Ferries, locks, high bridges, big ships and much more are waiting for you on the exciting voyage of discovery along the over 100-year-old waterway, the Kiel Canal. The charming landscape of Schleswig-Holstein offers rivers, lakes, meadow, and forest landscapes and enchants with its idyllic charm. A bicycle trip from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea coast is a very special experience, combining technology, nature and culture.
In this Collection, I have prepared the official cycle route around the Kiel Canal for you. In eight stages, it covers almost 186 miles (300 km) from Brunsbüttel to Kiel-Holtenau.
You can only travel to Brunsbüttel via bus as the nearest DB train station is in St. Michaelisdonn, Heide (Holstein) or Burg (Dithm.). An express bus runs between Itzehoe and Brunsbüttel. The stage lengths vary between 12.4 miles (20 km) and 31 miles (50 km) and are therefore very easy to master. As the route includes hardly any elevation gain, it is an ideal trip for the whole family, including children and grandparents.
If you would like to complete the adventure in fewer days, the stages can be combined and shortened. Often the route runs in circular loops through the charming hinterland, but you can leave out detours as you wish. You can also do the tour in the opposite direction from Kiel to Brunsbüttel.
On your way you will experience the variety of the Schleswig-Holstein landscape with all its facets. The Kiel Canal route is great in summer, as there are wonderful lakes and plenty of opportunities to take a refreshing dip en route. On shorter stages you can also explore architectural sights, marvel at historic buildings and locks or explore nature reserves.
The best way to get to Kiel-Holtenau is from Kiel main station, which is about 6.2 miles (10 km) away. If you want to return to your starting point after the tour, the Adler shipping company operates the large canal route between Kiel and Brunsbüttel. You can enjoy the route again from the water perspective and also enjoy the on-board kitchen of the nostalgic paddle steamer Freya or the modern MS Princess. You can find all information about the departure times here: adler-schiffe.de/fluesse-kanaele/nok.php.
On all stages you will pass through small canal communities where you can buy provisions. Overnight stays are also easy to find on this route; you can camp out along the canal or stay in pretty biking lodgings.
Your journey along the Kiel Canal starts today with a stage length of only 17 kilometers. So you can prepare for your upcoming trip in a relaxed manner.Right at the start, one of the numerous ferries awaits you, which take you from one side of the channel to the other around the clock and are also free.After about eight kilometers along the canal, you head towards Burg (Dithmarschen), your today's destination. Here you can take a deep breath, because Burg is a recognized climatic health resort. The community is beautifully landscaped and you have the opportunity to stroll through numerous historic buildings.In Burg there are beautiful cycling quarters and hotels that the tourist office arranges. If you want to spend the night cheaply, you will find a campsite a little further directly at the Hochdonn railway bridge.
The second stage takes you almost 30 kilometers to Albersdorf.
Let's start with a ferry ride. Before that, you have the opportunity to fortify yourself directly at the pier in the Hochdonn ferry house. Then it goes almost ten kilometers through the meadows and fields until the next canal crossing.On the route to Albersdorf you will pass Schafstedt, where an ancient oak tree is waiting for you, which has been around for 400 years.After another ten kilometers through the fields, you have already reached your destination. The view from the lookout tower at Albersdorf is absolutely recommendable.In Albersdorf you will find a youth hostel and a hotel, and in Beldorf, about eight kilometers away, there is a hay hostel.
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Today's stage leads through the landscape in a beautiful dangling over almost 50 kilometers. You will reach the stage destination Hanerau-Hademarschen after just 16 kilometers, so you can adapt the route to your mood.First you cross the villages of Bunsoh and Offenbüttel before you can look forward to crossing the canal again. Now the circular route via Hanerau-Hademarschen begins.The route takes you through the small towns of Bendorf, Oersdorf and Lütjenbornholt before heading back down the canal. At the next high bridge it is worth taking a small detour to a rest area that offers a great view of the canal.From here it is still about ten kilometers until you get back to Hanerau-Hademarschen. For overnight stays you will find a holiday farm with bed & bike operation and moderate prices.
