Prague to Berlin Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishPrague / Berlin
Distance287 miles/462 kms
An 11 night cycling holiday combining the cultural and historic attractions of three iconic cities with some sublime rural cycling on quiet lanes and riverside cycle paths. This interesting and varied route leads you from Prague, via Dresden, to Berlin along the Vltava, Elbe and Spree rivers.
Prague makes a wonderful staging post for this cycling holiday and the city will enchant you with its medieval architecture and winding cobbled streets. After a night in this remarkable city you cycle north along the banks of the Vltava River to the charming town of Melnik. An imposing Renaissance castle guards the town and from its ramparts you can enjoy wonderful views of the confluence of the Elbe and Vltava rivers. Your journey continues along the Elbe with stops in Litomerice, by common consent one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic, and Decin, another pleasant old town, this one overlooked by a rather grand Castle. The cycling is easy and much of it on scenic, traffic-free, riverside cycle paths.
After a night in the riverside spa town of Bad Schandau in Germany you arrive in Dresden often referred to as the Florence of the Elbe. Bombed relentlessly in 1945 this once architecturally stunning city was all but destroyed, however after much restoration work many of the city’s wonderful baroque buildings and fine art are once again on display.
Continue by train to Cottbus (hardy cyclists are of course welcome to tackle the 105 km by bike if they wish) and begin following the Spree River as it meanders north through peaceful valleys and shady forests. You’ll stay in pleasant small historic towns with attractive market squares and winding lanes, just perfect for an exploratory stroll each evening.
Finally the Spree River delivers you to Berlin, a vibrant, bustling metropolis with a unique and fascinating history.
The cycling is mostly level and suitable for anyone with a reasonable fitness level.
Itinerary & Map
The cycling is mostly level and suitable for anyone with a reasonable fitness level.
Day 1: Arrive Prague
Upon arrival make your way to your hotel and after check-in you are free to relax or explore. While the town is known for its long history and wealth of wonderful architecture, art, churches and museums it also attracts a young cosmopolitan set, which have come for the lively atmosphere. The nightlife is quite vibrant with many bars and clubs to enjoy well-known Czech beer. Alternatively, if you like classical music then check out some of the churches and palaces as many offer concerts in the evenings.
Day 2: Prague – Melnik, 33 miles/52 kms
Your first day of cycling takes you to the charming town of Melnik, which lies at the confluence of the Vlatva and Elbe Rivers. The magnificent hilltop castle is worth a visit as not only does it offer great views of the surrounding countryside but it’s also home to some impressive wine cellars as well as a fine art collection.
Day 3: Melnik – Litomerice, 31 miles/50 kms
Leave Melnik and cycle on along the Elbe River. Shortly after passing the pleasant riverside town of Roudnice nad Labem we recommend making a small detour to visit Terezin an old military fortress that was used as a concentration camp during WWII. Afterwards it’s only a short ride to the charming town of Litomerice where you will overnight. Here you have an array of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings to admire. We think the local wine in this region is very good and we highly recommend a visit to one of the many convivial bars or restaurants to form your own opinion.
Day 4: Litomerice – Decin, 36 miles/58 kms
Your route takes you past the Gothic castle of Strekov perched on a 100 meter cliff overlooking the river and on to Decin for the evening. The route offers nice views of the wooded hillsides sweeping down to the river. We recommend a visit to the castle, one of the largest in the country, to admire its architecture and design. Afterwards perhaps take time to walk around the Rose gardens to enjoy wonderful views over the town.
Day 5: Decin – Bad Schandau, 22 miles/35 kms
A short cycle ride today as you cross into Germany. The scenery is quite unique – see the impressive sandstone mountains of this region, now a national park. Arrive into the spa town of Bad Schandau right on the banks of the Elbe and at the mouth of a lovely forested valley.
Day 6: Bad Schandau – Dresden, 25 miles/40 kms
Today’s ride continues along the Elbe River through riverside meadows to the city of Dresden often referred to as the Florence of the Elbe. In 1945 Dresden was bombed relentlessly and this once architecturally stunning city was all but destroyed. After much restoration work many of the city’s wonderful baroque buildings and fine art are again on display. The “Frauenkirche” or “Church of Our Lady” is a prime example of this, having been completely restored from a pile of rubble to her original baroque splendour.
Day 7: Dresden – Cottbus, 13 miles/20 kms plus 70km train ride
Today you have three choices. Firstly, you can opt for no cycling at all, spend a bit more time looking around Dresden and then catch a train (included) to the pretty riverside town of Cottbus, 70 km to the north, where you will spend the night. The second option is to cycle 20 km through a wine region just north of Dresden to Radebeul and then on to Coswig where you can pick up the train for the 50 km journey to Cottbus. The final option is to take on the full cycle route to Cottbus from Dresden which is 66 miles (105 km).
Cottbus is a pleasant place to spend the night. Located on the banks of the Spree River, the town boasts a beautiful market square, lined with lovely old town-houses with baroque gabled facades. The square is always lively and the many street cafes invite you to stop and soak up the atmosphere.
Day 8: Cottbus – Spree Forest, 37 miles/59 kms
Today’s ride leads you into the Spree Forest. A tranquil ride along idyllic cycle paths and quiet country lanes leads you through open farmland and forest to the town of Lübbenau. We highly recommend taking a break here to explore the maze of tree-lined waterways that start at the town’s eastern perimeter. A short boat trip allows you to admire the delightful wooden houses of Lehde nestled in their idyllic settings along the riverbank. Afterwards mount-up again for an enjoyable and relaxing ride along the riverbank to the pleasant town of Lübben (or nearby) where you will stop for the night.
