Hot on the heels of monks on a just under 1,000 kilometre pilgrimage: the Monks' Trail is a long-distance cycle path from Bremen to Puttgarden on the island of Fehmarn (or vice versa). Cyclists are advised to step on it, lap up the noise of their slipstream and clear their minds, and then put their heart and soul into learning about what is now history.
Do you want to go on a pilgrimage on two wheels, or, even better, a varied cycling holiday that allows plenty of time to "change down a gear"? Whatever you decide, the Monks' Trail takes you on a journey back in time through the countryside and culture of northern Germany, past nature reserves, marshland and moors, water mills, through natural forests and with views of sprawling meadows. Along streets lined with thatched half-timbered houses that you will only find here, and through historic places to centuries-old fieldstone and brick churches that still dominate the northern German landscape, for instance St. Catherine's Church in Bliedersdorf on the route from Harsefeld to Stade or the oldest church on the Monks' Trail in Bornhöved on the stretch between Bad Segeberg and Plön. There are fascinating experiences to be had on the Monks' Trail: take a break from everyday life, get back to nature, enjoy the white sandy beach in Grömitz and explore. Find your inner child at the "Himmelspforten" Christmas village or visit Bad Segeberg, where important "battles" were fought in 1227 and again centuries later at the Karl May Festival. This is a pilgrimage with a heart and soul. You can even meet monks on the Monks' Trail – in Nütschau Priory at the end of a very long journey.
Total length of route: just under 1,000 km
Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes
Starts/arrival options: train stations in Bremen or Puttgarden on Fehmarn
Ends/departure options: Puttgarden on Fehmarn or Bremen
About the route: most roads are paved; gears are recommended for Holstein Switzerland; the route is completely signposted in both directions; signposted with a bicycle symbol, distance marker and the blue Monks' Trail logo
For information (in German) on accommodation, including those offering extra services for cyclists, bike hire facilities, repairs, electric bike charging stations, GPS data/elevation
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