This stage of the Kiel Canal route takes you from Hanau-Hademarschen to Breiholz. The almost 50 kilometers run along the canal and in a loop through the idyllic landscape.After the first ten kilometers along the canal, you will reach the bascule bridge at the lock, where the Eider and Kiel Canal combine in the Giselau Canal. A very nice place to rest and with a little luck you can see the bridge in action.Afterwards, take the ferry back to the other side of the river and along the canal to the Haaler Au-Niederung bird sanctuary, the wonderful habitat of a species-rich bird life.On your dangle through the field landscape you cross the nice little towns of Lütjenwestedt, Todenbüttel and Haale before you cycle back to the canal. Shortly before your stage goal Breiholz it goes back to the other side of the waterway.In Breiholz there is a friendly campsite right on the Eiderstrand, which also rents out lodges and cabins for more comfort.
The fifth stage of the Kiel Canal route starts today and takes you 23 kilometers to Rendsburg.After just under two kilometers you will reach the food station of a different kind: fresh milk and regional products from the machine. Then it goes back to the canal, which you follow for about six kilometers.At Nübbel you turn right and you can discover a beautiful windmill. The Forbecker lake, which you drive six kilometers past, invites you to cool off or take a nice rest.Now you are almost at your stage destination Rendsburg, a beautiful town where you can explore a historic city center and exciting harbors. For overnight stays, you have a wide selection of hotels, lodges or campsites in various price ranges.
The sixth stage is a good 40 kilometers to Sehestedt, including a beautiful circular route on the south side of the canal.In Rendsburg you can do a lap of honor over the Obereiderhafen before you go along the canal out of town.After 13 kilometers, you turn away from the waterway and head for the Wittensee, a beautiful jewel that tempts you to cool off or rest.Then it goes back to the canal to Sehestedt, where your tour through the Schleswig-Holstein field landscape begins. On the way back towards Sehestedt you can stop off at a rustic fish restaurant with a view of the canal.You can spend the night in Sehestedt in one of the numerous private holiday apartments that can be viewed on the municipality's website, and you will also find a hay hostel.
On your penultimate stage you can look forward to almost 50 kilometers with sparkling waters and mighty locks.Right at the beginning of your route you will come across a historic lock, where you can take a break. Then it goes on over Krummwisch and in a beautiful arch along the Eider.
Here you pass the Flemhuder See, the bike path runs on a wonderful route directly between the Eider and the lake and offers pure nature.Back at the canal you can marvel at a second lock before you continue in a beautiful, large round through the woods and grain fields, which already leads along the outer suburbs of Kiel.But the route does not yet lead into the city, because the route runs along the canal back to Schinkel, today's stage destination.In Schinkel there is a holiday apartment with a canal view at the Landwehr ferry. Directly at the Flemhuder See you will find accommodation of a different kind: a naturist campsite, where the covers fall when the weather is suitable.
Today is your last leg of the Kiel Canal route. Get ready for loosely flaky 40 kilometers with great highlights and Kiel-Holtenau as the final stage goal.First, the route takes you north of the canal to Gettorf, where there are a few exciting excursion destinations and highlights. From Gettorf you come across a great opportunity to stop off.We continue back towards the canal, where you come directly to the Levensauer Hochbrücke. You can take spectacular photos from above.Now you are almost there. The route runs along the waterway to the mouth of the Kiel Fjord near Kiel-Holtenau, where the Kiel Canal and the Baltic Sea merge.At the end, you can review the varied tour again while sniffing the sea breeze and gazing at the most beautiful lighthouse in Germany. Kiel Central Station has good transport links. If you can't get enough of traveling, Kiel is the perfect starting point for numerous ferry destinations, available at portofkiel.com/cruise-ferry-en/from-kiel-to.html.