Main Cycle Route

View to river Main

The Main flows from east to west through the Franconia in northern Bavaria. The river flows into the Rhine at Mainz and is 524 km long. The Main arises at the town of Kulmbach at the confluence of the Red Main and the White Main, which are respectively 50 and 41 kilometres long. Cycle along the winding river and enjoy hop fields, castles, dark green forests and charming UNESCO towns.

The cycle route on the Main Cycle Path runs through several nature reserves. About 90% of the cycle path along the Main is paved, so cyclists will find perfect cycling conditions here. Although the Main can be reached by bicycle on both sides, usually only one side is indicated as a cycle path. The cycle route signage is excellent in both directions and indicates the distance to the next town. Cycling along the Main, you will pass towns with an undeniable charm on the 600 km long cycle path through Hesse and Franconia.

The River Main

The Main has two sources: the red Main on the Ochsenkopf near Bischofsgrün and the white Main in Creußen. The confluence of these two rivers eventually takes place in Kulmbach, from where the River Main is named.

Length of the Main

On the 530 km long river section, the Main winds through Franconia, the Fichtelgebirge, Taubertal, Spessart and finally Hesse. In Mainz, the Main then flows into the Rhine.

Height profile

The start of the Main at Kulmbach is at an altitude of about 325 m, the confluence with the Rhine at about 90 m above sea level.

Cities along the River Main

In addition to the varied natural landscapes along the Main, the towns on the Main Cycle Path are also among the highlights of a cycling tour on perhaps the most popular cycle path in Germany. Cultural and historical sights, typical culinary delights of the region and traditional half-timbered houses provide the perfect setting to end an active day.


Kulmbach, the original Frankish town on the Main. Where the White and Red Main meet and become the Main, lies Kulmbach with the famous Renaissance castle, Plassenburg, and the tin figures museum. Start your cycling holiday here and make sure to set aside some time to visit the Kulmbacher Brewery.

View to Bamberg


For more than a 1000 years, Bamberg's unique historic cityscape has grown and is the largest, undamaged, old city centre in Europe. Spectacular ornaments, rich decorations and unique details adorn the facades, the old town of Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Like Rome, the historically venerable imperial and episcopal city was built on seven hills.

The cathedral of St. Peter and St. Georg is one of the imperial cathedrals and with its four towers is the predominant building of the old town. Within the cathedral are the Bambergse Ruiter, the tomb of the Holy Roman Empire's only canonized imperial couple, Henry II and Kunigunde, and the tomb of Pope Clement II, the only papal tomb in Germany.



Another highlight on the Main Cycle Path is Würzburg, one of the largest cities in Bavaria and a World Heritage Site. Known for its university and college, a visit to the Würzburg Residence is also highly recommended. In the old town, many churches and monuments were lovingly reconstructed during the reconstruction.


The university town of Aschaffenburg is worth a visit all year round. Visit the Johannisburg Castle, which was built of red sandstone and is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Germany. Or let the cycling stage end with a good glass of wine or beer in one of the many restaurants because here you will find the highest density of restaurants and bars in Bavaria.

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main is today an essential financial centre in Germany. Because of the headquarters of the European Central Bank and international trade fairs and exhibitions, and also because of its central location, Frankfurt is an important European transport hub. In the old town with the Römerberg, you will also find romantic half-timbered houses that invite you to stroll through the city.



The episcopal city of Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, is located where the Main and Rhine meet. The old town is reminiscent of the Middle Ages as well as of the early modern period and yet it is home to the romantic Mainz Cathedral, but due to several fires over the centuries, it has also been equipped with Gothic elements. Experience the 2000-year-old culture and joie de vivre on the Main or follow in the footsteps of Johannes Gutenberg or even those of the Romans.

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