Passing Scenic Villages German Ferries Route with Oste Cycle Route

The German Ferries Route links up Northern Germany’s main waterways: Kieler Förde, the Kiel Canal, the Niederelbe and the Oste.

Waterways in Northern Germany

Industrial landmarks and maritime museums

To cross the various waterways, cyclists can make use of hand-operated pram ferries, a floating ferry as well as modern bridges and tunnels. A number of hidden gems are there to be discovered along the route – from historic towns and scenic hamlets to unique marsh and geest landscapes as well as areas rich in birds. The road is lined with museums offering information on maritime topics, among them the Bachmann-Museum Bremervörde, the Natureum Niederelbe Balje, the Kehdinger Küstenschifffahrts-Museum in Wischhafen, the Kanalmuseum Brunsbüttel and the Schifffahrtsmuseum Kiel.

Suggested route for a one-day tour: 79 km along the Oste Cycle Route 

Arriving by rail, you begin your journey in Tostedt. The Oste Cycle Route takes you from the source of the River Oste via the Tiste Bauernmoor to Sittensen with its Mühlenteich lake and Museum of Crafts. Passing by Heeslingen, you pedal on until you reach the Wassermühle Eitzmühlen, a historic mill that invites you to take a rest directly on the Oste. Your journey through the undulating terrain of the Osteland region leads you past lush meadows and dense forests all the way to Bremervörde. In the harbour or on the shores of the Vörde Lake you can relax and enjoy refreshments before taking the train back.

In a nutshell 

  • Length of route: German Ferries Route: 250 kilometres in total, out of which the Oste Cycle Route constitutes 145 kilometres
  • Sights: More than 50 ferries, bridges, tunnels, locks and barrages as well as water and wind mills and several maritime museums are to be found along this route.
  • Trail conditions: The cycle paths mainly lead through level or slightly hilled landscapes along improved roads that are low in traffic.
  • Signage: Between Tostedt and Bremervörde, the route is signposted with the 'Oste-Radweg' logo, and until Kiel with the 'Deutsche Fährstraße' logo.
  • Special features: Germany’s two remaining cable ferries (in Osten, in operation) and in Rendsburg (currently not in operation) • pram ferries in Gräpel and Brobergen • free bike map for German Ferries Route (southern stretch) and Oste Cycle Route

GPX data, maps, information and free brochures: 

Deutsche Fährstraße mit Oste-Radweg
c/o Cuxland-Tourismus
Kapitän-Alexander-Straße 1 · D-27472 Cuxhaven
Phone: +49 47 21 59 96 66
German Ferries Route (in German) | Oste Cycle Route (in German)​​​​​​​

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Tanja Blätter

Tourismus, Zukunftsagenda - Tourismus und Internationales Marketing, IKM, EU Projekt Star Cities

Geschäftsstelle der Metropolregion Hamburg
Alter Steinweg 4
20459 Hamburg
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