The state of Brandenburg around Berlin is a paradise for biking, and we’ve spent many a happy day riding through forests and countrysides, past lakes, villages and orchards. From Berlin you can catch a train to any of numerous towns that can act as a starting point and then with the help of google maps and signposts, find your way to another town from where you can take the train back to Berlin. This weekend we headed off to Fürstenberg with a friend who felt like going for a bike ride on her birthday.
Fürstenberg is situated on the river Havel, and it took us about an hour to get there from Berlin. Within about 15 minutes when we were already on a path in the forest, one of my husband’s tire tubes blew with a big bang. It was a reminder that it’s a good idea to carry spare tubes, a pump, a patching kit and a few tools for changing a tire. We had some, but not all, of the above, so I lent him my bike to cycle back to town and buy a new tyre and pump while my friend and I sat in the forest with a wary eye on the ginormous ants that were scurrying around in the grass.
Tyre changed and crisis averted, we continued on our route heading to Himmelpfort and then in the direction of Grosser Lychensee. We cycled past some beautiful lakes and also past the tracks for a “Draisine”, which I recognized from having ridden on before. A Draisine is a very fun contraption that you should try if you’re ever in Brandenburg. Basically it’s like a cart with two sets of pedals for pedellers (and place for a third person to sit) that you pedal down out-of-use railway tracks. You can find more information on how to rent a Draisine here. It’s a great summer day out because you can pedal to the lake, have a picnic and swim, and then pedal back again.
However this time we were pedaling on bikes, not Draisinen. At some point we decided to stop and have lunch and followed signs to the restaurant of Seehotel Lindenhof that had a terrace with a view onto the lake Wurlsee. The lunch prices were a little on the pricey side but it was an amazing view onto the lake and made for a relaxing lunch. I’d definitely stop there again for a coffee and cake.
Soon after leaving Wurlsee, we arrived in the town of Lychen, which still had medieval city walls and some original old houses. It looked like a lovely place and I’d like to go back another time.
On our trip we’d also passed through some villages, and many of the gardens and houses were decorated for the Easter season, with Easter egg trees and bunny ornaments.
After leaving Lychen we entered into a long wooded section with many hills, so lots of biking up and downhill. I accused my husband of managing to find the highest hills in Brandenburg. Probably they are not really the highest hills, but they did require some work. However it was worth it for the lovely rides downhill, and I really enjoyed this section of the trip. You can’t have the great downhill freewheeling stretches without a bit of work for the uphills.
Once the ground leveled out a bit we had some flatter forested sections, some village crossings, vast agricultural fields, and then arrived in Templin.
Templin is in fact the second largest town in Brandenburg, located in the Uckermark region, and has beautiful riverside paths, some fine historical buildings and, as we were excited to find out when planning our bike ride, a big spa called NaturTherme Templin.
Before heading to the spa we decided to have some coffee and cake at a cafe with a river view. After this our friend told us that it really had been the perfect day so far, and she is (self-confessedly) picky.
The cherry on top was then the visit to Naturtherme Templin. We cycled there, had showers and hopped into the pools to try everything out. The spa has a wave pool, jacuzzis, warm salt pool, water slides, and massaging water cascades and was both relaxing and fun. There’s also a sauna, which has a separate entry ticket. Like all saunas in Germany it is a naked sauna, so be aware.
Our day was completed. Tired, we cycled back to Templin train station and awaited our train back to Berlin.
Here is more or less the direction we took, although it does not illustrate the actual bike paths.