Easy cycle on flat riverside paths along one of the major rivers of Central Europe
Cycling in the tranquil Elbe valley, past the towering cliffs of the Elbe Sandstone Massif
Historic towns, picturesque riverside villages, and magnificent Renaissance castles
Dresden, the ‘Florence of the Elbe’ and Lutherstadt Wittenberg, cradle of the Reformation
The beautiful garden area of Wörlitz, with its temples, statues, and canals
Cycling holiday along the Elbe: from Bad Schandau to Dessau
This cycling route follows one of the most beautiful sections of the Elbe, Germany’s second longest river. Its characteristic features include the towering Elbe Sandstone Massif, delightful riverbank meadows and impressive terraced vineyards in the wine-producing region around Meissen. There are plenty of historical monuments along the Elbe River Cycle Path between Bad Schandau and Dessau, including magnificent castles, palaces, and well-preserved historical towns and villages.
The Elbe River Cycle Path is relatively flat and follows the course of the river Elbe, which is a ‘slow’ river with little variation in altitude. Most of the trail is in good condition with several cultural and leisure activity offers along the way. It does not really matter whether you cycle upstream or downstream, and this trip can also be booked in the opposite direction, from Dessau to Bad Schandau. However, the prevailing winds from the west and the countryside around the Elbe make the journey upstream preferable.
|8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS||From €630 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for groups of 4 or more. Please enquire for info.
|BIKE RENTAL||If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. All bikes are provided with bicycle locks, repair kit, map holder and one 10L waterproof Ortlieb pannier bag per bike.
We deliver the bicycle at your first accommodation and pick it up from your last accommodation after your last cycling day. You just need to give us your body length, so that you receive the correct bike size, and we take care of everything else.
Bike hire prices
|ACCOMMODATION||7 overnight stay with continental breakfast buffet in *** and ****hotels. Extra nights can also be booked at any of the hotels along the way.|
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and November 15th.|
|DIFFICULTY||This trip is rated as easy overall and is suitable for leisure cyclists. The route is either flat or gently downhill all the way. The longest daily cycle is 68 km, but that is also possible to split over two days. Otherwise, daily distances are between 28 – 45 km.|
Day 1: Individual arrival in Bad Schandau
Your cycling holiday begins in the picturesque little spa town of Bad Schandau on the banks of the river Elbe. Bad Schandau is the gateway for active holidays in Saxon Switzerland and is easily reachable by direct train from Berlin, Dresden, or Prague. After checking in to your hotel, you can take a pleasant stroll around the town’s medieval centre or along the banks of the Elbe, admiring the stunning natural surroundings of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.
Overnight: Bad Schandau
Day 2: Cycle from Bad Schandau to Dresden
Distance: 45 km approx.
Your first cycling day along the Elbe takes you through the magnificent landscapes of the Elbe Sandstone mountains. You will pass the most famous sights of the Saxon Switzerland, such as the Bastei rock formation and bridge in Rathen and the Königstein Fortress. Soon you will see the impressive skyline of the old town of Dresden, with its many spires, towers, and domes. Dresden is the capital city of Saxony and is an extremely picturesque city. Its buildings were lovingly restored following extensive bombings during WWII and it is today known as the ‘Florence of the Elbe’. There are many museums and galleries worth exploring, including the Frauenkirche Cathedral, majestic Zwinger Palace and the Semper Opera House.
Day 3: Cycle from Dresden to Meissen
Distance: 30 km approx.
Continuing your cycle through the serene Elbe valley, you will spot the 1,000-year-old town of Meissen from far away. Its castle hill towers above the river, with its impressive gothic cathedral and Albrechtsburg castle. A visit to the world-famous Meissen porcelain factory is also a must.
You will have noticed many vineyards along your route today, for you are in the heart of one of the smallest yet most distinguished winegrowing regions of Germany. You can reward your efforts this evening with a glass or two of the excellent local wine.
Day 4: Cycle from Meissen to Riesa or Strehla
Distance: 28 km/36 km approx.
Today’s cycle tour will take you past many picturesque wine villages dotted along the Elbe river. We recommend a stop for some wine tasting in Diesbar-Seußlitz. Next stop will be Riesa, with its 12th Century Benedictine monastery, or Strehla with its enchanting rural atmosphere.
Day 5: Cycle from Riesa or Strehla to Torgau
Distance: 48 km/40 km approx.
Your cycle tour continues to today to Torgau. There are many ferry crossings along this section, so you have the option to cycle on either side of the river.
Torgau is best known for its stunning Renaissance castle; Schloss Hartenfels. The castle chapel was consecrated in 1544 by Martin Luther and is regarded as the first-ever newly built Protestant church.
Day 6: Cycle from Torgau to Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Distance: 68 km approx.
From the former Saxon royal residence, you cycle via the village of Pretzsch to the World Heritage town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the cradle of the Reformation. Sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Protestants’, it was here in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses against church corruption to the door of the Schlosskirche, thereby triggering the Reformation movement.
If you feel that today’s cycle is too long, this stage can be split by adding an extra night in Pretzsch (approx. 37 km/35 km). Please enquire for price.
Day 7: Cycle from Lutherstadt Wittenberg to Dessau
Distance: 37 km approx.
The last leg of your cycle tour will take you through the beautiful meadows of the Elbe Biosphere Reserve and past the world-famous Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, with its impressive collection of temples, statues and canals. The 100-hectare large park is regarded as one of the most beautiful landscaped parks in Europe and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.
The town of Dessau is most famous for its Bauhaus building. In 1919 Walter Gropius founded this art school, which united the avantgarde of the 20th century in architecture, art and design.
Day 8: Departure from Dessau or transfer service to Bad Schandau
Your cycling holiday comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us. If you are travelling by car and have left your car in Bad Schandau, then we would be happy to arrange a return transfer for you to pick it up.