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.