The Elbe Cycle Route
Elberadweg - Czechia and Germany to the North Sea
By Mike Wells
Guidebook to the Elbe Cycle Route through Czechia and Germany. This 1232km route along one of Europe's great rivers follows the Elbe from its source to the North Sea coast, visiting Prague, Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg. 29 stages of easy, flat cycling mainly on quiet country roads and dedicated cycle tracks.
SeasonsExcept for the first half of stage one, where snow cover remains until early May, the route can be cycled from April to October, though June to September is the best period.
CentresA 1227km point-to-point route visiting many towns and a few cities in Czechia and Germany. Main cities are Pardubice, Prague, Dresden, Wittenberg, Magdeburg and Hamburg.
DifficultyThis is probably the easiest long-distance cycle route in Europe, with almost no hills and, except for a few short unsurfaced stretches in Czechia, a good surface throughout. The only thing needed is stamina to keep cycling for some 1200km.
Must SeeKrkonoše mountains (Sudetenland), historic centre of Prague, Saxon 'Switzerland' sandstone gorges and rock formations, restored Dresden the 'Baroque jewelbox', Wittenberg/Lutherstadt birthplace of Protestantism, Dessau home of the Bauhaus architectural movement, remains of the Iron Curtain, Hamburg Germany's second largest city.
Here is a guidebook to the Elbe Cycle Route, possibly the easiest long-distance cycle route in Europe, being almost entirely flat or downhill for some 1200km. Cruise alongside one of Europe's great rivers as it flows from its source, through Czechia and Germany to the North Sea. This guidebook describes the route across 29 stages (together with a practical prologue stage), with stages ranging from 21 to 69 kilometres. Suggested schedules include 13, 15, 17 and 19 day options, making this a perfect 2-3 week cycle tour.
Map extracts at a scale of 1:150 accompany clear route description, with gradient profiles provided where they are helpful. Background information on the region's history and natural environment is also provided, as are practical tips relating to preparation, transport to the start and finish, accommodation, amenities, navigation, safety and more.
History abounds along this waymarked route. Pedal passed restored palaces, cathedrals, churches and other baroque and rococo buildings; see where the Iron Curtain once stood; and discover the great cities of Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg.
Table of Contents
Mike Wells has been a keen long-distance walker and cyclist for over 25 years. He has walked all the major British trails, the GR5 through the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean and has explored the Italian Dolomites’ Alta Via routes. He has also walked in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway and Chilean Patagonia.
Mike has cycled the C2C route across northern England and Lon Las Cymru in Wales, as well as the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela. He has completed an end to end traverse of Cuba, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape.
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