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Cycle Tour Iron Curtain Tour, part 3 Gdynia-Aš

Travel report: Langs Polens og Tysklands nordkyst samt den tidligere indre tyske grænse



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Elevation profile Cycle Tour Iron Curtain Tour, part 3 Gdynia-AšDarłowoKołobrzegNiechorze- Latarnia morskaŚwinoujścieHistorisch-Technisches Museum PeenemündeSchloss LudwigsburgGreifswaldReinbergStralsund AltstadtBarthAhrenshoopWarnemündeRerikDorfkircheDreveskirchenWismar AltstadtSchlossgut Groß SchwanseeSchloss JohannstorfLauenburgElbschloss BleckedeHitzackerMuseum Festung DömitzZonengrenz-Museum HelmstedtHornburgKloster IlsenburgKloster WalkenriedGrenzlandmuseum EichsfeldBad Sooden-Allendorf AltstadtEschwege AltstadtWanfriedTreffurtMihlaEisenach AltstadtSchloss PhilippsthalWasserschloss IrmelshausenKronach0200400600800100005010015020025030035040045050055060065070075080085090095010001050110011501200125013001350140014501500155016001650170017501800185019001950

Added on 13 Feb 2020,

on 14 Jun 2023

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cc0: Public Domain no Rights reserved

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by Ottocolor on 25 Apr 2023

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Start location

Gdynia, PL (14 m NHN)

End location

Aš, KA, CZ (684 m NHN)


Five weeks of single-handed cycling holiday with accommodation in my tent and with cooking equipment, 36 days: two transport days, 26 cycle stages and eight rest days. The rest days are planned in Ustka, Świnoujście, Travemuende Priwall, Eckertal, Wahlhausen, Eisenach, Kronach and Aš. Contains four ferry crossings: Gdynia-Hel (19 km), Peenemuende-Freest (2 km) as well as the harbour crossings at Świnoujście and Warnemünde. Besides there's an opportunity to shorten the route by 17 km by taking a boat from Ludwigsburg to Greifswald. 

I'll find my accommodation mostly in my tent at campsites. On five places (in Eisenach (two nights), in Stralsund, in Wismar, in Kronach (two nights) and on the last two nights in Aš (Czech Republic) i plan to sleep at hotels, and on one place (at Eckertal, two nights, camping in nature.

I plan to cycle the trip in May/June 2023., 8th May to 12th June.

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18 Feb 2020 - 29 Apr 2023

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The first week in Poland I will cycle through many seaside resorts along the Polish Baltic sea coast with good holiday service in many towns and villages, but also wild nature in spacious coniferous forests and large lakes behind narrow spits towards the sea. One of them is the long peninsula of Hel, to which I go by boat from Gdynia, the only Polish city I pass through. It has one of Poland's biggest ports. Larger towns are Ustka, Kołobrzeg and the border town of Świnoujście.

The last four weeks take place in Germany, of which the first week leads along the former GDR's Baltic Sea coast. Here many holiday resorts with associated "disturbance" of nature are commonplace, but I can also mention old military installations (theme!) e.g. in Peenemünde and beautiful old Hanseatic cities such as Greifswald, Stralsund and Wismar. Nevertheless, I'll also pass through large nature reserves and national parks such as "Insel Usedom" and "Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft". Here my route follows the well-designed and well-signposted German Baltic Sea cycle route. Parts of it runs in a low-lying and partially swampy coastal landscape with lakes and fjords, large forests and dunes. Where the route follows the Baltic Sea coast itself, the beach is mostly a fine sandy beach with dunes behind it. Large coastal forests, where the trees grow all the way onto the beach, are not rare either. Elsewhere, there are high cliffs with fine views of the Baltic Sea, unless it is foggy. But in many places I have to negotiate elongated towns and villages with seafront promenades and large hotels. Germany's coastline is relatively short for the 86 million Germans, quite a few of whom like to spend their holiday along it. That is why the nature reserves are very important. I leave out the island of Ruegen, just as I left out the Estonian islands on part 1 of the Iron Curtain route.

