Thuringia offers more than just bratwurst. The Free State is located in the heart of Germany and is known not only for the Thuringian Forest and the Wartburg Castle. The state doesn't have a metropolis, but it does have culturally and historically significant cities such as Erfurt, Weimar, and Eisenach. Weimar, where Goethe, Schiller, and Herder once resided, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Eisenach is the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, and Erfurt, the state capital, is home to many Luther sites. Gera, situated on the banks of the White Elster River, is the birthplace of the painter Otto Dix. The "Thuringian City Chain" long-distance cycle path connects seven historic cities from Eisenach in the west to Altenburg in the east, traversing the entire region.
Following the rivers Gera, Saale, Unstrut, and the Ilm Valley, cycling paths run alongside the water. The Ilm Valley Cycle Path connects the Thuringian Forest with the Saale-Unstrut wine region and is among the popular cycling routes in Germany, awarded four stars by the ADFC (German Cyclist's Federation)..
Take to the heights on the Rennsteig. Stretching 195 kilometers along the ridge of the Thuringian Forest, this trail offers natural and untouched terrain for mountain bikers, including thrilling downhill sections.
The Hainich National Park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is Germany's largest contiguous deciduous forest area. For decades, large portions of these forests were military restricted zones. Where the former inner German border once stood, cycling is now possible.