The Elbe and its tributaries

With a length of 1,094 km, 727 km of which are in Germany, the Elbe is the second longest river in the Federal Republic. From the headwaters in Saxony, it runs in a north westerly direction through Magdeburg and Hamburg, reaching its mouth in Cuxhaven at the North Sea coast. Along its banks are numerous different landscapes including; forests, meadows, sand dunes, ragged banks, extensive flood plains and bleak fenlands. Rarely does a river offer such idyllic settings as the Elbe. National parks and nature reserves, rich in nature and wildlife line its banks. Observant nature lovers may spot the rare black stork, the white-tailed sea eagle or the beaver in their natural habitat.

Due to the strong currents, the river is considered rather challenging by water sports enthusiasts, yet along its tributaries (the Havel, the Schwarze Elster, the Oster) there are numerous opportunities for water sports: These range from leisure sailing or motor boat excursions, trips in canoes or kayaks, to more action-packed activities such as water skiing or wakeboarding.

Bremervörde Harbour is the last navigable, tide-dependent harbour on the Lower Oste River and is considered a hidden gem amongst boating enthusiasts. Bremervörde Harbour lies approximately 68 km from the Elbe at Neuhaus and can be reached with the rising tide in approximately six hours.

The traditional Hanseatic harbour town of Buxtehude features a tide-dependent landing stage for passenger ships and motor launches and, thus often serves as a gateway for trips on the Este or Elbe.

Houseboats in Brandenburg - (c) TMB, Fotoarchiv TV Havelland e.V.

Those travelling with a charter permit have a wide range of water to move around in, as the Havel in Potsdam as well as the Lower Havel waterway (from Brandenburg on the Havel to Quitzöbel) is navigable without a licence.

The many faces of the Trave are displayed along the route from the Holstein Hügelland to the Baltic Sea. Whether canoeists are looking for forests or meadows, straight sections or meanders, wild or gentle waters, they are sure to enjoy the diversified countryside along the 60 km stretch of water between Warderbrück and Lübeck.

The Upper Oste begins as a heathland stream near Tostedt, running through moorland and forest areas before ending in a meadow stream. This diverse landscape, offering a haven of calm and relaxation, makes the river particularly popular with water hikers.

The Stör is the largest tributary of the Elbe in north Germany. From the Elbe to deep in land the Stör and its tributaries have become an attractive area for canoeists.

On the Ilmenau, Gerdau and Elbe-Seitenkanal canoeists have the opportunity to experience the untouched moorland surrounding Uelzen-Westerweyhe. The rural tranquillity is only seldom interrupted by urban areas, allowing you to discover a wealth of plants and animals in their natural habitats.

The maritime countryside around the Lower Elbe is an exciting area for sports boats with a large variety of harbours: lively city harbours and harbour basins between enchanting old towns which invite you to moor. The tides determine the rhythm.

Vörde Lake in Bremervörde is a picturesque area, not far from the city, perfect for sailing, surfing, rowing or pedal boating. With a depth of 2 m and a maximum length of 1,150 m, the 45-hectare lake is also suitable for rowing regattas.


Koordinierungsstelle Elbetal
bei der Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt

Außenstelle Stendal

Rotdornweg 10 a
39576 Stendal