Road Scholar : Home
Bicycling the Elbe River Valley

Program Number: 12145RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/25/2013 - 6/7/2013; 6/20/2015 - 7/3/2015; 9/5/2015 - 9/18/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Czech Republic/Germany
Price starting at: $3,338.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 24; 12 Breakfasts, 0 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

From a riverside thicket comes a cuckoo bird’s plaintive call. Pedal around a river bend to the majestic sight of Germany’s oldest castle. Later, Saxon Switzerland’s sandstone cliffs rise 600 feet into the clouds. On an extraordinary biking adventure, experience Germany along the storied Elbe River, through lush countryside and sleepy villages to the Meissen Porcelain Works. Learn about life in the former German Democratic Republic and cap your journey exploring Prague’s Old Town in the romance of a fairy-tale skyline.




Highlights

• With an expert, explore the Bauhaus School of design, founded in 1925 by Walter Gropius.
• Experience the cradle of the Reformation in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door.
• Bike nearly 200 miles in the former German Democratic Republic and hear stories of Dresden’s rise from the ashes of the WWII bombing.



Activity Particulars

Bike 15-40 miles daily at 11 mph, frequent breaks. Mostly flat bike paths, some paved secondary roads. Personal bike helmet required.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Berlin (Germany); coach to Dessau, 2 nights; bike to Wittenberg, 1 night; bike to Torgau, 1 night; bike to Moritz, 1 night; bike to Dresden, 2 nights; bike to Bad Schandau, 1 night; bike to Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic), 1 night; bike to Roudnice, 1 night; coach to Prague, 2 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Berlin (Germany)
Coach to Dessau
2 nights

At the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and Masters' Houses, take an in-depth look at the significance of Bauhaus design and the life and work of aircraft designer Hugo Junkers. Walk through the 18th-century, English-style Worlitz park and castle created by Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt. In the evening, learn “survival” German and sample regional cuisine at village inns.



Bike to Wittenberg
1 night
Bike to Torgau
1 night
Bike to Moritz
1 night
Bike to Dresden
2 nights

Delve into the history of Torgau, life in the former DDR, Meissen porcelain production and the Saxon Switzerland National Park. With local experts, discover the role of Martin Luther at the Luther House and Castle Church in Wittenberg and explore Hartenfels Castle in Torgau, Meissen Porcelain Works and the sandstone Bastei Bridge. Entering Dresden, discover the city’s history and architectural treasures, including the Semper Opera House, the baroque Zwinger Palace and the Frauenkirche.



Bike to Bad Schandau
1 night
Bike to Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic)
1 night
Bike to Roudnice
1 night

Continue on a flat path along the Elbe River to “Saxon Switzerland” -- an area of rugged cliffs and bizarre sandstone rock formations that extends along the Elbe River between Pirna, Germany and the city of Decin in the Czech Republic. Bicycling into the Czech Republic, pay a visit to the former Terezin concentration camp and the Renaissance castle of the venerable Lobkowitz family in Melnik.



Coach to Prague
2 nights
Departure

Amid the ornate Astronomical Clock on Old Town Hall and the dazzling blend of Baroque façades and Gothic spires dotting the skyline, discover the story and lives behind the Czech Republic’s cultural and political center. Explore Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto, and sample local Bohemian cuisine at a unique, Old World Czech restaurant.




