The cycle route Hamburg-Rügen, which travels along 100 km through the diverse landscape of Schleswig-Holstein, leads along the medieval trade route, which used to link the Elbe and Oder estuaries. Across the Duchy of Lauenburg in the south of Schleswig-Holstein, the route leads from Geesthacht to Ratzeburg, passes the Elbe-Lübeck Canal and leads through picturesque Elbe floodplains and charming towns. You will pass through three nature conservation areas, through forests, over rolling hills, past lakes and moors. In the biosphere reserve at Schaalsee, you can marvel at a rich world of flora and fauna. An Eldorado for nature lovers.
Southeast of Hamburg, directly on the banks of the Elbe, lies the town of Geesthacht. On a stroll through the old town, you can discover historic buildings, such as the 300-year-old Krüger House or the half-timbered church St. Salvatoris. From Geesthacht, you can take the historic steam locomotive, Karoline, to Hamburg-Bergedorf, or sail in comfort on a pleasure boat across the Elbe.
With its snaking alleyways and fanciful half-timbered houses, the 800-year-old shipping town of Lauenburg invites you to take a stroll. If you are interested in maritime life, you should not miss a visit to the Elbe Maritime Museum. The former castle of the Dukes of Saxony-Lauenburg, of which a castle wing and the tower have been preserved, offers a beautiful view of the expanse of the Elbe valley. Take a visit to Northern Europe’s oldest chamber lock. The medieval construction made the city a major trading place for salt.
The next leg of the tour leads to the Eulenspiegel city of Mölln, at the western entrance to the Lauenburg Lakes nature park. In the surrounding nature park, there are a total of 40 lakes, lowlands, moors and wetland meadows.
The Schleswig-Holstein section of the long-distance cycle route ends in the island town of Ratzeburg. The historic old town with its 12th-century Roman red-brick dome is surrounded by lakes and is linked to the mainland by three dams. Cobblestone alleyways and historic half-timbered houses characterise the idyllic townscape.
Arrival and departure
The cities of Hamburg, Büchen and Lübeck, are linked to the Deutsche Bahn railway network. Trains run every hour and can accommodate bicycles.
Route conditions and degree of difficulty
- The cycle route leads along quiet roads and low-traffic streets. It is largely asphalted, interrupted by several paved sections. Some sections lead across field and forest routes.
- Expect rolling hills and gentle gradients in the Duchy of Lauenburg
- The cycle route is fully signposted but not always uniformly. A logo marks the route.
- Due to gradients and several unpaved sections, the route has a medium degree of difficulty.
Rest stops and overnight accommodation
Rest stops and protected huts can be found at different intervals along the entire route. Bicycle-friendly restaurants and cosy farm cafés invite you to take a culinary break. Overnight accommodation facilities are offered by hotels, private rooms, youth hostels and camp sites. You can find further information at www.bettundbike.de and www.auf-nach-mv.de.