02 From Ulm to Imst via the Allgau
Published: 29/03/2020
Neuschwanstein Castle (RP 18)
This is the second stage of a tour through Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The routes were plotted and driven in 2015 by Marc Telkamp.

During today's route you will realize that your holiday has really started. The landscape changes. The hills slowly merge into mountains. The vistas become more and more impressive and the Alps loom up. The first real Alpine passes roll under your wheels today.

The route from Ulm to Imst is one to enjoy. It is not too long, so you can regularly stop for photos, to visit an attraction or simply to take in the mighty mountains. For these reasons, the route receives 4 stars.

Today you drive the first part of the route through Germany. The roads are long, easy to drive and a pleasant change after a long first day with many kilometers.

Before leaving Ulm, cross the Danube River (RP 5). The second longest river in Europe was already used as a trade route by the Romans and Greeks. Today, the Danube is still one of the most important shipping routes within the EU: the river provides a connection between the North Sea and the Black Sea.

Slowly you leave Ulm and its suburb Neu-Ulm. The bustle of the city is replaced by the tranquility in the outer areas. After half an hour's drive you come to a special area: Roggenburg (RP 7). For more than three centuries, Roggenburg was one of the 40 self-governing imperial abbeys of the Holy Roman Empire and as such a virtually independent state. This status has brought wealth to the abbey, which you can still see today in the (almost unchanged) Baroque church building and its beautiful organ. If you find it interesting, it is definitely worth parking and visiting the monastery.

After your visit to the monastery, the route continues towards the South. You will cross the river Günz, which eventually turns northward into the Danube. Your first break of the day is in the town of Mindelheim. This small modest town dates from the Middle Ages and therefore has a beautiful city center, where you can take a lovely break on a terrace. You drive under the Oberes Tor after which you can park your motorcycle on the Marienplatz. From here, choosing is where you want to sit: do you have an iced coffee at ice cream bar “Gelati amo si”? Or are you going for a delicious cake at Bäckerei-Konditorei Ried?

The terrain is now becoming more Alpine. You will pass the Bärensee (RP 14) and Forggensee (RP 17). The latter is made to absorb the melting snow from the Alps, preventing the surrounding from flooding.

People who have visited the region around Forggensee will know the area for another reason: Neuschwanstein (RP 18). This castle is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Germany and inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland. Unfortunately, your own horsepower is not allowed to drive up the mountain to the castle. You can park in one of the parking fields at the foot of the hill and from there go under your own power or 2 HP (horse-drawn carriage) to the entrance of the castle. Its popularity means that the castle attracts an average of 1.3 million visitors per year. Choose for yourself whether you want to blend in with this crowd or just admire the castle from a distance.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds and enjoy a beautiful view or walk in nature, it is worth visiting Walderlebniszentrum Ziegelwies (RP 20). The Baumkronenweg (tree top walk) is a 480 meter long and 21 meter high walk above the treetops. The walk offers a beautiful view of the Lech River.

After crossing the border between Germany and Austria on foot (via the Baumkronenweg), you can now really cross the border to Austria by motorbike. In order not to connect directly to the hustle and bustle of the Fernpass, you first drive a bit over the Kniepass (RP 21).

From Reutte it continues on the Fernpass. Holidaymakers and freight traffic like to use this route, so it unfortunately does not really continue. Fortunately, Highline 179 (RP 24) makes it worth taking it away. You can take a break here at the Gasthof in the valley along the way: they serve delicious Strudels. Even more impressive is the highline itself. This suspension bridge floats above the Gasthof at a height of 114 meters and connects Fort Claudia with the ruin Ehrenberg. The 406 meter long suspension bridge provides spectacular views over the surrounding valley.

Before leaving the hustle and bustle of the Fernpass for the tranquility of the Tyrolean mountains, you can refuel at the last gas station before the end of today's route (RP 27).

The end of this route is the “icing on the cake”. You drive over the Namlosspass and Hahntenjoch. These two mountain passes are a breath of fresh air on the busy Fernpass. They are also your first real Alpine mountain passes this holiday; the mountains now tower above 2000 meters. With a big smile on your face you drive to your hotel in the mountain town of Imst.

If you arrive early at the hotel, consider visiting the Rosengartenschlucht. If you want to believe the information on the website of the Tyrolean Tourist Board, this is the most beautiful gorge in Austria. The gorge is 2 kilometers long and during the hike you make your way through tunnels and stairs carved in the rock. If you don't want to venture too far at the end of the day, a walk through the baroque city center of Imst is certainly a nice ending on a hopefully fine second day of your holiday.
Hahntennjoch (RP 30)
Highline 179 (RP 24)
Useful links:
Neuschwanstein Castle
Walderlebniszentrum Ziegelwies
Highline 179
Hotel Gasthaus Zum Hirschen

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The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Tirol", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Tyrol (; historically the Tyrole; German: Tirol [tiˈʁoːl] (listen); Italian: Tirolo) is a historical region in the Alps—in Northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, from its formation in the 12th century until 1919. In 1919, following World War I and dissolution of Austria-Hungary, it was divided into two modern administrative parts through the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye: State of Tyrol: formed through the merger of North and East Tyrol, as part of Austria Region of Trentino-Alto Adige: at that time still with Souramont (Cortina d'Ampezzo, Livinallongo del Col di Lana and Colle Santa Lucia) and the municipalities Valvestino, Magasa and Pedemonte, seized in 1918 by the Kingdom of Italy, and thus since 1946 part of the Italian Republic.With the founding of the European region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino the area has its own legal entity since 2011 in the form of a European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation.
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View route collection Roundtrip Eastern Europe via Slovenia Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina
About this route collection
This route collection builds up to one great adventure in Eastern Europe. All routes combined make a 19 day roundtrip through Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia Herzegovina. It aims to show the beauty of Eastern Europe, displaying how relaxed it can be to ride here. Quiet roads, friendly people, good food and impressive nature and culture will be your host throughout the trip.

As there’s so much to see and experience along the route, you might want to plan a longer trip than the 19 days. What about staying an extra day at Lake Bled (Slovenia)? Or taking some time in Zadar (Croatia) to marvel at the old city and its beautiful sea view. Or what about the idea to stay an extra day in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to soak up the coffee culture and the city’s atmosphere? Or go hiking at the Plitvice Lakes (Croatia)? Or do a via Ferrata in Logarska Dolina (Slovenia)? Or … The options are too numerous to mention them all.

And off course, travelling through the Black Forest, the Alps and Dolomites is always a beautiful experience. Along your way you’ll have plenty opportunities to enjoy impressive sights, both natural and cultural.

The length of the routes are long enough so you can cover distances, as well as spend time to stop and enjoy natural and cultural highlights. Please do note that the routes may demand solid riding skills and a good condition. The main roads in Eastern Europe are definitely improving, but for this collection a large number of smaller scenic roads have been selected to make the riding more adventurous. Please be aware that these smaller roads can be in poor condition as they are not so frequently used and maintained.