Baltic Manors – Exploring historic manor houses along the South Baltic coast
© Pocha Burwitz
This Collection takes you on a journey through time along the Baltic Sea coast. On your adventure, you discover the Baltic Manors, ancient manor houses that stand as stone witnesses to history. The manors tell of agricultural times gone by, the life of the lords of the manors, and the eventful past of the South Baltic region.
The numerous castles, manor houses, and stately homes in the region have shaped the rural villages up to the present day. From the wide fields in southern Sweden to the Danish islands, from rolling hills in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany to the Polish coast and Lithuania, the lords of the manors left a distinctive mark on this vast region. Today, more and more of the crumbling walls of these buildings are being renovated in accordance with historic building regulations and transformed to fit modern times. A classic manor house hotel is just one of the many new uses. Creative minds are bringing innovative ideas, courage and energy to the table, to give these manor houses a new lease of life.
In this Collection, we take you deep into this landscape which is steeped in rich history. On 13 varied Tours, we show you sides of Northern Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden that you might not have known before. You will find everything from leisurely half-day Tours to two-day Tours, which can also be completed in one day depending on your fitness level. The terrain around the Baltic Sea is mostly flat, so you seldom encounter any tiring hills. However, flat landscapes often mean strong winds, so it’s worth taking a look at the weather forecast before setting off.
Of course, fresh fish is served all along the Baltic Sea coast. You can also look forward to typical dishes such as chilled borscht soup which is traditionally served during the summer in Lithuania or pierogi, Polish stuffed dumplings. The food will certainly make your taste buds happy and satisfy your cyclist’s appetite.
By the way, all the Tours in this Collection are located close to the Baltic Sea Coast Cycle Route, the EuroVelo Route EV10. If you are planning a longer cycling trip and want to combine the Tours, the EV10 is an excellent link. For more information about the Euro-Velo10, take a look here: en.eurovelo.com/ev10
This beautiful round trip in the northwest of Wismar is perfect for a pleasant half-day tour, during which there is enough time to extensively explore the picturesque landscape of Mecklenburg and the architectural highlights along the way. You start right in Wismar just a few hundred meters south of the train station at the fairytale linden garden. This is of course also an excellent way to stretch your legs on a park bench at the end of the tour and watch the water birds on the Mühlenbach.Past the old water tower you drive out of the historical Hanseatic city in a northerly direction and you will soon reach the Baltic Sea. In the coastal town of Redentin you can enjoy a great view of the run-up concrete ship off the coast, then the journey continues through typical Mecklenburg villages. At some distance you will touch the south bank of the Frapener reservoir and finally you will reach Neuburg. Here it is worth visiting the Neuburg Church, the key of which you can pick up from the bakery next door.Not far from Neuburg you will reach Gamehl Castle a little further south. Embedded in a pretty park, you have the opportunity to take a well-deserved cycling break. The adjoining castle restaurant serves upscale cuisine in a wallet size that is barely tolerable for the bike bag. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.The journey goes a little further south, then the route leads you from the village of Goldebee back to Wismar. In Hornstorf you can take a look at the Gothic-style church of St. Laurentinus before you reach your destination a short time later from the east. At the mill pond or in the linden garden you can take a well-deserved break before you start your way home.
