This river rises in a Czech mountain range, shares its name with a white and black European magpie, and is the river landscape of the year 2020/21 – the White Elster River.
At around 250 kilometres (155 miles) long, the Elster Cycle Route (Elster Radweg) follows the river’s course. In four stages, it takes you from its source near the Czech town of Aš to its mouth in Halle on the Saale. After a short visit to our Czech neighbours, you cross the federal states of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt in eastern Germany. As there are many large cities on the route, the Elster Cycle Route is ideal for a cultural city trip. Nature lovers and bridge enthusiasts will also be impressed by this adventure. The river landscapes along the White Elster are charming, characterised by rolling green hills, tranquil villages, historic bridges, and enchanting lakes.
There are some very hilly sections along the route from the river’s source to Gera, the third-largest city in Thuringia. After Gera, the Elster Cycle Route is suitable for novice cyclists and families with children. If you plan to cycle the entire route, I recommend a touring or gravel bike with relatively wide tyre tread due to the hilly sections at the beginning of the journey that can be bumpy. You can comfortably travel to the start in Bad Brambach with the Vogtlandbahn train. Along the route, you are never far from a train station meaning you can stay flexible and shorten the route by train.
By the way, the feathered European magpie, the Elster, has nothing to do with the trail’s name. The Slavic name ‘Alstrawa’ means ‘the hurrying one’, after which the Elster was later named. To distinguish the river from the Black Elster which flows from Lusatia into the Elbe, it was called the White Elster. Even if the meaning of its name means something else, it’s not worth hurrying here. Instead, enjoy the beautiful river landscapes of the White Elster with all your sense, true to the motto: don’t be a in hurry – stay!
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Last updated: October 28, 2021
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From Bad Brambach, the first six kilometers uphill to the Elsterquelle. Shortly after Bärendorf, a sign that can hardly be overlooked indicates that you are about to cross the German-Czech border. In the middle of the Elster Mountains, at an altitude of around 720 meters, lies the Elster spring, which…
On today's stage, two Vogtland classics are on the program a little off the Elsterradweg. The first detour goes to the Pöhl dam, one of the most beautiful bathing lakes in Saxony. Then it continues on the Elsterradweg until you set off for the second detour shortly before Greiz. The six-kilometer detour…
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On today's third stage, all beer lovers will get their money's worth. Shortly after starting in Gera, you can take a brewery tour in Bad Köstritz to take a look behind the scenes of the local black beer brewery.
Then it goes on over the state border to Saxony-Anhalt. You probably haven't heard much from…
On the fourth and last stage you quickly leave the urban flair, after just a few kilometers you will find yourself at the Leipziger Auensee in the middle of beautiful nature. We continue on well-developed paths across the state border to Saxony-Anhalt to the Raßnitzer See.
After the Schafbrücke you cankomoot.com/collection/699)…
Bike Touring Collection by Reiseland Sachsen-Anhalt
Bike Touring Collection by Leipzig Travel
Hiking Collection by Schmallenberger Sauerland
Bike Touring Collection by Guillaume Favez