The München-Venezia cycle route: Part 1 München to Achenkirch

Published on:  | Last updated: 27 February 2018

Cyclist (and dog)  on the München-Venezia cycle route near Geretsried

Cyclist (and dog) on the München-Venezia cycle route near Geretsried

At a glance

Distance

106 kilometres

Difficulty/terrain

Easy.

Traffic

Almost entirely on traffic-free cycleways. Some short sections on quiet roads.

Surfaces

Mixed. A significant proportion of this section is on bike paths with compacted aggregate surfaces; while these are well maintained, and in good condition, people with bikes with wider tyres will be more comfortable.

Signs

Well signed.

Options and variants

There are two variants to this section of the route: one goes via Bad Tölz and the other via the Tegernsee.

Connections

At Bad Tölz the route connects with the Bodensee-Königssee Radweg.

Also known as …

The two variants of the route coincide respectively with the Isarradweg and with the M-Wasserweg. Both variants form part of the Via Bavarica Tyrolensis.

Signs on the München-Venezia cycle route near Geretsried

Signs on the München-Venezia cycle route near Geretsried

This section of the München-Venezia cycle route follows quiet riverside cycleways to Achenkirch and the Austrian Tyrol. There are two variants: one goes via the spa town of Bad Tölz, while the other takes you to the Tegernsee.

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Distances
München – Bad Tölz 58 kms
München – Gartenberg 38 kms
Gartenberg – Bad Tölz 20 kms
Bad Tölz – Achenkirch 48 kms
Bad Tölz – Lenggries 10.0 kms
Lenggries – Fall 16 kms
Fall – Achensee 22 kms

Route description

M to Bad Tölz

The official route starts at the Deutsches Museum on an island in the Isar. It then crosses the river by the Zennenbrücke (look out for the splendid zodiac clock over the gateway to the bridge).

There are two branches of the München-Venezia cycle route in Germany – the one I took follows the Isar river south almost all of the way to the border with Austria the route following the Isarradweg. The other branch goes via the Tegernsee, following the M-Wasserweg. Both branches are also part of the Via Bavarica Tyrolensis. For a map and altitude profile, as well as information about places to stay etc please check this page: italy-cycling-guide.info: München to Achenkirch — Tegernsee variant.

There are almost no signs for the München-Venezia route in München itself, at most, you’ll see a small blue München-Venezia sticker on an existing cycleway sign. However, the route is pretty easy to follow — just follow the signs for the Isarradweg and the M-Wasserweg. If in doubt look for the signs for Wolfratshausen and you should be going the right way.

Cross over the bridge from the museum, and turn right, taking the right bank of the river (i.e. the right bank as the river is flowing) riding with the river on your right-hand side. There is an excellent tarmac-surfaced cycleway that takes you out of town. I did this stretch first thing in the morning when it was very busy with people riding to work. For much of the way the cycleway is two-way, but there are points where the two lines divide so pay attention to the signs. The signs are a little bit confusing because they have a no-bikes sign when really it should be a no-entry sign. Also note that there are many places where there are separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians: spare a thought for the long-suffering pedestrian by keeping to the correct lane.

The cycleway takes you out through a long linear park beside the river. You would hardly guess that you were on in a major city, except for the vehicles on the bridges that you occasionally go under. After a little over five and a half kilometres, you come to a bridge (the Marienklausenbrücke) where you cross the river and the Isarwerkkanal waterway.

cyclist riding along the Isarkanal - part of the München-Venezia cycle route

Cyclist riding along the Isarkanal – part of the München-Venezia cycle route

The cycleway then skirts round a lake (the Hinterbrühlersee), and you then come out onto a junction with a gasthof on the corner, turn left again following the signs for the M-Wasserweg. You continue upstream, following the signs for the M-Wasserweg, and, before crossing over again a little further on. The crossing involves a short steep climb (or in my case, push) to the top deck of a double-decker bridge (there’s a railway line on the lower deck). The name of the bridge is the Grosshesseloher Brücke. Once you get to the end of the viaduct, there is then a short climb which takes you almost around in a circle to another bridge over the railway line itself.

Very soon after, you come to the point where the two branches of the München-Venezia cycle route diverge. This is well signposted. Turn left for the Tegernsee or continue straight on for Bad Tölz.

Junction where two variants of the M-venezia cycle route separate

Junction where two variants of the M-venezia cycle route separate

The cycle route comes out onto a main road, and from there continues as a road-side cycleway. When you come to a crossroads with a sushi bar on the opposite corner, turn right onto Dr Max Straße which takes you into the peaceful centre of Grünwald. This is one of the very few places to get a coffee or something to eat on this section of the route.

