The Elbe is Germany’s second-largest river, featuring beautiful riverbank meadows, impressive vineyards, magnificent castles and charming historical towns. The cycle tours along the River Elbe Cycle Path are fairly flat and follow the run of the river Elbe. The majority of the routes is in good condition and well-asphalted with several cultural and leisurely activities along the way.
There is hardly any altitude, so it does not really matter whether you cycle upstream or downstream. However, the prevailing winds from the west and the countryside around the Elbe make the journey upstream preferable. The section Dresden to Berlin will take you from Dresden to the world-famous town of Porcelain – Meissen, the residence city Torgau up to Lutherstadt Wittenberg. You then leave the Elbe Cycle Path and take the Europe Biking Path R1 (also called Euro-Route R1) northwards in order to reach Potsdam with its beautiful castles and parks and then you reach Berlin.
- The city of Dresden
- The porcelain town of Meissen
- Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam
- Germany’s lively capital Berlin
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive in Dresden
Individual arrival in the capital of Saxony Dresden. We recommend that you arrive earlier so you can explore some of the landmarks of this beautiful city: Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House or the famous Dresden Church of Our Lady await your visit. Overnight in Dresden.
- Accommodation: Park Inn By Radisson Hotel Dresden or similar
Day 2: Dresden – Strehla | 66km
The first stage of your bicycle tour leads you past the vineyards of Dresden Elbe Valley. En route, the charming Radebeul village centre Altkötzschenbroda is perfect for a break. Soon, the porcelain town Meissen welcomes you with its landmark – the ensemble of a cathedral and a castle, Albrechtsburg. You pass Riesa before you reach your final destination for the day – Strehla.
- Cycling for the day: 66km
- Accommodation: Hotel Ambiente (Strehla) or similar
Day 3: Strehla – Torgau | 40km
Today is more of a rural day, and you cycle through many little villages. Along the way, a stop in Belgern is worth it. Belgern is the only Saxon town with a Roland statue. “Roland” is a statue of a knight with a drawn sword, an emblem of the freedom and city rights of a town; it was usually erected on market squares or in front of town halls. Now only 20km are left until the residence city of Torgau. Use the afternoon for a visit to castle Hartenfels and the castle church.
- Cycling for the day: 40km
- Accommodation: Hotel Goldener Anker (Torgau) or similar
Day 4: Torgau – Lutherstadt Wittenberg | 68km
A day filling stage is on the programme today. In Pretzsch, you cross the river with the ferry (not incl.; payment is on the spot). On the right side of the river, you continue your bicycle tour via Elster to Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the starting point of Martin Luther’s Reformation movement.
This stage can be divided with an overnight in Pretzsch (results in 37km / 35km).
- Cycling for the day: 68km
- Accommodation: Best Western Soibelmanns Lutherstadt Wittenberg or similar
Day 5: Lutherstadt Wittenberg – Bad Belzig | 42km
Today, you leave the Elbe and continue your bicycle tour to Berlin on the European Bike Path R1 through the natural reserve Hoher Fläming and the spa resort Bad Belzig. Even from the far distance, you can see the Eisenhardt castle complex. After a city stroll through the historic old town, you can relax in the spa “Steintherme Bad Belzig”.
- Cycling for the day: 42km
- Accommodation: Burghotel (Bad Belzig) similar
Day 6: Bad Belzig – Potsdam | 60km
The European Bike Path R1, which you have been following from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, will show you the most wonderful scenery today. Potsdam with Sanssouci Palace and many more pretty castles and parks is today’s final destination. Before that, you ride through the growing region of the famous Beelitzer asparagus and along the banks of lakes Schwielow and Templiner. Don’t miss the chance to taste some delicious and freshly-cooked vegetables in Beelitz before you continue to Potsdam.
- Cycling for the day: 60km
- Accommodation: Altstadt Hotel (Potsdam) or similar
Day 7: Potsdam – Berlin-Mitte | 35km
You leave Potsdam by crossing the Havel River over the Glienicker bridge and keep on riding in the direction of Germany’s capital Berlin. Through the Berlin forest and along the Greater Wannsee you approach the TV Tower Berlin. Today’s final destination is also the final destination of your bicycle tour from Dresden to Berlin – the city centre of Germany’s capital with its numerous sights.
- Cycling for the day: 35km
- Accommodation: Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz (Berlin) or similar
Day 8: Departure
The tour ends after breakfast. We recommend that you prolong your stay in Berlin as the city has an abundance of attractions and landmarks to explore.
What to expect
Accommodation is in nice 3-star and 4-star hotels in private standard en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Click to view default hotels
- Park Inn By Radisson Hotel Dresden
- Hotel Ambiente (Strehla)
- Hotel Goldener Anker (Torgau)
- Best Western Soibelmanns Lutherstadt Wittenberg
- Burghotel (Bad Belzig)
- Altstadt Hotel (Potsdam)
- Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz (Berlin)
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.
Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Lunches are available along the way. You can have dinner at your hotel or nearby restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
This is easy to moderate cycling tour (read more about difficulty grades). You follow relatively flat and well-asphalted paths through countrysides and forests. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from the beginning of April until the end of October. The best time for walking is between June and mid-September when the weather is generally good. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
Click to view travel options and route planner
- By train: If you are flying to Dresden, there are regular trains to the city, journey time is about 20min. If flying to Berlin Brandenburg Airport, you can take the train to Dresden; journey time is about 1h 40min. Train timetables can be checked on the DB website, or you can use the Omio planner above.
- 7 overnights with breakfast as detailed in the itinerary
- Luggage transfer when changing hotels (1 piece of luggage per person, max 20kg)
- Detailed route notes and maps (1 x per room)
- Phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Bike rental
- Helmets – you have to bring your own as there is no possibility of renting any. In Germany, it is not obligatory to wear a helmet.
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double room
- This holiday is not available for solo travellers
- Extra nights in Dresden and Berlin
- A split of day 4 with an overnight in Pretzsch
- Private transfer Berlin – Dresden
- Bike rental – touring bikes and e-bikes
The bike rental fleet comprises almost 100 touring models from established German brands (BBF and Kalkhoff). There are available women’s models with step-through or low-crossbar frames and gents’ models with step-through or low-crossbar frames (from a height of 1.75m). The bike rental includes a waterproof Ortlieb pannier (10l), bicycle lock, map holder on handlebars (1 per room), and repair set (1 per room). Helmets are not included and cannot be rented. E-bikes are also available on request.