Day 9: Spree Forest – Beeskow, 35 miles/56 kms
On today’s scenic, rural ride you will follow an idyllic cycle path alongside the Spree River through a region of outstanding natural beauty. The region is famous for its myriad of lakes. Many are quite small but some are quite large and if it’s warm you might be tempted to stop for a swim at Lake Neuendorfer or Lake Schwieloch. Your destination today is Beeskow, a pleasant small town on the Spree River with an attractive town square.
Day 10: Beeskow – Fürstenwalde, 23 miles/36 kms
Your journey continues today following the meanders of the Spree River as it makes its way north. This is a particularly beautiful stretch of the river with only the odd peaceful village and picturesque lock interrupting the pristine natural beauty of the countryside. A little further on the Spree joins the Oder-Spree Canal and from here you follow a pleasant cycle path through the forest to your overnight stop in the town of Fürstenwalde. Enjoy your last night in a small provincial town before entering the vibrant and fascinating metropolis of Berlin tomorrow.
Day 11: Fürstenwalde – Berlin, 35 to 36 miles/55 to 57 kms
Your last day’s ride leads you through green forest lanes and pleasant hamlets and villages to the outskirts of Berlin. At Köpenick we recommend finishing your ride and catching a commuter ‘S-Bahn‘ train (not included in tour price) into the heart of the city, you can bring your bikes. This way you avoid cycling on some busy roads through some rather boring industrial areas into Berlin. Of course if you want to complete the journey on two wheels then you can continue into the city by bike. Once in the city-centre you’ll find an excellent network of cycle paths which you can use to visit famous landmarks such as the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint-Charlie and of course remnants of the infamous Berlin Wall. The last night of your cycling holiday is spent in the heart of this vibrant and fascinating city. You might want to consider booking an extra night in Berlin to give you more time to explore and take it all in.
Day 12: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2020 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals every Sunday between 17 May to 20 September|
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|Deposit per person||£271|
11 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer (2 x 20kg piece pp)
Maps & route information
Train Dresden/Coswig - Cottbus
GPS route data
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (approximately €1-5pppn, payable locally)
Regular bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£95)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£197)
Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.
Electric bikes are also available.
Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.
Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.
Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.
Prague: Hotel Expo
Melnik: Hotel Ludmila
Litomerice: Apollon Hotel
Decin: Hotel Ceska Koruna
Bad Schandau: Hotel Garni Sigl’s
Dresden: Park Inn Radisson
Cottbus: Lindner Congress Hotel
Lübben: Hotel Stephanshof
Beeskow: Hotel Märkisches Gutshaus
Fürstenwalde: Haus am Spreebogen
Berlin: Hotel Albrechthof
Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.
Fly to Prague and return home from Berlin
- Date - 20/06/2019
- Name - Tony Walker
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - I would use Flexitreks again and would recommend them, and in fact have done so.
Flexitreks staff ensured everything associated with purchase, tailoring, and payment was efficient and timely, and prompt and personal responses to queries and uncertainties for us in Australia made sure the whole process was without problems.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - The route was excellent, along the two rivers and through forests and rural areas and towns. In general the paths/roads were very good and that made riding pleasant and the undemanding terrain actually meant the whole experience was very relaxing We really enjoyed the towns and villages in the Czech section of the tour - we would do it again tomorrow.
- Flexitreks response - Service rating : Excellent, this means a lot to us - thank you Tony
Product : Sounds lovely - glad you and your group enjoyed it so much Tony.
- Date - 17/06/2018
- Name - William Kneale
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - ttt
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - The holiday overall was very enjoyable. More attention to detail from the local suppliers would have made it excellent.
Bag Transfer - good, nothing to criticise
Hotels - v good with 2 exceptions, Ludmila in Melnik - adequate but rather far out of centre, a little bit run down; Markiches Guthaus in Beeskow - possibly adequate but room (6) assigned were horrible attic rooms, far too hot and no way to ventilate
Bike - not sized properly for shorter rider; when we got a puncture the tool kit did not have a spanner that fitted front wheel lock so we could not get wheel off. Fortunately we were not far from a place where support vehicle could reach us,,,,,we could have been a long way into the reed beds of the Spree. The spare inner tube was for a road bike and would not have fitted the tyre. Bike not oiled on collection and non supplied. No map holder and no speedometer. Chain slipping badly on one bike on gear change - ie bikes not properly checked before supply in Czech Republic. No water bottles supplied.
Route instructions - mostly good; but number and contact for support were NOT CORRECT in the documents; also some street names incorrect; and some turns on the Cottbus to Beeskow legs very easy to miss.
For Flexitreks : Better description of the link between Dresden and Cottbus needed. Yes there is a train but actually it took 3 1/2 hrs to go the 70 miles (as crow flies) with one change near the Polish border. Not a problem in itself but hard to understand without the information. No route for cycle option was provided and no explanation of the ticketing, train timetable etc.
Also some of the distances seem incorrect.....in particular the Cottbus to Lubben leg in the guide has 2 stages and the combined distance is in the 45 - 50 mile range; your summary only gives the distance for first stage.
And finally we would recommend that the providers find an alternative stop to Beeskow or provide an option to make Lubben to Altstadt a single (longish) stage.....Beeskow as a town is dead with little to recommend it.
But despite all that we had a great time !
- Flexitreks response - Wow, a lot of very detailed and useful feedback here William - thanks! We're glad that you had a great time overall but rest assured we're addressing these issues with our local supplier to ensure future customers benefit from your recommendations. We're surprised about the bikes as they are usually well-maintained but that was obviously not your experience and we can only apologise for that.