Just enjoy the peace and quiet. Instead of packing and flying south, grab your bike and travel through the almost endless green landscape of northern Saxony-Anhalt. Offering untouched nature, rich bird life and beautiful, old Hanseatic towns, you’ll be glad you didn’t buy that plane ticket.
A quaint, quiet corner of Germany, in the Altmark region you'll find medieval towns with castles, cathedrals and monasteries, and rustic villages with centuries-old field and brick churches, each one more beautiful and ancient than the other. From one village to the next, you cycle through sandy pine forests, rich fields and unspoilt river meadows.
Here, natural beauty is all that awaits you, something that more and more people are beginning to notice as the region’s reputation starts to spread. This reputation seems to have reached a wide range of two-winged creatures too, however, as numerous rarely seen birds start to call this place their home. In fact, the highly endangered red kite has an important settlement area in the Altmark region, a place they happily share with the majestic sea eagle and the elegant white stork, among others. In late summer other guests come to visit: wild geese and cranes make themselves comfortable in the Altmark and eat their food for the long journey to the south.
When summer comes to an end, the fields adopt a vibrantly golden coat, while the rest of the landscape gets dress in soft sepia tones—the perfect time to explore the Altmark by bike. We present you 7 stages each around 50 km (30 miles) in length, with which you can experience the most beautiful spots of this region.
Rathenow in Brandenburg is an ideal starting point for the round trip, as the station is well connected to the regional transport network.To get on the Altmarkkurs, you drive the first half of the day along the Havelradweges through beautiful forests and floodplains.The Havelgemeinde Garz impresses with an octagonal half-timbered church from the 17th century and carefully restored and landmarked Vierseitenhöfen.Behind Havelberg, you take the yaw ferry Räbel towards Werben. The medieval town is known in the Altmark for two things - the many stork nests and the famous son of the city gustaf nagel. In the Pension am Markt there is a small exhibition about the life of the nerd.
Today it goes down the Elbe dike in the direction of Wittenberge. On this route you will be rewarded with a vision of the Elbe and its biodiversity.
In the villages and around the dike, white storks romp about and out of the woods a bird of prey shoots out every now and then.The first big break you can do in the beautiful river café Anne Elbe. After the Bockwindmühle in Wanzer the landscape changes so slowly. Suddenly it gets woody and hilly. The so-typical oak-pine mixed forests begin just before Arendsee, your current milestone.If the 70km tour is a bit too long for you, you can also shorten the route via Seehausen.
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Before you cycle to Salzwedel today, you can make a detour to the gustaf-nail area. Here lived and worked probably the most controversial, but also one of the most famous sons of the Altmark. gustaf nagel, born in Werben, was a nature man, a walking preacher and a spelling reformer in one.On the way to Salzwedel you get to see many old field and brick churches. If you are lucky they are open and you can look in one or the other.In the intermediate goal Salzwedel waits a café with homemade Baumkuchen, which is just the right refreshment before driving on to Diesdorf. Here you will again encounter many old brick and fieldstone buildings.If you still have some time after the stage, you can go on a journey through time in the rural life of earlier generations in the open-air museum.
Today it gets woody and comparatively hilly for the Altmark. The area around Klötze is therefore referred to by the locals as a bit overblown as the 'Klötzer Berge'.
Through the forest of the same name numerous hiking and riding trails and the one or other forest stream run.After a short refreshment at the Kneipp facility near Altjemmeritz, you will also come to the Hanseatic city of Gardelegen.Fun Fact: Gardelegen is the third largest city in Germany after Hamburg and Berlin. For the evening walk after the work is done but then probably enough to visit the old town, which is surrounded by the green Wall promenade.
From Gardelegen you drive through airy and sun-drenched pine forests to Uchtspringe. The fact that there are wolves here makes the section all the more exciting. But do not worry - these elegant creatures are supposed to be extremely shy.If you have made it out of the woods alive, you can still make a detour to Wittenmoor, where there is a walk-up moor. Currently (as of June 2017) it is in the restoration.Before Tangerhütte there are some beautiful village churches made of field stones on the route.
From Tangerhütte it goes first to the county town of Stendal. This makes it after a few days in the country idyll again a little urban.From Arneburg you will share the cycle path with many other nature lovers, because you are back on the Elbe Cycle Route which is mostly busy. After that you have already reached your milestone goal.The imperial city of Tangermünde has one of the most beautiful restored Old Towns of the Altmark. Thanks to the constant stream of cyclists from the Elbe Cycle Route, there are also many restaurants and cafés where you can look back at the kilometers covered with an Altmark specialty or a large sundae.When the sun goes down the old town is illuminated in warm colors. A befitting last evening, or not?
On the last day of your journey you cross the Elbe in the direction of Brandenburg. In Jerichow you can visit the oldest brick church in Northern Germany and the attached monastery garden.Along the beautiful Elbauen you finally cycle to Genthin. Since the place is well connected to the regional transport network in the direction of Berlin and Magdeburg is an excellent destination of the tour dar.Alternatively, you can also drive to the starting point of your tour in Rathenow.