Thuringian's Chain-of-Towns on a Long-Distance Cycling Trail

The Playing Card town of Altenburg is the starting-point of this route covering about 225 kilometres right across Thuringia to Eisenach in the Western region of the State. The route travels via Schmölln and Gera and then on to Bad Köstritz. From there, the trail continues on to Jena which is where Goethe, Schiller, Napoleon, Zeiss and Abbe are all historically associated. The trail leads away from Jena and on to Weimar, the Town of Classicism, where Goethe and Schiller, Bach, Liszt and Cranach lived and worked. Next in Erfurt, which is the capital city of Thuringia, visit the Krämerbrücke bridge with its houses, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Severi Church, Petersberg citadel, the City Hall, the Erfurt Horticultural Exhibition, and Luther’s Augustinian Monastery. Passing the three castles, the next leg takes you to the former royal town of Gotha. Here you check out the Friedenstein Baroque castle. The castle features 350-year old vaults of an intense fortification system, the casemates and the Ekhof Theatre, which is still in its original condition. Further on to the West, Wartburg Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site) towers high over Eisenach. It was here that Saint Elisabeth lived, Luther translated the New Testament, and Wagner was inspired to compose the opera "Tannhäuser". Here, you have a link to the next Hercules-Wartburg Cycle Trail, which runs for 215 kilometres and connects Wartburg Fortress in Eisenach and Hercules, Kassel’s famous landmark.
Some sections of the route are not yet fully developed and signposted. Incidentally, the famous “Rennsteig” high-level hiking and cycle trail begins in the suburb of Hörschel.

Difficulty level (Altenburg countryside): intermediate


Altenburg – Schmölln – Ronneburg – Gera – Crossen – Bad Klosterlausnitz – Stadtroda – Jena – Weimar – Erfurt – Neudietendorf – Gotha – Hörselgau – Eisenach

Route data

Completely Signposted
Total length: 225 km
Departure point in Thuringia: Altenburg
Destination point in Thuringia: Eisenach
Difference in altitude: 150 to 360 m above sea level
Degree of difficulty: Easy to medium
Type of trail: 187 km asphalt, 6 km cobbled road, 32 km water-bound surface

further information: here.

Top 3


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Pilgrimage Trail on the Via Imperii


A tour through Altenburg on the Skat Trail

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