Elbe Cycle Path R2 is 360 km long and runs along the entire length of the Elbe inside the biosphere reserve. It passes the cradle of the Reformation, Luther’s city of Wittenberg (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) (, Wörlitzer Park, located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the DessauWörlitz Garden Realm (,, the Bauhaus UNESCO World Heritage Site (, Magdeburg with its cathedral, and Tangermünde and Havelberg as monuments to brick Gothic.,,

Europa Cycle Path R1, in a relatively short intermezzo of around 35 kilometres, you directly pass the outdoor beaver enclosure near Oranienbaum and can visit the park and palace in Oranienbaum (

Saale Cycle Path, there is only a very limited number of kilometres inside the biosphere reserve, however there is still ample opportunity to use near-nature paths to experience the castle in Bernburg; Moritzburg Castle, Giebichenstein Castle and Handel’s birthplace in Halle; the castle ruins of Saaleck and Rudelsburg in Bad Kösen; and the nearly 1000-year-old cathedral city of Naumburg. 

Prince Franz Garden Realm Tour, cyclists experience castles, avenues, waterways, dykes and sculptures along this 60 km path. These structures are so naturally embedded in their surroundings that one has the impression that the entire landscape is a park. The high concentration of World Heritage Sites within such a small area is unique. The merging of natural heritage with cultural heritage gives this path its special flair.

Mulde Valley Cycle Path, this cycle path runs through extraordinary scenery. The cities and villages along the Mulde offer an insight into the impressive history of the cultural landscape of Saxony-Anhalt. The enormous efforts made since the Reunification to utilize the former open pit mining landscape are visible at the Goitzsche near Bitterfeld.

Altmark Circuit, this path offers pure nature and, at times, runs parallel to the Elbe Cycle Path. Regardless of whether you cycle to the old Hanseatic city of Salzwedel, to Havelberg, Schönhausen, Tangermünde or to Lake Arend, the cleanest lake in Germany, you are able to tour the Altmark, immerse yourself in the region and experience it in many different ways.

There are many bed and bike accommodations available, not only along the Elbe Cycle Path, but also throughout the entire region. A list of around 4,100 accommodations, all ADFC certified, can be found at

Nineteen floodplain trails offer information about species and habitats typical for the area and special characteristics of the different landscapes. These floodplain trails are from one to twelve kilometres long and represent parts of the cultural landscape – tourism, active recreation and building development. Below is a short overview:

