12145
Czech Republic/Germany
A Cycling Journey: The Elbe River From Germany to Czech Republic
On this cycling journey along the Elbe River, discover history and culture at ancient castles, fascinating museums, scenic national parks and Prague’s iconic Old Town.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 12145RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
3,259
Flights start at
950
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14 days
13 nights
24 meals
12 B 0 L 12 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival Berlin, Transfer to Dessau, Bicycle Fitting
Dessau
D
Radisson Blu Hotel Furst Leopold

Activity note: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Motorcoach time approximately 2 hours (100 miles / 161 kilometers). Walking distance is approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer).

Morning: We proceed to Dessau by motorcoach and check into our hotel.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Dessau. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. A support vehicle will accompany the group while biking each day in the event of emergency situations. Thereafter, the driver and vehicle will depart for the hotel to place the luggage in the rooms. Upon arrival in Dessau, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and testing will take place to insure participants are able to safely start, stop, and control their bicycle. Periods in the daily schedule designated as "Free time" and "At leisure" offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase. Dinner each night will follow this description.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Hugo Junkers Museum, Bauhaus Foundation, Free Time
Dessau
B,D
Radisson Blu Hotel Furst Leopold

Activity note: Biking distance is 15 miles (24 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking distance is approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a buffet with meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages. Breakfast each morning will follow this description.

Morning: After a hearty breakfast, we’ll join our Group Leader in the hotel conference room for a presentation on safety, rules of the road, and the IBT Corner System, the way in which we will navigate on the road throughout the course of this program. We’re ready to bicycle and our destination is 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. After our visit, we’ll continue by bike to the Bauhaus Foundation.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in the Bauhaus Mensa.

Afternoon: Attend a lecture on the Bauhaus School of Design and explore the facilities with a docent. The Bauhaus design movement began here in 1925 by architect Walter Gropius. Return to the hotel by bicycle. Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Dessau. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Join your fellow travelers before dinner for group introductions.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
4
Dessau-Wörlitz, Coswig Ferry, Lutherhaus, Schloßkirche
Wittenberg
B,D
Best Western Stadtpalais Wittenberg

Activity note: Biking distance is 24 miles (39 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Ferry transfer time is 15 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our bicycling route will take us to the tranquil Dessau-Wörlitz 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. Enjoy a field trip to this beautiful 18th-century English-style park for a presentation on Wörlitz Castle before boarding a ferry to continue onto Lutherstadt-Wittenberg.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Wittenberg.

Afternoon: Join a local historian for a guided walk and field trip to the Lutherhaus and All Saints' Church to acquaint you with this town known as the cradle of the Reformation. It was in Wittenberg that Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church (also known as Schloßkirche), attacking clerical abuses of the Roman Catholic Church.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
5
Elbe Radweg, Prettin Ferry, Torgau, GDR Lecture
Torgau
B,D
Central-Hotel Torgau

Activity note: Biking distance is 22 miles (35 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Transfer time is approximately 1 hour (20 miles / 32 kilometers). Ferry transfer time is 15 minutes.

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. After a coffee break in Elser, board a motorcoach to the town of Prettin where we stop for lunch.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at a local restaurant in Prettin.

Afternoon: We should arrive in Torgau late afternoon. Before dinner, join a local historian to learn about in life in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Torgau, Hartenfels Castle, Belgern, Mühlberg Ferry
Moritz
B,D
Hotel Moritz an der Elbe

Activity note: Biking distance is 34 miles (55 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Ferry transfer time is 15 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before departing Torgau this morning, accompany a local historian on a walking field trip of the historic Renaissance town center. 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 Große Wendelstein.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Belgern.

Afternoon: Our route takes us south to the village of Moritz, where our hotel has a picturesque view of the river. We cross the river (along with our bikes) on yet another ferry.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
7
Saxon Wine Road, Meissen Porcelain Works
Dresden
B,D
Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden

Activity note: Biking distance is 34 miles (55 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Meissen.

Afternoon: Following lunch, you'll have time to explore Castle Hill, Meissen Cathedral and the old marketplace. Then we're off for a field trip to Meissen Porcelain Works, where we shall visit the demonstration workshop and exhibition hall. Continue by bicycle to Dresden, the capital of Saxony and our home for the next two nights.

Dinner: In the Hotel Elbflorenz dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu buffet plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Dresden, Free Time
Dresden
B,D
Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden

Activity note: There will be no biking today to allow for our visit of Dresden. Walking approximately 2 miles (3.25 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Often referred to as “Florence on the Elbe," Dresden is a city of Baroque architecture, music and culture. A local historian will introduce you to this marvelous city and its fascinating historic architecture during a walking field trip.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Dresden.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Dresden. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore 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). If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a beer or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
9
Bombing Lecture, Saxon Switzerland, Pirna, Bad Schandau
Bad Schandau
B,D
Parkhotel Bad Schandau

Activity note: Biking distance is 33 miles (53 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1/2 miles (0.8 kilometer), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Pirna.

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 freestanding elevator, built in 1904, for a wonderful panoramic view of the Elbe River Valley.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
10
Transfer to Saxon Switzerland National Park, Decín
Usti nad Labem
B,D
Clarion Congress Hotel

Activity note: Biking distance is 33 miles (53 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Transfer time is approximately 1 hour (13 miles / 21 kilometers).

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Following a healthy breakfast, we’ll take a motorcoach 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 skills before the tour so that you are able to converse with the locals along the way!

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Decín.

Afternoon: We’ll encounter a few "undulations" in this part of the Czech Republic as we make our way to Decín, where the castle overlooking the Elbe dominates the city. The basic unit of currency in the Czech Republic is the koruna (Kc) 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 koruna.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Litomerice, Terezín
Litomerice
B,D
Grandhotel SALVA

Activity note: Biking distance is 22 miles (35 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Litomerice.

Afternoon: Just outside the city is the village of Terezín. We’ve arranged a 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 homosexuals. Today, it is the site of two fortresses, numerous memorials, a ghetto museum and a Jewish cemetery.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
12
Melník Castle, Transfer to Prague
Prague
B,D
Best Western Plus Hotel Meteor Plaza

Activity note: Biking distance is 30 miles (48 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Transfer time is approximately 1 hour (22 miles / 35 kilometers).

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 Melník Castle with its 13th-century wine cellar.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Melník.

Afternoon: After lunch (and an emotional farewell to the bicycles), we board a motorcoach for Prague (or Praha, as the Czech call it). We arrive late afternoon with time to explore this magnificent city before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Prague, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
Prague
B,D
Best Western Plus Hotel Meteor Plaza

Activity note: There will be no biking today to allow for our visit of Prague. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We take you on a field trip to discover the history of Prague. To describe the capital of the Czech Republic would take a lot of pages. We suggest you obtain a guide book to read about Prague before getting there. It is a city perfectly suitable for walking around.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Prague.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Prague. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore fascinating museums such as the National Museum, Jewish Museum or National Gallery. If you want to relax, seek out one of Prague's historic coffeehouses for a drink and a snack.

Dinner: Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends at the farewell dinner in a local restaurant featuring a four-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
14
Program Concludes, Departures
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out time is 11:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. Transfer from the hotel to the airport is approximately 40 minutes (11 miles / 18 kilometers).

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Václav Havel Airport Prague for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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