Sporty bike loop around Saverne (3h)

Updated on 2024-04-23

As you know, I like to test many cycling loops in Alsace. We are fortunate to have a lot of different itineraries to choose from, where you can enjoy yourself no matter what your level is. This cycling loop around Saverne, which is the BL 370 "Rohan castles and abbeys", is for those who like a bit of sport: it is an itinerary with two nice climbs! In total, it is about 40km long, with between 600 and 700m of positive elevation gain.

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

If this seems too much, you should know that it is also possible to split the course in two, since it is actually composed of two loops forming a figure eight. You can choose to do only a 10km loop or a 30km loop, each one having its own beautiful climb. This way you will only have one instead of two 😉

This loop starting from Saverne is really magnificent and allows you to discover several emblematic places of the region, such as the Mont Saint-Michel, the Castle of Haut-Barror the abbey of Marmoutier. We mix sport and beautiful discoveries, I loved it!

From Saverne to Mont Saint-Michel

I chose to do the itinerary in the opposite direction from the “official” Alsace by bike itinerary: I preferred to do the two good climbs in the first part (which also allowed me to stop for lunch in Marmoutier with only an easy portion left after the meal! So, let’s go to the Mont Saint-Michel for the first part. We begin by skirting the marina of Saverne, with in bottom the splendid Castle of Rohan, before leaving the city in direction of Saint-Jean-Saverne.

I have already written about our Alsatian Mont Saint Michel. It’s a place I love and where I go regularly, but I had never been on a bike before. It goes up well but the slope is not too steep, the climb is not so long and as a bonus it is shaded. On arrival at the parking lot, we have to climb a little further to reach the church and admire the view. This last little part is a forest road, so I put my foot down because it was not suitable for my road bike, but it is the only portion of the whole route that is not suitable for road bikes. Overall, I recommend this type of bike for this loop. A VCT can also be adapted if you have good calves… Or an electric bike if you don’t trust them 😛

In any case, you should really take the time to go and see the church, to admire the magnificent panorama from the Rond des Sorcières, possibly to have a drink at the chalet of the Club Vosgien if it is open at that time 😉 Don’t hesitate to put your bike down and walk down to admire the Grotte aux fées.

We go down again by the same road in the forest then we return towards Saverne by passing by another way. This is the end of the first loop, the smallest of 10km.

Ascent to the Château du Haut-Barr

For the continuation, direction the castle of Haut-Barr! Another emblematic place of the area, and another place where I had not ridden my bike. The climb is not steep but quite long, and a priori you will make an effort even if you have an electric assistance 😉 Good news, it’s also in the forest so you’ll have some shade too. The castle is a nice reward at the end of the trail, it is an exceptional place: imagine a castle built on huge rocks in pink sandstone of the Vosges! It is possible to enter the castle and climb on these big rocks to admire the view, which I strongly recommend. You can even pass by the Devil’s Bridge, a footbridge installed between two rocks 😉

Between forests, villages and fields

The path then goes down in the middle of the forest before reaching Reinhardsmunster, then Hengwiller, Birkenwald, Salenthal and Marmoutier. The road alternates between fields, forest and crossing of pretty villages. Even though there are almost no bike lanes on this bike loop, traffic is limited so this is not a concern. We can enjoy the landscape quietly!

Break in Marmoutier

Marmoutier is very well known for its abbey church, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Alsace! TheSaint-Etienne de Marmoutier Abbey is worth a visit: enter to admire the interior and its impressive organ. If you are feeling peckish, don’t hesitate to take a lunch break at the restaurant L’Aura, it’s an excellent address!

At this stage of the loop, there are only 7km to go back to Saverne and this portion does not present any difficulty. On arrival, I invite you to visit Saverne, which is a very pretty city.

Bike rental

You can rent an electric bike from the Tourist Office of Saverne.

  • Magnificent loop allowing to discover several emblematic places
  • Panoramas from the Mont Saint-Michel and the Haut-Barr
  • Sporting loop
  • Nothing!

My pictures of the bike loop around Saverne