Thatched roofs, smoked eel and pure rural idyll - cycling along the River Schlei

Bike Touring Collection by
OSTSEEfjordSCHLEI

The River Schlei stretches 26 miles (42 kilometers) from the Baltic Sea to Schleswig. An Ostseefjord, the river was formed during the last ice age. Since then, many different people and tribes of different cultures have settled on the river’s banks. On the way, you will catch glimpses of the Stone Age, a Nordic Thing and, of course, traces of the Viking Age, as well as many mansions and manor houses.

Today the Schlei, which brings fishing to Schwansen, is a huge and lively nature park. The flora and fauna are able to flourish in the several nature reserves undisturbed by sustainable tourism. Sailing, hiking and cycling are popular leisure activities on the fjord between Kiel and Flensburg. In this Collection, you can find 15 cycling trips to explore the region’s splendor by bike. Each route showcases a different aspect of the region: from the smallest town in Germany to the oldest herring fence in Europe, from Baltic Sea beaches to small lakes, and through Viking history to rural splendor. The River Schlei offers something for everyone.

The routes all have a manageable length of between 15 and 25 miles (25 and 40 kilometers) which you can comfortably ride in a half or full day. All cruises are round trips so you come back to your starting point. The last ice age left gentle hills behind so you won’t find big climbs here. For relaxing pitstops as you ride, there are many small cafes and fish restaurants, as well as the sandy beaches on the Baltic Sea and the Schlei.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:41
    24.5 mi
    9.2 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    The Vikings shaped the history of northern Europe for more than 200 years. The name comes from the Old Norse "Vikingr" and means as much as robbers or looters. It is a collective term for various Scandinavian tribes and peoples, which included many peaceful traders and craftsmen.The Baltic Sea fjord Schlei was one of the most important lifelines of the Viking Age. Haithabu was one of their most important coastal settlements, today there is a great Viking museum here.Here you also start your Viking trip by bike. In less than 40 kilometers you circle the westernmost part of the Baltic Sea fjord Schlei. You drive through Schleswig, a pretty town with many historic sights, such as the Gottof Palace, the Baroque garden and the fishing district.On the drive through the hinterland are always small, idyllic villages along your way. Between the nature reserves you drive a few times directly to the water, where you can bathe on the great beaches. Just before you reach your starting point again, the path takes you along the coast for a while and you enjoy a fantastic panorama of Schleswig and the fjord.

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  • Easy
    01:27
    13.7 mi
    9.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Between 1150 and 1200 many Romanesque churches, also called Feldsteinkirchen, were built in the landscape fishing. Of course, the churches were rebuilt and expanded over time, but they are still the center of the villages.The 20-kilometer-long and simple church trip starts at the beach of Winningmay, where you can park your car and jump into the cool water after the bike ride. On a magnificent bike path you drive to Brodersby, where the first interesting church awaits you. Here the bell tower is lower than the church roof.Continue through dreamy villages to Tolk, where you will find one of the oldest churches in the fishing area. It was first mentioned in 1192. On your way back to Winnigmay, drive past the St. Jacob's Church in Moldenit, perched on a hill above the village.

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  • Intermediate
    02:12
    20.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    550 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You start the 32-kilometer bathing lake cruise at the end of the Baltic Sea fjord Schlei in the pretty town of Schleswig. The city has been an important trading center since the Vikings and the dukes of Guttorf made Schleswig the cultural center of Northern Europe.The area is known not only for cultural highlights, but also for the beautiful nature, through which you can ride wonderfully by bike. These include, among others, the lakes that you will explore along this tour.On small roads you drive north to the Langsee, where the first bathing place is waiting for you. Afterwards you drive around the Langsee until you reach the Idstedter See. You can either follow the road or push along a narrow path directly along the shore. At the other end of the lake you will find a pretty, small swimming area.Back to Schleswig you drive a bit through the forest on a very special cycle path, the so-called ox road. It follows a historic traffic route from Denmark to Germany, where up to 50,000 oxen were driven annually from Jutland to Wedel. The bathing lake cruise finally ends at the harbor of Schleswig, where you will find several beaches and the Luisenbad in the immediate vicinity.

