Beyond the outskirts of Berlin, wide forests, picturesque nature reserves and shimmering lakes begin. If the hustle and bustle of the big city ever feels like too much, then you can find peace and quiet and a slower pace on the Tour Brandenburg. The route takes you around the capital in a 1,088 kilometre (3,560 mile) circle, making it the longest long-distance cycle route in Germany.
The Tour connects 31 historic cities and takes you through some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes that the country has to offer. You explore the wonders of Prignitz district, the shimmering Rheinsberg and Lusatian lakelands, mystical forests and heathlands, and the Fläming region which was formed during the Ice Age. So get out of the city and enjoy the Brandenburg countryside.
Your adventure begins from the city of Brandenburg an der Havel. From here, you cycle along beautiful swimming lakes through the Havelland and through Prignitz’s historical moraine landscape. The towns of Rathenow, Wittenberge, and Perleberg, which are all well worth a visit, lie en route. Next, you continue over through the Rheinsberg lake district, the Uckermark and the Oderland where you are greeted by the charming town of Fürstenberg, wonderful swimming lakes, and an optional detour to the Polish border. The Märkische Schweiz region offers varied terrain and climbs, whilst Lusatia boasts magical forest and heathland, and the Fläming region is home to some of the best cycle paths.
In this Collection, I guide you along the Tour Brandenburg in 18 stages, based on the official route segments. The stage lengths vary from around 40 to 106 kilometres (25 to 65.6 miles) so you can find a Tour to suit your ability level. With the exception of the Märkische Schweiz, the Tours are mostly flat and suitable for beginners. Of course, you don't have to do the whole Tour in one go, you can also conjure up great day trips or short getaway and ride the stages individually. The stages always start and end at a station so you can easily plan a flexible trip.
From Berlin, Potsdam or Magdeburg you can reach the starting points of the stages with the regional train. You can also conveniently reach the southern stages from Leipzig or Dresden.
So pack your bike for a weekend and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you. Within an hour’s train ride, you can already enjoy the fresh breeze from the Brandenburg countryside.
You can find idyllic accommodation at the stage destinations on the respective tourist sites of each city or region. Brandenburg is unique in that it has similar public access rights as Sweden. This allows cyclists to pitch their tent for a night provided you don’t infringe on private rights or nature conservation regulations. If you would like to go wild camping, I recommend that you find out about the regional nature reserves in advance and ask for permission in case you camp on private property. The region also has plenty of official campsites.
Your journey through Brandenburg begins at the Brandenburg an der Havel train station and takes you around 60 kilometers through the southern Havelland to Rathenow, also known as the cradle of optics, due to the development of the optical industry there. In Brandenburg I recommend that you stock up on provisions, because the small towns are not always equipped with supermarkets.
After you've done a lap through the city of Brandenburg, you go on dream bike paths along the beautiful bathing lakes Breitensee, Möserschensee and further in a curve around the Plauer See. No matter where you take a break here, enjoy the view of the blue shimmering water or even jump straight into it - it's beautiful everywhere. In addition, there are exciting relics from the beginnings of industrialization waiting along the way, such as an old steam train.After you have crossed the Plaue, you cycle on along the banks of the Havel and experience a real holiday feeling between flowery fields and bathing spots with a sandy beach on the Havel. After you've cycled about 37 kilometers, you will reach the nice little town of Pritzerbe with a ferry that will take you to the other side of the Havel for a mere 90 cents.
You drive through the Havelland on quiet bicycle streets and cross small towns like Kützow, where you can visit an adventure farm with a farm shop, campsite and ostrich farm. Then you cycle through Bahnitz, a place with probably the smallest church in Brandenburg. Following the course of the Havel, you will soon reach your stage destination Rathenow, whose exciting optics park is not only interesting for those who wear glasses.
In Rathenau you can stay in pretty and inexpensive guesthouses. About eight kilometers further north you will find the Göttlin bivouac site, where you can make a campfire, bathe in the river and camp for 2.50 euros. For a delicious dinner over an open fire, you can get enough provisions in Rathenow.