The starting point of this pleasant half-day tour is in Klein Bünzow directly at the train station, so you can travel comfortably by public transport from a little further away. As it is a round trip, the departure is not a problem either. The tour takes you through the wide landscape of Vorpommern-Greifswald north of the Peene. Stately manors and mansions line the path, another highlight is the ferry crossing to the dreamy town of Stolpe an der Peene.First you follow the road from Klein Bünzow towards Ranzin. The towns that you pass through often consist of little more than a few groups of houses. In Ranzin you can visit the first manor complex: Surrounded by a well-tended park, the property makes up almost a sixth of the entire village area and looks almost a little exaggerated in relation to it.As you will see, this is by no means uncommon: Many of the mansions and manors that you will encounter on the tours of this collection are in comparatively small villages. One reason for this is that the villages mostly developed from small settlements around the manors where the agricultural workers lived.On the further route you will visit the Owstin estate, which now houses an ostrich farm, and the Lüssow manor. In Quilow you can either turn directly to the moated castle or make a detour to Stolpe an der Peene. To do this, you have to cross the river with a small ferry, but the ferry crossing alone makes a visit to Stolpe something very special. Today, Gutshaus Stolpe is a high-class hotel with excellent gourmet cuisine, and it is also worth taking a look behind the walls of the estate. You can find all information at gutshaus-stolpe.de.Before returning to Quilow and thus towards the end of the tour, it is worth stopping at the Stolper Fährkrug. The local beer garden invites you to a cozy refreshment with a view over the Peene and in the 350-year-old, historical inn, hearty Pomeranian cuisine is served.You should also not miss a visit to the moated castle Quilow. The castle, which opened in summer 2020, is now a place to visit for guests in the Peene Valley and will be the exhibition venue for the seven-part Baltic Manors exhibition in 2021. The moated castle welcomes guests for coffee or cold drinks from Thursday to Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m. All information about the moated castle is available here: wasserschloss-quilow.de.By the way: did you know that the Peene was the border river to Sweden over 350 years ago?
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The tour starts in Klempenow directly at the local bus stop. Alternatively, you can also arrive by car and park in the water hiking car park around the corner. The first highlight on this half-day tour, which is almost 50 kilometers longer, is already waiting for you while you are still in the starting blocks: The ruins of Klempenow Castle are only a few meters away from the start of the tour. In the adjoining café you can have a delicious hot drink, then you can start exploring the Tollense from both sides.Via Burow and Glochen you drive on the so-called Ice Age route over fields, meadows and through a short forest until you reach Hohenbüssow. The Radler-Café with its rustic, pretty ambience doesn't make it easy for you and you are quickly inclined to sit down on the cute terrace for a second snack.Shortly after the Broock estate, you cross the Tollense at Alt Tellin and continue north of it to Schmarsow, where another stately manor is waiting to be discovered. The short detour to Kartlow is also worthwhile, because the castle there offers you one of the most impressive sights of today's tour. Via the dreamy village of Wietzow, where time seems to have stood still, you then drive back to Klempenow.
This bike tour is part of the long-distance cycle route between Hamburg and Rügen. In other words, if you fancy more than the hundred kilometers of the tour, it can be easily expanded. But even on this section, great highlights and unique landscapes await you. You drive from Stralsund through the coastal hinterland, follow the Trebel to the Peene and a short time later you arrive in the northern region of the Mecklenburg Lake District at the Kummerower See. The destination is the Baroque Kummerow Castle, located directly on the lake.You start at Stralsund Rügen Dam near the island of Dänholm. Before you step on the pedals to make a little stretch, it is worth taking a short harbor tour and a detour to the old town of Stralsund. Then the way leads you out of the city, past Borgwallsee and Richtenberger See until you reach the Rekentin manor at kilometer mark 34, where you can take a short photo stop.Shortly afterwards, you cross the Trebel for the first time and from now on keep close to its course to follow it to the confluence with the Peene. From here it's a little more than 20 kilometers, then you have reached your destination at Schloss Kummerow. If you want to visit the castle, you can find all the relevant information here: schloss-kummerow.de.In Kummerow there is also the Pohnstorf manor house, which with its pretty holiday apartments is perfect for an overnight stay. Next to the manor there is a small café where you can reward yourself with a delicious piece of cake at the end of your tour. You can find out more about the manor house here: gut-pohnstorf.de.If you still have some time left and want to extend the tour by a few kilometers, a visit to the Vogelsang manor or Schlitz Castle in the west or southwest of Kummerow is worthwhile. For this you should plan between 25 and 35 kilometers of extra distance.If, on the other hand, the tour is a bit too long for you for one day, you can of course split it up into two stages. Accommodation options along the route are rather rare, but in Tribsees there is the possibility of stopping off at a hostel about halfway. It is best to reserve your place to sleep here in advance.
