Elbe cycle route

Elbe cycle route: Magnificent castles and delights

The Elbe cycle path is extremely popular. It accompanies the Elbe from the Krkonoše Mountains in Northern Chechnya for about 1,220 kilometres to Cuxhaven on the North Sea. This is one of the most frequented German Cycling Way. At the same time, it was the most popular long-distance cycle path for many times in a row.

Rückenwind holidays on the Elbe cycle route

Rückenwind Reisen offers you a whole package of attractive cycle tours on the elbe cycle route. They all lead almost through flat terrain and are easy to cycle. And every single trip shows you many beautiful sights and natural landscapes along the elbe cycle route. You have the choice between guide group tours from Prague to Dresden of for different individual tours from Prague to Cuxhaven. Each tour offer has its own character and shows you the elbe cycle route from a slightly different side.

There is more than just on reason for a cycling holiday on the elbe cycle path. There a dozens and everyone is very convincing. Romantic castles, sandy beaches at the north sea, bizarre rock landscape near Bad Schandau and world-class sights in Dresden. The cultural richness along the Elbe is impressive as well as the beautiful nature. 

On request, a cycling holiday will take you here to the major cities of Hamburg, Magdeburg and Dresden with their famous buildings such as the Hamburger Michel, the Semperoper in Dresden and the Magdeburg Cathedral. Tours on the Elbe bike path will also show you romantic wine villages and the charms of many small towns such as:

  • Lauenburg with the Elbe Maritime Museum
  • Hitzacker with romantic half timbered houses on the city island
  • Dessau-Roßlaus with the UNESCO World heritage-listed Dessau-Wörlitzer Gartenreich
  • Lutherstadt Wittenberg with its famous castle church
  • Torgau with about 500 monuments from the late Gothic and Renaissance,
  • the porcelain city Meißen

Last but not least, the Elbe cycle path takes you to the beautiful landscapes such as Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland, the biosphere reserve "Elbe river landscape (Flusslandschaft Elbe)" and the costal landscape around Cuxhaven on the North Sea. As a specialist for cycling holidays, we offer a variety of Elbe cycle path trips with different characters.

Bike Tour Elberadweg

If you look for reasons for this popularity of this bike path, you will find it quickly. On German soil, the Elbe Cycle Path from Bad Schandau and Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna leads through beautiful landscapes such as Saxon Switzerland and the Biosphere Reserve “Elbe River Landscape” The Elbe Cycle Path crosses fascinating cities such as Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg and finally reaches the sea near Cuxhaven. The cultural richness of the Elbe regions impresses as well as the lush nature.

First the Moldau, then the Elbe: from Prague to Dresden!

This guided or individual cycling tour starts at the Vltava River in Prague. Experience the Golden City in the Czech Republic with its fascinating sights such as the Hradcany, Charles Bridge and the Jewish Quarter. From Prague your way leads to Melnik and the Elbe cycle path. The cycle tour takes you along a particularly beautiful route through the countryside via Leitmeritz and Decin to Germany and on to Dresden with its magnificent baroque buildings.

To the bike tour "From Prague to Dresden"

Bike Tour Elbe-Radweg

Dresden

Dresden, the capital of Saxony, is – seen from the North Sea – the third state capital to which the Elbe Cycle Path takes you. It is also called the Elbflorenzce as a city of art with charming architecture. Frauenkirche, Semperoper and Zwinger are the three most famous buildings and landmarks of the city. But Dresden is much richer in cultural treasures. In addition to the landmarks, the Dresden Residenzschloss, the Dresden Catholic Court Church on the Theaterplatz, the Stallhof and the Fürstenzug are architecturally charming.

Outside the old town, a visit to Saxony’s capital is also worthwhile. Here, for example, one encounters scenic districts such as the Outer New Town with houses in the Gründerzeit style, the Baroque quarter around Dresden’s Königstrasse and the Japanese Palace, which, like many other castle buildings in the region, was built for August der Starke.