  1. “Kühnauer See” Floodplain Trail – path located in the landscaped park of the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm with a viewing tower that reveals the meadowy countryside.
  2. “Neolith-Teich” Viewpoint – more than 85 species of birds call this place home.  Used as a migratory resting place, Neolith Teich is visited by black-headed gulls, bean geese, greater white-fronted geese, starlings and barn swallows.
  3. “Brambach” Floodplain Trail – where do animals flee when in danger?  Why don’t mountain forests extend down to the plains?  Where does the white willow get its name?  These are just some of the questions this floodplain trail attempts to answer.
  4. “Elbaue Aken” Floodplain Trail – here you can find out about the origin and structure of the Elbe.  In addition to knowledge about floodplain vegetation, you can also find out information about floodplain meadows, abandoned channels and floodplain soils.
  5. “Muldeaue” Floodplain Trail – the Mulde River, left undisturbed for millennia, created perfect conditions for a habitat rich in plant and animal species.  Here the special features of abandoned channels among other things are described.
  6. “Oberluch Rosslau” Floodplain Trail – The path touches upon typical elements of the floodplain, reveals shelters of former intensively used areas and enables you to glimpse fragments of former military facilities.
  7. “Kapenniederung” Floodplain Trail - fruit trail, nature trail, willow nature trail, poets trail, trail for the blind – the biosphere reserve’s information centre, located along the Kapenniederung meadow trail is open to everyone.  The exhibit includes a beaver lodge, a flood model and toy models.  Inspired by Prince Franz, fruit growing boomed in the 18th century in Anhalt-Wittenberg.  The task of the fruit trail is to foster acceptance for maintaining this cultural asset and to impart its value for the aesthetic landscape and ecology.
  8. “Dornburg” Floodplain Trail– this floodplain trail encircles a palace built in the middle of the 18th century by the famous master builder F. J. M. Stengel.  One of the palace’s most notable features is its long and romantically overgrow dry stone wall that surrounds it.  Storing heat and water, this wall creates ideal conditions for self-sufficient, heat loving plants.
  9. “Klieken” Floodplain Trail – Klieken floodplain is marked by an annual flood.  The softwood floodplain directly along the Elbe is covered in willows.  Higher up, this turns into a hardwood floodplain which contains English oaks, ash, field elms, the fluttering elm, wild fruit trees and typical native shrubs.
  10. “Gross Rosenburg” Floodplain Trail – this trail offers a glimpse of the European Bird Conservation Area.  Here you get the chance to use the Saale ferry.
  11. “Steckby – Steutz” Floodplain Trail - the origin of the biosphere reserve.  The stark difference in the Elbe floodplain – from highlands to the valley sands of the low terrace, the inland dunes, and the loam blanket of the floodplain that is impacted by groundwater – the constant change between high and low water has created an ecological habitat in which diverse vegetation in need of protection has adapted itself.
  12. “Diebzig–Wulfener Bruch” Floodplain Trail – the area of “Wulfener Bruch” is very important for the formation of the groundwater.  A land ditch plays a special role in this. The periodically wet meadows in Wulfener Bruch arenesting and refuge sites for many species of bird, in particular meadow breeders.
  13. “Marina Camp” Floodplain Trail - near-nature river course, cultivated landscape.   
  14. “Stork village ‘Wahrenberg’” Floodplain Trail – stork life, village community 
  15. “Warnau” Floodplain Trail– old arm of the Havel, polder
  16. “Tangermünde” Floodplain Trail - Elbe-Tanger-Lowland, monastery church in Jerichow
  17. “Ringfurth – Polte” Meadow Trail – Elbe valley floodplain, water pools
  18. “Weinberg Havelberg” Floodplain Trail – Hanseatic city of Havelberg, base of the hillside, highlands
  19. “Stadt- und Auenpfad Arneburg” Floodplain Trail – Old town, shipping, oxbow lake, hillside forest
  20. “Groß Rosenburg” Floodplain Trail – Saale estuary, floodplain forest, dead stream arm

-> Map of the floodplain trails

Informational material (maps etc.) can be obtained at the Information Centre at the Auenhaus located along the B107 Dessau–Oranienbaum or on +49 34904 4060.
The nature conservation station offers guided tours, excursions and talks throughout the entire year. Everything is free of charge to the visitor. You can obtain an events calendar on its website under Events, at the Auenhaus itself or by calling the phone number above.

Horse riders can look forward to a wide range of tourist activities, particularly in the Altmark region located in the northern section of the biosphere reserve.
The largest contiguous bridle path network in Europe of around 1,600 kilometres with dozens of riding stables distributed throughout the region. Riding through untouched nature, quiet forests, expansive meadows and blooming floodplains makes the heart of every horse lover beat faster. Sandy, spacious paths make riding pleasurable.

Special information about this region can be found at

You can obtain a riding map and information about the trails at

Fishing enthusiasts can pursue their hobby along the Elbe and on many other bodies of water in accordance with legal regulations (fishing permit, DAV membership etc.). Here you can catch a range of fish including carp, pike, eel and pikeperch.