Accommodations
Dessau: Hotel near lake. Wittenberg: Hotel in heart of city. Torgau: Quality hotel. Moritz: Hotel in Elbe River countryside. Dresden: Hotel in heart of city. Bad Schandau: Riverside hotel. Usti nad Labem: Four-star hotel. Roudnice: Hotel in town square. Prague: Historic hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Days Inn Dessau
  Dessau, Germany 2 nights
   Best Western Stadtpalais Wittenberg
  Wittenberg, Germany 1 night
   Central Hotel
  Torgau, Germany 1 night
   Hotel Moritz an der Elbe
  Moritz, Germany 1 night
   Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden
  Dresden, Germany 2 nights
   Park Hotel Bad Schandau
  Bad Schandau, Germany 1 night
   Hotel Vladimir
  Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic 1 night
   Amber Hotel U Sv Vavrince
  Roudnice, Czech Republic 1 night
   Hotel Meteor Plaza
  Prague, Czech Republic 2 nights
 Days Inn Dessau
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Situated in a quiet area just outside the Bauhaus city of Dessau.
  Contact info: Sonnenallee 4
Dessau,  06842 Germany
phone: +49 351 21777 455
web: www.daysinndessau.com
  Room amenities: Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer, Free WiFi Internet Access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Proximity to Swimming Lake " Adria" , Sauna, Solarium
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel To book a room prior to the start of the program, please contact the hotel directly.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Best Western Stadtpalais Wittenberg
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the middle of the historic district of Lutherstadt Wittenberg close to the Luther House.
  Contact info: Collegienstrasse 56-57
Lutherstadt Wittenberg,  06886 Germany
phone: +49 349 14 250
web: www.stadtpalais.bestwestern.de
  Room amenities: Minibar, Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer, Free WIFI internet Access, Alarm Clock, Safe Deposit Box
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Elevator, Comfortable Lobby with Piano, Outdoor Terrace, Sauna
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Central Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the historic district of Torgau.
  Contact info: Friedrichplatz 8
Torgau,  04860 Germany
phone: +49 342 173280
web: www.central-hotel-torgau.de
  Room amenities: Television, Telephone, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Terrace, Breakfast Restaurant, Elevator
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Moritz an der Elbe
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in a scenic garden beside the Elbe River.
  Contact info: Dorfstrasse 2
Moritz,  01619 Germany
phone: +49 352 551230
web: www.hotel-moritz.de
  Room amenities: Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer, Minibar, WIFI internet access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Garden Terrace, Beer Garden
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of the Capital of Saxony, Dresden.
  Contact info: Rosenstrasse 36
Dresden,  01067 Germany
phone: +49 351 86400
web: www. hotel-elbflorenz.de
  Room amenities: Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Lobby Bar & Lounge, Sauna, Solarium
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Park Hotel Bad Schandau
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Set in its own garden by the riverside promenade along the Elbe River. Some accommodations in a former villa.
  Contact info: Rudolf-Sendig Strasse 12
Bad Schandau,  01814 Germany
phone: +49 350 22520
web: www.parkhotel-bad-schandau.de
  Room amenities: Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Health Spa, Gardens, Terrace, Sauna
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Vladimir
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Convenient city location not far from the bike path.
  Contact info: Masarykova 36
Ústi nad Labem,  40001 Czech Republic
phone: +420 47 5235111
web: www.hotelvladimir.cz
  Room amenities: Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer, Air- Conditioning, Minibar, Safe, Free WIFI internet access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Pilsner Pub Terrace, Hotel Sauna, Fitness Center
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Amber Hotel U Sv Vavrince
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Located on the historic town square of Roudnice nad Labem.
  Contact info: Karlovo namesti 20
Roudnice nad Labem,  41301 Czech Republic
phone: +420 41 6838215
web: www.amberhotels.cz
  Room amenities: TV, Telephone, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Tiled Interior Courtyard
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Meteor Plaza
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the center of Prague near the Powder Gate.
  Contact info: Hybernska 6
Praha 1,  110 00 Czech Republic
phone: +420 22 4192111
web: www.hotel-meteor.cz
  Room amenities: Satellite Television, Telephone, Hairdryer, Free WIFI internet access, Safe, Minibar, Coffee/Tea Maker
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Wine Cellar, Whirpool, Sauna
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Based on availability. Additional nights at the conclusion of the program can be made upon request.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
10:30 AM - Transfer from Berlin Tegel Airport to Dessau hotel for bike fitting and testing. You will be staying at Days Inn Dessau that night.
  End of Program:
Program departures before/after breakfast contingent on group flight departures. You will be staying at Hotel Meteor Plaza the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
There may be an additional fee.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Yes, see above.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Dessau
  Nearest airport:  Berlin
  Transportation to site: Take the No. X9 or 109 airport bus to Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten train station. The transfer time is 15 minutes. From the station, take a train to Dessau. On arrival in Dessau, take a taxi to the hotel Grand City Parkhotel Dessau, Sonnenallee 4, Dessau/Rosslau. Telephone: 0340 21 000
  From End of Program
  Location:  Prague
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from the hotel to the Prague Ruyne Airport. Travel time is 20 minutes.
Equipment Requirements: Participants must bring and wear their own bicycle helmet.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight Flight
(Saturday, May 25)
   
 Afternoon: Board an overnight flight to Germany.