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  • Intermediate
    02:09
    22.1 mi
    10.3 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The numerous mansions in the region bear witness to an exciting past. The HerrenhausTörn leads you to several estates, all of which tell a different story.You start in Sieseby, one of the most beautiful villages on the Schlei. The whole village with its thatched half-timbered houses is a listed building and was originally built for the fishermen and day laborers of the neighboring estate Bienebek.On small roads you meander through the beautiful, slightly undulating landscape from farm to farm. On the outskirts of Rieseby you drive to Gut Hörst, which today still manages the surrounding fields.Past Gut Saxtorf and Gut Erichshof you will reach one of the most impressive mansions in the area, the Gut Ludwigsburg. It was built around a former medieval moated castle. Today, the estate is booked for events and in the old smokehouse in the manor you can strengthen yourself with delicious coffee and cake.The path to Vogelsang-Grünholz takes you on a freight path through a beautiful natural landscape. Around Vogelsang, a little off the track, you will find the goods Grünholz and Damp. If you follow the bike path from Gut Damp further east, you will reach a beautiful sandy beach. From Vogelsang you can reach your starting point Sieseby in half an hour.

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  • Intermediate
    02:17
    19.8 mi
    8.7 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    Around the Schlei you can taste the special culinary delights of Schleswig-Holstein. Here you will find romantic cafés, country inns, fish smokehouses and cideries. So you can feast without a guilty conscience, we have the epicurean places connected by a 32-kilometer bike path.You start in Brodersby and drive on small roads to Hestoft, where a lovingly designed cottage garden awaits you. Continue to Lindau. In several places along the way, you can make a short detour to one of the many swimming spots right on the Schlei, such as in the pretty village of Gunneby.You cross the loop on the Lindaunis Bridge, which is alternately driven by cars, bicycles, pedestrians and the railway. When a ship approaches, the bridge is folded up. On the other side of the loop you have a nice view from Obststub Stubbe and you can taste a delicious piece of cake in the café.Your way leads you through the hinterland to Gut Hörst, which is still managed. After driving through the picturesque village of Rieseby, you will drive past a great mill to Ornumer Noor, the narrowest loop of the Schlei. Shortly after, you will reach your starting point again.

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  • Intermediate
    02:27
    23.0 mi
    9.4 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For about 100 years, the Schleswig-Angler-Crossing commuted between Schleswig and Süderbrarup. The last train left in 1981, then the tracks were dismantled. What has remained is a natural cycling path, the Alte Kreisbahntrasse.On this tour we will first show you the northern part of the route. You start directly at Süderbrarup station, which you can reach by train from Flensburg or Kiel. Afterwards you drive on the old circular railway line to Taarstedt.In Taarstedt you leave the former railway line and drive via Brodersby and Ulsnis to Lindau. Again and again, you can make a little dangling loop where you can find one or the other swimming, such as Gunneby.In Lindau you can make a short detour to the interesting bascule bridge, which is alternately used by cars and by the railway. On small roads you drive through idyllic villages back to Süderbrarup.

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  • Intermediate
    02:15
    19.6 mi
    8.7 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Thatched houses belong to the landscape of fishing and Schwansens like the Schlei and the Baltic Sea. Since the people settled here, the roofs are covered with dried reeds. Due to the risk of fire, thatched roofs in the cities were replaced by hard roofs, but the thatched roof has retained its significance in rural areas until today.On the more than 31 kilometers long thatched roof you will explore some of the most beautiful thatched houses in the area. You start in Sieseby, a beautiful idyllic village that is now completely listed. Originally the thatched cottages were built for fishermen and day laborers of the neighboring estate Bienebek.You drive on beautiful paths through a landscape that is characterized by agriculture. Small forests, ponds, manors and hamlets loosen up the area. After you have made about half of your stage, you reach the beautiful sandy beach of Damp directly on the Baltic Sea.About half an hour later you reach Karby. In the middle of the pretty village stands the early Gothic brick church, originally built around 1300, which burnt down three times. The last few kilometers back to Siesby you drive on a nice path directly at the Schlei.

