Cycling 450 kilometres (279 miles) through the gently undulating North German landscape between the Elbe and Weser rivers is a special way to experience nature. The fresh North Sea breeze will cool your cheeks and you’ll discover the unmistakable smell of wet moorland meadows as you ride through the secluded landscapes of the Teufelsmoor. Following idyllic dike paths, you encounter grazing sheep and cows peacefully munching on cud. There are exciting Hanseatic towns, idyllic villages and maritime coastal towns to discover en route too.
This circular route begins in the cycling city of Bremen and passes through the towns of Bremervörde, Hemmoor, Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. The classic loop has eight stages, but you can choose from three alternative routes to vary the length depending on your preferences. In total, there are 690 kilometres (429 miles) of great routes at your disposal that lead across the lonely expanses of the Devil’s Moor and marshland, and along the Wadden Sea in Lower Saxony.
The route is predominantly flat and is therefore wonderful to cycle for everyone. Nonetheless, it won’t be boring as the region has an extraordinarily varied nature and culture. The route is signposted with a small lapwing bird, which is native to the moors here.
Each stage varies in length from just under 40 kilometres (25 miles) to up to 100 kilometres (62 miles). The stage destinations have accommodation, but it’s best to book in advance. From idyllic campsites on the water’s edge to comfortable holiday flats, there’s something for everyone. You can also stop for freshments at traditional fishermen's cottages, Melkhüs (a milk roadhouse where farms sell their milk), and farm cafes, that will make sure your physical well-being is catered for.
You can easily reach the starting point in Bremen by train. There are direct connections to Hamburg, Hanover, Magdeburg and Osnabrück. As this is a circular Tour, you can also consider travelling by car. Other entry points to the route such as Bremerhaven or Cuxhaven are also well connected by train. So, nothing stands in the way of your adventure through moorlands and mudflats.
The first stage of your tour starts in one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in Germany: Bremen. It is worthwhile to linger a day here and explore the city on two wheels.Your route takes you out of the city for a good 54 kilometers and into the middle of the special landscape of the Teufelsmoors. Halfway through the coral landscape you reach Worperswede; the pretty artists' village is ideal for a short break.Now you cycle through the Hammewiesen and look to the right and left of the wide meadow and water landscape. Special bird species are native here, such as the godwit, the lapwing or the crane.The stage continues through the moor and ends at Ostersode. This is where the Viehspecken guesthouse is located, where you can camp as well as spend the night in a holiday home. In Ostersode there is a bus station, here buses go in the direction of Bremervörde or back to Osterholz-Scharmbeck. From there you can take the regional train back to Bremen, so the tour is also a day trip.
The second stage is only 36 kilometers long - if you are motivated, then add it directly to the first. The tour is also recommended as a day's stage, as it gives you enough time to get off your bike, watch birds or explore your destination Bremervörde.You cycle a bit along the Oste-Hamme Canal and then through Gnarrenburg, an idyllic village on the northern edge of the Teufelsmoors. Just under ten kilometers further you will reach the Huvenhoopsmoor moor adventure trail. The detour is worthwhile here if you get off your bike and want to explore the adventure trail a bit on foot. There is even a place where you step down from the jetty and wade barefoot through the moor.Now you cycle about 16 kilometers following the course of the Oste to Bremervörde. The tour ends in the nature and adventure park, which is accessible free of charge and where you can discover a lot. There are numerous accommodations in the city on the lake, which you can see here: bremervoerde.de/freizeit-kultur/unterkuenfte/gastgeber.
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On your third stage you cycle a good 40 kilometers to the idyllic Horstsee in the middle of Stade. It starts on a wonderfully tarred forest path, where a small refuge invites you to have a second breakfast.Now you are driving through the idyllic little villages and fields of the Stader Geest. Before you get to the streets and houses of Stade, you cycle past the Barger Heide. Heidschnucken tend to the landscape here - if you are a friend of the woolly animals, I can recommend a detour here.The tour ends at the Horstsee, around which a small path leads. You can end your tour here relaxed. Exciting offers await you in the Hanseatic city of Stade, such as Low German city tours or the museum ship. You can find the accommodation offer here: buchen.travel/stade-booking. About ten kilometers further on the Elbe island Lühesand there is a campsite.
The fourth stage is a little longer with a good 61 kilometers and takes you to the friendly small town of Hemmoor. You start with a farewell tour through the old town of Stade and cycle into the rural surroundings.Past an alpaca farm and carp ponds, through wide fields and on shady forest paths you reach the bank of the Oste, which guides your further path. Here you can enjoy truly wonderful views of the lush green bank slopes and meadow landscapes.A special kind of highlight is the muscle-powered ferry at Gräpel, with which you cross the Oste. You also have the opportunity to fortify yourself with regional, home-style cuisine.The route takes you another ten kilometers along the Osteufer and in a small dangling around Hechthausen. From here not much is missing to your destination Hemmoor. At the Kreidesee diving paradise you have the opportunity to camp all year round. You can find more hosts in Hemmoor at hemmoor.de/tourismus/onlinebuchbaren-gastgeberverzeichnis.
Today you cycle almost 73 kilometers in a curve along the Elbe to Otterndorf at the mouth of the Elbe. The path is flat throughout, so you can do the longer tour without any problems.
After Hemmoor you cross the Oste in a special way: with a transporter ferry. Then you cycle relaxed along the east bank and on dead straight canal paths. About half of the way you get to Freiburg (Elbe), where you can strengthen yourself. Then you come very close to the banks of the Lower Elbe, can wander with your gaze over the deep blue water and let the foreboding of a North Sea breeze waft around your nose.
