Climbing trip to Allgäu (Germany) by train and bike

Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, the Allgäu offers climbers a playground, with routes ranging from beginner-friendly to challenging. Everyone can test their skills while soaking in the region’s serene beauty. As public transport is not the best in the region, it is a great place to go climbing by bike.

How to get there

I started from Marseille, going to Isny in the Allgäu. Therefore I took the train TGV ( 7 hours) to Mannheim Hbf and then changed trains and took the train ICE ( 1h40min) to Ulm Hbf. Then I changed trains and took the train RE ( 1h9min) to Kempten (Allgaeu) Hbf. The total journey took me 10h15min.

The transport of the bike in the train was hard. As the journey included a TGV I had to dismantle the bike and put it in a case. This is annoying because then you must carry the bike case around. Also, doing the train transfers becomes really a hustle because you have to carry the dismantled bike plus your luggage. It is also not very good the bike to be sitting around dismantled in a train as it can be damaged. In the bike case, I protect the fork of my bike with a t-shirt and the plateau with a special support available at decathlon (see picture). From an institutional point of view, there is a lot to do in terms of enabling people to travel easily with a bike on a train, this is why it is still a hustle. But don’t give up! When more people ask for systems to travel in a sustainable way it accelerates the process.

Where to stay

I stayed in Isny in Allgäu, but there are also other accomodations like apartments, campsites and hotels.

How to reach the crag(s)

The crags in the area can be reached by train and bike. Depending on where you stay, you can first take the train to Immenstadt (for Rottachberg) or Oberstdorf (for Tiefenbach). If you want to try crags in the “Ostrachtal”, you take the train to Sonthofen (for reaching the Weihar or Kraftwand).

From the train stations, you can bike to the various crags, which takes around 20-50 minutes. There are also buses in the valleys but they are not as often as you would wish, therefore it is best to take the bike.

Tips

There are plenty of supermarkets in each town (Sonthofen, Immenstadt, Oberstdorf, Bad Hindelang) that can easily be reached on the way to the crags.

On rest days, you can go for hikes in the mountains or explore the area by bike. If you like, there is also a on-demand bus that takes you to different places around Bad Hindelang, you find more information here.

There are also bouldering in multi-pitch routes in the area.

How to book the trip

I used an interrail ticket for this travel. With interrail tickets you can travel in regional and ICE trains without a reservation but for TGV you need a seat reservation. There are only a few spots available per TGV for interrail travellers. Thus, in summer it is important to book the TGV more or less 2 weeks before to make sure to have a spot. It costs approximately 25€ + the cost of the interrail ticket. In low season (October – April except winter and spring holidays) there is less people travelling with interrail so the seat reservations can be booked later.

About the author

Eline Le Menestrel & Lena Müller

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