|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||23 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Apr 22-Oct 14, 2014|
|Start city:||Waren, Germany|
|End city:||Waren, Germany|
There are over 1,000 large and small lakes in Mecklenburg Lake District, embedded between extensive forests and meadows. This countryside is absolutely perfect for cycling tours.
In past century, Fritz Reuter, an important Low German poet, described this spot of land as paradise which he considered to be the beginning of the Creation story. Those interested in cultural history are confronted with many a sight worth seeing on this trip in the countless towns and villages. Fortified boulder churches, old manor houses and mills, and old town walls that reveal their own history.
Hovering over some still lakes you can, with a little luck, still catch a glimpse of the rare fish eagle and kingfisher that are indigenous here. In the Mecklenburg lakeland area, every friend of nature, who would like to recuperate actively away from the daily grind, gets his money's worth!
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival in Waren
You may want to arrive early enough to enjoy an excursion and prepare for your holiday. Enjoy a three-course meal in the evening.
Overnight in Waren.
Day 2: Waren - Neubrandenburg (31 miles/50 km)
Cycle along silent paths through the Mueritz National Park to Ankershagen. Here you will find the Schliemann Museum. The tour goes on via Penzlin and Hohenzieritz to Lake Tollense. You follow the Tollensee trail to Neubrandenburg. Enjoy your evening meal and spend the night there.
Overnight in Neubrandenburg.
Day 3: Neubrandenburg - Wesenberg (31 miles/50 km)
Today’s leg of the tour takes you across the smooth terminal moraine and through the small lake district of Strelitz to Lake Labusee. Neustrelitz was once the home to the Dukes of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Old Town architecture and castle gardens are definitely worth seeing. Spend the night near Lake Labusee and Wesenberg.
Overnight in Wesenberg.
Day 4: Wesenberg - Roebel (28 miles/45 km)
Today you continue along Lake Müritz and many of the small lakes until you reach Röbel. Germany’s largest lake is near Vipperow. You may enjoy viewing the river lock on the Mirow and greeting the captains.
Overnight in or near Röbel.
Day 5: Roebel - Plau (25 miles/40 km)
Plau is a quaint little town and derives its name from the second largest lake in the lake district. Admire the burial mounds from times gone by. Continue on the trails south of Lake Plau to Bad Stuer and, finally, to today’s destination, Plau. Enjoy your evening meal.
Overnight in Plau.
Day 6: Plau – Waren or surroundings (37 miles/60km)
You may want to take the steamboat across Lake Plau. The steam engine was first invented by Ernst Alban and was improved by James Watt. Lake Plau was the first place for the steam boat to be tested. Arrive in Malchow and cycle from there to Waren where you will spend the night.
Overnight in Waren.
Day 7: Departure from Waren/Müritz
Return your rental bike after breakfast and depart Waren. Travellers are responsible for their own transportation home from there.
Daily: Apr 22-Oct 14, 2014
|Low season:||Apr 22-May 31; Sep 1-Oct 14, 2014|
|High season:||Jun 1-Aug 31, 2014|
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 3: Marina Wolfsbruch, Wesenberg area
Day 4: Romantik Hotel Gutshaus Ludorf, Röbel area
Day 5: Seehotel Plau am See, Plau am See
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
Bikes available to be rented (in advance at the time of booking) include:
All above bike rentals will be equipped with the following at no additional charge:
Available upon request for no charge is a handlebar bag including map pouch, tachometer, basket. Upon request for an additional charge are additional bicycle bags.
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
If you plan to bring your own seat, please ensure that it is a universal seat post.
Helmets are NOT available to be rented. We recommend, for safety and hygiene reasons, that you bring your own helmet.
The terrain on this tour is flat with occasional hills. Approximately 40% of the tour is on dedicated bicycle paths, 30% on quiet roads and 10% on dirt or gravel roads.
The tour is ideal for cyclists in average physical condition.
The following article about the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region was written by BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson and published in 1999. Much of the information--other than prices and currency--remain true today.
Especially for those just arriving from overseas flights, Schwerin, an hour’s train ride from Hamburg, is an ideal starting point for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. (Although trains run as often as three times an hour, be sure to take one of the direct InterCity or InterRegios—from DM 35-42/$14.70-19.55, which will cut your rail time in half.) The province’s capital and second-largest city, Schwerin is a surprising charmer of a town. Seven lakes and an endless forest surround it, and the old city retains the culture, architecture and vibrancy of its 19th-century glory days following five centuries as seat of the dukes of Mecklenburg.