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  • Easy
    01:49
    15.5 mi
    8.5 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Ferry
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    At about 42 kilometers, the Schlei is the longest Baltic Sea fjord in Schleswig-Holstein. The ZDF television series "The Country Doctor" has become known throughout Germany owes the region also the tourist brand name: Baltic Sea fjord Schlei.The Schlei connects the landscapes fishing in the north and Schwansen in the south. At its widest point it measures four kilometers, at the narrowest it is just 135 meters wide. On the 25 kilometer SchleiuferTörn you drive once around the middle part of the fjord and see on the tour everything, for which the area is known.You start in Arnis, the smallest city in Germany. While countless boats swing in the harbor, the charm of the mid-19th century awaits you in the city center. The first few miles lead you west. You can either drive a bumpy piece right along the shore or take the main road.On your way you pass the mill Gödersby, one of many still existing mills around the loop. You follow the shore with always wonderful views of the fjord to Lindaunisbrücke. Alternating cars, bicycles and the railway cross the special bascule bridge.The next town on your tour is Sieseby, which is fully listed. The pretty town center consists of thatched timbered houses. Your return journey will take you along the southern shore of the Schlei until you cross it by ferry and return to Arnis.

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  • Intermediate
    02:19
    24.3 mi
    10.5 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The idyllic landscape around the Baltic Sea fjord Schlei forms the backdrop for the popular ZDF evening series "Der Landarzt". On the nearly 40-kilometer rural doctor's trip you explore the area by bike and drive past some locations.You start the tour at the train station in Süderbrarup, which you can reach by train from Kiel or Flensburg, and leave the town to the south. Shortly before Lindaunis worthwhile for real "country doctor" fans a detour about one kilometer long over Lindau Lindauhof, the picturesque estate where the series was filmed. Today, Café Lindauhof is located there.Shortly before Arnis, the smallest city in Germany, one of many preserved mills in the area is on your way. Then you drive towards Kappeln, where a small detour to the city center is worthwhile. Right on the harbor you can fortify yourself with fish rolls and smoked eel, before you cycle on small roads through the glacial landscape.The places and streets were often locations of the "country doctor". A bit off the track in Wagersrott lies the Holländerhof. There lives during the shooting of the herbal doctor Hinnerksen. In fact, there is a local history museum in the courtyard with historical machines and utensils from Angelner farms. From there it is only a few kilometers back to Süderbrarup.

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  • Easy
    01:51
    18.3 mi
    9.9 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Ferry
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    Culinary the focus on the Baltic Sea fjord Schlei course in the water. On the almost 30-kilometer HeringsTörn you explore places where fish are caught, processed and eaten.Your trip begins at the port of Kappeln. South of the bascule bridge is the Kappelner Museumshafen, where forgotten ship types creaking rocked by the waves. Not far from here is the 500-year-old and last functional herring fence in Europe, a proven over 10,000 years fishing system.Over the bascule bridge you leave Kappeln towards the Baltic Sea to the Schleimündung. There, in addition to floating houses, a beautiful beach awaits you, inviting you to swim and linger. The next stop is Karby, a pretty village with an early Gothic brick church.Then you drive to the loop, which you cross with a ferry. On the other side is Arnis, the smallest city in Germany. With only 0.45 square kilometers you have quickly explored Arnis, the Votive Church and the Long Road and still have plenty of time to strengthen you in one of the many good fish restaurants.The last stage leads you slightly hilly around Kappeln. Before you return to the harbor, you will pass a beautiful swimming and barbecue area. In Kappeln your HeringsTörn ends and it is worthwhile to stroll through the old town with a fish sandwich or to stop by in the eel smokehouse.

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  • Easy
    01:53
    19.5 mi
    10.4 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The more than 31 kilometers long GulyThingTörn leads you through small village ponds and romantic farms. Here you will find nature and idyll pure. In the midst of this idyll lies a place where you can experience several thousand years of history: the Guly thing.Your route starts on the outskirts of Kappeln. You meander along a few lane-field roads through the glacial landscape from one farm or hamlet to the next. Again and again, small forests and streams loosen up the landscape.About halfway you reach the Guly-Thing. For Nordic peoples the Thing was something like a parliament and a court of justice at the same time. Chosen men of a tribe governed the coexistence. The guly thing was faithfully reconstructed. In the immediate vicinity you will also find a rune stone and a dolmen, so a stone grave consisting of carrying stones and a ceiling tile.The way back to Kappeln runs again through pure idyll. When you arrive in Kappeln, you can make a detour to the old town at the end of your tour. Right on the harbor you can fortify yourself with smoked eel and fish sandwiches.