Your second stage starts at Rathenower train station and runs for about 70 kilometers to Glöwen. The best thing to do in Rathenow is to get enough provisions so that you can stop at the beautiful rest areas and enjoy nature. Now you cycle across the Westhavelland Nature Park, past the Hohennauener See and Witzker See with wonderful bathing areas.
We continue through the typical lynx landscape of Brandenburg, which is characterized by its boggy lowlands. You will soon reach the pretty Hanseatic city of Havelberg, which is a special destination with its two islands.If you continue on the Brandenburg Tour, you can also end your stage here. You will find numerous, sometimes unusual, accommodations, such as an expanded granary. There is even a camping island that is natural and yet located in the middle of Havelberg.
From Havelberg you drive less than ten kilometers to Glöwen. The small town has a train station and is well connected to Berlin, Cottbus and Wismar.
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The third stage takes you on a moderate 47 kilometers from Glöwen through the river landscape of the Elbe to Wittenberge, the largest city in the Prignitz region. The Havel determines the course of your tour and you can look forward to wonderful dyke paths with grazing sheep.From Glöwen it's ten kilometers back to Havelberg and along the shore. On the route, a great observation tower is waiting to be climbed by you. After about 30 kilometers on your tour you will reach the mouth of the Havel, where the Havel and Elbe meet, and continue cycling along the Elbe.Shortly before your destination, the farmer's café in Hinzdorf beckons you with a short break for coffee and cake or hearty meals. It is only a stone's throw from here to Wittenberge. The city is located at the gate of the Elbe Valley and offers all kinds of sights, such as the many cultural and historical buildings.In Wittenberge you will find various accommodation options, which you can view at dieprignitz.de. At the Friedensteich in the middle of the city forest, you can rent rustic log cabins or sleep in your own tent. There is another campsite right on the Elbe below Wittenberg, where you can even spend the night with a view of the Elbe.
Your fourth stage takes you 73 kilometers through the Elbe-Brandenburg river landscape to the pearl of the Prignitz. The first 30 kilometers you only cycle on riverside paths along the Elbe and can completely immerse yourself in the wonderful world of the Elbe valley floodplain. From grazing wild horses, magpie beavers and migratory birds you can discover many a resident of this wonderful nature reserve.
After about 20 kilometers you cycle past a pretty café, where you can treat yourself to a break, or you can provide yourself with delicious provisions and linger in nature with a view of the Elbe. About ten kilometers further you will reach the small Lenz sport boat harbor, which heralds the farewell to the Elbe on your tour. Here, too, you can take a short break in the café and let your gaze wander over the river again.
Now you cycle through Lenzen with a castle complex that also accepts guests for the night. The tour takes you past Rudower See and through the Rambower peat bog. Behind the moorland near Boberow you turn right and cycle the last 30 kilometers on quiet country roads and well-developed bicycle lanes to the train station of your destination Perleberg.
The almost 800-year-old city nestles on the banks of the Stepenitz and surprises with its special angles. You can find great accommodations here via the Prignitzer host database. There is no public campsite in Perleberg. If you want to turn your tour into a round trip, you can cycle back another twelve kilometers to Wittenberge and spend the night on the banks of the Elbe.
The fifth stage takes you 60 kilometers through the Prignitz and connects the historic town centers of Perleberg and Wittstock / Dosse, which are well worth seeing. Exciting museums are waiting to be explored by you on the way. The route is also scenic, because you cycle through the alluvial forest on the Stepenitz, whose banks are under nature protection.In Wolfshagen you can admire a museum castle with authentically modeled rooms. After 33 kilometers on your tour, you will reach the Pritzwalker museum factory, where industrialization in rural areas is clearly and interactively presented. Ornithology fans will certainly be able to learn exciting things in the Heinrich-Gätke-Haus, a few kilometers away.You cycle on the best bike paths through the green and you will always find nice resting places that invite you to an extended break for sandwiches. Passing the idyllic villages of Sadenbeck and Wilmersdorf and the Stift zum Heiligengrabe monastery, you will soon reach the picturesque old town of Wittstock / Dosse.The small town is one of the largest cities in Germany in terms of area and, in addition to an exciting archaeological heritage, also has a wide range of guesthouses, which can be viewed at wittstock.de. You will find a nature campsite at Dranser See, which is about twelve kilometers away. You can also camp beautifully at the idyllic Glambecksee in the Mecklenburg Lake District.