For an initial perspective of what the city offers, climb the 220 steps and 130 meters of the gothic red-brick Schweriner Dom (DM 1/$.47); one of the city’s few medieval structures, it’s an excellent example of the gothic red-brick architecture typical of northern Germany. The view reveals as much lakescape as landscape. The town is surrounded by lakes, including Lake Schwerin, Germany’s third largest (or fourth, if multinational Lake Constance is included in the reckoning). In fact, nearly 700 lakes make up the Mecklenburg Lake District, which stretches about 100 kilometers/62 miles to the east and 80 kilometers/46 miles to the south.
The city’s centerpiece is its Schloß (DM 6/$2.80), an island castle (connected to land by two bridges) that is the latest in fortifications that date to even before the town’s founding in 1160 by Henry the Lion. The castle is a monument to architectural excess, a delightful mishmash of baroque and gothic architecture overwhelmed by a neo-Renaissance makeover from the 19th century. Today, it’s a fairyland castle, topped with towers, turrets, chimneys and gables. Inside, however, it’s all business, a lavish ducal showpiece with intricate wood floors and paneling, a gilded throne room, lush tapestries and ornate stucco.
An artificial pond—the rectangular Pfaffenteich—makes up much of the city center. Once used to store water that powered the town’s mills, today it’s purely recreational. On the pond’s eastern side lies the Schelfstadt, a former freestanding baroque-style village. On the western bank, the townhouses of the 19th-century Paulusstadt stand in stately counterpoint. The Altstadt and pedestrian zone start at the southern end.
A walk around the pond is just plain fun. Fanciful sculptures bring smiles, as does a massive and wonderfully out-of-scale Tudor gothic Arsenal. The Petermännchen, a tiny ferry named for a mythical gnome, stops at points along the perimeter to load and unload tired tourists and hurried townspeople (summers only). And, on warm summer evenings, crowds share gossip and sip espresso in the Altstadt, while others make their way to a widening variety of restaurants and cultural events.
Two days barely do justice to Schwerin, especially if you plan a visit to the outskirts. An excellent daytrip is a scenic excursion by ferry (4.80 DM/$1.05 round-trip) across Lake Schwerin to the white-sand beach at Zippendorf. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the Mecklenburgisches Volkskundemuseum (2 DM/$0.95)—an open-air museum that shows life in 18th-century rural Mecklenburg. If you have the energy, just take the ferry for the return trip and walk or bike to Zippendorf. The route winds through the 18th-century baroque Schloßgarten and leads past theSchleifmühle (2 DM/$1.05), a water-driven grinding mill still in working order but once used to cut and polish many of the precious stones that decorate the Schloß. The trail then cuts through the forest to the beach.
Schwerin is about an hour by car or 90 minutes by direct train (every two hours for 25.60 DM/$12) to Teterow, a medieval town in the heart of Mecklenburg Switzerland. This Switzerland has no Alps—indeed no mountains at all—and a highest elevation of barely 500 feet.
Still, the undulating landscape makes for one scenic view after another. One hilltop looks out over wildflower meadows specked with stands of trees, while another reveals a small lake and a smaller village. Hikers can follow signed trails past springs and streams and through valleys and primary forest (some oaks are more than 1,000 years old). Other visitors ride horses or bicycles along the hilly ridges of the “Balcony Route.” The area is so thick with lakes, rivers and canals, that guests can spend days exploring the area by canoe.
Those traveling by car will find a network of peaceful back roads linking sleepy villages. Many of these routes are tree-lined boulevards, with century-old lime trees forming a leafy canopy over the roads.
Beyond its natural beauty (protected in 51 nature reserves) and the attraction of untouched villages, Mecklenburg Switzerland is famed for its manor houses and castles. Unlike the medieval fortresses along the Rhine or Danube, these buildings were built as palatial residences, primarily during the prosperous 18th and 19th centuries. In 1945, due to housing shortages, many of them were divided into apartments. Others were left empty and neglected.
Schloß Basedow is perhaps the most haunting example, once an elegant palace, and now an empty warren of apartments. Overhead, wooden ceilings and intricate carvings remain intact, while its vaulted halls and chambers are broken up by rotting drywall—complete with faded 90s rock posters. Work is underway, however, to restore the castle and transform it into a hotel and conference center.
Over the past decade, millions of deutsche marks have been invested to renovate similar structures. Some remain private residences or house schools and businesses. Some, like Burg Schlitz or the Sporthotel Teschow, have been transformed into fancy hotels.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is likely to remain a paradise for generations to come. The province also has sufficient infrastructure to support consistent double-digit tourism growth. Over time, more buildings will be restored—or torn down. Rural villages will try to enter the 21stcentury (or at least the 20th). Prices will inch upward. For those who want to see the region in its pure, current and affordable form, now’s the time to be a pioneer.
