Biking along the Fulda

By Ann Abeles
This item appears on page 30 of the August 2013 issue.

My husband, Fred, and I cycled from Gersfeld to Hannoversch Münden, Germany, April 28-May 3, 2013, on the 4-day, 5-night “Fulda River Bicycle Path” tour offered by BikeToursDirect (Chattanooga, TN; 877/462-2423).

Ann Abeles by the old town well in Schlitz, Germany. Photos by Fred Abeles

The price, 467 (near $603) per person, included luggage transport between the hotels as well as full breakfasts. Lunches, snacks and dinners with wine or beer added $100-$120 per day, and rentals of 21-speed touring bikes cost $78 per person.

The cost of the tickets for the train from Frankfurt to Gersfeld was about $18 per person and from Hann. Münden to the Frankfurt Airport, $48 each.

The first night, we were booked into Hotel Sonne in the small town of Gersfeld, about six miles below Wasserkuppe, the 3,100-foot mountain peak where many early pilots learned to fly gliders and light aircraft.

Velociped, the German company that handled the local arrangements, had already delivered our bicycles and tour materials to the hotel, so we could adjust the bicycle seats and read up. 

We were provided with a bikeline Cycling Guide for the Fulda-Radweg (Fulda Bikepath). The book was in German but easy to follow. (Available on the company’s website or from Amazon at 13-15 each plus postage, there are bikeline guides for many bike routes in Germany. Some are in English. Spiral bound and water resistant, they would be useful in planning an independent tour.)

BikeToursDirect included (in English) a summary of each day’s ride and directions to hotels plus city maps showing places of interest.

The hand-operated cable car Ann and Fred used to cross the Fulda River in Germany.

Our first morning, a van transported us and our bikes up the “mountain” to Wasserkuppe. Before we started riding, we visited the Segelflugmuseum, which houses a huge display of gliders and associated aircraft and models and offers demonstrations.

The cycle route down was beautiful. Lots of spring wildflowers, especially anemones, carpeted the forest floor, and white blooming trees dotted hillsides and lanes. We biked down through Gersfeld, where the path officially begins, and on to Fulda and our hotel, a Holiday Inn.

The next three days followed a similar pattern — a full breakfast at our hotel, then an easy ride of 30 to 50 miles along the Fulda River, usually on a smooth, asphalt, car-free trail. 

The small towns and villages along the way were neat and pleasant to glide through, and the bakeries were far too tempting. The historic centers of the towns such as Fulda, Schlitz, Rothenburg and Hann. Münden were filled with beautifully maintained Fachwerk (half-timbered) buildings. 

In addition to the pastoral scenery and cute towns, highlights included some beautiful bridges on the trail and a hand-operated cable car for bikes and pedestrians over the Fulda.

Our tour ended in Hann. Münden, where we stayed in the 600-year-old hotel Alte Windmühle in the historic section of town. It was hard to say ‘Good-bye’ and head to the train on Friday morning. 


Frederick, MD