Today you cycle 73 kilometers through the Rheinsberg Lake District to the water town of Fürstenberg and you can look forward to great bathing opportunities and a beautiful castle complex. You cycle through the historic town center and past the old cloth factory from Wittstock / Dosse and into the meadows, fields and forests of the northeast German lowlands.After 17 kilometers you will reach the first lakes near Sewekow, where you will find beautiful swimming spots and have a hearty break. We continue on quiet roads through dense, mystical forests. You will soon reach Flecken Zechlin, an idyllic resort with two inviting bathing lakes.After enjoying the view of the town, you cycle about twelve kilometers to the magnificent Rheinsberg Castle, whose complex you can explore on foot. From here it is just under 30 kilometers that lead you through the beautiful lake landscape and on fantastic bike paths through nature.Your stage destination Fürstenberg attracts with its multitude of lakes, streams and rivers. Here you have the opportunity to rent a boat, canoe or raft and explore the city from the water. You can spend the night with a view of the Havel in small boathouses or holiday apartments, which you can see at fuerstenberger-seenland.de/uebernachten. You can also camp here with a view of the lake, for example at Röblinsee or Ellbogensee.
On your seventh stage you cycle a relaxed 41 kilometers through the Uckermark, past beautiful lakes. You can even drop Santa Claus a letter on the route. Behind Fürstenberg you cycle past the memorial of the former women's concentration camp Ravensbrück, which you can visit here.
You will shortly reach Himmelpfort, where Santa's mailbox is located, who actually answers his mail. You cycle past numerous lakes along the bike-draisine route between Fürstenberg and Templin.
The idyllic town of Lychen is about halfway through your tour and invites you to take a long break with a view of the Uckermärkische lake landscape. The route takes you on paved bicycle roads through shady forests, along inviting lakes and past fruit trees to your stage destination Templin, which attracts with a wide range of cures, culture and leisure.You can pay a visit to the thermal brine spa in Templin and treat your legs to a rest. You can see the city's accommodation offers at templin.de/ubernachtung. You can also choose one of the beautiful lakes for camping, such as the Templiner See or the Fährsee.
Your eighth stage takes you 46 kilometers through the picturesque Schorfheide-Chorin biosphere reserve and past beautiful forests and bathing lakes to the village of Chorin, which is known for its Cistercian monastery.
Past the South Sea flair of the Lübbe beach, you cycle on wonderfully paved bicycle roads through shady forests. Driving on these smooth routes is pure luck. Halfway through your tour you will reach Friedrichswalde with a small village church. However, you shouldn't count on a supermarket here and it would be best to stock up on provisions in Templin.On your way there are always nice resting places along the way, where you can pause and feel nature with all your senses. Your tour through the Schorfheide takes you along the Grimnitzsee, which attracts with many swimming spots. You continue on mostly paved bike roads through the forest that lead you to Chorin.
In Chorin, the famous monastery is open for day visits, the history of which goes back to Slavic times. You can inquire about overnight accommodations by calling the tourist information on (033355) 530053. You can find campsites at Lake Parstein or Lake Serwester.
Today you cycle 59 kilometers through the Oderland to Wriezen and you can look forward to a detour to neighboring Poland. From Chorin you drive on wonderful forest paths through the Schorfheide-Chorin.Then you cross the Oder-Havel Canal and come to the impressive ship lift behind Niederfinow. Further along the canal you cycle via Oderberg, where you can enjoy a great view of the Oderberger waters. From here you follow the Wriezener Alte Oder until you reach the bank of the Oder, which forms the geographical border with Poland.Along the Oder you only cycle a short distance to Hohenwutzen, where the next border crossing from Berlin is located. At the popular market behind the bridge you can buy pretty much anything you can imagine to your heart's content.Now it's about 25 kilometers to your destination, the tranquil community of Wriezen on the western Oderbruch. At wriezen.de you can see the offers for pensions and rooms. The nearest campsites are about 25 kilometers away on the Oder. Of course, you can also visit the nearby bivouacs or look for a nice place to camp on your own.