The last three weeks of the cycling holiday are devoted to "the inner German border". This part of the iron curtain was especially noticeable and absurd, as it cut a country in two halves. Therefore, the border course is marked in many places with memories from and about that time. It can be remnants of border fortifications such as fences and watchtowers, museums (of which I at least visit one in Schifflersgrund on the rest day in Wahlhausen) commemorative plaques and signs and even military hardware and art. I make sure to cross the border line countless times, and thus hopefully have many "border-crossing" experiences. In a few places I cycle on the original "Kolonnenweg" (patrol road), which consists of concrete slabs with holes in them. Not easy to pass with a big pack, but the border isn't felt more authentic than on these stretches.

The terrain also becomes quite challenging, especially in ridges such as the Harz and Rhön, which were cut in halves by the border with all its fortifications and means of security.  I intend to climb the eminence of the Brocken on the rest day from Eckteral, so it will be without pack. But also on the last stretch between Thuringia and Bavaria, where the main direction of the route is east, but with many large bends to the north and south, there are many hills and low mountains to climb like the Thuringia Forest and the Frankenwald, which  probably will make me sweat a lot. On the other hand, much nature with large forests and grasslands has been preserved. Towns and villages are often neat with many old houses that are looked after and cared for. Ordnung muss sein in Germany. Luckily so. In some places, I'll pass villages that were cut apart by the border, which after all divided not only Germany, but the West from the East. With capital letters. Examples are Böckwitz/Zicherie between Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony and Mödlareuth between Thuringia and Bavaria.

As a matter of fact, I omit the most absurd and completely grotesque border stretch in Berlin along the "Wall". There is a cycle route here as well, which I must do as an Iron Carpet Route "Special edition" sometime.

Otherwise, I finish part 3 (after part 1 Klaidpeda-Grense Jakobselv and part 2 Klaipeda-Gdynia) shortly after the inner German border ends and the German-Czech border begins in the Czech town of Aš.

Part 4, which will run from Aš to Szeged in Hungary, close to the border with Romania, is already in the pipeline. And, God willing, I will continue one day, or rather many days, all the way to the place where the Bulgarian/Turkish border meets the Black Sea.

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18 Feb 2020 - 17 Oct 2022

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Travel to and from ...

OUTBOUND: Train transport from Odense to Karlskrona (Sweden) with an interchange at Copenhagen central station. Short bike trip from Karlskrona central st. to the ferry port. Ferry crossing with Stena Line to Gdynia.

HOMEBOUND: Train transport from Aš 8.08 am with three interchanges at Hof Hbf, Bamberg and Hamburg Hbf. Arrival in Odense 8.18 pm


81 km


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19 km


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79 km


47 km


58 km


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95 km


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83 km


109 km


87 km


84 km


27 km


46 km


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34 km


81 km


10 km


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71 km


54 km

Irmelshausen-Bad Rodach

67 km

Bad Rodach-Kronach

6 km


91 km


71 km


Beds4Cyclists, worth visiting and infrastructure

Name and address

Latitude / Longitude


Type of accommodation

Rating for cyclists

Route km
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37 km
0,4 km
0 m


PL-84-140 Jastarnia


Tourist information


74 km
0,1 km
3 m


PL-84-105 Karwia




82 km
4,7 km
23 m

PL-84-112 Żarnowiec



Monastery Church in Żarnowcu
Monastery Church in Żarnowcu
Monastery Church in Żarnowiec
Monastery Church in Żarnowiec

Das Kloster Zarnowitz ist ein ehemaliges Zisterzienser- und späteres Benediktiner-Nonnenkloster in Zarnowitz in der historischen Region Westpreußen.

