Following the Oste from source to mouth – the Oste Cycle Route


Following the Oste from source to mouth – the Oste Cycle Route

Bike Touring Collection by Hannah



3-4 h

/ day

90.3 mi

1,325 ft

1,500 ft

Lush green riverside paths, the idyllic expanse of the Geest landscape, the salty breeze of the North Sea, and local North German history await on your short holiday along the Oste. By the way, they are pronounced Oh-ste, not Osste.

The longest tributary of the Elbe, the Oste rises between the Lüneburg Heath and the Zeven Geest. The Oste cycle path takes you 145 kilometres (90 miles), from the source to the mouth of the Elbe. The cycle path runs through wonderful floodplain and meadow landscapes along the banks of the Oste as it travels through this particularly idyllic region of northern Germany. If you are looking for a short holiday with peace and nature, away from any crowds, the Oste will enchant you.

In this Collection, I have divided the East Cycle Route of 145 kilometres into four stages for you. The stages are between 25 and 40 kilometres (15.5 miles and 24.8 miles) long, so you can cycle at your own pace and discover fascinating places along the way. The floodplains, meadows and Geest landscapes are flat the whole way, making them suitable for all cyclists, young and old.

Your adventure begins in Tostedt, where the Oste River rises. From its source, the river splashes leisurely through the sparsely populated countryside via Heeslingen to Bremervörde, where it grows into a tidal "water of the first order", i.e. of considerable importance for water management. You cycle past fieldstone churches, traditional farmhouses, historic water and windmills, which are great places to take a rest or explore.

The further downriver you cycle, the more the tidal range will become noticeable. The route takes you to the floating ferry at Hemmoor and East, an impressive technical structure which dates back more than 100 years . From here, a short stretch takes you to the mouth of the Elbe, where you can enjoy the views over the meadows and mudflats of the Elbe Coastal Park and finish your adventure.

During your ride, you will cycle through numerous small villages where you can buy food and find a choice of nice holiday apartments or other accommodation. The route mostly follows paved roads, with the odd unpaved section. A touring bike would be your perfect companion for this ride.

The starting point in Tostedt is easily accessible by train from Hamburg or Bremen. From the mouth of the Elbe you can take the regional train from Cadenberge or Otterndorf in the direction of Cuxhaven or Hamburg. There are also many possibilities to continue your journey by bike along the Elbe. For example to Cuxhaven on the North Sea it is only 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) by bike along the Elbe.

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    26.5 mi
    10.1 mph
    425 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Your tour starts today, which winds through the wonderfully quiet, rural region between the Elbe and Weser. It starts at Tostedter Bahnhof, which is well connected with the regional train …

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  • Difficult
    21.9 mi
    7.7 mph
    450 ft
    500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today you cycle from Heeslingen on about 35 kilometers to the resort of Bremervörde, through which the Oste flows. The route takes you on beautiful forest and field paths through …

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  • Difficult
    26.4 mi
    10.0 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    On your third stage you drive a good 40 kilometers up to the over 100-year-old suspension bridge between Hemmoor and east, where you can already smell the salty North Sea …

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  • Easy
    15.5 mi
    10.1 mph
    125 ft
    100 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you start your fourth and last stage of the Oste cycle path. On the remaining 25 kilometers to the mouth of the Elbe, the influence of the tides on …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    90.3 mi
  • Duration
    09:39 h
  • Elevation
    1,325 ft1,500 ft

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Following the Oste from source to mouth – the Oste Cycle Route