Radfahrende unter der Eisenbahnhochbrücke Rendsburg

NOK route

Watching the cruise liners!

The NOK route leads 325 kilometres along the Kiel Canal, through the charming interior of Schleswig-Holstein. On the route from Brunsbüttel to Kiel, 110 ships make their way every day from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea on the world’s most frequented shipping route.
Side by side with luxury liners and other giants of the high seas, you can cycle through meadow and forest landscapes, past lakes and rivers.
The route’s particular charm lies in the imposing sluices, tunnels and a total of 10 bridges and 14 ferries. In the idyllic canal regions, you can discover grand estates and manor houses. The use of the canal ferries is free-of-charge!

Luftaufnahme der Nord-Ostsee-Kanal-Schleuse in Kiel-Holtenau
© sh-tourismus.de

Along the route

The route leads past numerous attractions, which you should definitely visit. Admire the lock and the historic old town in Brunsbüttel, or go on a journey through time in the Stone Age village of Albersdorf. In Rendsburg, there is a well-known railway bridge with the world-famous transporter bridge and the ship welcoming station. The route continues via Sehestedt and Schinkel through Wohld in Denmark all the way to Kiel, where there is also lots to discover. In the state capital at the fjord, there are great shopping opportunities. In the Kiel Maritime Museum and Molfsee Open Air Museum, you can discover interesting facts about the region.

Good to know


Arrival and departure

For a relaxed arrival with rail & bike, there are shuttles from the train stations in Burg/Dithmarschen (15 km) and Kiel (10 km) to the start/destination of the NOK route at the locks in Brunsbüttel and Kiel-Holtenau.

Route conditions and degree of difficulty

  • The route takes you along well-developed and signposted cycle routes from Brunsbüttel to Kiel. On the paved trails at the Kiel Canal, the official boats of the water and maritime administration have right of way. These sections are not suitable for bicycle trailers.
  • The ground is flat throughout and has very few gradients.
  • The NOK route is fully signposted and marked with the standardised NOK logo.
  • At intervals of 10 to 12 kilometres, information boards indicate the major technical, cultural and natural attractions and the tourist infrastructure of the region.
  • The route is easy to cycle and also suitable for beginners and children.

Rest stops and overnight accommodation

The NOK route provides rest stops, sheltered huts and service stations at different intervals along the canal and in the interior. Numerous restaurants, some with a view of the canal, line the route and invite you to take a breather. A list of the nicest restaurants and cafés can be found at www.nok-sh.de(in German).

For overnight stays, camp sites, hotels, guest houses, hay lofts and private accommodation are recommended. You can find a list of cyclist accommodation and the classified Bed & Bike facilities along the NOK route at www.nok-sh.de,(in German) and www.bettundbike.de.


  • GPX-Data NOK route

  • Brochure NOK route

  • Current closures along the route


Your contact

Radfahrende unter der Eisenbahnhochbrücke Rendsburg

Touristische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Nord-Ostsee-Kanal e.V.