Das Kloster Oliva gründete in Zarnowitz vor 1235 eine Filiale für Nonnen des Zisterzienserordens. Während der Reformationszeit wurde das Kloster aufgelöst. Anschließend wurde das Kloster von Nonnen des Benediktinerordens in Kulm aufgekauft, in ein selbständiges Benediktiner-Nonnenkloster umgewandelt und mit neuem Leben erfüllt. Im Rahmen des preußischen Kulturkampfs gegen Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts wurde das Kloster erneut geschlossen. Grund und Boden wurden von einem Treuhänder übernommen. Das Kloster mit seinen Wirtschaftsgebäuden wurde als landwirtschaftlicher Betrieb genutzt, ein Zustand, der bis 1945 anhielt. Bald darauf wurde das Kloster vom Benediktinerinnen-Orden neu gegründet. Das Inventar war erhalten geblieben.

Den Innenraum der Klosterkirche schmückt ein gotisches Sternengewölbe. Die Orgel von 1889 stammt aus Elbing Wikipedia Icon. Die Kirche enthält Kunstgegenstände aus verschiedenen Epochen, darunter:

  • eine aus polychromem Holz geschnitzte Pietà aus dem Jahr 1430
  • eine gotische Skulptur aus dem Jahr 1415, die die hl. Katharina darstellt
  • handgedruckte und teilweise von den Nonnen selbst handgeschriebene Messbücher aus dem 15. bis 18. Jahrhundert
  • eine hölzerne Christus-Skulptur aus der ersten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts
  • sechs Barock-Altäre aus dem 17. bis 18. Jahrhundert
  • eine Barock-Taufschüssel aus der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts
  • eine Kanzel im Rokoko-Stil aus der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts
  • eine Barock-Stele von 1719
  • einen bebilderten Hochaltar von 1700 mit Silberbekleidungen, die von Danziger Goldschmieden gefertigt wurden
  • zwei kunsthistorisch kostbare Seitenaltäre aus dem 17. Jahrhundert

In der Mitte des Kirchenschiffs befindet sich das Grab des Ordensritters Fritz Raveneck († 1462), der während der Schlacht bei Schwetzin fiel und dessen Leichnam seine Krieger hierher brachten. Sein Grab schmückt ein Epitaph aus Marmor, das den Ritter in Lebensgröße zeigt. In der Kirche befindet sich außerdem eine Grabplatte des Grabes der Anna Gruduel († 1512) aus Putzig. Weitere Skulpturen aus dem 15. bis 18. Jahrhundert befinden sich im Kreuzgang des Klosters. Zahlreiche Messgewänder und Ornate aus dem 17. und 18. Jahrhundert sind erhalten geblieben; sie sind denjenigen vergleichbar, die man Anfang der 30er Jahre des 20. Jahrhunderts in einer Nische der Danziger Marienkirche Wikipedia Icon eingemauert vorfand.

In der Schatzkammern des Klosters befindet sich eine versilberte und vergoldete Reliquienbüste der hl. Ursula aus dem zweiten Viertel des 15. Jahrhunderts. In der Schatzkammer des Klosters werden Textilproben aufbewahrt, die die Mustervielfalt der in der Klosterschule gelehrten kaschubischen Stickerei-Kunst dokumentieren. Außerdem enthält die Schatzkammer Mess-Utensilien wie Kelche, ein kostbares Choralbuch aus dem Jahr 1458 und weitere prunkvolle Gesangbücher aus demselben Zeitraum.

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Seite „Kloster Zarnowitz“. In: Wikipedia, Die freie Enzyklopädie. Bearbeitungsstand: 16. Mai 2012, 22:21 UTC. URL: Wikipedia Icon (Abgerufen: 26. Dezember 2012, 14:29 UTC)

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26 Dec 2012 - 21 Dec 2022

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124 km
4,8 km
4 m


PL-84-360 Łeba


Boardinghouse / guest house


183 km
0,0 km
14 m


PL-76-270 Ustka







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