E-bike: Discovering the source of the Isar

14. May 2019

The journey is as long as it is turbulent, as eventful as it is exciting. On its way through Europe, each drop of water only takes three days to flow into the Black Sea. This journey begins at an altitude of 1162 metres and leads through 10 countries. We go to the point where everything begins: the source of the Isar near Scharnitz in the Karwendel mountains. And we go by e-bike.

Turquoise water, huge mountain views

The Isar is Bavaria’s fourth largest river. In the Karwendelgebirge, just behind the Austrian border in the Olympiaregion Seefeld in Tyrol, the river is still a small stream. The first 22 kilometres lead through Tyrol. And the river is a true gem: The water is shimmering turquoise, so clear that you can see every single stone on the ground, every little fish in it.

This is why today’s goal is to follow the Isar to its source. Therefore we borrowed e-bikes. The route is not difficult, but the e-bike allows us to travel the approximately 14 km more easily whilst still being able to fully take in the impressive views. We start in Scharnitz at the car park Länd at the entrance to the three Karwendel valleys. Here, you can also find the Holzerhütte. A museum which tells the history of the wood use in the Karwendel and served the forest workers in former times as accommodation.

The car park is the starting point for many bike tours. Next to us, a couple swings on their bikes to ride to the Karwendelhaus. Also with electrical support, as we can see. The motor makes it possible for groups, families and partners with different physical abilities to do more challenging tours together.

The picturesque way through the Karwendel

Our tour leads us through the Hinterautal valley, always along the splashing brook. On the way we meet not only many other bikers, but also hikers, who cool their feet in the clear water, looking up to the mighty mountain peaks that surround us. Of course we also stop at the “cairn colony”  to immortalize ourselves there. Stones carefully stacked on top of each other create artistic figures that line the Isar like little peaceful soldiers.

Finally we reach the source of the Isar. A small sign shows us the way to the sources and springs. Situated in a light forest, flooded with sunlight, the ice-cold water flows out of the mountain. We can only cool our feet for a second, our skin immediately starts to tingle. We enjoy the moment and take a deep breath of the mountain air before we get company from other visitors of the source of the Isar. This is our sign to cycle on to the Kastenalm to do something good not only for our feet but also for thirsty and hungry bodies.

For us one thing is certain: If you are looking for adventure, love huge mountains and want to discover the source of the Isar, you will love the bike tour along the idyllic Isar in the Karwendel Nature Park.


You are motivated to get on the bike and cycle to the source of the Isar now? You can easily rent an e-bike at one of the numerous rental stations in the region. You can find more information about the rental stations here! All further information about e-bikes can be found here. And last but not least: If you’ve already been to the source of the Isar and would like to discover more destinations, we have a list with many more bike routes and tours here.

Further links:

Discover the source of the Isar! Find the route to the source and the Kastenalm here and have a great day on the bike!

E-Biking in the Olympiaregion Seefeld

Source of the river Isar


Fotos: Ronny Kiaulehn, Laura Zobernig, Stefan Wolf

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