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  • Intermediate
    02:12
    20.7 mi
    9.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your 33 kilometer trip to the Baltic dikes begins in the sleepy town of Gelting. You follow the salty sea breeze for about half an hour until you reach the Baltic Sea. Here you can expect a seemingly endless beach and the sea. In good weather you can even see the Danish coast.On natural trails you drive six kilometers on the Baltic Sea dike, listening to the waves and feel the wind. You follow the path until just before the mouth of the mouth. The estuary is a seabird sanctuary and is closed to humans year-round. At the beginning of the sanctuary is the bird keeper's hut, where you can find out about the flora and fauna.Now you drive along the shore of the Schlei and reach the pretty village of Maasholm with its idyllic harbor and the romantic thatched cottage. The way back to Gelting runs through the quiet hinterland, past small farms and hamlets.

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  • Intermediate
    01:47
    15.2 mi
    8.5 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The almost 25-kilometer GeltingerBirkTörn is all about the nature reserve in Geltinger Birk. You start in the pretty village Gelting. In the center of the place stands since about 1300 the brick church. About one kilometer away is the Geltinger castle, which is one of the oldest noble farms in fishing. The castle is privately owned, but a detour is still worthwhile.After a few minutes on the bike you will reach the Baltic Sea and thus the nature reserve Geltinger Birk. Right at the entrance to the Birk, the windmill Charlotte draws the eye. It served until 1971 for draining the Beveroer Noores and for grinding grain.On natural paths you drive along the coast around the nature reserve. Reed marshes, salt marshes, dunes and seagrass meadows form an outstanding biotope for the flora and fauna. Behind the nature reserve begins a several kilometers long sandy beach, so do not forget to pack your bathing suit. On small roads it finally goes back to Gelting.

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  • Intermediate
    01:46
    16.7 mi
    9.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today's cycling tour is all about fishing. The many manor houses and manors testify to a rich history and the slightly hilly landscape testifies to the last ice age in Schleswig-Holstein.The approximately 27 kilometer long fishing trip begins in the idyllic town of Gelting. Small hamlets are on your way through the landscape shaped by the ice age. Typical of this area are the many small fields, which are separated by so-called Knicks.After about half the distance you will reach Gut Rundhof. The late Baroque mansion was built in place of a water castle from the 13th century. Today, the huge building is privately owned, but in summer there are concerts in the Dome Hall.Just before you reach the Baltic Sea, worth a visit to Gut Oestergaard. It is located on the eastern edge of the village Steinberg and was built in the middle of the 19th century. In addition to farming, the owner family also operates a café.The path directly on the Baltic Sea is a bit bumpy and narrow, but offers you wonderful views of the sea. Take some time off and maybe push the bike a bit so that you can experience the impressions that nature gives you even more intensively. At the end of the coastal path, you will pass the Geltinger Birk nature reserve before returning to your starting point, Gelting.

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  • Intermediate
    01:39
    16.6 mi
    10.1 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The name of the tour through the rolling hills of Anselm and along the Baltic Sea is a program: Again and again, you have wonderful views. Sometimes the view of a small slope suddenly falls on the wide-opening Geltinger Bay, sometimes a secluded curve turns into a secluded beach panorama.You start in the place Steinberg church and drive on small, asphalted side roads over Niesgrau to the Baltic Sea. Once there, awaiting you next to the fresh sea breeze a great way through the forest and along the coast. A detour to Gut Oestergaard is worthwhile for a trip to the corn labyrinth.You drive along the coast, sometimes a bit in the hinterland, where you can always enjoy a beautiful panorama of the sea. The landscape is constantly changing: bogs, forests, meadows are your companions on the PanoramaTour. Of course, you also have the opportunity to jump into the water on one of the sandy beaches.After leaving the Baltic Sea behind you, a gentle ascent follows Scheersberg. In the middle of the village is the 1903 built Bismarckturm. From the 32 meter high tower you have a wonderful panoramic view over the fjord to Denmark. You are now almost 90 meters above sea level. From here it is still a good ten minutes by bike to your starting point.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    15
  • Distance
    290 mi
  • Duration
    30:43 h
  • Elevation
    6,100 ft
Thatched roofs, smoked eel and pure rural idyll - cycling along the River Schlei
Bike Touring Collection by
OSTSEEfjordSCHLEI