This article orginally appeared in Gemutlichkeit Travel Newsletter about travel to Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Tour Start and End
Nearest airport: Hamburg and Berlin, Germany
Nearest train station: Waren, Germany
Tips on getting to and from your tour
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Germany's fairytale castles, romantic villages and bustling cities are surrounded by a wealth of pristine natural landscapes. Only a unified nation since 1990, Germany now boasts Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation. Within its unified boundaries, Germany remains a nation of diversity.
Northern Germany’s coastal terrain along the Baltic Sea includes Hamburg, a harbor city of canals and waterways. Southern Germany's Bavaria region, known as "the green roof of Germany," features snow-tipped Alps, the Black Forest, Neuschwanstein Castle and the historic, picturesque city of Munich. Cruise the Rhine River through the western regions and visit Cologne's famous Gothic Cathedral built in 1248.
Experience the arts, fashion and music in the capital, Berlin, and see the revitalized city of Dresden destroyed during World War II.
Mecklenburger Radtour is a small and energetic team of cycling and walking professionals. Over 100 of their tours are personally planned. They are out their available programs with yet another over 100 available tours provided through partnerships with reliable travel companies in Germany and other Europeans countries. Located in Stalsund, Germany, Mecklenburg's particular strengths include routes, hotels and equipment that has been carefully selected to best suit the customer's needs.
The reservation for the tour is effected in writing. The booking becomes binding upon our confirmation of tour date and tour price. If the contents of the tour confirmation digress from the contents of the booking, a new offer is made by the 'Mecklenburger Radtour' and to which we are bound for a period of 10 days. The contract becomes effective based on this new offer if you declare your acceptance within the binding deadline to the 'Mecklenburger Radtour'.
2. Down payment and settlement of the balance:
Pursuant to the revision of §651k BGB/German civil code the traveller receives an insurance note pursuant to the regulations under § 651k German civil code to insure the tour price against insolvency. The same applies to for the payment conditions of this regulation Upon receipt of the tour confirmation and the simultaneously transmitted security, a down payment of 20 %, at least however, • 100.- per person is due, however, at most • 250,-. If the booking was effected by a travel agency, you effect down payment and settlement of the balance with said agency. If you have booked directly with the 'Mecklenburger Radtour', the settlement of the balance is effected to one of our accounts under mention of the invoice number by transfer or crossed cheque a fortnight before commencing on the tour. The tour documents will be sent to you upon receipt of the full price.
3. Services und prices:
The services contained in the tour price are described under the respective tour. We reserve the right to change the route taken by the respective tour and from the km data. Furthermore, we reserve the right to correct errors, print and calculation mistakes. Visitor's tax is not included in the tour price, this has to be paid locally at the respective lodging. Nothing is charged by the 'Mecklenburger Radtour' for children under the age of 4 years. Possible costs that may arise with individual providers have to be settled there and then on the spot. Services included in the tour and which have not been claimed cannot be reimbursed. Should rooms with shower/WC or bath/WC as confirmed by us not be made available by the providers, we shall reimburse the difference. The tour organiser reserves the right to accommodate individual guests in another establishment of greatest possible similarity in extraordinary cases. We reserve the right to charge a single room price should you book half a double room in accompanying group tours when no further guest occupies the other half.
4. Client's cancellation, change of booking, replacement:
Should you withdraw from the reserved tour, we shall charge a fee amounting to 20 % of the tour price per person, however at least • 100.- per person up to the 30th day before tour commencement. In the case of a cancellation between the 29th and 21st day we shall calculate 30 % of the tour prices, in the case of a cancellation between the 20th and 07th day we shall calculate 60 % of the tour prices, and between the 6th and last day before commencement of the tour 90% of the tour price per person. Whatever the case may be, we recommend that you conclude a cancellation cover. A reimbursement of the tour price on the first day and after arrival is not possible. Should you be able to find a suitable person to replace you, we only charge • 50.- for the change of reservation. When changing the tour date, the tour course or changing to another tour, we charge a fee of • 100.-. Your wishes for a change of reservation that are received as from the 29th day before beginning the tour, can, if possible, only be effected after cancellation of the tour contract under the above listed cancellation fees and simultaneous new reservation. You are responsible for ensuring that you have all the necessary documents or possibly a visa if required. Should you have to interrupt your tour due to lacking or insufficient documents, we shall have to treat you as a cancellation.
5. Cancellation/discontinuation by the tour organizer:
If we have to cancel a tour for reasons beyond our control, the payments already effected will be reimbursed. There are no further demands. Should the minimum of 8 guests for a group tour not be filled, we are entitled to withdraw from the contract a fortnight before the tour is to begin. Payments already received are reimbursed without any further delay. There is no entitlement to further claims.