© Nordseeküsten-Radweg/ Florian Trykowski

A very special corner on the Elbe river

The picturesque landscape of Holstein unfolds just beyond the gates of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. The delightful mixture of marshland and orchards, dykes, canals and small villages as well as untouched nature offers a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere in which to take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. The route is lined with historic churches, traditional farmhouses and museums, affording a multitude of opportunities to discover the natural beauty of the region at your own pace, while always having a view of the Elbe as it winds its way through the flat landscape. Experience the maritime flair of the region in the charming small towns on the banks of the Elbe, such as Wedel, Glückstadt and Brunsbüttel, accompanied by culinary delights such as the famous Matjes herring in Glückstadt.

© Nordseeküsten-Radweg/ Florian Trykowski

5 great highlights

  • Willkomm Höft in Wedel: Numerous ships are greeted and bid farewell every day in the Port of Hamburg at the Willkomm-Höft ship welcoming station in Wedel, arguably the most famous attraction. All large ships entering or leaving the port of Hamburg have been greeted and bid farewell here with their national anthem and in their respective national language since 1952.

  • Banks of the Elbe: The many beautiful banks of the Elbe along the route are ideal for a refreshing dip or a short breather. You can relax and watch the large steamers sailing along the Elbe in Brokdorf, Kollmar or at the Hetlinger Schanze or jump straight into the cool water.

  • Kronsnest ferry: A trip on Germany's smallest ferry is an unforgettable experience for young and old. As the only hand-operated ferry in Schleswig-Holstein, the boat can accommodate up to seven people and even bikes can be transported across the Krückau. 

  • Glückstadt: The historic market square in the centre of Glückstadt is the heart of the town - this is where you can enjoy the town's maritime flair. Small boats and the Rigmor museum ship, the oldest seaworthy sailing ship in Germany, are moored in the nearby picturesque inland harbour. Everyone can become a captain themselves on the Rigmor on one of the numerous public cruises.

  • Haseldorf orchard: A true paradise for fruit and nature lovers can be found in the two-hectare Haseldorf orchard, surrounded by the idyllic landscape of the Haseldorfer Marsch. There are countless fruit trees where you can pick and enjoy traditional varieties of fruit free of charge at any time during the harvest. Cosy picnic areas and quiet zones tempt you to take a breather and savour the delights on offer.

Stage overview

The North Sea Cycle Route connects the various regions along the North Sea coast. The following stages run through the Holstein region: 


© Nordseeküsten-Radweg/ Florian Trykowski

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© Nordseeküsten-Radweg/ Florian Trykowski

Characteristics of the route

© Nordseeküsten-Radweg/ Florian Trykowski

Orchard Haseldorf

© Nordseeküsten-Radweg/ Florian Trykowski