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The Saale Cycle Path: A journey along picturesque landscapes and cultural treasures ☀️

The Saale cycle path, one Dream route, which meanders along the picturesque Saale River through the charming landscapes of Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. The cycle path, which is around 403 kilometers long in total, doesn't just lead through idyllic meadows and green hills, but also through historical cities and medieval castles. Immerse yourself with us in the multifaceted world of the Saale cycle path, where history meets nature. Plan your trip on the Saale cycle path. Saddle up now and discover!

Important information
Map of the Saale Cycle Path
distance table
Cities & Sights
How to get there

The most important information about the Saale cycle path at a glance

  • Length: about 403 kilometers
  • Number of stages: 9 stages
  • Difficulty: light to medium
  • Quality of the cycle path: The Saale cycle path is well developed and has 4 out of 5 stars in the ADFC quality check
  • Signage: The Saale cycle path is marked with a white and blue sign.
Saale Radweg Karte
Route of the Saale
Saale Radwegsymbol
Saale cycle path symbol
  • Topography: Mostly asphalted, some gravel paths/gravel paths
  • Altitude/altitude profile: 3160 meters uphill and 3810 meters downhill 
  • Most beautiful section: We liked the section between Jena and Naumburg best: It leads through the Saale valley and offers impressive views of the surrounding vineyards. Cities like Jena and Naumburg also have many historical sights to offer.
  • Where does the Saale cycle path begin and end? The Saale cycle path usually begins at the source of the Saale in the Fichtelgebirge and ends at the mouth of the Saale into the Elbe.
  • Best travel time: The best time to travel on the Saale cycle path depends on personal preferences and the desired experience. Here are some tips for the different seasons:
    spring: March to May is a wonderful time to explore the Saale cycle path. Nature awakens to new life, temperatures rise and the landscape turns green. The flowering period in spring is particularly attractive.
    Summer: June to August is the peak season for many cyclists. The days are long, the temperatures are pleasant and nature is in full bloom - the ideal time for a relaxed bike tour with lots of activities.
    Autumn: The months of September and October often bring mild weather and beautiful foliage color. This time of year is good for cycling - especially if you prefer a quieter atmosphere.


Our most popular cycling tours

If you take the Saale Cycle Path in greatest possible convenience If you want to explore, we recommend that you tailor-made cycling trips for Mecklenburger Radtour to discover. On these trips it's not just them Overnight staysbut also the convenient luggage transport carefully organized for you. Discover the Saale cycle path!

Route of the Saale cycle path

Take advantage of the Map of the Saale cycle pathto get a first insight and overview of the length of the route sections.

The Saale cycle path takes you through the country beloved by poets: Thuringia. For the rest of his life, Goethe could not give up his Dornburg castles, which stand on the high banks of the Saale. The Saale is lined with castles, which is also the most beautiful thing the river has to offer. The Saale cycle path is considered one of the most demanding cycle paths in Germany; it is characterized by climbs, especially in its upper reaches. Cyclists and ambitious cyclists in particular will get their money's worth on this cycle tour. The Saale cycle path runs 427 kilometers through the states of Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. 


Saale Radweg Karte
Route of the Saale

Distance table & stages of the Saale cycle path

When planning your next bike tour along the Saale, the distances between the cities are relevant. This makes it easier for you to estimate how long you will need or whether a longer rest or overnight stay will be necessary.

Distances along the Saale (larger cities)
HomeObjectiveRemovalEstimated time
SaalfeldJena54,9 kmapprox. 04:00 hours
JenaNaumburg44,2 kmapprox. 03:00 hours
NaumburgMerseburg33,3 kmapprox. 02:30 hours
MerseburgHalle16,0 kmapprox. 01:15 hours
HalleBernburg57,1 kmapprox. 04:00 hours
BernburgSchonebeck29,5 kmapprox. 02:00 hours

Cities & Sights

You will find numerous along the Saale Cities of historical and cultural importance. Each as a highlight in itself will reward you between your cycling stages unique places that fascinate with their stories. We tell you the best excursion tips. This is how you get to know beautiful Central Germany!

The university town of Jena

Jena stands for culture and history, but also for innovation and progress. The city is considered Cradle of the optical industry in Europe. We recommend a visit to the German Optical Museum. Or how about a visit to the Zeiss Planetarium? In addition, the load beautiful streets of Jena to explore. Unwind in the numerous cafés and restaurants.

Our insider tip: The medieval hilltop fortress of Leuchtenburg with an integrated porcelain museum south of Jena not only conveys the porcelain trade, but also provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the region.

View of Jena at sunset

Magdeburg: the Ottostadt

The 1.200 year old Magdeburg bears his nickname "Ottostadt' because of the physicist Otto von Guericke, who was both born and buried in the city. It is therefore not surprising that the local Otto von Guericke Museum fascinated as a real tourist magnet. But the city also has a lot to offer in addition to the museum: How about one Visit to the Green Citadel, a pink-striped building by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser? In addition, the imposing attracts Rothensee boat lift and the Magdeburg canal bridge in the North.

By the way: The bridge is the longest of its kind in Europe - truly impressive!

Blick auf den Dom zu Magdeburg
View of the Magdeburg Cathedral

Merseburg: the city of magic spells

Merseburg is one of the oldest cities in Central Germany and has with the cathedral as "Merseburg city crown“ one of the most beautiful city views far and wide. Visit the medieval French Fountain, which has been around for more than 400 years, and during a city tour you will find out what the famous Merseburg spells has on itself.