Day 2: Arrive in Germany/Bicycle Fitting/Welcome dinner
(Sunday, May 26)
   
 Morning: Arrival at Berlin Tegel Airport and transfer by coach to the hotel in Dessau.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We’ll fit your bicycle to you to assure a safe, comfortable program.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn Dessau
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Bauhaus Foundation/Hugo Junkers Museum/Group Introductions
(Monday, May 27)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: After a hearty breakfast, we will present a lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. We’re ready to bicycle and our destination is the Bauhaus Foundation, where we’ve arranged a lecture on the Bauhaus school of design started here in 1925 by architect Walter Gropius.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Having renewed our energies with lunch, we’ll continue to the Hugo Junkers Aircraft Museum for a lecture and field trip. The museum will give us insight into the versatility of Junker’s works, from home construction to aircraft. Following our visit to the museum, we’ll enjoy an excursion to the old town of Dessau before returning to the hotel.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: Learn about your fellow travelers at group introductions.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn Dessau
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Dessau-Worlitz Garden Realm/Luther House/Castle Church
(Tuesday, May 28)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our bicycling route will take us to the tranquil Dessau-Worlitz Garden Realm, created over 200 years ago by Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt, a social reformer and champion of the Age of Enlightenment. We’ll take a field trip to this beautiful 18th century English-style park for a lecture on Wörlitz Castle before continuing to Lutherstadt-Wittenberg.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We’ve scheduled a lecture and field trip to the Luther House and Castle Church to acquaint you with this town known as the cradle of the Reformation. It was in Wittenberg that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door, attacking the Roman Catholic Church’s policy of selling indulgences.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Stadtpalais Wittenberg
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Elbe Radweg/Bicycle toTorgau / GDR Lecture
(Wednesday, May 29)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our cycling continues along the scenic Elbe Radweg (bicycle path) through picturesque countryside. We’re never far from the river as we follow the winding paths through pastures and tiny villages. Along the way, we’ll pass a restored grain mill that is seemingly standing guard over an out-of-service cable drawn ferry near the village of Elster.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We should arrive in Torgau late afternoon. Before dinner, we have arranged a lecture on life in the former GDR.
 Dinner: Local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Historic Torgau/Hartenfels Castle/Belgern
(Thursday, May 30)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Before departing this morning, we’ve arranged a lecture and field trip of the historic Renaissance town center of Torgau. In the 16th century, Torgau was the political center of the Reformation and the favored residence of the electors of Saxony. Today, it is home to Hartenfels Castle with its famed spiral staircase, the Grosser Wendelstein.
 Lunch: We continue to the town of Belgern, where you can explore local fare on your own in the old market square.
 Afternoon: Our route takes us south to the village of Moritz, where our hotel has a picturesque view of the river.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Moritz an der Elbe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Saxon Wine Road/Meissen Porcelain Works
(Friday, May 31)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: The Elbe is to our right as we continue along the bike path to the beautiful city of Meissen, known the world over for its porcelain bearing the trademark of crossed blue swords. We’ll be bicycling through an area known as the Saxon Wine Road, with vineyards lining the slopes of the valley.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, you'll have time to explore Castle Hill, Meissen Cathedral and the old market square. Then we're off for a lecture at Meissen Porcelain Works, where we shall visit the demonstration workshop and exhibition hall. We continue to Dresden, the capital of Saxony and our home for the next two nights.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Dresden/Explore Dresden
(Saturday, June 1)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Often referred to as “Florence on the Elbe," Dresden is a city of Baroque architecture, music and culture. We’ve planned a lecture and walking field trip with a local historian to introduce you to this marvelous city.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free for independent exploration of the many architectural treasures of the Old Town such as the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger Palace, the Green Vault or the reconstructed Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Dresden Bombing/Saxon Switzerland/Bad Schandau