Dresden is a city of great art, as evidenced by the State Art Collections Dresden with collections in the Dresden Castle and the Zwinger. Dresden is also a city with charming parks such as the "Großer Garten" as well as testimonies of industrial culture such as the Yenidze, an oriental-looking former cigarette factory. In short, Dresden is diversity.

Excursion to Pirna and Saxony Switzerland

Small towns, big holiday destinations

In addition to the large towns along the Elbe cycle route, many smaller towns with their own character make a holiday with the bike on the Elbe to an unforgettable experience. We would like to introduce some of them. Each of these Elbe towns are worth seeing.

We recommend cycling upstream from Dresden to Bad Schandau, the panorama is more attractive. You come from the wide valley into the narrow Elbe breakthrough, which offers something for the eye. 

Pirna

Pirna's old town is a feast for the eyes! In the middle ages Pirna was a very rich town. Until the end of the 15th century. In the 19th century it was the most important trading centre on the Elbe between Magdeburg and Leitzmeritz. Very worth seeing is the town church St. Marien with a wonderful ceiling painting from the 16th century.. Use the time in Pirna also for a visit on the Sonnenstein: The old fortress offers a great view over the valley and the river Elbe.

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Bike Tour Elbe-Prag-Dresden

And beyond the German border, the river also knows how to be a good reason for cycling. Here you will find Czech cities such as Mělník and Litoměřice with buildings such as Mělník Castle and St. Stephen’s Cathedral on the Elbe. About one third of the river is located on Czech territory.

Finally, the Elbe cycle route also offers a lot of culinary delights. This is not least due to the wine produced from the grapes grown on the Elbe, but also to many regional specialities.

They start on the Elbe cycle path in Dresden. This city welcomes you with many highlights. Then start your journey on the bike path.

Elbe cycle path

Bastion

The bastion is part of an old rock castle, from here large parts of the region around the Elbe and its surroundings could be controlled. Early on, the bastion became the most important excursion destination in Saxon Switzerland. From Rathen you can reach the bastion only by foot on a track that has been used sinde 200 years. Back and forth, it’s about. 45 minutes.

Königsstein

From the fortress you have great views of Saxon Switzerland, the Mountains (Erzgebirge) and the Elbe valley. There is not too much crowd here, even in a high-season period. You can get acquainted with different aspects of the history of the fortress in several buildings. When the weather is clear, you can see all the way to Dresden.

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From Prague to Dresden

8 Days | Self-guided Tour
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Elbe bike path | Dresden-Dessau

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Dresden - based in one hotel

7 Days | Self-guided Tour
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A short trip around Dresden

If you only have a few days to spend a nice holiday on the Elbe cycle path, the best choice is this short tour along the Elbe. You will stay this overnights in Dresden and cycle from here to the charming surroundings. Your tours will take you to the picturesque Elbe sandstone mountains with its charming mix of forest, mountain and rock, as well as to Meissen with the Albrechtsburg castle and the world-famous Meissen porcelain factory.

From Dresden to Meissen

Radebeul

Take a short detour to Winnetou and Kara Ben Nemsi in the Karl May Museum! The wine-growing museum in Hoflössnitz is also unique. Housed in a former Lusthaus (In the courtly culture of the Renaissance and Baroque, a Lusthaus was a venue for festivals, receptions and social events. Here, larger and smaller festivities were held, feastmakers were held and danced) of the Dresden Electors – the ambience is worth a detour. The colourful birds of the Amazon delight eyes and hearts in the ballroom. And the very best is the wine from this only organic winery along the Upper Elbe. Try it in the cozy courtyard of the corresponding probation room.

On the Elbe cycle path we continue through Schrebergärten to Alt-Kötzschenbroda. At Kirchplatz on the left through the beautifully renovated village centre of Alt-Kötzschenbroda. The place is a so-called street square village, typical for the settlement of this region.

