komoot
  • Discover
  • Route planner
  • Features
Discover

From the Baltic Sea to the Vogtland: Border ride through the Green Belt

Martin Donat | lifeCYCLE Magazine

From the Baltic Sea to the Vogtland: Border ride through the Green Belt

Road Cycling Collection by komoot

7-15

days

3-6 h

/ day

621 mi

32,450 ft

30,800 ft

For more than 40 years, Germany was divided in two. The 1,393-kilometre (865-miles) border ran through the country from the Baltic Sea to the Vogtland, and despite the natural beauty, it contained a five-kilometre (3-mile) wide exclusion zone that was not called the "Death Strip" for nothing. On this bike ride, you will experience the full length of German's separated history as you cycle in eight stages from Travemünde to Hof in the Vogtland. Above all, however, this ride leads through the most positive legacy of all this: The once notorious Death Strip, which is now known as the Green Belt.

Here, on this once-terrifying patch of ground, nature has been given a unique opportunity. For decades, void of human traffic, plants were able to grow undisturbed amongst the shadows of the East/West border. Today, you can cycle through a wonderful green and quiet landscape and experience this unique strip of nature where hundreds of endangered animal and plant species have found a home. Cycling, enjoying and remembering - this border ride is not like other bike rides: it is a unique experience, delivering a touchable insight into the history of this region.

This ride is designed for road bikes/Gravelbikes so that you can master the 100 to 150 kilometer (60 - 90 mile) long stages fairly easily, meaning that you don't need to be especially fit to conquer each ride. Just be ready for rough patches as you won't spend the entire route on smooth asphalt. After all, large parts of this area lay fallow for decades. The stage towns offer great places to re-energize and accomodation aplenty, as well as numerous points of interest that showcase the unique history of this bike path. Both Travemünde and Hof are well connected to the railway network, making arrival and departure very easy.

On The Map

loading
loading

Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

Grenztour von der Ostsee ins Vogtland

611 mi

31,575 ft

29,950 ft

Last updated: May 19, 2022

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

Learn More
komoot premium logo

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:56
    73.4 mi
    14.8 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,500 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    My border tour begins almost symbolically with the crossing from Travemünde over to the small peninsula, the Priwall, on which the inner-German border ran at that time. From the watchtower, the GDR border guards had a clear view of Priwall's nudist beach. Today an information board has remained, which

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Difficult
    05:18
    75.8 mi
    14.3 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,775 ft
    Ferry
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    This tour is characterized by the beautiful landscape of the Elbe floodplain. Today you mainly follow the Elberadweg, because there is no nicer route by bike along Germany's third longest river.

    

    After starting in Lauenburg, you warm up a bit before it actually gets hilly. You may not believe it, but even

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Difficult
    06:16
    92.5 mi
    14.8 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    From Wendland along the Elbe, we continue south-west through the Altmark. This beautiful cultural landscape in the north of Saxony-Anhalt has a lot to tell - if you keep your eyes open and know how to interpret the signs along the way.

    

    There are no great elevations in your way today, but this stage is

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Difficult
    06:19
    83.9 mi
    13.3 mph
    4,625 ft
    4,075 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    This tour starts with a casual warm-up through the beautiful landscape of the Große Bruch conservation area, where, with a bit of luck, you might see one or two rare birds. The further you drive, the more you can already guess that today you will start sweating. Because the Harz is approaching.

    

    About

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Difficult
    05:21
    68.5 mi
    12.8 mph
    4,950 ft
    5,325 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This tour along the former inner-German border is primarily characterized by two cultural landscapes. It starts in the quite hilly Eichsfeld, which joins the Harz Mountains and sends you towards the Werratal. Here you earn a few meters of altitude, but you will always be rewarded with great views.

    

    A long

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Difficult
    06:30
    78.9 mi
    12.1 mph
    6,200 ft
    5,875 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today, this wonderfully rural tour gives little indication that the death strip between the GDR and Germany ran here for decades. However, the "Green Belt" that runs here today is quite rightly named. It's enjoyable, but somehow it also makes me think at times when I think about what used to be going

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Difficult
    06:18
    82.0 mi
    13.0 mph
    5,425 ft
    4,775 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    The tour starts from the Rhön in a southerly direction and touches on Upper Franconia before it goes into the Thuringian Forest. It mostly stays with a casual "up and down", only at the end you are really challenged, because it goes up to one of the highest places in Thuringia.

    

    Before that, you will learn

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View
  • Difficult
    05:41
    66.1 mi
    11.6 mph
    6,250 ft
    6,250 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The last stage of my border tour is also the most demanding. No wonder, since it leads right through the Thuringian-Franconian slate mountains into the hilly Vogtland. The grand finale, with more than 2,000 meters of altitude, is symbolic, so to speak, of the difficult time of German division and the

    translated byView Original

    by Martin Donat

    View

Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    621 mi
  • Duration
    46:40 h
  • Elevation
    32,450 ft30,800 ft

You Might Also Like

City, countryside, coffee cup — seven road rides to enjoy

Road Cycling Collection by komoot

Who needs the Alps? 8 great climbs around Germany

Road Cycling Collection by komoot

High-alpine single trail adventures – Davos in Switzerland

Mountain Biking Collection by Diana Grodnick

Discover

From the Baltic Sea to the Vogtland: Border ride through the Green Belt

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint