On the footsteps of the Hanseatic League - the Alte Salzstraße

Bike Touring Collection by komoot
2-3 days
3-5 h / day
104 mi
1,750 ft
1,725 ft

The Hanseatic League: legendary economic and cultural trade association of the Middle Ages. By bike you can experience it on the Old Salt Road. Around the Baltic Sea and far beyond, free trade created enormous wealth in the Hanseatic cities, which is still visible today in the many monumental buildings. A prominent example is Lüneburg, which exported the salt from its salt pans. The salt was of great importance for the herring trade on the Baltic Sea, which is why the city quickly gained in prestige.

To transport the salt, a trade route was built. Later, the salt was transported on the canal. For salt transport, the path and the canal are no longer useful today, but it was a wonderful bike path, the 71-mile (114-kilometer) Old Salt Road from Lüneburg to Lübeck.

We divided the way into two stages - with a stopover in the Till-Eulenspiegel-Stadt Mölln. The first stage is 37 miles (60 kilometers) long and starts in Lüneburg. The pretty city can be easily reached by train, as well as Mölln and Lübeck. From Lüneburg you follow the Elbe side canal and dive into an idyllic and quiet landscape. From Mölln you drive along the Elbe-Lübeck Canal to Lübeck. The magnificent Hanseatic city is known not only for the marzipan, but also for its many towers. Passing witnesses of the Slavic era, the path leads you to Travemünde, the important Baltic Sea port. From here, the Lüneburg salt was shipped to many Hanseatic cities. The northernmost district of Lübeck but also has a beautiful sandy beach with the typical beach chairs.

You cycle mostly on paved bike paths or on good gravel roads. The old salt road is completely flat except for two short, slightly hilly stages and thus also for inexperienced cyclists good to create. The bike path is a great way to try a trip of several days and immerse yourself in the world of tobogganing. Just take a weekend time. Or you make two daily stages out of it. Whatever you decide, the bike tour in the footsteps of the Hanseatic League will inspire you.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    37.5 mi
    9.7 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Your journey along the once so important trade route begins in the Hanseatic city of Lüneburg. Due to the local saline, the city was blessed with great wealth, which you can still see in the magnificent buildings today. The old town is worth at least a detour before you leave Lüneburg to the north.It goes slightly uphill past the remarkable monastery Lüne until you reach the highest point of today's stage in Erbstorf with 40 meters. Then you drive down to the Elbe Side Canal, which you follow for a while. After a short time you will find a huge monument on your way: the Scharnebeck boat lift.Idyllic landscapes, nature reserves and a bathing lake await you left and right of the canal. Crossing the Elbe offers you a nice view of Lauenburg. The place is great for a little breather before it continues on the Elbe-Lübeck Canal.The long, straight stretches along the canal are often interrupted by small locks. The bike path leads through a beautiful natural landscape. In Siebeneichen is the only ferry across the Elbe-Lübeck Canal. The cable ferry transports guests to the other shore on weekends and bank holidays.The canal makes a large S-curve and then leads you straight to Mölln, your stage destination halfway along the Old Salt Road. The city is ideal for a relaxing evening after the bike ride. In the pretty old town you will find next to the memorial stone for Till Eulenspiegel some quaint restaurants. The many lakes and parks invite you to linger.

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    66.2 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Mölln we continue along the Elbe-Lübeck Canal, which has replaced the Stecknitz Canal from the 14th century since 1900. Today's stage takes you mostly along this idyllic waterway. Again and again, there are small locks to admire and in the small villages on the canal you can comfortably take a coffee break.After about 30 kilometers you reach the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. Thanks to the Hanseatic League, the impressive city gained enormous wealth, reflected in the chic buildings of the city center. The many towers of the old town are visible from afar. The old salt road leads directly past the landmark of the city, the Holstentor. If you pass through the gate, you will reach the historic center, which is located on an island.After you have experienced the flair of the rich Hanseatic city, you drive out of the city along the Trave. The Middle Ages are behind you and cycling back in time. Right on the bike path are the remains of Liubice, the Slavic predecessor city of Lübeck. A few kilometers further in Pöppendorf there are a megalithic tomb and a Slavic ring wall. Before, there are still a few hills to master, these are not too strenuous with a maximum of 45 meters.After a short drive over a field you have reached Travemünde. The northernmost district of Lübeck is located directly on the Baltic Sea. From here, the Lüneburg salt was shipped to many Hanseatic cities. From the coast you can easily return by train to Lübeck or jump on the beautiful beach into the water. Maybe you also want to continue a bit on the Baltic Sea cycle path, for example: komoot.de/collection/315/auf-dem-ostseekuestenradweg-von-kopenhagen-nach-danzig.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    104 mi
  • Duration
    10:20 h
  • Elevation
    1,750 ft1,725 ft

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