Radebeul can also be reached on a trip on the Elbe cycle path. This small town on the Elbe is famous for one of your most famous inhabitants: Karl May. Get to know the famous novel figures of the author such as Winnetour and Kara Ben Nemsi in the Karl May Museum. What is unique in Radebeul is the Wine Museum in the Hoflössnitz, a former Lusthaus of the Electors of Dresden.

Sörnewitz

The village of Sörnewitz is located below the Bosel, a rock that is close to the Elbe. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Saxony, has already been awarded prizes and has wonderful wine taverns. Just before your destination Meissen, treat yourself to a pint of Müller-Thurgau, Goldriesling or Traminer - traditional grape varieties on the Elbe.

Between Sörnewitz and Meissen, the Spaar Mountains rise above the Elbe, originally an island in the Elbe. Today the heart of Elbe wine beats here - the vineyards in the Spaar are considered the best in the region.

Meißen

Here is the origin of today’s Saxony. A thousand years ago, the colonization of the upper Elbe valley, Saxon Switzerland and the east Mountains (Erzgebirge) began from Meissen. a nice overview of the centre with its 1,800 monuments dating back 700 years offers a public guided tour, which starts every day at 1:00 a.m. Then visit the cathedral and the castle.

Good wine and delicious dishes

A trip on the Elbe cycle path is also a culinary delight. Many restaurants make it very easy for cyclists to get to know culinary delights. They offer the so-called Elberadweg plates, often with typical dishes of the region. However, it does not necessarily have to be an Elberadweg plate if you want to turn a cycling holiday on the Elbe into a culinary experience.

Many cities, villages and regions along the river have their own specialities. This applies, of course, to the metropolis of Hamburg. Labskaus is not only one of the typical dishes. Eel soup and cabbage are also often served. If you take the Elbe cycle path to Magdeburg, you should try “Bötel mit Lehm und Stroh”. The typical dish for the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt is ice leg, sauerkraut and hereditary purée.

Dresden also has goodies to offer. Among the culinary specialities of the big city on the Elbe are the famous Dresden Stollen and other desserts such as the Dresden Eierschnecke or Saxon Quarkkäulchen. Last but not least, the Bohemian cuisine on the Elbe in the Czech Republic is worth many a culinary sin. The Elbe cycle path takes you here to delicious delicacies such as the Bohemian Dumplings and a good roast pork.

Of course, each region also offers you international food and/or meat lots in the restaurants. All culinary preferences are served. Bon appetit.

Meißen to Riesa

Cycle on the right side of the Elbe, even if it should be warmer. You will come through the beautiful wine villages with the best refreshments and to the castle Seusslitz.

Seußlitz

Take some time to visit the castle park and the castle church of Seusslitz. The park is in the front a baroque garden, in the rear an English garden. Pure idyll. The castle is built on the walls of a medieval monastery, the castle church is the former monastery church. If you’re lucky, the castle is open. Just walk in and take a look around.

Neuhirschstein

About 2 km behind Seusslitz Castle, Neuhirschstein Castle sits on the left bank of the Elbe River. In 1892 he bought a textile manufacturer as a wedding present for his daughter, in 1943 he was confiscated by the SS.

Today the castle belongs to the municipality of Hirschstein, which uses it after renovations as a somewhat pompous community house. Open on Sunday afternoon and worth a detour just because of the romantic surroundings.

Bike Tour Elbe-Radweg

Leckwitz

You pass a so-called Heidenschanze, a large fortification wall, which the "pagan" Sorbs built in the early Middle Ages to protect the Elbe ford of Merschwitz.

Riesa

There is a historic centre with a pretty city park behind the town hall. Look inside the town hall – it is a converted monastery with some nice details in the corridors and in the staircase. With a little luck, the receptionist in the entrance area locks up the "Trauzimmer" (Wedding Room) – a Gothic gem – with baroque paintings.

