Millions of flowers dip the wide landscape into a deep purple, contrasted only by the rich green of the juniper bushes and the silvery shade of the birch trees. And then there's this pale grey band of gravel which leads right through the middle — your personal invitation to discover the Lüneberg Heath by bicycle.
The Lüneburg Heath is the largest continuous heath landscape in Central Europe. And in its center, you'll find a traffic-free nature reserve, which you can explore at your leisure on a gravel bike. Riding along beautiful sand and gravel paths, you get a direct insight into the wide heath landscape. Enjoy the mystically beautiful moors and allow yourself a break here and there, trying out some of the local restaurants. Of course, you will also get to know the most important inhabitants of the area, the "Heidschnucken"— a very special breed of sheep whose appetite ensures this landscape remains void of any large vegetation and trees.
In this Collection, we have put together three beautiful rides that you can master best on a cross or gravel bike. You'll be efficient on the quiet paved roads of this orutes, but still flexible enough for any nice detours on sandy trails and gravel roads that take you right into the middle of the heath.
Each ride ends in a city in which you can easily find accommodation and which is well-connected to the railway network. That way, you can decide for yourself how long you want to be on the road. If you decide to ride every day, you'll enjoy a three-day adventure that would fit well into a long weekend. If you prefer longer days in the saddle, you can also combine the rides and master the route in two days. Or you can just ride individual stages and hop on the train to get back home or to your starting point. It's up to you what you make of it.
Where could a hiding tour start better than in Lüneburg? "The most beautiful city in the world" is located on the edge of the unique heathland and moorland, which you will get to know extensively in the coming days. Lüneburg is easily accessible by train and therefore this tour also starts at the station. From here you head to the beautiful old town - Lüneburg itself is worth a visit and we recommend you to cycle through the city with your eyes open. If you like, plan on spending some more time here.Now you leave the city on quiet side roads and the one or other field and gravel road to the south. Shortly before Ebstorf the route turns west and meanders wonderfully secluded between the military training areas Munster-Nord and Munster-Süd through to Munster. The small town in the middle of the Lüneburg Heath is one of the largest German Bundeswehr locations. If a soldier comes across you or you see a tank, that's no cause for concern. Apart from that, it is very cozy in the rural town, so there is nothing against a short ice or coffee stop in the center.Through sandy paths and small roads, you will now drive through the beautiful heathland, until you reach the stage destination Soltau. There are a lot of accommodations to choose from and the location has a good train connection. If you continue on the next day, you could treat yourself to a soothing visit to the Therme Soltau.
The second leg of our journey through the Lüneburg Heath takes you from Soltau right into the heart of the heath landscape, which is not for nothing known as a nature reserve. Here you drive through the picturesque heathland with purple heather, lush juniper shrubs and sandy paths. And the best part: in the nature reserve you enjoy a wonderful peace, because from the core area of the heath land the traffic was completely banished.From Soltau you drive directly to the nature reserve and drive it over a nice mix of quiet roads, gravel roads and sandy trails. If you reach the Pietzmoor, you are on the wrong track for a short moment. Because the idyllic bog leads to a wooden pier, which allows visitors to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Here you push best briefly. The more time remains for the enjoyment and above all you take so consideration for pedestrians. You can also avoid the moor, but we think it's worth the little detour.Go on. As you drive over beautiful sandy trails and narrow side streets, you can enjoy the idyllic heathland to the fullest. On the way you can expect a few restaurants, which lie in the middle of the heathland and offer themselves for a little refreshment.At the end of the tour you will reach Buchholz in the Nordheide. The cozy town is not a typical tourist destination, but offers with some hotels enough accommodation. Just outside, you will also find a campsite where you can not only camp but rent a solid sleeping cask. Information can be found here: campingplatz-nordheide.de/informationen/schlaffass.html. Buchholz has a good connection to the Deutsche Bahn network, so you can finish the tour here as well.
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The third leg of our short Gravel adventure through the Lüneburg Heath takes you back east, back to Lüneburg.Because it is so nice there, you first make a small turn through the nature reserve Lüneburg Heath - a small detour, but worth it. The Weseler Heide is one of the most beautiful spots here and if you want to enjoy a very relaxing break, the idyllic Pastorenteich invites you to.If you've left the reserve behind you, the character of the landscape will change a bit. It remains rural and quiet, but more and more often you pass cozy villages where small churches, farms or windmills catch your glances. If you like, take a break and enjoy the rural ambience before turning onto the next dirt road that will take you further towards Lüneburg.You then enter Lüneburg via a beautiful "Gravel Allee". From here you can come back home relaxed by train. Maybe you're planning on spending some time, because Lüneburg is a really beautiful city that is worth discovering. On the way from the train station we still have the Kalkberg, the well-known "subsidence area" - a relic of the medieval salt mining - and built the old town on the banks of the Ilmenau, so you a small mini-sightseeing on the bike in any case is safe.