Scenic Elbe River Valley

Village north of Decin, Czech Republic. Photo: Addison

During our visit to Germany and the Czech Republic in March ’07, we journeyed by train from Berlin to Prague. For part of the route, between Dresden, Germany, and Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic, the rails run alongside the west bank of the Elbe River in a narrow valley. In contract to the rest of the train route, this portion of the route was unexpectedly scenic.

Small, picturesque villages dot both sides of the river. Unusual and imposing rock formations towering above the valley are common. Much of the valley is wooded, interrupted by small farms and a few terraced vineyards. There are even a few ruins overlooking the valley.

Overall, this section of the Elbe River valley reminded us of the beautiful valley of the Moselle River but without the extensive vineyards, many ruined castles and tourists. It’s certainly worth at least a brief visit if you’re traveling in this part of Europe. If other segments of the Elbe River offer comparable sightseeing, it would explain the increasing number of Elbe River cruises that I’ve seen offered.


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