North Sea Coast Cycle Route
By bike along the North Sea coast - active holiday in a wonderful nature idyll
Cycling on the North Sea: A pleasant sea breeze, the sound of the waves, a cap full of wind and boundless natural idyll are the companions of those who decide to explore the North Sea by bike. The sight of bizarre coastal shapes, the almost boundless expanse of the mudflats, lively harbour towns, lonely dunes, fairytale marshlands, small fishing villages and the relaxing sound of the waves in the background make cycling along the North Sea a very special experience.
The most famous cycle route along the North German coast is the North Sea Coast Cycle Route, also known as the North Sea Cycle Route. The more than 6000 kilometre long cycle route runs along the roaring sea through eight European countries: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, England, Belgium and the Netherlands. This also makes it the longest signposted cycle route in the world. A good part of the North Sea Coastal Cycle Route runs through northern Germany, from Leer on the Dutch border via Hamburg to Klanxbüll in the north, along the dikes of the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to numerous sights that are presented to the cyclist on the route, an incomparable natural idyll characterises the picture and promises an active holiday with the greatest possible variety. Those who cycle along this route enjoy a driving pleasure that is second to none. There are hardly any gradients. Only the wind makes it difficult to pedal from time to time. But it is mainly a friendly companion, blowing the salty air through your hair and making you want to continue your journey.
The route network is varied and can be adapted to individual needs by choosing different sections. The North Sea Coast Cycle Path is suitable for beginners as well as for bike professionals, the paths are mostly flat and excellently signposted. If you feel like exploring the North Sea by bike but don't have your own bike with you, you can rent one in any major town.
North Sea coast cycle route: From Emden to Cuxhaven
The North Sea Coastal Cycle Route can be divided into sections. This is a great advantage for active holidaymakers who have little time but do not want to miss the Nordic cycle tour. A section of the route is also ideal for families with children. For example, the cycle route from Emden, via Norden, the island of Juist, Neuharlingersiel, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven to Cuxhaven is a particularly enjoyable experience. The sporty and relaxed tour covers about 250 kilometres and offers not only coast, mudflats, forest, meadows and moors, but also a wonderful island experience on Juist and entertaining ferry adventures.
The bike tour, which lasts several days and can be split up into as many kilometres per day as you like, depending on your level of fitness, starts in Emden, the westernmost seaport city in Germany and the largest city in East Frisia.
From Emden, the North Sea Coast Cycle Route leads to the north, 60 kilometres away. On the way, the romantic fishing village of Greetsiel invites you to linger. Gourmets in particular will get their money's worth here - the historic crab cutter harbour in Greetsiel is over 600 years old and supplies the region with freshly caught delicacies. Those who wish to fortify themselves with a Greetsiel crab soup and East Frisian black bread before continuing their journey north. Keep your eyes open at Leybucht: With a bit of luck, seals will be romping around in the North Sea waves. The picturesque town of Norden is the first major stage destination of this cycle route. Here you can relax with a smoky black tea in the East Frisian Tea Museum, or admire the beautiful historic buildings from the north during a stroll through the town. A great fun for big and small animal lovers is the seal station in the Norddeich, a district of the north. Here you can experience the sea dwellers up close. Smaller North Sea animals such as the lugworm can be encountered on a guided mudflat walk in the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park, which has been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 2009. With its first-class bathing and recreational facilities, Norden is a place where you can spend a wonderful time. Our Romantik Hotel Reichshof is the perfect hostel for all those who want to recharge their batteries and relax before continuing their journey. Not only tense muscles can be regenerated in the luxurious Sea & Moor Spa - the varied sauna landscape, the swimming pool, the paradisiacal wellness garden, the fireplace room or the dune sand relaxation room are a mecca for East Frisian all-round relaxation. If you want, you can also rent a bicycle or an e-bike here.
The next stop on this bicycle tour is a detour to the island of Juist. Although it is not part of the classic North Sea coastal cycle path, it is so beautiful that you should not miss it. The ferry brings pedestrians and cyclists (cars are not allowed on Juist) over to the island.
With just 17 kilometres, Juist is not a place for long distance bikers. But it is a paradise for enjoyable cycling. Since cars are prohibited on the island, parents with small children can also enjoy nature in a relaxed manner. Juist is an extremely bicycle-friendly place: bikes can be parked anywhere, there is no lack of idyllic picnic spots and there is a bicycle parking lot in the west of the island. Apart from that, the island is an extraordinary natural beauty. If you leave the pretty Juister city centre in southern direction, you will soon find yourself in the middle of magnificent salt marshes, small moor birch groves and paradisiacal beaches with impressive sandbanks. The Hammersee, the largest freshwater lake of the East Frisian islands, is also located on Juist.