Today, on your tenth stage, 70 kilometers await you on wonderfully developed bike paths, past castles and lakes through the picturesque landscape of Märkische Schweiz. You can also look forward to a varied up and down, with the altitude difference of around 300 meters remaining within a moderate range.
After about 14 kilometers you will reach the magnificent Reichenow Castle, whose complex invites you to take a break. If you prefer something rustic, there are also pretty huts with a table on the way for an extended breakfast break.
Further through the meadows and fields you will soon reach Strausberg, where you can stock up on your provisions and enjoy the Straussee. From here you start the second half of the tour and cycle the remaining 35 kilometers over idyllic villages, forest and field paths to the historic town center of Fürstenwalde an der Spree.
The Brandenburg city impresses with its beautiful location on the green banks of the Spree, where you can end your tour. You can see overnight accommodations at fuerstenwalde-tourismus.de. You will find a natural campsite at the nearby forest lake.
The eleventh stage of only 36 kilometers takes you along the Fürstenwalder Spree in the middle of the historic city center of Beeskow. So you can still stroll casually through the old town of Fürstenwald, take an extended break at Dehmsee or visit the Erlebnishof in Beeskow. Of course you can also do more distance and just keep going.After Fürstenwalde you cycle following the course of the Fürstenwalder Spree on well-developed cycle paths to Berkenbrück. After about ten kilometers you will already reach the Dehmsee, where you can spend a nice rest. The bike path takes you on a wonderful route through the forest, over a pretty wooden bridge and further along the meandering Spree.You cycle through the meadows and forests of the Beeskower Platte on wonderful bike paths and pass worthwhile stops, such as a country house with a sauna and a view of the wide meadows.The stage destination Beeskow has a lot to offer, such as the charming old town, an exciting castle with a contemporary cultural program and the adventure pet farm for young and old. You can see the accommodations from holiday apartments and pensions to youth hostels and campsites at spreeregion.de.
Today you start on your twelfth stage of almost 83 kilometers through Lausitz in the south of Brandenburg, across beautiful forests and lake landscapes to the diverse university town of Cottbus.From Beeskow you first cycle following the course of the Spree, then continue on quiet cycle paths along fruit tree avenues and small villages. You will soon reach the Reicherskreuzer Heide nature reserve, which is about halfway through the stage. Here you can be enchanted by the magical atmosphere of the heathland.Behind the heather you cycle on across meadows and fields and after about 20 kilometers you reach the Peitzer pond landscape at Hammergraben, where the cycle path leads you through the middle. Then you cycle on along the Hammergraben and after 15 kilometers you reach your destination Cottbus.The city offers a wide range of cultural activities, various restaurants and beautiful parks where you can end your tour. You can find the accommodation offer at cottbus-tourismus.de. The next campsite is about 15 kilometers away and is located directly at the Spremberg dam.
Your thirteenth stage takes you 72 kilometers on Spree cycle paths and through the Lusatian Lakeland to the resort of Senftenberg. From Cottbus you cycle out on green waterways and let the Spree show you the way. Passing the Spremberg dam you drive through wonderful spruce forests and to your right you have small, hidden bays with sandy beaches.
You cycle along the Spree to Spremberg, where you have the opportunity to stock up on your provisions. 15 kilometers further you will reach the Lusatian Lakeland, a disused and flooded open-cast brown coal mine. The rest of your tour winds your way between the numerous, South Sea blue lakes. Here you can always take a break on the beach.
After you have driven the wonderful route on Geierswalder See, you cycle along the no less beautiful Senftenberger See, where you can of course swim and stop. Turn off behind the pretty city harbor and go straight to the historic city center of Senftenberg.You can see the city's host directory at senftenberg.de. On the other side of the Senftenberger See, there is a special type of accommodation in the harbor camp: four fully equipped tree houses for two people. You can also pitch your own tent for little money.
Today's stage of the Brandenburg Tour leads over a whopping 106 kilometers to the idyllic town of Uebigau-Wahrenbrück. If that is too far for you, you can simply end your stage after 77 kilometers in Elsterwerda on the Niederlausitzer Heidelandschaft, or after 89 kilometers in the spa town of Bad Liebenwerda.The tour starts past Senftenberger See, on forest and field paths over small villages and into the Schradenland, whose landscape is characterized by terminal moraines. Passing water buffalos wallowing in the mud you will reach the Schwarze Elster, the course of which takes you via Elsterwerda and Bad Liebenwerda to Uebigau-Wahrenbrück.
