Climb beautiful mountains, hike along lonely paths through wild nature or ride exciting bike trails - there are almost no limits for active vacationers in Saxony-Anhalt. Here are five tips for discovery tours that not everyone knows about:

1

Milde-Biese-Aland Tour" cycle path

The beautiful Milde-Biese-Aland cycle route always leads along the water © Stadtarchiv Kalbe (Milde)
The beautiful Milde-Biese-Aland cycle route always leads along the water © Stadtarchiv Kalbe (Milde)

For active nature lovers, this region is a true paradise. The lovely Milde-Biese-Aland river valley is home to animals such as curlews and lapwings, and in spring and fall you can marvel at the graceful flight of large bird migrations. The ancient cultural landscape is home to romantic fieldstone churches and monasteries, proud castles and manor houses. The river with the idiosyncratic name characterizes the middle Altmark in northern Saxony-Anhalt, which the bike tour follows along its length of almost 100 kilometers. From its source in the Letzlinger Heide, the river is called the Milde; in its middle course, it flows through the lush greenery as the Biese and finally flows into the Elbe under the name Aland near Seehausen. a Designation for the entire length does not exist.  

But the enchanting cycling route over 95 kilometers along its banks, which is easy to ride in four stages. The route mostly follows paved field, forest and meadow paths as well as quiet roads. Public transport buses provide a comfortable return journey from various stations, if required, and the bicycle is taken along free of charge. If all this is not active enough for you, no problem: On the way there are several horse farms where you can change from one saddle to the other. You can get more information about the tour here.

2

Bike Tour "Bauhaus-Junkers Garden Kingdom

One of the highlights of the bike tour in Dessau-Roßlau is the Bauhaus building by Walter Gropius © Felix Meyer
One of the highlights of the bike tour in Dessau-Roßlau is the Bauhaus building by Walter Gropius © Felix Meyer

Around Dessau-Roßlau, steeped in history, there is an infinite amount to discover for active vacationers, ideally by bike. The city of 80,000 inhabitants in eastern Saxony-Anhalt is a hub of important long-distance cycling routes, including stages of the Elbe Cycle Route, the European Cycle Route R1 and the Mulder Cycle Route. A no less exciting regional tour is the "Bauhaus-Junkers-Gartenreich" route, which leads to the city's most important highlights. It goes back to three great creatives. One of them is Walter Gropius (1883-1944), architect and founder of the Bauhaus school of architecture in Dessau - this gave rise to widely known stone icons such as the Konsumgebäude, Laubengang and Meisterhäuser, some of which are visited on the bike tour. Another stop is the Junkers Museum of Technology - it documents the history and work of the famous engineer, entrepreneur and aviation pioneer Hugo Junkers (1859-1935), whose three-engine commercial airplane Ju 52 ("Tante Ju") became a world bestseller. 

Finally, a visit to the enchanting Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz with its lush green spaces, lakes, fountains, sculptures and castles remains unforgettable. Prince Franz von Anhalt-Dessau (1740-1817) had it laid out on site after long study trips - along with reforms in education, forestry and more, this laid a foundation for the city's industrial development. The exciting bike tour to all these places of activity of the pioneers starts at the Tourist Information Dessau. More information for your cycling vacation in Dessau can be found at here.

3

Hike on the Selketal-Stieg in the Harz Mountains

The Selketal-Stieg opens up a varied natural paradise © Stadtinformation Harzgerode
The Selketal-Stieg opens up a varied natural paradise © Stadtinformation Harzgerode

Dreamy forests, peaceful meadow valleys, steep mountain slopes: The Selketal-Stieg is a great hiking trail in the Harz Mountains, about 75 kilometers long. The region is not only known for its varied natural beauty, but is also steeped in history. The river Selke, which gives the trail its name, flows right through the former duchy of the Anhalt dynasty, which left behind many other testimonies in addition to old castles and magnificent buildings. Mining was once practiced in the small duchy, and a state spa attracted a wealthy clientele as early as the 19th century. For long stretches, the hiking route also follows the oldest narrow-gauge railroad in the Harz Mountains from Anhalt times, which is still in operation today.

