An idyllic floodplain landscape, places steeped in history, world-famous architectural monuments and old Hanseatic cities - on the Elbe Cycle Route you will not only get fit, but also smart.
For the 15th time, the Elbe Cycle Route has been named Germany's most popular long-distance cycle route. In Saxony-Anhalt, it takes cyclists along well-maintained paths through beautiful, partly protected nature, such as the floodplain landscape of the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve. There, the largest contiguous hardwood floodplain forests in Central Europe have been preserved. Dragonflies, bees, butterflies - many insects live in the floodplain meadows and in the riparian vegetation of the UNESCO-protected landscape. And birds also find enough space and peace to breed in the unspoiled landscape. If you keep a patient lookout, you can even marvel at the rare Elbe beaver building its dams in the still waters and flood channels along the Elbe.
The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz, designed in the 18th century by Leopold III Friedrich Franz, is also located in the middle of this river landscape, with English landscape parks, neo-Gothic buildings and Wörlitz Castle, the founding building of German classicism. Dessau itself is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the famous Bauhaus buildings, the Luisium Landscape Garden and the Laubenganghäuser. Also worth a longer stop are Lutherstadt Wittenberg and the state capital of Magdeburg, where another architectural gem awaits: the Green Citadel, a colorful Hundertwasser house designed by the famous artist shortly before his death.
Along the way, cyclists will also experience a great deal of small-town idyll, for example in Coswig, where you can cross the Elbe on a historic yaw rope ferry, and in Zerben, where a monument commemorates the town's most famous daughter: Sophie Auguste Friederike, who went down in history as Tsarina Catherine the Great. And on the rest of the route? Cyclists discover picturesque Elbe villages where storks build their nests and charming Hanseatic towns such as Tangermünde or Havelberg, the more than 1,000-year-old island city.
Cover photo: Sunrise near Aken on the Elbe © Adobestock/Daniel Fröhlich
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