The route now leads you along the course of the Elbe. Cycling on this completely quiet stretch can put you in a meditative state. At your side you can see comfortably ruminating cows and bleating sheep.
Soon you will reach Otterndorf, the green city by the sea, where civilization welcomes you again. Here you can stroll through the pretty old town and stop for a break. At the See Achtern Diek campsite, you can pitch your tent in the midst of a beautiful water landscape. You can see more accommodation here: otterndorf.de/tourismus/unterkuenfte.
In the meantime you have cycled well and master the next 73 kilometers to the spa town of Bad Bederkesa with your left. You cycle on the usual flat terrain and can look forward to the North Sea beach today.Behind Otterndorf you cycle along idyllic fields and after about 15 kilometers you reach Cuxhaven. The city on the North Sea has a lot to offer, so a longer stop is worthwhile. The tour takes you along the fishing port and over the bascule bridge to Grimmershörnbucht, where the sandy beach with the beach promenade begins.If you want to stay longer on the coast, then you should take a look at alternative route 2. On this route you turn your back to the North Sea and cycle further inland. You can expect fantastic bike paths through wide fields, past idyllic villages and grazing sheep.Your stage destination is right on a large, beautiful moor lake, which is particularly popular for fishing. Maybe someone has already pulled your dinner out of the water, because you can stop here right on the shore. After the considerable kilometers that you have already cycled, you can treat your legs to a break in the moor thermal baths.
Today it's almost 55 kilometers to the idyllic village of Sandstedt. It starts in Bad Bederkesa and you cycle through the rural surroundings back towards the coast.
After about half of your route you will reach the port city of Bremerhaven, which is located on the Elbe-Weser triangle and the North Sea. If you are interested in maritime topics, then you should definitely take a tour of discovery here.
Passing a double sluice, it goes on a fantastic bike path through the Luneplate nature reserve along the banks of the Weser. You now always cycle straight ahead and follow the banks of the Weser.
Your stage destination is very contemplative. The tour ends between Rechtenfleth and Sandstedt, where an idyllic campsite with swimming areas is located on the Weser. Alternatively, there are a few privately managed vacation homes in the area that are best reserved in advance.
Today your last leg back to your starting point Bremen begins, which you will reach after a good 56 kilometers. Your way leads you on dreamlike dyke paths along the Weser and you can cycle your head again before the urban pavement welcomes you.
After your breakfast at the Sandstedt natural harbor or the nice courtyard café on the Weser dike, you cycle along a perfectly paved route along the dike, surrounded by green meadows and vegetable fields.
After about 20 kilometers you will reach the first part of Bremen: Vegesack. Here the Weser divides from its tributary, the Lesum, which you will follow from now on. The pretty little river takes you on an idyllic route to just before the gates of the city. The Kleine Wümme accompanies you on the last kilometers to your destination.The tour takes you right in front of Bremen Central Station. Here you have a direct connection to Hamburg, Hanover, Magdeburg or Osnabrück. Perhaps you would like to stay in Bremen for a few more days and explore the exciting city by bike. If you want to continue cycling straight away, I can recommend the Mönchsweg, which also starts in Bremen.
You can connect this route to the second stage and then start stage 7. This shortens the circular route to around 240 kilometers and can comfortably cycle it in three to four days. The alternative route takes you 66 kilometers to the port city of Bremerhaven.
You cycle out of Bremervörde and meander on mostly quiet side streets through the rural area of the North German Geestrück. Halfway you will reach the municipality of Beverstedt, where you have the opportunity to stock up on your provisions.
About ten kilometers further, the Silbersee attracts you to cool off or take a break by the water. You continue cycling through the fields and shortly before your destination you come to another bathing lake: the Apeler See.
Your stage destination Bremerhaven has exciting maritime excursion destinations to offer, such as the museum harbor with a preserved historical submarine, the German shipping museum or of course the various ports. You can see accommodation here: bremerhaven.de/de/tourismus/tourismus.13389.html?tab=accommodation.
On this alternative route from Cuxhaven to Bremerhaven, 52 kilometers of watts await you. You can connect it to the sixth stage, on which you will reach Cuxhaven after 20 kilometers.
You cycle on wonderful dike paths and always have the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park on your right side. At one point or another you will pass snack bars, where you can fortify yourself with delicious fish or North Sea crab rolls. The traditional Melkhüs also attract with regional organic milk products.
On the way to Bremerhaven you cycle through the container port and can marvel at the immense machines of maritime logistics up close. You don't reach the center much further. Even here you are very close to the water and can end your tour with a view of the Wadden Sea.
You can see accommodation here: bremerhaven.de/de/tourismus/tourismus.13389.html?tab=accommodation.
If you want to go on a longer tour towards the end of your trip, then this tour is for you. It is almost 100 kilometers long and takes you to the train station in Bremen-Vegesack.
Your tour starts directly with a ferry ride across the Weser. Now you cycle through the Blexen district of Nordenham and through the vastness of the marshland. On your route through the Wesermarsch you roll over smooth tar on the dike.
Past the Jade Bay and the natural monument "Floating Moor" your path leads you past Seefeld. If you don't have enough provisions with you, then this may be your last chance to find a supermarket, because the country is sparsely populated here and places to stop for a break are few and far between.
You continue through small districts of the municipality of Ovelgönne and you can see the peat extraction up close. You cycle on dyke paths through the Wesermarsch and arrive at Lemwerder. Here you can look forward to your second ferry trip of the day: back to the other side of the Weser to Bremen-Vegesack.
Numerous refreshment stops await you right at the harbor to end your tour appropriately. At the train station, the regional train will take you to your starting point, Bremen Central Station, in just 20 minutes. If you still have energy: by bike it's about 25 kilometers on a beautiful route along the Lesum.