Following the Elbe downstream from Prague to Dresden
You will start in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic with a lot of cultural highlights such as the Cathedral, Jewish town, the astronomical clock, and the oldest university in Central Europe. From Prague Bohemia, and later on also Moravia, have been ruled by kings and emperors for centuries, later on by a democratically elected government.
You will cycle out of Prague following the Moldau river. The nobility wanted rural retreats close to Prague, so on your first day you will come across a lot of chateaus. You will reach the Elbe river shortly before the wine town of Melnik, which sits majestically on top of a hill where the Elbe and Moldau meet. Then you will cycle through the agricultural heart of Bohemia, owing its existence to the fertile soil transported here by the Elbe river. You will have a chance to climb on top of the Rip mountain, a holy mountain to the Czech with a 12th century chapel on top. Shortly before Litomerice you will cycle through Terezin, a beautiful fortress city with a dark past. Then you will reach Litomerice whose inner city is declared national heritage, visit the tunnel system underneath the city to get a good feel of what mining in the middle ages was like.
After Decin you cycle into the Elbe sandstone valley. The river has carved out its way in the sandstone rock, creating beautiful sandstone ridges at the top of the valley and rugged rocky outcrops, whilst the valley slopes slopes are filled with lush green forests. Shortly after leaving the valley you will arrive in Dresden, with its amazingly beautiful old city centre.
The cycle-route runs parallel to the river most of the time, sometimes the route deviates to visit a beautiful site. You will cycle most of the time on bicycle paths (i.e. Elbe cycle path 2), and sometimes on rural roads. The route is flat, which is an exception in a country where the hills follow up each other row after row most of the time.Day-by-day schedule
You will arrive in Prague where the bicycle tour starts.
Today you arrive in Prague, and will be handed over all import documents and rental bikes. Maybe you´ve got some time left to get some first impressions of this lovely city.
The first day is a day off, so you have plenty of time to explore this beautiful city. The excellent public transportation brings you everywhere. Prague has many nicknames such as the City with a Hundred Towers, and is visited by many tourists from all over the world. There are many highlights in this city such as King Charles Bridge, with its famous statue’s and many artists. From here you can see the Fortress and the Cathedral look after the rest of the city. You can visit the old Jewish Cemetery with old untouched graves, or visit St. Wenclas market square with the famous astronomical clock.
Writer Franz Grillparzer had an explanation of why the town has a magical attraction: ‘’Prague embodies the existence of the old and ancient values next to the new and dynamic world in such a small area, a story told in the form of buildings.’’
You start the tour in Prague. You encounter many castles today, because the nobility build them to escape the business of the town and to be able to enjoy nature just a days’ ride away from Prague. You will cycle past the Troja castle, with its beautiful gardens, you´ll switch several time riversides just before the Veltrusy chateau. The route continues to the point where the Vltava and Elbe flow together. You will cycle to the city of Melnik which is located majestically on the hill above this important landmark. From the promenade you can see how the two rivers seal their friendship. The hill has the most northern vineyard in the Czech Republic.
Today you have two possibilities, the route split at the start of the day, and comes together halfway. The first option is that you cycle leisurely along the Elbe river, enjoying the ever changing scene of small villages, farmland and woods. The second possibility is more exciting. Legend has it that the great-grandfather of all Czechs lived on the mountain Rip, from which he oversaw how all his younglings colonized the surrounding lands. You will cycle to this mountain, where you have the possibility to climb it, there’s a 12th century Romanic styled chapel on its top.
You make it towards the fortress city of Terezin, whose street pattern and inner city have remained untouched since it was built in the 18th century. It was used during WW II as a ´model´ concentration camp. Nowadays there is a museum dedicated to the former ghetto, and a monument honoring all those that lost their lives to the Nazi’s.
Finally you will cycle towards the bishop’s city of Litomerice, one of the oldest cities in Bohemia. It is located on a fertile land tongue where the Eger river flows into the Elbe. Litomerice is mesmerizing with its harmonic square, surrounded by manors of various kinds of architecture.
Shortly into the day you will reach Usti nad Labem, it is painting-like when viewed upon from a distance, wedged in between the hilly landscape of the Bohemian Middle mountain ranges. You have the opportunity to hike towards the old famous ruin of Burg Schreckenstein (Fortress Fearstone), from here you have a one of a kind view over the Elbe valley. Then you continue your route towards Decin, with its castle on a rocky outcrop. Before you reach Decin you will past the small Breznak brewery, where you can enjoy a freshly brewed beer.
The bicycle route takes you along some of the most beautiful rocky outcrop that this area has to offer. Only very few areas in Middle-Europe have nature as untouched as on this stretch. You will cycle past the hardly noticeable Czech – German border, and soon after you will arrive in Bad Schandau. Bad is German for Spa, indicating that you can get a spa treatment in this town, you can positive impact on your health. Later on you will reach the fortress Königstein after you crossed the river with a small ferry. You do not have to cycle all the way up to the fortress, since there is a bus that directly transports you there. You continue your journey to Pirna, a city with a wonderful historical inner city.
The route takes you directly along the Elbe river the whole time. You will cycle past the baroque chateau Pillnitz, the former summer residency of the Saxon king, with its vast parks. Visit here the pottery shop and the amazing antiquariat. Finally you reach Dresden. Your will arrive early so spend the day discovering this amazing city. You can visit the recently renovated Frauenkirche. You can take a guided tour in the former residency chateau of the king of Saxony, and to top it all of: See a play in the Semper opera. Or enjoy a nice afternoon sitting on the bank of the river, overlooking the skyline of the old city.
Today is your final day. After your breakfast there might be some time left to do some more sightseeing before your flight takes off, or before you have to return to Dresden by train. It is possible to book through our office a special transfer back to Dresden.
If you can’t get enough of this city, it is possible to prolong your stay for a couple of more nights.
Level: 1 of 5
Total length of the tour: 233 km / 145 miles
|7 nights in three or four star hotels / pensions||€ 775|
|Double room, incl. breakfast||Included|
|Detailed maps and gps files (gpx / kml)||Included|
|24-Hour SOS service||Included|
|Trekking bike (21-27 gears)||€ 90|
|E-bike (8 gears)||€ 180|
|Single room||€ 850|
|Surcharge solo traveller||€ 100|
|triple room / family room (4 beds)||€ 750 / 750|
|7 x Half board||€ 175|
|Extra night first hotel (single, double, triple, quad)||€ 95 / 130 / 170 / 210|
|Extra night last hotel (single, double, triple, quad)||€ 110 / 150 / 190 / 230|
|Special transfer back to first hotel (max. 4 Pers. / max. 8 Pers.)||€ 270 / 270|
|GPS device||€ 25|
Rented bikes are fully equipped: bags, lights, locks, map holder, incl. service