After the sporty island exploration with picnic, wave-jumping and discovering rare birds in the nature reserve, the day comes to a wonderful end in the 4-star Romantik Hotel Achterdiek, where exhausted holidaymakers are welcomed with warm hospitality. Guests can expect a gourmet cuisine that has won many awards and comfortable rooms with a view of the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea. Those who wish to extend their stay at Juist, relax in the light-flooded bathing and sauna landscape of the Hotel Achterdiek, go on a guided mudflat hike or a boat trip to the bird island Memmert or to the seal banks.
Others get back on their bicycles after an opulent East Frisian breakfast buffet, take the ferry back to the mainland and drive from the north to Neuharlingersiel, a wonderfully picturesque fishing village with a 300-year-old harbour at its heart. The route is about 50 kilometres long and rewards you with beautiful panoramic views of the islands Baltrum and Langeoog.
The next destination is Wilhelmshaven, 57 kilometres away, passing numerous lively coastal and seaside resorts, such as Horumersiel-Schillig, which is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Germany and is affectionately known as the Cape of Good Recreation.
In Wilhelmshaven there are various ways to get on to Bremerhaven. Either you drive over the famous Kaiser-Wilhelm-Bridge to the harbour and take a ferry to Eckwardehören, and from there, after a nice stretch along the dyke, another ferry to Bremerhaven. Or you can extend the cycle route and tour around the Jadebusen with your bike, passing the idyllic harbour of Varel, where you can fortify yourself with fish from our own smokehouses and fish rolls. Refreshment promises a cooling, Frisian beer in the Varel brewery. A visit to the Sehestedt National Park Adventure Station, which is located between the dike and the Wadden Sea, is a must. Here you can visit the Floating Moor, the last erosion high moor at Jadebusen. From Bremerhaven, the journey continues in a lively manner: to Cuxhaven, about 50 kilometres away. The way to the destination leads along the "National Park Lower Saxony Wadden Sea" and provides wonderful views of the enchanting nature. In Cuxhaven, the destination of this part of the route, the bicycle can be parked and the cultural richness of the city, with a great variety of museums and historical buildings, can be visited. One highlight, for example, is Fort Kugelbake, a historic naval fortress from the second half of the 19th century, or the Hamburg lighthouse.
Endless North Sea cycling fun
If you do not yet feel like getting off your bike, you do not have to part with it. The North Sea Coast Cycle Route goes on for hundreds of kilometres. So if you want to, you can swing harder on the pedals. How about continuing the route to Friedrichskoog? There you can visit an important seal breeding station. Every year up to 250 baby seals land here. Most of them are young animals that were separated from their mother or injured seals that could be rescued at the North Sea beaches of Schleswig-Holstein. Through a large underwater window, visitors are allowed to watch the young animals as they dive in the seawater pools with their comrades in a competition. The Nolde Museum is also worth a detour. The famous painter worked here during the Second World War. After Nolde's death in 1956, Seebüll became part of a foundation and has since been open to its guests as a museum. Also worth seeing: the Schleswig-Holstein National Park! This wonder of nature stretches from Sylt to the mouth of the Elbe, the exploration of which is a must on this cycle route.
Attractive detour from the North Sea coast cycle path: The Elbe-Weser cycle path
A delightful 190 kilometre cycle tour through the Cuxland. The Elbe-Weser cycle path connects two popular cycle routes, the Weser cycle path and the Elbe cycle path. The tour starts in the North Sea resort of Otterndorf, a historic old town with flair, and leads through picturesque moorland and heath landscapes, past quaint inns, to Bad Bederkesa. Here, the healing moor thermal baths and a magnificent castle by the lake await you. If you wish, you can stay overnight in our Romantik Hotel Bösehof, where you can pamper your tired bones with the greatest comfort and loving luxury. The next destination of the bike tour is Beverstedt, with its famous graves from the Bronze Age. From here, the route continues on the circular cycle path "From the Devil's Moor to the Wadden Sea" via Lilienthal, Worpswede to the main railway station in Bremen.
Relaxation in excellent Romantik Hotels on the cycle route
If you want to combine an active cycling holiday with wellness and beneficial relaxation, you can take a break in our Romantik Hotels along the route. Our family-run, comfortable accommodations are geared to cycling tourists and welcome their exhausted guests in the usual excellent way. Freshly strengthened and pleasantly recovered, the next day, or even a few days later, the tour continues through a landscape that is worth every pedal.