The first of the four stages of the trail begins at a station of the Selketalbahn in the village of Stiege. The route initially runs parallel to the tracks through a nature reserve and passes, among other things, an old silver mine and the forest information center "Unterharzer Waldhof". Later it leads to the ruins of Anhalt Castle, once the ancestral seat of the Anhalt dynasty, then via the top-preserved medieval Falkenstein Castle and Ballenstedt Castle with its magnificent baroque garden to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Quedlinburg with its enchanting half-timbered houses, the end point of the hike. Practical: The Stieg is easily walkable in both directions, and with the Selketalbahn you can return to the starting points at any time - the car can be parked free of charge at the train station Stiege or at the castle parking lot Quedlinburg. You can find more information about the tour here.

4

Hiking with a view of the castle - the Bad Kösen geological trail

When hiking on the Geopfad Bad Kösen, you can enjoy great views, for example of Rudelburg Castle and Saaleck Castle © Förderverein Welterbe an Saale und Unstrut e.V. / Guido Siebert
When hiking on the Geopfad Bad Kösen, you can enjoy great views, for example of Rudelburg Castle and Saaleck Castle © Förderverein Welterbe an Saale und Unstrut e.V. / Guido Siebert

"An der Saale hellem Strande, stehen Burgen stolz und kühn," goes a well-known folk song once written by historian Franz Kugler (1808-1858) at Rudelsburg Castle. Situated 85 meters above the south bank of the Saale, this high-altitude fortress in Saxony-Anhalt's Burgenland district, first mentioned in 1171, was once a beer-swilling meeting place for corps students. Today, it is a popular excursion destination and also a highlight on the Geopfad Bad Kösen (formerly called Himmelreichweg). The approximately 10-kilometer route on the left and right banks of the Saale offers not only the most beautiful views over the enchanting river valley, but also all kinds of data and facts about its geology, which are conveyed to hikers by information boards directly along the way - so the Geopfad lives up to its name.

The route starts in Bad Kösen, a district of the town of Naumburg with a good 3,600 inhabitants. On the banks of the Saale, the well-signposted route first leads along the Loreleypromenade and then up into the forest. Behind a memorial to fallen soldiers called the Lion Monument, the Rudelsburg Castle is reached as a good place to take a break, as well as the 800-year-old Saaleck Castle a little later. Later you cross a bridge to the other side of the river and return to the starting point via Gasthaus Himmelreich. Tip: From Saaleck Castle the Kuno Klamm leads directly down to a landing stage - from there you can easily return to Bad Kösen by boat. You can find more information about the geological trail here.

5

Experience route coal steam light lakes

The Coal Steam Light Lakes Route leads to spectacular relics of industrial history © Ferropolis GmbH
The Coal Steam Light Lakes Route leads to spectacular relics of industrial history © Ferropolis GmbH

In Ferropolis, the "city of iron," true dinosaurs of industrial history await curious visitors. Five excavators weighing a total of 7,000 tons with names like "Big Wheel" or "Mad Max" once extracted lignite from the earth here with their enormous shovels in opencast mining. Since the plant has been abandoned and flooded, they have become the highlight of the industrial museum in the middle of a newly created, beautiful lake landscape. The whole thing is a port of call on the 160-kilometer Coal-Steam-Light-Lakes Cycle Route, which runs from Lutherstadt Wittenberg to Markkleeberg near Leipzig. 

A total of 23 stations, some of which can be reached via a detour from the route, provide great insights into the history and present of this changeable region. What was once an ecologically heavily polluted industrial area has been transformed into idyllic natural areas with a rich flora and fauna, such as the beautiful Muldestausee Lake or the Goitzsche River with its extraordinary landscape art projects. There are also numerous nature trails and water sports centers along the bike route and, in addition to the iron city of Ferropolis, other museums, some with multimedia exhibitions, such as the Wolfen Industrial and Film Museum. A versatile journey through time for young and old active vacationers, which can be experienced by car as well as by bike. You can find more information about the adventure route here.

In collaboration with IMG - Investment and Marketing Company Saxony-Anhalt

UNESCO World Heritage, the Brocken in the Harz Mountains and the Garden dreams and historical parks are good reasons for your vacation in Saxony-Anhalt. Even more? Sure! This way:

Vacation in Saxony-Anhalt

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