More information at or 

The biosphere reserve offers water sport enthusiasts a wide range of opportunities. Harbours, boat piers, hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds – dock here and you will find excellent recreational activities at your disposal. If you are looking to discover the region by water, you will be able to travel through a landscape that is marked by nature and culture.
The Magdeburg Water Bridge is an example of how nature and technology complement one another. Nearly one thousand metres long, this canal bridge across the Elbe is one of the largest ship bridges in the world and certainly an imposing starting point for motorboat lovers.
You can find extensive information such as maps, lists of piers, accommodation and repair points at or at

The Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm was incorporated into the biosphere reserve in 1998 and has been a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right since 2000.
The endeavours of Prince Leopold Friedrich Franz of Anhalt–Dessau (1740 – 1817), who was very ahead of his times, produced the first cohesive early-classicist culture on the European mainland.
His landscape gardens were a scenic expression of these endeavours as well as his intent to design a landscape that merges beauty with utility.
At the core of this cultural landscape are the parks: Wörlitzer Park, Sieglitzer Park, the Luisium, the Georgium, the palace gardens at Oranienbaum, Mosigkau and Kühauner Park. Expansive views are typical in this landscape which allow the visitor to glimpse the classical buildings embedded in the surrounding landscape.

More information is available at or

The Bauhaus in Dessau – The famous Bauhaus building, designed in the 1920s by W. Gropius, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Dessau Masters’ Houses that are a compulsory item on the itinerary of many visitors to the region.
A large number of guided tours, presentations, exhibitions and conferences enable the visitor to obtain extensive information about the history, responsibilities, objectives and upcoming projects.
To find out more, please go to

The Luther Memorials in Wittenberg – Martin Luther lived and worked for many years in Wittenberg. You can still see evidence of his work today.
The great Reformer’s home should definitely be on the list of things to see when you visit. It houses the most extensive and most valuable collection of Reformation history in the world. The Luther Memorials in Wittenberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, include the “thesis” door, the pulpit where he preached and his last resting place in the Castle Church.
For more information, please go to, or Life in Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Havelberg – The golden age of Havelberg is still evident in the carefully maintained and restored architecture of the old town. This island city of 7,000 inhabitants has become a major attraction thanks to its beautiful location and its attractive town centre with restored buildings dating back hundreds of years. The cathedral, the symbol and heart of the city, was dedicated in 1170 and is one stop along the Romanesque Road. 

Tangermünde is a typical northern German city which has retained its Mediaeval appearance on into present day. A Mediaeval castle and the 1,000-year-old city are located on a plateau above the distinctive floodplain landscape at the place where the little Tanger River meets the Elbe. A range of tourist activities in an often historic setting create a special experience for visitors. 

The administrative seat of the northern part of the biosphere reserve is located in Arneburg. It is the oldest city in the Altmark region and is located directly on the Elbe. The city of Stendal is around 10 km away.

Access to nature is often difficult for people with disabilities and senior citizens. Since the demand for barrier-free education is increasing, new opportunities for visitors with a visual impairment have been jointly developed by the association Förder- und Landschaftspflegeverein Biosphärenreservat "Mittlere Elbe" e.V. (FÖLV) and the biosphere reserve’s administration. Since 2005 there has been a small nature trail for blind or visually impaired visitors located at the information centre. Thanks to financial support from Heidehof-Stiftung GmbH Stuttgart, it is currently being expanded.

Timber planks can be found along the forest trail behind the Auenhaus in which animals, native to the region, have left their distinctive tracks. An info board in both writing for the sighted and in Braille offers useful information about each of the animal species.

There is also a tree stump with a woodpecker hole that you can open and reach into. Opposite is a tree stump with tree ant tracks that can be touched. This small educational trail is set to be expanded by other animal tracks and a model of a red ant hill.

The project “Development of extracurricular educational opportunities for the blind and visually impaired at Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve” organized by FÖLV was awarded the title “Official Project of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development for 2006/2007” by the German National Committee.

The youth hostels in the Elbe region are an ideal starting point for educational and adventure tours in the biosphere reserve. The administration of the biosphere reserve and the youth hostels in Magdeburg, Gommern, Dessau-Rosslau and Wittenberg work together in close collaboration. The youth hostels provide interesting activities and are happy to help you in your planning.

More information about the youth hostels in Saxony-Anhalt can be found at:

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