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Do something for your fitness, be in the fresh air, embrace life: If you take a tour on the Mecklenburg Lakes Cycle Route in summer, you'll be able to experience all that - and more. Between Ludwigslust and Neubrandenburg, royal castles, kingfishers and idyllic little towns await vacationers with the courage to take a break.

Was Adam Opel right? The founder of the company of the same name once claimed that no other invention would combine the useful with the pleasant as intimately as the bicycle. That was probably before Opel started building cars ... Anyone setting out to explore the 625-kilometer Mecklenburg Lakes Cycle Route, which starts in Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, but soon winds its way only through the southern and eastern regions of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, will have plenty of opportunities to verify Opel's bold quotation. Even if you don't tackle the entire route right away.

A land without hills and mountains

After all, the almost 300 kilometers between Ludwigslust and Neubrandenburg would already be a certain challenge, which we recommend as a partial route and which should be easily manageable in three to five days on the bike. Especially since Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a dream even for inexperienced cyclists: "For the first time, riding through Mecklenburg's cornfields and clover meadows, I saw a land without hills and mountains."

What inspired the poet Erich Kästner, who toured Mecklenburg extensively as a young boy, should also appeal to cycling vacationers today: For the most part, you float through Mecklenburg's magnificent landscapes without any strenuous climbs, elated by the sun, lakes and the many sights. This already starts in Ludwigslust, this pretty residential town, which is especially known for its castle, the "Versailles of the North".

No, but seriously now: For Ludwigslust Castle, you should take a short sightseeing break and get off your bike for several reasons: The former residential palace - built between 1772 and 1776 - is the gorgeous-looking center of an almost completely preserved Baroque town complex with a palace park, which in turn delights not only knowledgeable gardeners with its water features, rare trees and plants. Those who plan ahead (or have a fine sense of timing) can also experience the palace park from a very special angle: Once a year, the "Little Festival in the Big Park" takes place there - where international artistry and acrobatics, comedy and clowning, masks and puppets, puppetry and pantomime are offered on more than 20 stages.

But even without such a fairytale-like experience, a visit to the palace is worthwhile: the Golden Hall, for example, with its huge windows, mirrors and magnificent crystal chandeliers, is impressive. Those who then feel like a visit to the palace museum could theoretically get an impression of the courtly life of the old nobility, who liked to surround themselves with precious weapons and furniture. The passion for collecting of the dukes of Mecklenburg can be described as particularly pronounced.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Ludwigslust: Plan arrival.

Cycling pleasure in the land of 1000 lakes

However, if families with a lively crowd of children prefer to avoid the museum event and get on their bikes instead, well - we fully understand. After all, the surface of one of those enchanting lakes that have given the landscape its name - the land of 1000 lakes - flashes up again and again on both sides of the cycle path. What could be better than jumping off the bike (again!) and diving into some of these waters? After all, there is no train, no bus, no duty waiting at the end of the day - it's vacation, it's vacations, so strolling is part of the concept! A little tip: At Lake Plauer See, patient families can, with a little luck, even catch a glimpse of the kingfisher, one of the most colorful birds in Germany.

Of course, such a bike tour along the Mecklenburg Lakes is not complete without visiting the Müritz and marveling: How big is the lake then? With an area of almost 120 square kilometers, the Müritz is not only the largest lake in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, but the largest lake that lies entirely within German borders. (Lake Constance is even larger, but parts of it also belong to Switzerland and Austria). But as we know, size is not everything that counts. It also depends on the charisma. And that is, for example, on the chic sandy beach of Klink, as if you were standing on the shore of a huge sea. Here, too, we recommend the triumvirate of a successful afternoon at the beach: a short dip in the water, a long siesta in the sun, and finally a big ice cream in one of the many adjacent cafés - that's how summer freshness works!

Castle wall island and motor sports

Before heading to Neubrandenburg on the Mecklenburg Lakes Cycle Route, connoisseurs of the region - or those with good advisors - take a little detour to Teterow. On the one hand because of the Teterow Mountain ring. On the other hand, of course, because of the historic Burgwallinsel there, an insider's tip for culture lovers. People of Slavic origin discovered the island in the 9th century and built an inhabited refuge castle here. Some remains of the castle can still be seen today. Bonus: In 2010, UNESO included Burgwall Island in the list of cultural heritage of humanity worthy of protection. Whether this will help the Mountain ring also happens once again is questionable. Nevertheless, motor sports fans will tend to opt for a detour here, because it is the largest natural grass track for motorcycle racing in Europe. Here, once a year, motocrossers and quad bikers from all over the world compete in the "Bergringrennen" race, which is very popular in the region. But also on many other days of the year, motor sportsmen are often on the road and like to let the youngsters look over their shoulder while they are screwing on their wild machines.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Teterow: Plan arrival.

Through brick Gothic to the destination

We also have a fine tip for a worthy conclusion to the tour between Ludwigslust and Neubrandenburg in our imaginary saddlebag: In the almost medieval-looking city of Neubrandenburg, you could stage your last meters on the bike like a triumphant Tour de France entry: Instead of gliding into the finish on the Champs-Élysées, you simply take one of the four Gothic brick gates that are among Neubrandenburg's landmarks. A last photo in front of these architectural splendors rounds off the whole tour before the opening question in this text can finally be answered - and with convinced agreement: If you travel through Mecklenburg-Vorpommern by bike, you will see a lot of the beautiful nature, you will always be in the fresh air and at the same time you will get to know the sights of the region in the most playful way imaginable. So, as Adam Opel claimed, it really does combine the useful with the pleasant. So our advice: get on your bike.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Neubrandenburg: Plan arrival.

In collaboration with Tourism Association Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania e. V.

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