ICE AGE VALLEYS
The World Heritage Site spans two sections of the valley. The Ach and Lone Valleys are now joined by the new “Ice Age Valleys” cycle track. The whole route is around 75 km long and is therefore ideal for e-bikers.
The tour starts in Schelklingen, runs through the beautiful countryside of the Ach Valley, and past the archaeological sites of Hohle Fels, Sirgenstein and Geißenklösterle towards Blaubeuren. A visit to the Museum of Prehistory here is well worth it; you will be able to see the original famous “Venus of Hohle Fels”.
The route runs along the Blau river to Ulm via Blaustein, and makes a stop right at Museum Ulm, where the Lion-man of Hohlenstein is on display.
From Ulm, you can cycle north; you can then cycle via Beimerstetten to the Lone Valley. Cyclists can enjoy a stunning panorama of nature on the way to the archaeological sites at Bockstein and Hohlenstein-Stadel; the track then ends at Vogelherd. This forms part of the Archaeopark Vogelherd in Niederstotzingen, where you can discover the lives of Ice Age humans through themed areas.
The tour makes use of existing cycle tracks and can be followed in both directions. It can also be easily combined with other cycle tracks. You can arrive at and depart from the Schelklingen, Blaubeuren or Niederstotzingen railway stations. Ulm is an ideal starting point particularly for visitors who only want to cycle through one of the two valleys.
CYCLE TRACK INFORMATION
Cycle track signage
On the main cycle tracks, you will find green and white signs, situated at crossings. Some of the cycle track signs also include additional tourist information indicating the route for tourists’ cycling tours (e.g. Ice Age Valleys). There are also intermediate guide posts for route guidance.
E-bike charging stations
• Technische Werke
Neue Straße 79
• Archaeopark Vogelherd
Am Vogelherd 1
Guide posts and signs
Main guide posts at crossings
Intermediate guide posts
Ice Age Valleys tour sign
A detailed map and GPS data are available on the online tour portal Outdooractive.
40,000 year ago, Ice Age humans created figurative works of art and musical instruments in the caves of the Ach and Lone Valleys; these are now some of the oldest artefacts of their kind anywhere in the world. Since 2017, both valley sections have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura”.
To this day, both valleys remain largely untouched and are best explored via cycle tracks and hiking trails. A part of the Ice Age caves is freely accessible. Visitors can discover the lives of Ice Age humans and see the original works of art, unique in the world.
CYCLE BACK THROUGH TIME
A number of spectacular discoveries were made at Hohle Fels in Schelklingen, among them one of the earliest depictions of a woman, the “Venus of Hohle Fels”. Excavations are still carried out here during the summer months. You can visit the caves from the beginning of May to the end of October (Weds–Sun).
The flutes discovered at Geißenklösterle are some of the oldest examples of musical instruments anywhere in the world. The cave is freely accessible.
Sirgenstein was sought out by humans again and again over a period of around 60,000 years. Stone tools were the main discovery made here. The cave is freely accessible, outside of bird breeding seasons.
Museum of Prehistory
The Blaubeuren Museum of Prehistory is the main museum for Ice Age art in the state of Baden-Württemberg. It displays the original “Venus of Hohle Fels”, animal figurines, jewellery and the oldest flute in the world.
The Lion-man of Hohlenstein-Stadel is the most famous discovery from the Lone Valley caves. The hybrid creature combining a European cave lion and a human is the largest original Ice Age sculpture and is housed at Museum Ulm.
Excavations at Hohlenstein near Asselfingen revealed an abundance of Ice Age discoveries. One of the most fascinating objects, the Lion-man hybrid creature combining a lion and a human, has given rise to various myths and theories, and boasts an exciting excavation history. The cave is freely accessible.
Objects belonging to Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans were found in the Bockstein caves. Stone tools were also the main discovery made here, among them the famous “Bockstein knife”.
The Vogelherd cave in the archaeopark is the site with the highest number of Ice Age figurines in the World Heritage Site. At the park, Ice Age culture is brought to life through experience points. The archaeopark is normally open from April to October. It is possible to visit during the winter months if you book in advance.