From Riesa to Torgau

From Riesa you come to the Elbauen, a vast and sparsely populated landscape. From time to time we take the Elbe cycle path clearly away from the Elbe. The agricultural paths near the Elbe are usually unpaved and often end up in nothing, so they are not suitable for a carefree cycling pleasure.

Go to Mühlberg on the Elbe cycle path on the right side of the river, this is the nicer way.

Mühlberg

Be sure to cycle through the small town, despite the cobblestone. More than 80% of the old town houses come from the 14th to the 19th century. It is a small journey through time where there is something beautiful to discover.

You will pass the town hall and the Frauenkirche at the Neustädter Markt and the castle. The Frauenkirche next to the town hall is usually open during the day – inside, among other things, a beautiful late Gothic altar with a Renaissance version.

Exceptional is the large monastery district, which is still largely preserved. 800 years ago, the Cistercian monastery of Marienstern was founded and certainly played a large part in the development of the region for German colonists. The size of the preserved medieval buildings suggests the economic importance of the monastery, where 60 nuns lived.

Belgern

The Elbe cycle path runs below the old town of Belgern along the Elbe. Walking in Luther’s footsteps, you can take a detour there – a beautiful city church. The old town thrones floodproof over the Elbe.

Martinskirchen

This small village of Martinskirchen with about 250 inhabitants is one of the most important castles in the state of Brandenburg. It was planned and designed by Dresden’s court artists around 1750. Remarkable is a large "Mamorsaal" (hall of marble) with a valuable ceiling painting.

Torgau
Bike Tour Elbe-Radweg

In addition to Wittenberg, Torgau became the most important city of the Reformation. In Wittenberg, the theological foundations of the Lutheran faith were worked out in Torgau. The old town is largely preserved and still consumes in its appearance the splendour of the !Residenzstadt", which it was from about 1480 to 1550. Since then, time has stopped and Torgau has landed on a sidewalk of history. This has preserved her wonderfully.

To get to know each other, we recommend a guided tour of the city every day at 2 p. m. The city of Torgau has thankfully opened some old town houses. You will be familiarized with the everyday life of the different social strata in Torgau. You can visit each of the houses individually or get a cheap combination card.

From Dresden to Dessau: the beauties of the Elbe valley

This ten-day cycling tour along the Elbe takes you from Dreden to Dessau and is characterized by its short stages. This means that you have plenty of space to enjoy every stage and to see sights in peace. And there is much to see: The baroque old town of Dresden is located on this section of the Elbe cycle path as well as the porcelain city of Meissen, small Elbe villages in an idyllic location and the Lutheran city of Wittenberg

Elbe cycling tour from Magdeburg to the sea

Elbe cycling tour from Magdeburg to the sea
On this cycling holiday on the Elbe cycle route you start in Magdeburg and cycle through beautiful natural landscapes towards the coast. Experience the “Old Elbe” nature reserve and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe-Brandenburg, one of the most fascinating river regions in Germany. With half-timbered and northern German brick gothic, the North shows itself from its romantic side. Via the metropolis of Hamburg you can reach the end of Cuxhaven, the beaches and the sea.

To the elbe bike path north

More than 50 lighthouses are located between the mouth of the Elbe into the North Sea near Cuxhaven and the Port of Hamburg. Most of you are still in operation and are essential for shipping. Many beacons along the Elbe blink in a double pack. This helps the captain navigate. If he sees only the underfire when steering to far left or right of the upper fire, he has to keep to the back or starboard in order to get back on track.

Interesting facts about the Elbe

The Elbe stretches 1094 kilometres from its source in the Giant Mountains to its mouth in the North Sea near Cuxhaven. The river flows through major cities such as Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg. The Port of Hamburg is the third largest seaport and container port in Europe after Rotterdam and Antwerp. Particularly worth seeing along the lower Elbe are the Hanseatic city of Stade and the “Old Land” in Lower Saxony. Our “Hanse Round Tour” takes you through Stade and the “Old Land.

