Prague to Dresden
Czech Republic, Germany Bike Tour
Along the Elbe bike path
As the Vltava and Elbe Rivers flow, so rides this bike tour from Prague to Dresden through beautiful countryside, picturesque towns and scenic parks. Starting in Prague, the “City of a Hundred Spires” will amaze you with the number of historical sites contained in such a small area. Left largely untouched during the great World Wars, it has retained its unique character.
Dresden is the second major cultural center on this tour. Dresden is known for its Baroque architecture while its Frauenkirche is considered the world’s finest Protestant church. Other notable landmarks are the Catholic Hofkirche (Saxony’s largest church) and the Residenzschloss. The city’s cultural and artistic splendor result from its long history as capital and Royal residence for the Kings of Saxony, and its importance as a cultural center has given it the nickname “Florence of the Elbe."
You will have a difficult itme deciding what is more beautiful, the start or the end of this tour, or perhaps, the middle.
Between Prague and Dresden, you will cycle on paths along the Modau and Elbe Rivers, passing through small, pictureque villages and romantic riverscapes and passing by numerous and chateaux. Highlights include the Czech Switzerland National Park, the Basteri Bridge , and the Königstein Fortress.
The Dresden Elbe Valley is a beautiful region protected by UNESCO. The banks of the Elbe are lined with Renaissance forts and late-19th century villas, while palaces and gardens blend seamlessly into the vine-clad landscape. Connecting two European centers, as well as the beauties of the Vltava and Elbe River basins, yields a very attractive, but not physically demanding tour manageable even by less fit bikers. As a bonus you can enjoy a boat trip or half day hiking in the Czech Saxon Switzerland National Park!
- Self guided: Arrival every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from April 12 to September 22, 2013.
- *Special arrangements for groups of at least 4 people possible by request.
- Guided: May 18, July 13, August 17, and September 7, 2013.
- *Minimum number of participants: 8 people
Easy to Moderate self-guided or guided hotel tour. From Prague to Melnik there are some ascents to be managed, otherwise a fairly easy route along the Elbe bike path. Daily distances range from 13 to 35 miles with the whole day to complete the mileage. Paths are mostly on good asphalt country roads & bike paths but occasionally there are gravel or dirt paths.
Where You’ll Stay
In very nice, clean, and comfortable 3 & 4 star hotels, inns, & B&B’s. All rooms with private facilities.
- 7 nights hotel accommodations
- Detailed maps & route descriptions
- Welcome briefing
- 21-speed hybrid bicycle
- Luggage transfer
- Sign posted route
- Service hotline
- Also included in the Guided tour:
- German speaking tour guide
- Support vehicle
- Guided city tour in Prague, Leitmeritz, Pirna, and Dresden
- Visit to the Königstein Fortress
- All entrance fees as mentioned
What’s Not Included
- Individual arrival to Prague
- Arrival in Prague.
- Sojourn in Prague.
- Prague - Mělník, 35 mi. (55 km)
- Mělník - Leitmeritz, 32 mi. (50 km)
- Leitmeritz - Děčín, 32 mi. (50 km)
- Děčín - Pirna, 29 mi. (45 km)
- Pirna - Dresden, 16 mi. (25 km)
- Departure from Dresden.
DAY 1: Arrival in Prague.
Individual arrival and transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, perhaps a sightseeing tour of the city. In the evening, a briefing regarding the tour, review of itineraries, adjustment of bikes, and questions and answers.
DAY 2: Sojourn in Prague.
This day is entirely devoted to the "Golden City". Visit the Hradschin (castle district) surrounding the king's old palace. From the Old Town Square, a walk across the famous Charles Bridge will take you to Prague Castle. Founded in 870, the Castle (the biggest in the world!) is a huge hilltop complex that also contains the great Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral (the country’s largest church), the Romanesque St. George’s Basilica, and the Royal Palace as well as a monastery, museums and gardens!! Discover the nightlife of Prague with innumerable cultural events.(Guided city tour included with the group tour)
DAY 3: Prague - Mělník, 35 mi. (55 km)
Despite the first small ascent, today’s stage follows a nice trail to the heart of the Czech wine region – the town of Mělník . Located on a prominent hill, this town is the center of a small Bohemian wine-growing region dating back to the 9th century. .It is a good warm-up for our further bike stages. Just before we leave Prague, we pass the Troja Baroque Castle and we continue to the North following the bank of the Vltava River. The river cuts into the ground here, which creates very interesting rock formations and deep valleys. Visits of castles in Nelahozeves and Veltrusy are the biggest highlights of this day. We will end this stage in an old wine town at the confluence of the Vltava and Elbe Rivers with a glass of good wine.
DAY 4: Mělník - Leitmeritz, 32 mi. (50 km)
Today’s stage leads us through a calm Elbe region and is without significant altitude changes. This region is one of the most fertile regions in the Czech Republic. Due to the confluence of the Vltava and Elbe Rivers, the river gains on its mightiness and strength and slowly becomes a European major waterway. After passing the Libechov Castle, we will get to the town of Roudnice nad Labem and we will have a chance to admire an old church and castle. The most impressive stop on today’s stage is the massive Terezin Fortress from the turn of the 18th century, which illustrates the military architecture of that time. The seamy side of its history is the World War II period. This era was filled with hatred and cruelty and dramatically altered the history of Terezin, a place which the Nazis used as a Jewish concentration camp. We will conclude the day in an old town and spiritual center of this region – in the town of Litomerice, which is an anti-pole to the horrific Terezin Fortress.
DAY 5: Leitmeritz - Děčín, 32 mi. (50 km)
This day is designed for exploration of the romantic countryside of the Czech Middle Mountains. Even though this region is very hilly, we will follow the banks of the Elbe River most of the time while hills with several age-old ruins will surround us. This former volcanic region has always been an ideal terrain for building castles and fortresses, many of which have unfortunately not been preserved. The Strekov Castle, which was built on top of a steep rock cliff, belongs among one of the most romantic castles in the Czech Republic. After a more strenuous climb, we will be rewarded by a magnificent view from its walls. The final point of this stage will be the Northern Gate of the Czech Republic and the town of Decin, a town with the lowest altitude in the Czech Republic.
DAY 6: Děčín - Pirna, 29 mi. (45 km)
Today will mesmerize you as you pass the border into Germany, where the gigantic rocks of the Elbe Sandstone mountains will welcome you. You will find yourself in Bad Schandau. The 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglorious Basterds was primarily shot in this town. It is better known for it's thermal springs. Past bizarre rock formations along the Elbe you will come to the Königstein (meaning King stone) fortress. Overnight in Pirna (guided city tour included with Guided tour)
DAY 7: Pirna - Dresden, 16 mi. (25 km)
Before pedaling your way to this tour's final destination, you can visit Europe's largest fortification and enjoy the spectacular view over the Elbe valley. Past the Pilnitz castle you make your way on to Dresden.
DAY 8: Departure from Dresden.
There is probably no other town in Germany which better symbolizes the turbulent history of this country and shows many centuries of cultural and architectural boom combined with religious freedom and economic prosperity. A short admiration of Nazism was followed by a cruel punishment in the form of the biggest bombing during World War II, which turned almost the entire city into ruins overnight. After-the-war resurrection turned into forty years of communistic unimportance that was followed by twenty years of renewal and reconstruction. Thanks to this renovation of the entire city, today we can admire the beauties of this place, which has earned the nickname “Florence of the Elbe”.