Coming out of Grünwald there’s a roadside cycleway (or permission to ride on the pavement, depending on your point of view) that takes you out of town. At a certain point, you have to bear right off the road and onto the Isarradweg. The initial stretch through the Grünwalder Forst is an unsurfaced dirt road, but it’s in reasonable condition. Eventually this descends back down to the Isarwerkkanal.

This section of the canal seems to be a popular location for people having parties (complete with a live band) on big rafts. Expect to hear a cover of Ike and Tina Turner’s Rolling on the River.

The road beside the Isarwerkkanal takes you into the little village of Aumühle. You need to bear right just before you get to a gasthaus, the turning is easy to miss. There is then a long cruise on a section of restricted road which takes you into Puppling, 5.5 kilometres further on.

At Puppling the route crosses the river. Once you’re over the river, you need to bear right and go under the main road. There’s a path which climbs for a few metres before widening out into a cycleway. The cycleway is very wide and is relatively rough (although perfectly rideable with a trekking bike or something similar). It continues following the river upstream, with the river on the left-hand side, before crossing over a bridge.

From the bridge, continue straight on, following the signs for Bad Tölz. There is then a lovely section of bike path through woodland. This is mainly pretty smooth and free-rolling, but you need to watch out for exposed tree roots.

The path brings you out on the outskirts of Gartenburg where you continue straight on following the road. You then skirt round Gartenburg following quiet roads before picking up a cycleway through woodland. As you get closer to Bad Tölz, the bike path gives way to a very quiet country roads.

Cyclist by the Isar near Bad Tölz

Cyclist by the Isar near Bad Tölz

The cycle route continues across country before rejoining the river a little way north Bad Tölz. The final stretch into Bad Tölz is on a lovely riverside cycleway.

Bad Tölz (pronounced something like ‘bad toolts’) was originally just plain Tölz until, with the discovery of iodine, it became a spa town (‘Bad’ is the German word for spa). In 2005 it was promoted to the status of a mud spa. Apart from the spas, and the mud, Bad Tölz has a very pretty old town centre with richly decorated building facades. The tourist office organises walking tours in English (and other languages).

Decorated building façade in Bad Tölz

Decorated building façade in Bad Tölz

Bad Tölz to Achenkirch

From Bad Tölz the cycle route continues following the left bank of the Isar. After 6.5 kilometres on mainly aggregate-surfaced bike path, you cross over the river into Obergries and turn right onto the Toni Seber Weg which follows the course of the B13 as it heads towards the Sylvensteinspeicher/Sylvensteinsee (reservoir).

From Obergreis, the route continues to Lenggries, the main town in the area and a good place to take a break for a coffee or something to eat. It then continues, still following the Toni Seber Weg, beside the B13 before crossing over B13, and then starting to climb. The (short) climb brings you to a tunnel that comes out onto the Sylvenstein dam. Turn right, onto the B307, as it heads for Fall, crossing over the reservoir.

Even on a murky day, when the sun was struggling to get through, the views were beautiful. And for some reason, the road is extremely quiet, with really only sightseers as traffic. Just after the bridge turn left following the signs for Jenbach and Achenkirch.

I had been wondering ‘what happened to all the other cyclists?’ and in turn wondering what they knew that I didn’t. It turns out that Fall is the point where the München-Venezia cycle route turns off the Isarradweg. The Isarradweg continues following the Isar towards its source; the München-Venezia heads for the border with Austria.

The route takes you into the little village of Fall where there’s a gasthaus. After Fall there’s another blissfully quiet country road. A couple of kilometres or so after Fall you come to a fork in the road where you need to bear left. The road from here is a forest road with a compacted-aggregate surface that climbs around the other side of the lake.

The forest road around the lake is a glorious ride, but it does have a couple of challenging points, and there are some stretches where the surface is a little bit gravelly and loose, and you need to take care. It’s so peaceful and beautiful it more than makes up for the extra effort, but if you’re pushed for time you could turn left at the dam and take the B307 direct towards the border.

The Walchen river seen from the München-Venezia cycle route near the Germany-Austria border

The Walchen river seen from the München-Venezia cycle route near the Germany-Austria border

The route crosses over the Walchen, and you need to climb back up towards the main road. Keep an eye out for trucks coming to load with aggregate from a quarry. The signs from here are for Jenbach and Achenkirch (and in the other direction for Lenggries and Fall). It looks like you need to rejoin the road, but in fact, you turn right, onto a track, just before you get to the road. There is then a short, but fairly sketchy descent down before you pick up another track which runs between the river and the main road. And then all of a sudden you come out onto the Achenseestraße (B181). On the other side of the road is the first Austrian cycleway sign: the Achensee Radweg cycleway (route number 29).

