north sea cycle route
Alongside the dyke with the wind on your back
At a length of around 6,000 km, the North Sea Cycle Route is the longest signposted cycle route in the world. It passes through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, England, Belgium and the Netherlands.
In Schleswig-Holstein, the north sea cycle route* takes you from the Danish border to Hamburg. Unique experiences of nature await cyclists on their tour through North Frisia and Dithmarschen.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Wadden Sea National Park in Schleswig-Holstein. The North Sea at high and low tide, green dykes, grazing sheep, sand dunes and heath landscapes characterise the west coast. The route takes you past sandy and grassy beaches, colourful lighthouses and picturesque villages with traditional thatched cottages.
Take the opportunity to go on an excursion to the islands and Halligen, some of which are ideal for exploring by bicycle.
Route and sights of interest
The German section of the north sea cycle path* runs 300 km through Schleswig-Holstein. The route takes you along the coastline through the towns of Klanxbüll, Niebüll, Dagebüll, Husum, St. Peter-Ording, Büsum and Meldorf before reaching Brunsbüttel. From here you continue along the Elbe to Hamburg.
Island hopping and pleasure on the beach
On the route through Schleswig-Holstein you get to know the beauty of the North Sea region in all its facets. Be sure to plan in enough time for excursions.
From Niebüll you can take a detour by train to Sylt. Ships will take you out from Dagebüll to the islands of Föhr and Amrum. The castle in the harbour town of Husum is also worth a visit. In the spring its castle grounds transform into a bright sea of crocus blossom.
Have you heard of the Westerhever lighthouse? It is a famous symbol of Schleswig-Holstein and is situated in the Wadden Sea National Park. In St. Peter-Ording you should take a detour to the wide sandy beach with its traditional stilt houses. How about dining in a restaurant way up high, with a seemingly infinite view over the ocean? You continue to Tönning, where you can marvel at a real sperm whale skeleton in the Multimar Wattforum.
Next up, you will find a place to relax at the Büsum North Sea health resort. Your route then takes you past the Friedrichskoog seal station and on to Brunsbüttel. This is where the Kiel Canal flows out into the North Sea and you can catch sight of the magnificent cruise liners.
The last stage of your trip takes you through the wonderful Elbe landscape before you reach the Hanseatic city of Hamburg.
Getting there and back
There are rail connections to the towns of Niebüll, Husum, Heide and Itzehoe. The trains go every hour and you can bring your bike on board.
Terrain and difficulty of the route
Almost all of the route is on tarmacked surfaces alongside the dykes, on cycle paths, side roads and country roads with little traffic.
Apart from some very small ascents, the route is flat all the way.
The north sea cycle path* is signposted all the way and can be recognised from its own logo.
The route is easy to ride and also quite suitable for children. Thanks to the flat terrain, it is also possible to cover large distances without too much effort. Because the wind normally blows from the south-west, we recommend riding from south to north.
Places to stop or stay the night
There are various accommodation options available to you along the north sea cycle route*. As well as hotels, guest houses, youth hostels and campsites, there are categorised ‘bed and bike’ establishments which will welcome you for the night. Accommodation directories for North Sea locations are available from www.nordseetourismus.de, and you can find the relevant bed and bike establishments at www.bettundbike.de.
Bicycle hire and repair service
There are bicycle hire and repair services available at almost every larger town or village along the route. You can download a list of selected services from www.nordseetourismus.de.
You can download data for gps-devices, digital maps or google earth. The data is provided for the whole cycle route and for the following stages:
stage 1: Rudbøl – Niebüll
stage 2: Niebüll – Bredstedt
stage 3: Bredstedt – Husum
stage 4: Husum – St. Peter-Ording
stage 5: St. Peter-Ordning – Büsum
stage 6: Büsum – St. Michaelisdonn
stage 7: St. Michaelisdonn – Glückstadt
stage 8: Glückstadt – Wedel
stage 9: Wedel – Hamburg-Altona
data for the total route
Reading tips and maps
Esterbauer bikeline “Nordseeküstenradweg 3 – Von Hamburg nach Sylt” (North Sea Cycle Path 3 – from Hamburg to Sylt, from the Esterbauer ‘bikeline’ series)
Available in bookshops
Information and booking
- GPS-Data_NorthSeaCycleRoute (329.46 kB)