Tag Archives: biking

Elbe bike way: Meissen to Torgau

elberadweg_sign

The Ebleradweg (Elbe bike way) runs 1260km from Hamburg to east of Dresden following more or less the Elbe river. My better half and I recently travelled the portion between Meissen and Torgau. With one night at Riesa and another in Torgau. It was great fun and the perfect antidote to work stress. Here’s what happened!

I booked train tickets online including bike reservations to Meissen that took us to Dresden first then Meissen. This guaranteed us seats in a special bike carriage but, with hindsight, next time I’ll take the cheaper ordinary regional train. We ate our picnic lunch outside the Meißner Dom. If you haven’t visited Meissen it’s one of the towns near Leipzig definitely worth seeing.

not porcelain shopping
Meissen – not porcelain shopping

 
After faffing about in Meissen we finally got biking. The Elbe bike way is actually two paths running north and south of the river. The north one is flat and smooth and the Elbe here is wide as it cuts through a valley. We stopped at Seußlitzer Weinstuben for spargel soup and summer wine from their vineyard (it’s also a hotel, next time..). Several glasses later I was feeling no pain. The biking onto Riesa for the rest of the day was somewhat wobbly!

Riesa was a bit disappointing to be honest. Not much going on. We stayed at Hotel zur Mühle across from Puschkinpark. The room was nice, but being basically the only hotel in the centre it was kinda pricey. We ate at one of the two restaurants open. In fairness, it was pouring rain by now so we had an early night.

Beautiful Elbe between Meissen and Riesa
Elbe between Meissen and Riesa

"Rusty Oak" sculpture in Riesa
“Rusty Oak” sculpture in Riesa

 
The next day we set our sights on Mühlberg about half way to Torgau. I had visions of apfelstrudel with strong black coffee. Ugh more disappointment. Sadly Mühlberg is yet another de-populating town in rural east Germany. Except for a fast food stand in the town square the place was deserted. Nevermind; we pressed on. It was fantastic to be out in the fresh air. The country side around here is gorgeous.

We took the southern path to Belgern where we came across a little restaurant overlooking a ferry crossing the Elbe. We took a break and re-fuelled at this beautiful spot. Our guide map suggested the best route to Torgau would be to cross back over the Elbe here. This would take us through a protected forest reserve.

Crossing the Elbe at Belgern
Crossing the Elbe at Belgern

Happy biking!
Happy biking!

 
Torgau has a very pleasant old town with a cool castle, plus lots of places to eat and drink. The Hotel-Pension zum Markt was one of nicest I’ve stayed in Saxony and is very welcoming for bikers (highly recommend). Plus I finally had my apfelstrudel! I’m glad we spent the night here and didn’t rush back to Leipzig. Check out some photos below. More on Pinterest.

Memorial to famous meeting of US and Soviet troops April 26 1945
Torgau – Memorial to famous meeting of US and Soviet troops April 26 1945

Bears in the moat of Hartenfels castle
Torgau – Bears in the moat of Hartenfels castle

Torgau - stairwell in Hartenfels castle
Torgau – stairwell in Hartenfels castle

 
This trip reminded me how enjoyable a summer bike trip is in this part of the world. With dedicated bike ways, bike-friendly hotels and quirky places to eat and drink along the way, Germany is well set-up for biking.

If you plan something similar I suggest the map Elberadweg 1 Bad Schandau – Dessau. While the path is generally well sign-posted this proved invaluable on occasion. The Ebleradweg website it a good pre-planning resource as well. Happy biking!