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Cycle tour along the Elbe Canal in Hamburg

Elbe Cycle Path, Magdeburg – Cuxhaven

The northern Elbe cycle path

11 Days / 10 Nights
Cycle tour along the Elbe Canal in Hamburg

A cycling holiday on the Elbe is a treat for everyone who enjoys idyllic rivers, countryside, and northern German cities. The journey takes you through the Alte Elbe nature reserve, where many rare bird species live. Experience the wonderful tranquillity and calm of the Elbe-Brandenburg river landscape, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Why not picnic in the countryside? Dream among the romantic floodplain forests and the small inland waters. If you are interested in history, explore the Lauenburger Castle and the museum about the borderland in Schnackenburg. Another highlight is the German half-timbered streets with the brick architecture. Towards the end of your journey, you reach the cosmopolitan city of Hamburg, full of maritime flair. Travelling in through the small town of Wedel with the traditional ship welcoming point is fun, before admiring the aristocratic courts in Glücksstadt and then arriving in Cuxhaven on the North Sea.

From Magdeburg, the tour goes to the small town of Burg and then further to Tangermünde and Havelberg. From there, you travel to either Wittenberge or Gartow am See, depending on the route category that you choose. Following the winding River Elbe, you go to Hitzacker before cycling via Lauenburg to Hamburg. Finally, the cycle tour takes you to Glücksstadt and via a ferry ride to Cuxhaven.

Tangermünde: Experience typical North German charm in this picturesque town. Once upon a time, it was protected by a medieval castle, which you can visit at the mouth of the river Tanger.

Havelberg: Lying at the confluence of the Elbe and the Havel rivers, this town is also called the ‘island and cathedral city in the countryside’. The enchanting cathedral is a good landmark, built in the Renaissance and Baroque styles.

Hamburg: The famous Elbphilharmonie building and the legendary Landungsbrücken, huge unloading piers, await you in the Hanseatic city. How about an evening walk along the Außenalster Lake and a musical?

Cuxhaven: The popular North Sea holiday destination is characterised by its maritime charm. Whether the tide is in or out, a walk along the coast is always a beautiful experience.

This cycling tour is easy and manageable, as it passes through flat and slightly hilly terrain. You can cycle and enjoy the landscape on the car-free Elbe cycle path. The other route sections include small roads with little traffic and quiet trails through the diverse river landscape.

Itinerary at a glance

Along the Elbe and through dense forests you cycle towards the North Sea and pass Tangermünde and Havelberg. In Hamburg you walk along the landing stages and in Cuxhaven you enjoy the maritime flair.

Welcome briefing and distribution of rental bikes. We recommend strolling through the beautiful city!

On quiet paths through the Jerichower Land, the first stage leads to the small town of Burg, also called the city of towers. The historic old town shows many neat architectural monuments.

Through small villages along the way, your journey takes you to Tangermünde with a detour to the Romanesque monastery church of Jerichow. The town has preserved its medieval townscape to the present day. The medieval castle and the town, which was built under its protection about 800 years ago, are situated on a plateau above the distinctive floodplain landscape and the mouth of the small river Tangier into the Elbe. An overnight stay in Tangermünde.

The nature park “Alte Elbe” offers habitat for numerous and seldom species of birds and allows a relaxed start in your bike day. The route leads you along palace Storkau to Havelberg, the island and dome city. This small and unimpressive city is located on the meeting of river Havel and river Elbe. Worth visiting is the dome in renaissance and baroque style.

This tour leads you via Wittenberg (second largest clock tower of Europe) and the UNESCO: Biosphere Reserves Elbe-Brandenburg through an amazing stream landscape to Schnackenburg (well-known museum). Your overnight stay is in the area around Gatow am See area or in Wittenberge.

You still follow the river Elbe until you reach Hitzacker with picturesque old city and typical half-timbered houses.

Today’s tour course to Lauenburg is slightly hilly. Characteristic for this city is the silhouette, framed by the high banks of river Elbe. There are a lot of places of interest awaiting you: palace and tower, Maria-Magdalena church and emperor garden.

You cycle along river Elbe and via Geesthacht to harbour city Hamburg. Numerous memorials, art, culture and a special atmosphere invites you!

Along the Elbe cycle path in the direction of Glückstadt. On the way, you will pass Wedel with its ship welcoming facility: every large arriving or departing ship is solemnly greeted by it with the appropriate national anthem. Afterwards you will reach Glückstadt: Historic houses and aristocratic courts characterize the almost completely preserved old town here. One overnight stay in Glückstadt.

The Elbe ferry (price not included) will take you across the river. You cycle through the district of Cuxhaven called "Cuxland", where traditional seaside resorts and seaside resorts attract numerous guests to the North Sea coast. Heath and marshes also make the land behind the dikes an experience. You will reach Cuxhaven. An overnight stay in Cuxhaven.

Departure or extension

Route Information


This is an easy bike tour which leads you through flat and slightly hilly terrain. On the Elbe cycle path, small country roads and roads with less traffic through the diversified river landscape.

Prices & Dates

Category: 3*** and 4**** hotels and guesthouses

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accommodation as already mentioned mentioned
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome briefing (German, English)
  • Carefully elaborated route description
  • Luggage transfer
  • Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English)
  • App for navigation and GPS-data
  • Service hotline

Optional extras

  • Bike rental, including rental bike insurance
  • Return journey by minibus, from Hamburg or Cuxhaven, costs per person from Hamburg EUR 145 or from Cuxhaven EUR 180, for own bike additionally EUR 39, reservation is necessary, to be paid for at the time, minimum 4 persons​​​

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Magdeburg and Cuxhaven train station
  • Parking garage, costs EUR 14 per day
  • Good train connections to from Cuxhaven to Magdeburg

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price!
  • Ticket Elbferry not inclueded in the price.
  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.
Antonia Kreiseder

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Antonia Kreiseder
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