Jena – Kaatschen

This tour begins in the vibrant city of Jena at the “Gries-Bridge” and goes in the direction of Porstendorf.

Throughout the tour you will experience 4 or 5 “Pass-around Points” for which you will have to exit the river with your canoe, and re-enter a short distance down stream.

As you make your way down the Saale River and surrounding forests, you may catch a glimpse of several native animals; the turquoise river kingfisher, various types of heron, cormorants and/or nutrias all in their natural habitat. If you are lucky, you may even see turtles and European Otters!

Before you reach Porstendorf the river splits into two branches. You can choose between the shorter, more vigorous branch, and a longer, more scenic route. The short tour passes a camping site and beer garden at Porstendorf, and the longer tour goes along the old river branch of the Saale making its way passed the Rabeninsel or “Raven’s Island”.

Nearing Dornburg you can see to your left the Dornburger Palaces: the Renaissance Castle, the Rococo Castle and the Old Castle, where Johann Wolfgang Goethe used to vacation.

Throughout the tour you will paddle by small islands, and experience small rapids, which keep the tour adventurous.  Form Dornburg to Camburg the Saale continues to wind through the Saale River Valley along impressive cliffs and teaming forests.

After passing the “Saalerastplatz” (camping site) of Döbritschen, soon you will experience the next pass around point in Camburg.

At this part of the trip you will also pass some small islands in the river.

Upon entering Kaatschen, you will notice the first of many vineyards found in this region, as this is the Northern-most wine-growing region in Germany. The tour ends at winery/wineyard “Weingut Zahn”, from where the participants will get transferred back to the starting point in Jena.

  • Safety instruction und rules of paddling on rivers
  • Introduction in the handling of the boats and paddling-techniques
  • Route-explanation and notes on pass-around points and locks
  • A relaxing trip in the Saale valley
  • Duration: approx. 7-8 hours
  • Organized transfer back to the starting point after the tour
  • Canoe, kayak or raft
  • Paddle
  • Life-jackets / swimming vests
  • Waterproof luggage-box
  • Map
  • Appropriate clothes / shoes according to weather conditions
  • i.e. sunscreen / headgear
  • 2nd outfit / towel
  • Start: 9:30 o’clock

Booking Options

1 Night in a Hotel or guesthouse including breakfast for a total price of € 88 per Adult, and € 63 per Child up to until 12 years old.

1 Night at a camping-site (you must provide your own tent) for a total of € 45 per Adult and € 31 per Child.


33 € (per Adult) / 21 € (per Child)

4 Persons Minimum


Difficulty: Medium


in canoe / kayak / raft

  • incl. equipment
  • return transfer
  • Distance: 30 km / Duration: 8 hrs.
  • Pass-around points or Locks: 4-5