Merseburg - Picturesque idyll at the city lake

The romantic Naumburg

In the heart of the castle and wine region Naumburg is on the Saale-Unstrut Center of the northernmost German wine-growing region. Marvel at beautiful buildings from the Romantic and Gothic periods with all their colourfulness. Along with local Renaissance and Baroque town houses, the region offers fantastic all-round views. Explore the picturesque streets of Naumburg, which will lead you to the city's numerous sights. This clearly stands out Landmark out of town: Der Naumburg Cathedral is since 2018 UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important cathedral buildings of the European High Middle Ages.

Naumburg: View of the vineyard and Freyburg

The cultural city of Weimar

Many associate Weimar with the famous writers Goethe and Schiller – and a lot is dedicated to the life and work of these two personalities in Weimar. Here you will find that Goethe's house and Schiller house with integrated museum. But that too Goethe Schiller Monument from 1857 before German national theatre testifies to the importance of these two poets and thinkers.

We also recommend a visit to the imposing City Palace Weimar right in the center of town. Also the Buchenwald Memorial is very close to Weimar. A visit to the memorial site is a good idea if you are staying in the city for a longer period of time.

German National Theater with Goethe and Schiller in Weimar Thuringia

Halle an der Saale: the 1000-year-old saltworks town

Halle an der Saale houses with the Halloren chocolate factory the oldest chocolate factory in Germany that is still in production today. But it's not just sweets that have a long tradition here, the city also knows its stuff when it comes to savory. The Halle Saline Museum conveys interesting facts about the extraction of the mineral. 

From from all culinary delights, this presents State Museum of Prehistory impressive the long history of the region and the people living there. The Beatles Museum is a real insider tip! Intellectually strengthened, you stroll through it Paul quarter, one of the most beautiful corners of Halle and are already looking forward to your next trip to Halle an der Saale.

The Giebichenstein Castle in Halle an der Saale

Bernburg: an architectural splendor

Cow 40 kilometers as the crow flies south of Magdeburg lies the tranquil town of Bernburg. The city shines with architectural masterpieces and magnificent garden art. About that Bernburg Castle or the 26 meter high one boiler tower are real tourist magnets. From the top of the tower you have a wonderful view of the city and the entire Saale valley - and in good weather even as far as the Brocken.

In addition to the architectural feast for the eyes of Bernburg, the surrounding nature on the Saale with its proximity to the Harz Partner Places for varied excursions and relaxing trips – whether on foot or by saddle. Especially that Bernburg Glacier Garden from the Saale Ice Age has a unique landscape and is therefore our clear recommendation.

View of the old town in Bernburg an der Saale

Erfurt: the city of bridges

The city of Erfurt is rich in history and culture. Especially those Erfurt old town with its tranquil alleys and streets has been attracting visitors from all over the world to the for decades capital of Thuringia. More than 150 bridges cross the river Gera and its numerous tributaries. The most famous bridge is the Kramer Bridge. The extraordinary thing about her is that she fully built and inhabited is. She almost does unique in Europe. Here you will find numerous cafes and restaurants to enjoy, as well as small shops where you are sure to discover a souvenir or two.

But also the twin buildings, Erfurt cathedral with a height of 80 meters and the Severi Church are unmissable highlights of Erfurt. They tower over the cityscape and can therefore be seen from afar. From the nearby Petersberg you get an impressive overall view of the city - simply breathtaking!

View of the Kramer Bridge in Erfurt

Sights and excursion destinations on the Saale cycle path

Bamberg: Bamberg Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Bamberg Cathedral
Naumburg: Naumburg Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with the donor figures
Jena: JenTower with panoramic views, Jena Culture Mile
Weimar: Goethe House, Schiller House, Bauhaus Museum
Halle on the Saale: Moritzburg, market square, Francke Foundations
Saale-Unstrut-Triasland Nature Park (between Bad Kösen and Naumburg): beautiful vineyards, Rudelsburg
Merseburg: Merseburg Cathedral, Merseburg Castle
Saaleck and Rudelsburg: Saaleck castle ruins, Rudelsburg
Barby: Estuary of the Saale into the Elbe, Elbe ferry Barby

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Where does the Saale cycle path run?

The Saale cycle path runs along the Saale river in Germany. He leads through the Federal states of Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt.

Where does the Saale cycle path begin and end?

The Saale cycle path begins in Zell in the Fichtelgebirge, a district of Schwarzenbach an der Saale in Bavaria. His goal is the mouth of the Saale Elbe at Barby in Saxony-Anhalt.

Is the Saale cycle path well signposted?

Yes, the Saale cycle path is usually well signposted. Along the route there are Cycle path signs with the characteristic logo of the Saale cycle path, which make orientation easier. Nevertheless, it is recommended to use additional navigation aids such as Maps or GPS to use to ensure you stay on the right path.

How to get there

By Car: If you plan to travel by car, it is important to have one Choose a suitable starting point and a parking space to find. Many places along the Saale cycle path offer parking options - especially in larger cities and tourist areas.

By train:Traveling by train is one eco-friendly option. You can take your bike with you on most regional trains, but it is advisable to check your bike transport in advance and, if necessary, to make reservations.

Would you like to cycle relaxed along the Saale cycle path without having to lug your luggage and book each hotel individually? Then book a cycling holiday on the Saale with us and enjoy your dream bike tour!

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