Arena Redaktion, 31.05.2023

The Zugspitz-8

Biking trips in Tirol

Cycle around the Wetterstein and Daniel mountains in Tyrol on the various Zugspitz-8 biking routes. And that’s not all. Attractions for young and old add to the cross-border excitement.

On a map, it looks like a large ‘eight’. And that’s exactly what it is. The Zugspitz-8 biking routes run around the summit of the Zugspitze at their highest point and in a further loop around the Daniel mountain. If you take the basic Zugspitz-8 route, you’ll cover 112 kilometres and 2,423 metres of altitude. And a fascinating point: the biking routes are in both Tyrol and Bavaria. The former state border runs through the middle of the route, which is suitable for mountain bikes, e-bikes, and gravel bikes. But what is the Zugspitz-8, exactly?

The idea behind the Zugspitz-8

In a nutshell, the Zugspitz-8 is a family-friendly biking route created from existing cycle paths. You can ride it over just one or several days, which makes it ideal for both young and old. The course of the route was devised at a workshop run by the bike guides of the three regional partners – the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Grainau. They also developed a map and GPX data for download. However, the original planning and design of the tour emerged from an Interreg project from the Austria-Bavaria programme for 2014-2020, within which the Zugspitz-8 was made reality. The funding is provided by the European Fund for Regional Development.

Features of the Zugspitz-8 biking tours in Tyrol

The Zugspitz-8 can be used by the whole family, or just as you wish on your own. Thanks to the additional mountain bike tours acting as ‘hotspots’ along the Zugspitz-8, you can decide at short notice which routes to ride. There’s truly something for everyone here – a steep mountain stage, one of the bike trails on the Tyrolean side, or the child-friendly beginner stages. The tour can be started from any place in the region, and you can spread the stages over any number of days yourself.

In addition, recommended huts to stay overnight and mountain railways with bike transport on the Tyrolean side ensure relaxing stops during the biking tours. At the same time, leisure parks, swimming lakes, and beautiful vantage points along the route offer a varied all-round package on the Zugspitz-8.

The variety of the basic route

The multi-day biking tour starts at the viaduct junction in Ehrwald. From there, the route leads through the Ehrwald basin and a short way along the Loisach river to the lower terminal of the Ehrwalder Almbahn. A cycle path now leads up to the mountain pasture – or you can use the train to transport your bike. Then you get to the Igelsee lake – and from there to the Hochfeldernalm. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a refreshment or even stay overnight. Afterwards, you pass the Tillfussalm in the Gaistal valley, a perfect place for e-bikers to charge their batteries. After the Leutasch valley via the Ferchensee lake, the route leads to Elmau Castle. If you then leave the church village of Wamberg behind you, you can continue on to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen railway station. The biking tour on the basic route now leads past the lower terminal of the Kreuzeckbahn to colourful flower meadows in Tyrol. You’ve now almost reached Grainau: the crystal-clear Eibsee lake, which lies directly at the foot of the Zugspitze, is also worth a visit. Now you continue to Griesen, the border crossing to Tyrol, and the starting point of the tour. Once there, the first loop of the basic route is already done.

Part 2: around the Daniel

Now it’s time for the second loop of the Zugspitz-8. This starts at the car park in Griesen. You’ll then find yourself in the Neidernachtal valley – and in an idyllic forest area, until you finally reach the Plansee lake. Along the shore of the Plansee you will eventually come to the path to Bichlbach. The village of Bichlbach, with about 770 inhabitants, is small, but offers a lot of leisure activities in its sport and leisure park, such as the climbing forest. After this, the biking tour in Tyrol runs through the village of Lermoos, to the edge of Ehrwald. Here, in the valley between the communities of Lermoos, Ehrwald, and Biberwier, you have the best view of all the mountains around, as well as the Zugspitze massif. Finally, the route continues in the direction of Griesen: Before that, there is still the Häselgöhr waterfall, which is also worth a visit. The tour is over once you arrive in Griesen.

So, in summary, one thing’s easy to see: whether you love unspoilt mountain pastures, exciting glaciers, old chapels, fun and games on the summer toboggan runs, viewing platforms, or playgrounds – the Zugspitz-8 biking tours offer much more than simply cycling.

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