Lots of variety, lots of sky, boundlessly beautiful: The state in the north is officially one of the top 3 most popular states for cyclists. The network of paths is dense, and tour planning almost takes care of itself.
Lower Saxony is a dream destination for pleasure cyclists: There are bike paths everywhere, but hardly any inclines - and in between, lots of space and historical sites, open-air museums and farms where you can stock up on provisions for the road. Super practical: On www.niedersachsen-radroutenplaner.de you can calculate your bike route and then download or print it.
Almost 1,200 kilometers of bike paths on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath with eleven designated themed day tours, very good rail connections and Lower Saxony's picture-book landscapes. Those traveling by e-bike can recharge their batteries at 40 stations.
A leisurely half-day excursion, for example, is the Heidschnuckentour around the idyllic Ellendorf juniper heath. The attraction on the 43-kilometer-long bike trail, in addition to the pretty farming villages, the "Garden of 800 Trees" in Melzingen and the Ebstorf Heath Monastery, are of course the people who gave the bike trail its name: the Heidschnucken.
The gray, long-haired sheep can be found in droves on the large areas of heath in the summer months. A great place for a break is, for example, the Uelzen airfield near Barnsen. There, visitors can watch the sports planes while enjoying a coffee on the airfield terrace. For those who like it quieter, the Melzinger Arboretum has a lovely garden café serving homemade cakes.
For those who like it a little longer: The long-distance cycle routes Ilmenau-Radweg (120 km), Lüneburger-Heide-Radweg (920 km) and Weser-Harz-Heide-Radweg (397 km) also lead through the cycle travel region of Uelzen.
This is how you get to Uelzen by train: Plan arrival.
The second certified cycling region in Lower Saxony. The Wesermarsch is located between Bremen and the Jade Bay, on the left side of the Weser River. There are 840 kilometers of bike paths and 10 day tours in total.
A multifaceted route is, for example, the Moorwald Tour Jade (24 km, three(!) meters in altitude). Highlights include half-timbered towns and the farms with their lush gardens, for example, the historic salt dike, a dike complex between moorland and marshland, and the tree-top tower in the Bollenhagener Moorwald, the largest forest in the Wesermarsch. The circular tour, which is also exciting for children, starts in Jade, north of Oldenburg, and leads through a typical Lower Saxon moor landscape.
A great place for a break is a "Melkhus", for example the one in Jaderkreuzmoor. There you can get delicious snacks from regional dairy production as well as coffee and tea.
How to get to Jade by train and bus: Plan arrival.
The predominantly flat tour follows the course of the Vechte River. From its source in Rosendahl-Darfeld to its mouth near the Dutch town of Zwolle, you cycle through 15 towns and communities in both countries. Just two of many highlights: A tour on the Vechte boats during a visit to Nordhorn and a culturally stimulating detour to the artists' village of Schöppingen.
The "kunstwegen project" also provides diversion on the tour. This consists of a collection of 60 works of art that are waiting to be discovered by curious cyclists along the path in nature.
How to get to Rosendahl by train and bus: Plan arrival.
520 kilometers of total length, seven regions and countless sights make the route between Hann. Münden and Cuxhaven to one of the most popular long-distance cycle routes in Germany. The cycle path is divided into eight stages, which are between 55 and 80 kilometers long. There are many highlights along the route.
For example, the village of Oberweser, where the Brothers Grimm are said to have been inspired to write fairy tales such as "Puss in Boots" or "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Or the Pied Piper town of Hamelin with its beautiful old town.
On the stages, you rarely leave the Weser's side. Some sections are even covered on it, for example by ferry or excursion boat.
How to get to Cuxhaven by train: Plan arrival.
146 kilometers of the finest Lower Saxony: The four-star round trip from/to Bad Rothenfelde is one of the most beautiful and interesting routes in Northern Germany and leads across 14 historical and current borders. And you don't even need a passport.
The bicycle route winds through the old border triangle. Where today the districts of Warendorf, Osnabrück and Gütersloh meet, once lay the prince-bishopric of Münster, the high diocese of Osnabrück and the county of Ravensberg. Defiant castles, palaces and fortified buildings are exciting remnants of the former border regions.
Highlights on the cycle route include the huge graduation house in Bad Rothenfelde, the delicately scented gingerbread village of Borgholzhausen, Loburg moated castle with its historic rhododendron stands and Iburg Castle, which has been destroyed many times in its 1,000-year history. And for whom 146 kilometers are too long: The border crosser tour can be divided into three day tours between 48 and 66 kilometers.
Must try: The region is known for its excellent asparagus. There are numerous farm stores along the bike route where you can stock up on the fine vegetable in early summer.
This is how you get to Bad Rothenfelde by train: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: Cyclists ride across the dunes on the North Sea Coast Cycle Route © www.thorstenbroenner.de
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