Ancient cultural landscapes, countless bathing lakes, lush, green nature, and a dense network of cycle paths – Saxony-Anhalt is an excellent destination for your next cycling holiday. Despite all these highlights, the region in the east of Germany is still a real insider tip among touring cyclists. But since this summer is all about adventuring closer to home, now is the perfect opportunity to discover this corner of Germany, and the best way to do that is by bike.
In addition to its wild and romantic nature, Saxony-Anhalt boasts a wealth of cultural and historical sites from all eras of the last millennium. You will discover thousand-year-old castle ruins, pretty Renaissance palaces, and imposing steel remnants from industry which had a lasting impact on Saxony-Anhalt’s landscape.
We have put together two bike Tours for you, which you can ride in up to four stages per Tour (if you're ambitious, you can do them in less). The KOHLE | DAMPF | LICHT (coal, steam, light) cycle route follows the tracks of the coal industry from the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Lutherstadt Wittenberg to close to Leipzig. The Milde-Biese-Aland Tour takes you along the river of the same name in the northwest of Saxony-Anhalt.
The starting and finishing points of the Tours can be easily reached by public transport, so you can travel home comfortably by bus or train at the end of your adventure. On the way, you will find numerous guesthouses, inns, and campsites as well as restaurants and beer gardens, which are looking forward to your visit. At the end of both Tours, you can switch onto European Cycle Paths to continue your cycling adventure.
On the first stage of the COAL | STEAM | LICHT cycle route you travel through time. You start the section in the historic factory settlement Piesteritz, the largest car-free factory settlement in Germany. Your path then leads you through the old town of Wittenberg, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers insights into Martin Luther's time and some of its buildings are over 500 years old.Afterwards you go out into the country and you cycle through the now idyllic but clearly industrialized landscape, past the first open-pit mines before you reach Gräfenhainichen and the impressive Ferropolis. The open-cast mining machines that still exist here tower imposingly into the sky and are an open-air museum for most of the year. A few times a year, the Ferropolis becomes a festival venue.
From the Ferropolis in Gräfenhainichen you can reach the second stage of the KOHLE | STEAM | LICHT cycle route first to Zschornewitz, where you can see another typical factory settlement during the coal mining period.Then the bathing fun begins: The open-cast mine has torn many deep holes in the ground in this region, which have since been converted into bathing lakes in the course of restoration measures. The result is not only pleasing for cyclists: you will hardly be able to decide which of the lakes you want to lay down on to relax a bit.This continues until you reach Bitterfeld. In between, the tower of Pouch is worth a detour, just for the magnificent view.
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Also on the third stage of the KOHLE | STEAM | The LICHT cycle route alternates between wildly romantic nature and idyllic bathing lakes - with the glorious exception of the cultural metropolis of Leipzig, for which you should definitely plan a bit of time to visit.You always drive south from Bitterfeld, past numerous lakes, dreamy villages and on quiet bike paths. At some point the traffic will become denser - you are approaching the city. Rural idyll is replaced by urban park landscapes and you could theoretically leave the city aside. A little ice cream in the beautifully restored old town should at least be in there - or simply at the ice cream truck at the Sachsenbrücke in the middle of the Clara-Zetkin-Park and directly on your bike route.After that, it is not far to Markkleeberg and Lake Cospuden, which closes today's stage before tomorrow's grand finale.
On the fourth and last stage of the COAL | STEAM | The LICHT cycle route meanders you one last time through the deep, water-filled wounds of coal mining and allows you to enjoy the beauty of the lakes created. It starts in Markkleeberg, where you cycle over Lake Cospuden to the east to Lake Störmthal.Afterwards you hit a hook to the west and come across another imposing coal mining structure: the coal belt of the Lippendorf power plant, which is still in operation. The belt transports the coal and sewage sludge over a distance of 15 kilometers to the power plant.Now you are finally on the home straight. A few last kilometers and you reach the Großstolpener See, which invites you to swim and rest. You did it!
On the first stage of the Milde-Biese-Aland tour there is the former Hohenzollernschloss Letzlingen, old manor houses, pretty village kiches and a few historical mills that were once driven by the Milde water. You pedal through pine forests and green meadows.In Ziepel there is an artesian village fountain that invites you to refresh yourself and have a quick rest. Then it continues to Gardelegen with its rampart and the historic town center, where a longer stop to explore is definitely worth it and the first stage ends.
On the second stage of the Milde-Biese-Aland tour, you continue to drive along the enchanting Milde towards Kalbe. Along the way you will always find old buildings from different eras, including the typical old market village of Schenkenhorst, where you will find a neo-Gothic church from the 15th century and an old manor house.Kalbe itself also has a lot of cultural and historical sites to offer. In addition to a centuries-old hydraulic engineering monument with a barrage, culvert, drainage ditch and ford, there is a pretty old town with a Romanesque church and a castle ruin to discover. By the way, Kalbe is also called the city of 100 bridges and was mentioned in an old chronicle as early as 983.You will also find the MEDIAN clinic here, which has made Kalbe a popular health resort.
The third stage of the Milde-Biese-Aland-Tour leads past a marine radio station from World War II through a large bird sanctuary where many migrants and winter guests stay. But the Curlew is also at home here - maybe you can spot it from the observation deck?From the summit of the Dolchauer Berg (at least 94 meters high) you have a great panoramic view before you continue to roll along the basic moraine "Kalbescher Werder". Shortly afterwards you will reach Brunau, where you can visit the St. Martin church with its two unequal towers.
The fourth and last stage of the Milde-Biese-Aland tour leads from Brunau to Beuster, where you can either continue your journey on the Elbradweg or return to Letzlingen by public transport. At 43 kilometers, this is the longest stage of the tour.You cycle through the dreamy villages of the Altmark and discover gems along the way like a baroque rectory with a beautiful garden and an old bakery. In Krumke there is the beautiful garden dream park, in which a café invites you to mark the halfway point of today's stage with a break in the middle of the park.On hot days in Osterburg, you can consider whether you want to cool off in the Biesebad, one of the last managed river baths in Europe. Then it continues towards Seehausen. There you can discover a tower clock museum next to the Romanesque St. Petri church. The 15th century Beustertor is also worth a look. If you only feel the need for cool water in Seehausen, there is the forest pool where you can refresh yourself.Now you reach Beuster, a small, idyllic place on the Alte Elbe. Here too there is a Romanesque church worth seeing, a blue light museum with an extensive collection of historical technology and old consumption from the GDR era. You have reached your goal!Finally, you can take the train home from the nearby Geestgottberg.