Elbe Bike Hire - Including Local Transport
Cycling along the Elbe
The Elbe route is mostly very flat, but occasionally the marked path will climb to the top of river cliffs for a few miles. Often you will be cycling along the top of the river's flood protection dykes, and sometimes this means coming down off the dyke and then going back up every few hundred metres, which is a bit trying. Also, some accommodation is based away from the river in villages part way up the valley sides. You may even have to climb over the odd fence to cut off a corner.
The best source of information is the "Offizielles Elberadweg Handbuch" which is an A5 booklet available at all tourist information offices and the better hotels. It can be downloaded from the Elberadweg website - click here. It's in German but the symbology is multi-lingual. The vast majority of the path is free from normal traffic but watch out for farm vehicles and mopeds using the path or the river banks and dykes.
For your self-guided tour you may need a bike hire shop. Bike hire is available in larger towns and some cities (eg Hamburg) have their own "Boris Bikes" (city bikes for rent by the half hour). Where rental companies' websites exist we have shown them. Depending on bicycle quality you should expect to pay €10 per day although competition may reduce this. You may even want to use this holiday to try renting a tandem. Both the Czech railway company and private companies based at German stations rent bikes, though these will not always be models that are suited to touring.
Before you approach a hire shop have a look at the advice in our Bike Guide. Remember that the area is mostly flat so you won't need too many gears. It is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet but you will see roughly 50% of riders wearing them. Some German bikes have "pedal backwards" brakes and it takes a little time to get used to them.
- Bike and Tour
- Fahrrad-Engel Fahrradverleih Auf dem Ruhm 2, 23560 Lübeck, Germany Tel. +49 (0)176 96148664
- Ursula & Peter Neumann, Käthe-Kollwitz-Str. 3, 01468 Moritzburg, Germany +49 (0) 35207/82186
Baggage transport and tours
During your tour we hope you will not need this, but if you do the bike retailers in each large town will provide a maintenance service (at a fee) and due to the flatness there are a good number of bike shops about. In Germany, the Elberadweg Handbuch lists those near the Elbe cycle path. Check our puncture repair video at MyBikeGuide before you go. We also recommend a couple of guides on how to repair a bike, one of which is light enough to take with you.
- Germany - left luggage at most railway stations and airports
- Czech Republic - left luggage at most bus stations, railway stations and airports
Train and bike
Taking a bike on a train is possible but generally you need to book them.
Trams seem to carry bikes outside of the commuter rush hour, read the details in each city (or ask at a tourist information office) as the timing varies.