You can find the Uebigau host directory at uebigau-wahrenbrueck.de. Here you can spend the night in a neo-baroque castle at affordable prices after your long stage. At the Kiebitzer Baggerteich you can also camp, have a sauna and grill very cheaply.
Today you cycle almost 87 kilometers to Luckenwalde in the Teltow-Fläming district and you can look forward to the finest asphalt of the Flaeming-Skate circular route.It starts for almost 20 kilometers on the beautiful banks of the Black Elster. Then you cycle past the bathing lake near Bernsdorf, over small villages with farm shops and past the romantic Wiepersdorf Castle.From here you continue on the Flaeming-Skate route, where you glide along the finely asphalted route without contact with traffic. This outstanding driving experience accompanies you until shortly before the outskirts of your stage destination Luckenwalde.In Luckenwalde, the hat factory is an architectural highlight, the market square with its early Gothic bell tower and the Vierseitenhof art gallery. You can find accommodation here: luckenwalde.de. The next campsite is around 15 kilometers away at Glienicksee.
Your 16th stage leads 60 kilometers through the Niedere Fläming, on the Flaeming-Skate cycle path and beautiful riverside paths to the medieval town center of Treuenbrietzen.
You cycle out of the city past the Luckenwalde landmark and set off on the region's dream bike paths. With a bit of luck, you might even spot the largest bird on our planet along the way. Passing the Zinna Monastery, you cycle through Jüterbog, the medieval capital of Fläming, and have the opportunity to get provisions and visit the unique town center.
The second half of your tour you cycle a little further on the Flaeming skate along fields, small towns and remnants of the war. You will soon reach your stage destination on the northern edge of the Lower Fläming, the idyllic small town of Treuenbrietzen.
The city's host directory is available as a PDF at treuenbrietzen.de/upload/Gastliches_2018-19_web_mini.pdf. You can even go on a farm holiday here. The nearest campsite is around 20 kilometers away. Alternatively, it is allowed to pitch a tent for one night away from the nature reserves or to ask permission for private property.
On stage 17 you cycle in a 51-kilometer arc through the Niedere and Hohe Fläming to the spa town of Bad Belzig with the exciting Eisenhardt Castle.
Behind Treuenbrietzen it goes on asphalt bicycle roads through dense forests. Over fields and small towns you cycle past cherry trees and a pretty post mill. At Marzehns you will find yourself on the Europaradweg, which will guide you for the rest of your tour.
On the way you cycle past pretty village churches and rest areas, which invite you to take a little break. At your stage destination, a detour to Eisenhardt Castle is worthwhile. In addition to exciting tours, there is also a café, castle hotel, farm shop and a wonderful view of Bad Belzig. Of course, the thermal brine bath also offers a great end to your tour.
You can find accommodation in different price ranges here: belzig.com/planen-buchen/gastgeber. The next campsite, Hoher Fläming, is about twelve kilometers away.
Your last stage of the 1,088 kilometer tour back to Brandenburg an der Havel is on today. For almost 74 kilometers you cycle through the northern Hohe Fläming and the forest and lake landscape of the Lehniner Mittelheide.
The tour takes you past the remains of the Berlin Wall out of Bad Belzig and after about ten kilometers you will reach the Baitz nature reserve, where, with a bit of luck, you will see rare bird species. It continues on beautiful forest trails and you cycle past military remains of the divided country. At the edge of the path, nicely crafted wooden shelters invite you to take a break.
Behind the former military training area you cross the heathland landscape around Lehnin, which is criss-crossed by lakes, and you can take a break at one of the water points or pay a visit to the Lehnin monastery.
You get closer to your destination via forest and field paths. The last part you cycle beautifully along the banks of the Havel and enjoy great views of the water.
In Brandenburg the tour ends in front of the train station. From here you are well connected and drive to Berlin, Potsdam or Magdeburg in less than an hour. Of course, you can also explore the city and head for worthwhile destinations, such as the industrial museum, the state archaeological museum or the numerous churches and monuments in the historic city center.