400 mile cycle tour loop from Lindau on Lake Bodensee to Lake Konnigsee through the foothills of the Bavarian German Alps then onwards to cross the mountain passes of the Austrian Tirol.
Our tour started in Stuttgart with the morning train to Lindau. Our mistake was taking this on a Saturday as the train was packed with fellow cyclists keen on the same idea leading to an epic scramble for the limited bike spaces on the train.
Lindau is a tourist island on the Lake of Bodensee. A great start for day one. We soon discovered the trail is well marked using purpose built cycle paths or quite country roads. The route on day one to the ski resort of Oberstauffen was through rolling agricultural land giving us a steady climb always with the opportunity to stop in any of the numerous 'Beer gardens' that where such an excellent feature of the entire trail.
Day two to the historic town of Fussen which nestles at the foot of the fairytale Neuwangstein Castle is on excellent low friction dedicated cycle trails all day ideal for our choice of bikes: Specialized Hybrids (Sirrus & Vitta) with the excellent Kevlar coated Armadillo Tyres.
Day three to Kochel Am See we hit our first 'off-road' section of gravel track. These forest trails are fantastic if you're on a mountain bike but are just not suitable for our bikes. Was increasingly concerned that either the tyres or the wheels would blow.
Day four the trail to Schliersee things got even worse with large sections of trail only suitable for mountain bikes even included a river fording! We got a few strange looks from fellow tourers all on mountain bikes. Seriously doubted if we would complete this trail.
Day five the long run down to Marie Eck Monastery at Seigsdorf was our saving grace as we were back on traffic free low friction road surfaces and we were able to give our sneering mountain bike travellers a cheery wave as we sped past them.
Day six was a delight as we past through beautiful sub alpine farmland on excellent quality trails before joining a gravel track that took us into the heart of the beautiful Berchtesgadenland. The trail crosses the Bad Reichenhall pass to the Bavarian capital of Berchtesgaden to the end of the BO-KO trail at Schonau am Konnigsee.
Day seven is a steady climb into Austria following the banks of the River See to our stop at Lofer at the foot of the Stub Pass. The trail was entirely on gravel but by now our fears the bikes couldn't handle this had evaporated.
Day eight we crossed the Stub Pass into the Tirol proper speeding downhill to St.Johan in Tirol on excellent quality back roads and dedicated trail to our destination the ski resort of Soll.
Day nine we continued down into the Inn Valley to pick up the Inn Valley Trail towards Innsbruck. This is one of the longest cycle trails in Europe following the River Inn from its source near Imst all the way to Passau in Germany hundreds of 'flat' miles to the north. After twenty miles on the flat we began our big climb of over 4000 feet to Ackensee lake.
Our final day past the Ackensee lake was a steady climb then a long beautiful descent to Bad Tolz where we would catch the train to Munich then back to Stuttgart.