You shouldn't expect mountains like in the Alps on this leisurely round tour - then it would not be so comfortable either. Nevertheless, this part of the island of Lolland is significantly more hilly than the rest, which at least earned the area the nickname “Lolland Alps”. The unique landscape was formed around 20,000 years ago during the last ice age when huge blocks of ice moved back and forth in the Ravnsby Bakker area. Sometimes they melted a little faster, sometimes a little more slowly, giving the site its current shape.The tour starts in the pretty harbor town of Kragenæs. The ferries to Fejø and Femø also leave from here. For example, if you are traveling via the Danish mainland, you can take the bridge from Svendborg to Langeland and from there the ferry "Langelandslinjen 9" to Lolland. In this case, however, it is worth moving the starting point to the west of the tour near Vesterborg.From Kragenæs you follow the route in a southerly direction and drive past the spectacular stone sculptures "Dodekalitten". At Ravnsby it is worth taking a short detour to the coast, where with a little imagination you can visit the remains of a castle ruin - today there is little more than a green hill in the landscape.The tour takes you through the Ugleholter Forest in a south-westerly direction to Vesterborg - a good place to take a well-deserved break at the church. Since there are not many restaurants in this corner of Lolland, it is a good idea to bring enough provisions with you, because there is an idyllic spot for a picnic behind almost every hill.So also a little further north: for example in the park around the Pederstrup manor - a popular meeting point on the island - or at the nearby lake. The main building of the mansion has been converted into a museum dedicated to the Danish statesman C.D.F. Reventlow and the Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism. You can find all information about the museum at aabne-samlinger.dk/reventlow-museet/reventlow-museet.On your way back to Kragenæs you will pay a visit to Kong Svends Høj. It is one of the best preserved passage graves in Denmark and is over 5,000 years old. Towards the end, the tour leads you in a small arc through the hinterland to bypass the main road. Then you are already back at your starting point.
The “Nordic Grape” round trip takes you on a half-day to full-day stage through the picturesque landscape of the “Nakskov Fjord” nature park. This part of Denmark is particularly known for its mild climate. It is therefore no coincidence that the name of this tour comes from, because you are visiting a valued Danish winery, which is particularly known for its cherry wine. Under no circumstances should you miss this wine made from the somewhat different “grape”.You start in the town of Naskov in the west of Lolland. Naskov can be reached quite easily via the ferry connection from Langeland, and there is also a train station and thus a connection to the local island train network. If you want, you can start your tour directly at the local ship and maritime museum. However, if you prefer to start pedaling hard, you can put this stop at the end of the tour without any problems.In a westerly direction you drive out of the city and in good weather you can make a detour to Hestehovedet beach. The popular local recreation area invites you to take a break of any length with a beautiful swimming area at the Nakskov Fjord, all kinds of leisure facilities and a restaurant. Further north of the national park you will find the Frederiksdal winery. Are you still looking for the right souvenir to take home or a tasty drink for the evening, you've come to the right place - the winery is world-famous for its cherry wine.If you still have enough time after so many great destinations, don't forget to make a detour to the north to Onsevig Harbor. The pretty harbor in the north of Lolland is a real gem and shouldn't be missing as a photo stop during your Lolland trip. If you want, you can also find a place to stay in an original setting and a campsite here. The tour then takes you through a wonderful natural landscape back south to Nakskov.
This pleasant day tour runs on beautiful bike paths and quiet roads along the beautiful Polish Baltic coast. Your starting point is in Dziwnówek a few kilometers north of Kamień Pomorski, which has a connection to the local rail network and can be reached by train from Swinoujscie on the German-Polish border.Forests close to the coast alternate with the villages of Łukęcin, Pobierowo and Pustkowo until you reach Trzęsacz a short time later. Here you will also encounter the coastal narrow-gauge railway, which has been a regional attraction since it was put back into operation in 2004. If you want, you can use her to shorten part of the bike route to Pogorzelica. Traveling by train is not only a pleasure, it also has a high nostalgic value and is reminiscent of times gone by.But the bike path to Pogorzelica is an experience in itself and absolutely worth seeing. For example, the 48 meter high lighthouse awaits you at the entrance to Niechorze. It is the symbol of the city and is considered to be one of the most beautiful lighthouses on the entire Polish Baltic coast.Shortly after Pogorzelica the landscape becomes a bit wilder again and the settlement areas give way to the unspoilt coastal forest. At the end of the tour, the path leads you into the middle of the dune landscape near Dźwirzyno. A long footbridge helps you to cross the wide sandy landscape. About eleven kilometers later you will reach your destination in Kolberg. You can take the train from here to Gryfice, where you can connect to all other train connections - including the narrow-gauge railway towards the coast.
