Bergischer Panorama cycle route
A comfortable, leisurely tour through the hills
Do you want to cycle through the hilly Bergland region without getting into a sweat? The Bergischer Panorama cycle route makes this pos-sible (along most of the way).
Cycling along disused railway tracks is a great idea, since cyclists benefit from the fact that trains also don’t like steep climbs. For anyone cycling along these old train routes today, there’s no reason to worry about strenuous uphill stretches.
The Bergischer Panorama cycle route runs along one of these rail tracks in NRW, or at least, for most of the way; it runs over such a track along its 130-odd kilometre route from Hattingen in the southern Ruhr area through the Bergisches Land region and on to Olpe in the Sauerland region. One key feature of the route is not just the varying landscapes and pretty little towns. What makes it special are the monuments to feats of engineering, with 14 tunnels, viaducts up to 40 meters high and countless bridges - including the Müngstener Brücke bridge, the highest railway bridge in Germany - which time and again astonish the cyclists travelling past them.
The highlights along the route also include Burg castle in Solingen, the largest reconstructed castle complex in western Germany. For families with children in particular, it’s worth taking a short break here, as the museum with its knight’s hall offers exciting insights into life in the Middle Ages. Knights and ladies are brought to life once a year in the summer during the knight’s tournament festival in the castle.
One special experience throughout the year is a journey on the Wuppertal suspension railway. This is also an impressive monument to engineering achievement, since the train really does sway over the streets and the river Wupper. There is the option of taking the suspension train all the way to the zoo.
A tip for anyone taking a coffee break is the “Bergische Kaffeetafel”, the regional Bergisches Land coffee and snacks
A delicious tip for anyone wanting a bite to eat is the famous “Bergische Kaffeetafel”, or coffee and snacks, which is offered in many cafés and restaurants in the region. Although it may not be reflected the German name, the Kaffeetafel is not just about coffee and cake. Waffles from the Bergisches Land region, with hot cherries or rice pudding, and different breads with sweet and savoury toppings are served, together with fresh coffee from the typical “Dröppelmina” coffee pot, before rounding off in the traditional way with a Bergisches Land schnapps. It’s up to you to decide whether to push on with your cycle tour right after such a heavy meal, or whether you take time out to digest what you've eaten with a short walk.
One thing is certain: there are plenty of things you can do to burn off the Bergische Kaffeetafel. If the 130 kilometre-long Bergischer Panorama cycle route is not enough, you can simply extend the tour. In Hattingen, the route joints the Ruhr Valley cycle path, while in Olpe, it continues along the Ruhr-Sieg cycle path.
The Bergischer Panorama cycle route is part of the Panorama cycle route network in North Rhine-Westphalia, which links individual routes to create an overall network over 300 kilometres long. In doing so, it above all links disused rail tracks in the Bergisches Land region, and creates connections to the other cycle routes in the Ruhr and Sauerland areas.