Bike Tour Bremen to Kiel
Great cities, outstanding buildings

The Elbe cycle path connects the three fascinating capitals of the federal states of Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. Hamburg, Magdeburg, Dresden: All three cities have their own character, shining with outstanding buildings, beautiful parks and great art. The question which of the cities is the most beautiful of all can only be answered individually.

Hamburg

Although Hamburg is not located by the sea, it is nevertheless the city with the largest and probably most famous seaport in Germany. This city alone is already a good reason to visit the city to see gigantic container ships and other ships on a harbour tour from close range. But there are of course many other and very good reasons to travel to Hamburg.

In cultural life, the Hanseatic city is also often shaped by the lake and the history of maritime commerce: Hamburg is the location of the International Maritime Museum, the museum port of Oevelgönne and the Speicherstadt, which today houses museums such as the Gewürzmuseum and the Zollmuseum.

A landmark of Hamburg is the Michel, the tower of the Church of St. Michaelis. If you talk about the city, however, St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn must not be missing. The most sinful mile in the world presents itself a bit wicked and always extremely entertaining with bars, nightclubs and discos. Hamburg is also the location of many musicals, a city with numerous stages and bridges as well as beautiful parks such as “Planten un Blomen”, which also includes the Japanese Garden with Tea House.

Magdeburg

Magdeburg’s landmark is the cathedral “St. Mauritius and St. Katharina”, which was consecrated in 1363 and is known far beyond the city limits. Saxony-Anhalt is also known as the Otto-Stadt, which is due to the physicist Otto von Guericke, who was born in Magdeburg. The Otto-von-Guericke-Museum in the "Lukasklause" is dedicated to him.

Next to the cathedral, the Monastery of Unser Lieben Frauen in the old town of Magdeburg is one of the most sacred sights in the city. It is considered one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Germany and today serves as an art museum.

Other highlights in the city area are the old town hall, the grounds of the citadel of Friedensreich Hundertwasser and the Hasselbachplatz, which today serves as a scene and pub district. A technical masterpiece is the crossroads on which the Mittelland Canal crosses the Elbe.

In Magdeburg there are also some very attractive parks such as the Elbauenpark with the Millennium Tower, which presents in an interactive exhibition “6,000 years of the history of science and technology of mankind”

Bike Tour Bremen-Kiel Cuxhaven

Sansteinfels, the Old Land and the Sea

It is not only the cities on the way that make up the attractiveness of the Elbe cycle route. The landscapes on the Elbe are just as charming. Among them is the seaside land near Cuxhaven, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Wadden Sea. Lush and fertile is the region "Alte Land" near Hamburg, Germany’s largest fruit-growing area. The extensive biosphere reserve “Elbe River Landscape” with its floodplain forests, numerous meadows, inland dunes and waters as well as with animals such as the beaver and about 200 breeding bird species is attractive. Saxon Switzerland, the German part of the Elbe Sandstein Mountains with its rock needles, fortresses and rock gates, as well as the Elbe Valley in the Czech Giant Mountains with the Elbe Falls, where the Elbe falls about 40 meters into the depth. Do you want to enjoy beautiful landscapes? The Elbe cycle path takes you there!

Rückenwind Reisen: With us to the Elbe cycle route!

Rückenwind Reisen is a provider of cycling as well as cycling and ship travel, which is already celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020 and has been able to attract numerous customers since the start of the company. For example, when travelling on the Elbe Cycle Trail, Rückenwind offers a cycling trip from Prague to Dresden, from Dresden to Magdeburg and from Magdeburg via Hamburg to Cuxhaven. All tours are designed with attention to detail and promise maximum holiday enjoyment. Which one would you choose?

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Elbe bike path | Magdeburg-Hamburg

8 Days | Self-guided Tour
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Elbe bike path | Magdeburg-Cuxhaven

11 Days | Self-guided Tour
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