Distance from Kiel to Lubeck
Distance from Kiel to Lubeck: 87km
It’s no surprise that the country which gave us car makes such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi also gave us great roads on which to drive them. Germany’s road trip routes are nearly as famous as its autobahns, transporting travellers to iconic castles, leafy vineyards, alpine mountains and fairytale villages.
Following these well-known roads opens up Germany’s rural charm and medieval wonders - and having your own transport gives you the pleasure of going at your own holiday pace. The harder problem? Picking which one to do first!
Arriving at Kiel with Stena Line brings you straight onto the Baltic Coast route. Packed with maritime heritage, steep cliffs and gentle bays, this is where Germany’s elite like to holiday when they fancy a bit of coastal charm. First stop on this 327km route is Lübeck (famous for Holstentor gate), then onto the UNESCO world heritage towns of Wismar and Stralsund, past the port and university town of Rostock, before finishing in the nostalgic resort of Binz. Make sure to visit Jasmund National Park – a UNESCO world heritage island famous for its white cliffs and wildlife
If you love fairytales but not Hollywood kitsch, then this is the route for you. Celebrate the lives and works of the Brothers Grimm, starting in their birth town of Hanau and stretching 600kms through more than 60 villages. Expect to see rustic half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, winding rivers, looming towers and stunning castles. These were the real-life inspiration for fairytales favourites such as Little Red Riding Hood (Alsfeld), Rapunzel’s tower (Trendelburg) and Sleeping Beauty (Sababurg Castle). And if you find yourself drawn to the charming town of Hamelin on a summer Sunday, catch an open-air re-enactment of the Pied Piper leading the children from the village. The route’s official end in Bremen is just over a two-hour drive from the port of Kiel, and 90mins from Hamburg.
Thanks to Germany’s fondness for lining roads to villages and castles with foliage, there’s now a pleasant ‘ribbon of trees’ running through the country. Known as the Avenues Route, drivers can enjoy the dappled light of leafy roads which stretch for 2900kms. Starting in the Baltic Sea town of Rügen, the route takes in central Germany’s stunning countryside, the Harz mountains, Saxony, the historical city of Leipzig and Stuttgart (which has Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums), before ending at Lake Constance in the southwest.
Sometimes you just need the slower pace that only a river and a glass of wine can bring. If that sounds like your kind of holiday, head to the Rhineland-Palatinate region in western Germany to wind your way through some renowned vineyards and picturesque villages. More than 70% of all German wine is produced here, perhaps most notably from the Riesling grape variety in the Moselle valley. The official German Wine Route is certainly vintage – tourists have been driving its 85kms from Bockenheim in the north to Schweigen-Rechtenbach on the French border since 1935. The whole area is teaming with vineyards, castles and palaces, but stops worth making include Eltz Castle and Trier, the oldest town in Germany. And not forgetting, of course, the largest wine barrel in the world in Durkheim
Perhaps the country’s most popular tourist route, the Romantic Route is classic storybook Germany. For 314kms, from the vineyards of Würzburg to the mad castles of King Ludwig II, drive through picture perfect villages as the road winds further south to the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Make sure to stop at one of Germany’s prettiest towns, Rothenberg, before heading on to the route’s epic finale at Neuschwanstein Castle. This King Ludwig II legacy is said to have inspired the iconic Disney Castle. And since you’ve come this far, you may as well keep going. The next great road trip adventure that Germany has to offer is not far away, the Bavarian Alpine Route.
The Bavarian Alpine Route raises the road trip game, quite literally. Starting in the southwest town of Lindau, wind your way through mountain villages, lakes and waterfalls. Pass churches, monasteries and the scenic Allgäu peaks. Test your turning circle on the 106 bends of the Oberjoch Pass. Get a taste of adventure sports in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski resort (gondola, anyone?) and take in Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. For a gentler time, Linderhof Palace is a majestic joy nestled amongst the ridges. Climb higher still over the Rossfeld-Panoramastraße - the highest scenic road in the country - before reaching the finish line of Königssee – a stunning freshwater lake and surrounding village.
Distance from Kiel to Lubeck: 87km
Distance from Kiel to Bremen: 211km
Distance from Kiel to Rügen: 308km
Distance from Kiel to Bockenheim: 589km
Distance from Kiel to Würzburg: 608km
Distance from Kiel to Lindau: 898km
The top three most visited attractions in Germany last year were Cologne Cathedral, Hamberg’s Elbphilharmonie and Berlin’s Museum Island – though no one measures the number of visitors to the Brandenburg Gate!