This is also the point where the two branches of the route come together. If you are doing the route in the other direction note that the signs at this point are a little unclear: if you are heading for the Tegernsee, you need to take to the road for a short stretch, while if you are heading for Fall and Lenggries you need to cross over it.

The cycleway takes you to Achenwald and a forest road with a compacted-aggregate surface. There is a short steep climb (or at least it felt that way to me) and then a descent. This then brings you out onto a road, and from here the route follows quiet roads into Achenkirch. After Achenkirch (916m) the road continues climbing gently to the Achenpass (941m), and the Achensee, three kilometres further on.

Signs on the München-Venezia cycle route at the Germany-Austria border

Signs on the München-Venezia cycle route at the Germany-Austria border

More information

Places to stay

Hotels etc

One thing to bear in mind if you are planning to stay overnight in München is that if there is a major trade show, prices can literally triple — and that is prices on everything from hostels upwards. If you can choose when to travel it is worth using booking.com to research prices before you book your travel tickets. Another event to bear in mind is the Oktoberfest which, despite the name, starts around September 20th.

My favourite place to stay is the

  • Bold Hotels
  • hotel in München centre which is an easy bike ride from the station. It also has a car park where you can leave your bike (and the rooms have hand bike-sized balconies ).

    Find and book places to stay with Booking.com

    Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:

    M | Wolfratshausen | Geretsried | Bad Tölz | Lenggries | Achenkirch | Maurach

    About these links

    If you use these links to book accommodation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

    I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirmation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.

    I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the opportunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

    Many properties offer free cancellation but it’s a good idea to check the conditions as these vary from property to property.

    Hostels

    There are several hostels in M: DJH Jugendherberge M-Park | A&O München Hauptbahnhof | A&O München Hackerbrücke | A&O München Laim | Jugendherberge Burg Schwaneck.

    Other hostels on this section: DJH Jugendherberge Bad Tölz | DJH Jugendherberge Lenggries. If you opt for the Tegernsee variant there’s the DJH Jugendherberge Kreuth-Scharling at Kreuth.

      Map:  MV-hostels-map – show hostels map in overlay    |    MV-hostels-map – show hostels map in new window   

    Campsites

    The Campingplatz München Thalkirchen is very close to the route to the south of München. There’s also the Campingplatz Wolfratshausen near the route at Wolfratshausen a little way further on, and the Campingplatz Königsdorf.

    There are a couple of sites in the Bad Tölz area: the Alpen Camping Arzbach and Campingplatz Demmelhof . The campsite at Arzbach is closest to the route.

    There are then no campsites until you get to the Achensee where there are at least three: the Camping Schwarzenau, the Seecamping Wimmer, and the Karwendel Camping.

      Map:  MV-campsites-map – show campsites map in overlay    |    MV-campsites-map – show campsites map in new window   

    Transport and services

    Trains

    There is a train line that goes south from München via Bad Tölz to Lenggries.

    Bike shops

      Map:  MV-bike-shops-map – show map in overlay    |    MV-bike-shops-map – show map in new window   

    Resources

    Cycling-related websites

    Tourist information websites

    • bad-toelz.de (de/en/fr/nl/ru) is the tourist information site for Bad Tölz
    • toelzer-land.de (de only) is the toursit information site for the Bad Tölz area
    • achensee.com (de/en) is the tourist information site for the Achensee area

    Resources for M

    • muenchen.de (en/fr/it/ru/cn) is the main tourist information website. If you are planning on exploring Münchn by bike then check out the site’s cycling section: muenchen.de: biking
    • the Open Street Map mapping seems to cover cycleways in the city pretty well, but if you need it there’s also an online cycle route planner at muenchen.de: cycle route planner (de/en)
    • muenchen.de: Brochures including links to download a city map, an excellent city guide and accommodation directory. If you go to the German-language version (muenchen.de: Download you’ll find a link to a nice guide to bike rides around the centre of München (muenchen.de: Radlflyer.pdf ). The text is selectable so you can translate it using Google Translate — although the maps on their own might be enough
    • muenchen.de: taking-your-bike rules on taking your bike on public transport
    • the Stadtinformation office in the Rathaus on Marienplatz has a Radlstadtplan (map of the city’s cycleways and cycle streets) and a guide to the Münchner Radlszene — a comprehensive listing of the bike shops in the city

    Articles in this series


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