the terror that this border imposed onto Europe. And it is the starting venue of the grandma of the German bikepacking routes, the Grenzsteintrophy.
From there on, the former iron curtain will be on your mind for a long time as you cross into Czech Republic quite a few times on your easy cruise towards the highest point of the route, the Fichtelberg at 1215m. Soon after that the landscape changes dramatically as you ride into the limestone cliffs of Saxonian Switzerland. Be careful: Some tricky sections of singletrack will be waiting for you.
Once you’ve made it through this part of the route, the climbing is virtually done: The route continues into the plains of the Oberlausitz, along the Polish border and into the vast forests that surround the German capital Berlin, which is also not far off-route. Expect some extremely sandy trails in this section which make it tough to keep going at times.
After passing along the shores of countless scenic lakes you will reach the Baltic Sea in Stralsund crossing onto the island of Rügen on a levee. Many scenic seaside views and a last ferry crossing will be the highlights on the last miles towards the two lighthouses of Cape Arkona which mark the northern terminus of the route.
The route is intended for quick progress, there are only a few technical or pushing sections. A large part passes through forests on cycle tracks, forest roads or some single tracks. The highest peak is the Fichtelberg with 1,214 meters. In the North, several ferries are used. The operating times of the ferries are listed in the POIs. For the passenger ferry across the Peene there is a bypass at night time. The Wittow Ferry, 30 km from the finish, can not be bypassed. Please plan accordingly!
Choosing the right bike is as difficult as the terrain is diverse. The BTG is designed as a mountain bike tour, so using a MTB is reliable choice. We provide further information on the subject in our newsletter.
More information about the route and the GPX download can be found here.