A little further inland, but still easy to reach from the Polish Baltic Sea coast, is this pleasant half-day tour from Białogard to Połczyn-Zdrój. As one of the largest transport hubs in the region, Białogard can be easily reached by public transport from anywhere, for example from Kolberg on the coast.Accordingly, the tour starts right at the train station. You quickly drove out of the city and during the first quarter of the tour you roll comfortably over fields and meadows, before the second quarter with dense forest awaits you, which brings a bit of cooling down, especially on hot summer days.Towards the middle of the tour, the landscape becomes a bit hilly, but there are no significant climbs in sight even here until the end of the tour. After the second half of the tour has welcomed you mainly with cultural highlights, you will surely be happy to find some variety in your destination Połczyn-Zdrój. Here you can not only quench your thirst with the local brewing water - or much better: the end product in the local brewery - but also relax your tired bones in soothing thermal water, because the small town of Połczyn-Zdrój is a state-approved health resort.Since there is no train station in Połczyn-Zdrój, it is worth spending the night here - especially after a relaxing bath. The next train station can be found along the tour in Rąbino or to the west in Świdwin. Both places are just over 20 kilometers from Połczyn-Zdrój.
This day tour takes you on a journey through Gdansk Werder west of the Vistula. You drive through a fascinating landscape, free of any elevations. If you divide the bike tour into two to three stages, it is therefore also perfect for families with children who, as is well known, do not like to climb mountains that much. You can find overnight accommodation for example in Cedry Wielkie or near Grabiny-Zameczek.You start in Gdansk at the local train station. Your tour ends here again, so you don't have to worry about the return transport during your journey and you can fully enjoy both the landscape and the many cultural assets that can be discovered along the way.From Gdańsk you cycle east and after 18 kilometers you will reach the small village Koszwały, where the first highlight awaits you in the form of a very well-preserved arcade house. The half-timbered construction is typical of these magnificent houses, which are or were mostly part of a farm and which you will encounter more often on your tour across the Werder.The next arcade house is waiting for your visit about ten kilometers south in the village of Trutnowy. A little tip: If it should rain, you will find a perfect shelter under the arcade, the first floor of these houses.Shortly before you pass the southernmost point of the round tour, you can admire the ruins of a Gothic church from the 14th century in Steblewo. Then it goes over a section of the Mennonite Trail, a well-known cultural route in the region, back north to Gdansk, where your journey across the Gdansk Werder ends at the train station.
You can do this tour in half a day, depending on your preference, and work out a bit on the just over 60 kilometers, or you can take a whole day to enjoy the impressive cultural landscape east of the Vistula with its historic buildings and structures.The tour begins in the small town of Nowy Dwór Gdański at the Żuławy Culture Center, where you can find out more about the region and its special features. The small town also has a train station that connects the coastal region with Werder. You drive north along the river bank of the Tuja. In the vicinity of the village of Żelichowo, the area around the Greek Catholic Church invites you to take a short break.You now continue to follow the Tuja until it flows into the significantly larger Szkarpawa, which is on the way to the Vistula and accompanies you to there. In the villages of Drewnica and Żuławki, two short detours are worthwhile to admire the impressive arcade houses, which are reminiscent of the manorial farms of yesteryear.While you are completing the round tour in the south, further detours are possible in small towns, including Jeziernik, Stawiec and Tuja. The route then joins the river of the same name and ends where it began: at the Żuławy Culture Center.