(Sunday, June 2)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Before departure, we'll enjoy a lecture on the World War II Bombing of Dresden. We are entering one of the most scenic areas of the Elbe River Valley as our journey continues southeast of Dresden into “Saxon Switzerland," where the scenery is almost as dramatic as the Alps. This area of rugged cliffs and bizarre sandstone rock formations extends along the Elbe River between Pirna, Germany and the city of Dìèin in the Czech Republic. The stone formations are at least 100 million years old and the soft stone has been sculpted over time by wind and water into dramatic columns of stone. Don’t worry about bicycling up mountains however, as our route follows the flat bicycle path along the Elbe River.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Our destination for the night is the spa resort of Bad Schandau. On arrival, you may want to enjoy a ride on the unique 50-meter high freestanding elevator, built in 1904, for a wonderful panoramic view of the Elbe River Valley.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Park Hotel Bad Schandau
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Saxon Switzerland National Park/Arrive Czech Republic
(Monday, June 3)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Following a healthy breakfast, we’ll take a coach to the Saxon Switzerland National Park for a lecture and field trip to the Basteibrücke, (a bastion cliff formation), high above the Elbe River with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. After returning to the hotel, we’ll mount our bicycles once again and say “Auf Wiedersehen” (goodbye) to Germany and “Dobrý den” (hello) to the Czech Republic. You might want to practice your Czech language before the tour so that you are able to converse with the natives along the way!
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We’ll encounter a few “undulations” in this part of the Czech Republic as we make our way to Decin, where the castle overlooking the Elbe dominates the city. The basic unit of currency in the Czech Republic is the koruna (Kž) and it is a good idea to have a few in your pocket. At lunch today, we can exchange your remaining Euros or Dollars into Korunas
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Vladimir
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Litomerice/Camp Terezín
(Tuesday, June 4)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our journey continues as we make our way along the Elbe to Litomerice, where we’ll visit the town square to view the variety of well-maintained buildings from the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance periods.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Just outside the city is the village of Terezín. We’ve arranged a lecture and field trip to the notorious camp Terezín (Theresienstadt in German), the “model” Jewish ghetto, where a cruel trick by Heinrich Himmler duped the world and left thousands to die. Built originally as a fortress in 1780 by Joseph II to defend Bohemia from Prussian incursions, it never served its original purpose. Instead, it was taken over during World War II by the occupying Nazi forces as a transit camp for political prisoners, Jews, Gypsies and gays. Today, it is the site of two fortresses, numerous memorials, a ghetto museum and a Jewish cemetery.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Amber Hotel U Sv Vavrince
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Melník/Lobkowitz Château/Coach to Prague
(Wednesday, June 5)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our last day on the bicycle! Our morning ride will take us to the town of Melník, situated at the confluence of the Elbe and the Moldau rivers, for an excursion to the Renaissance Lobkowitz Château with its 13th-century wine cellar.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: After lunch in Melník and an emotional farewell to the bicycles, we board a bus for Prague (or Praha, as the Czechs call it). We arrive late afternoon with time to explore this magnificent city before dinner.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Meteor Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Prague/Free Afternoon/Farewell dinner
(Thursday, June 6)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We take you on a walking field trip for a lecture on the history of Prague. To describe the capital of the Czech Republic would take a lot of pages. We suggest you obtain a copy of Frommer’s Prague and the Best of the Czech Republic, or a similar guide, and read about Prague before getting there. It is a city perfectly suitable for walking around.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Prague or relax at a sidewalk café in the heart of the city.
 Dinner: At a unique old-world Czech restaurant in the heart of the Old Town.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Meteor Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure
(Friday, June 7)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Airport for return flight.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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