For this tour over the Marienburger Werder it is worth planning a whole day. Of course, you can also drive the 74 kilometers in a shorter time, the landscape is completely flat and there are no disturbing mountains in your way. But after all, you also want to see something of the landscape - and it has a lot to offer with rustic brick buildings, medieval castles and mystical cemeteries.You start in Malbork at the parking lot near the Nogat river bank opposite the Marienburg. The district town of Malbork is also a relatively large transport hub in the region, which is why it can be easily reached by train from anywhere in Poland. The route takes you west out of the city over the flat landscape. You save the visit to the Marienburg for the end, then you can explore the imposing building without time pressure and in peace.After about 24 kilometers you will come to the vicinity of the Vistula, where you can make a small detour to an interesting brick ruin of a Gothic church in the village of Boręty. In Palczewo the route branches off to the east again and you drive in the direction of Nowy Staw, the next largest city. But the many small towns that you pass through on your trip also have their charm. The houses seem to join together in small groups along the street and at the same time leave enough space that five to ten house numbers could easily be placed in between. Rustic wooden churches often form a kind of town center in this sporadic assembly, and every now and then a rustic windmill appears on the edge of the field.Nowy Staw knows how to impress with several highlights before your journey back to Malbork via a small loop in the north. In Marynowy as well as in Lasowice Wielkie, it is worth taking a little stroll through the village. Proud arcaded houses testify to the earlier manors, which often set the first seeds for a settlement. It's now about ten kilometers to Malbork, then your tour ends right in front of the Marienburg.
Lithuania Minor, also known as Prussian Lithuania, is considered the cradle of Lithuanian literature and describes an old settlement area of Lithuanian immigrants to East Prussia, which is now divided into three states: Poland, Lithuania and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad. This tour takes you almost 130 kilometers through the Memelland in Lithuania. It is possible to drive the route in one day, but it is more pleasant if you divide it into two stages - so you don't have to rush and can thoroughly enjoy the landscape and sights along the route. You can find suitable overnight accommodations halfway in Šilutė.You start your journey through Lithuania Minor in Klaipėda at the train station. Klaipėda is the largest city on the Lithuanian Baltic coast and therefore easy to reach by train. At the harbor, the route makes a short detour to Memelburg from the 13th century. Klaipėda is not exactly small, so it takes a whole 13 kilometers to find your way out of the suburbs. From here the route leads you along the König Wilhelm Canal until you plunge into the dense forest in the Kliošiai landscape protection area.The route now joins the coast of the Curonian Lagoon for about ten kilometers before it branches off to the east inland. The landscape is wide and flat, the roads are rarely used - nevertheless, even in this sparsely populated area, a truck occasionally rushes past you. Therefore, pay particular attention to the traffic behind you. After about 16 kilometers you will have reached your intermediate destination Šilutė, where you can recharge your batteries for the next day.Even if the cycle path from Šilutė mostly runs on a main road, the landscape is quite contemplative and more comparable to a normal country road. It is just under 40 kilometers to the next larger town, Pagėgiai. There is also a train station there, from where you can go back to Klaipėda.The tour goes on, however, and makes a detour through the Rambyn Regional Park, which is located directly on the Memel and is home to a wonderful natural paradise. Your journey through Lithuania Minor ends in the village of Vilkyškiai. There is also a bus back to Klaipėda from the bus stop there. A little tip: The KAUTRA bus line also transports your bike. Timetables are available here: autobusubilietai.lt/de
This half-day tour takes you on leisurely bike paths and little-traveled roads through Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden. On 57 kilometers you will visit old castles and mansions, encounter mystical rune stones and cycle along the Swedish Baltic Sea coast on the newly created “Sydkustleden” cycle path.You start your tour directly at Svaneholm Castle northwest of the village of Skurup, there is also a parking lot. Thanks to its location on the Malmö-Ystad railway line, Skurup can also be easily reached by public transport. If you arrive by train, you can also add the visit to Svaneholm Castle at the end of your tour and drive south out of the village in Skurup, where you will find the tour after a few hundred meters.A few kilometers further south you pass Västra Vemmenhög, the place where the famous fictional character Nils Holgersson began his wonderful journey through Sweden. How fitting, because you too will feel the magic of this landscape more than once during your tour of Skåne and visit extraordinary places. After you have passed the southernmost castle in Sweden, Schloss Dybeck, you will reach the Baltic Sea coast, where you can take a first break at the port of Hörte.You will soon reach the Baltic Sea coast, where you can take a first break in the fishing village of Hörte. The small restaurant in the middle of the many small fishing boats invites you to enjoy a long meal.The tour then takes you in a large arc back towards Skurup via the imposing Marsvinsholm Castle in the east. There it ends at Svaneholm Castle, which you can now visit in peace if you skipped it at the beginning. The opening times and all further information can be found at svaneholmsslott.se.