The European Path E9 is planned as a continuous foot path from St. Petersburg in Russia to Faro in Portugal. All sections in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania in the north, parts in France and all in Spain and Portugal are not yet marked. The path follows mostly along the coast line with shorter inland stretches. Instead of following slavishly the marked path it is possible to walk some stretches directly on the beach.
The following description starts in Poland and continues from there towards Portugal. I have walked the complete part in Poland from the Russian border at Braniewo (Braunsberg) until Swinoujscie (Swinemünde) on the island of Usedom. From there I have completed all of Germany up to the Dutch border. In the Netherlands I have reached the town of Uithuizen. Now I will continue towards the Belgian border. It needs to be noted that I have not walked along the E9 in this sequence.
The section in Poland is completely marked white/red/white.
I could not find any guide book covering the polish section. Therefore I bought polish maps with a scale of 1:45.000 resp. 1:50.000 where the E9 was clearly marked. Across Poland most of the markings are well recognisable. Only a few short stretches where even with the maps difficultly to navigate. The path passes through many seaside resorts. After and surely before the annual summer school vacations many shops, restaurants and campsites close down or have not yet opened at these resorts. However I could always find something to eat as well as a simple bed for the night. A few words of Polish as well as German and / or English are sufficient for communication.
The maps from east to west:
- Mierzeja Wislana, Carto Media ISBN 978-83-88201-63-9
- Gdansk, Copernicus ISBN 978-83-7539-162-6
- Nadmorski Park Krajobrazowy, Carto Media, ISBN 978-83-88201-60-8
- Wybrzeze Baltyku, Jaroslawiec - Uska - Leba, Eko-Graf ISBN 83-86645-50-4
- Wybrzeze Baltyku, Mrzezyno - Kolobrzeg - Jaroslawiec, Eko-Graf ISBN 83-86645-49-0
- Die Ostseeküste / Pobrzeze Baltyku (deutsch und polnisch), Galileos ISBN 978-83-61942-44-3
- Insel Wollin (deutsch und polnisch), Galileos ISBN 83-60044-27-9
The German section in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is marked white/blue/white.
Between the cities of Lübeck and Rostock the E9 frequently runs parallel of the "Hanseatenweg" (Hanseatic Path) that is well marked by the German section of the Friends-Of-Nature. The marking is as follows:
Some parts are marked additionally as Ostseeküsten Radwanderweg (Baltic Sea costal bridle path) as follows:
E9 and bridle path run parallel and this results in longer stretches either being paved or having a very hard surface. I have used the tour guide "Wanderführer Ostseeküstenwanderweg E9" with small maps from Johanna Jawinsky ISBN 3-935621-94-9 in German language. The small maps, the guide and the path marking are sufficient. No additional maps are required.
The German section in the state of Schleswig-Holstein from Lübeck until Hamburg runs parallel with the E1. Here I could use the German language "Kompass Wanderführer Fernwanderweg E1", ISBN 978-3-85491-707-6.
From Hamburg-Blankenese up to Voßloch it runs parallel with the E1a and than until Elmshorn as Krückau Wanderweg. From there it follows the dyke of the rivers Krückau and Elbe until it reaches the ferry across the river Elbe at Glückstadt. Here I have used the maps at a scale of 1:200.000 from the ADAC StadtAtlas Hamburg. The E9 is clearly marked on these maps. This and the mostly good markings alongh the path was quite sufficient.
There is no uniform marking in the state of Lower Saxony as the path runs parallel with several different local ones. As indicated by its name the Wanderweg Elbe-Weser (Elbe-Weser Path) runs from Wischhafen / Elbe until Bremerhaven / Weser. The markings on this section leave a lot to be desired. Never the less I could navigate this part with the maps at a scale of 1:200.000 from the ADAC StadtAtlas Hamburg.
Having crossed the Weser by ferry the path changes several times its name. It starts as Butjadinger Weg, becomes Jadeweg, then Ems-Jade-Weg, there after Ostfriesland-Wanderweg to finish at Weener as Emsweg. Here it starts until the Dutch border with partly lacking identical markings as the dutch long distance paths.
The Wanderweg Elbe-Weser (Elbe-Weser Path) is marked with a yellow arrow with a green border, however with many markings missing.
The Butjadinger Weg is marked with a white letter B on black ground.
The Jadeweg (Jade Path) is marked with a white letter J on black ground.
A white anchor on black ground is the marking of the Ems-Jade-Weg that follows along the similarly named canal.
The Ostfriesland-Wanderweg (East Frisian Path) is marked with a white letter O on black ground.
Across the Netherlands all long distance paths including the European Paths (Lange-Afstand-Wandelpaden = LAW) are marked white/red.
I bought a decent map with a scale of 1:300.000 giving a general overview of the complete Netherlands. It is titled ANWB Fiets- en Wandelroutenkaart ISBN 978-90-18-03261-6. The E9 is divided into the following sections:
- LAW 5.5 = Wad- en Wierenpad (Watt und Warftenweg) = 123 km
- LAW 5.4 = Friese Kustpad (Friesischer Küstenweg) = 152 km
- LAW 5-3 / 5-2 = Hollands Kustpad (Holländischer Küstenweg) = 151 km
- LAW 5-1 = Deltapad (Deltaweg) = 233 km
- There are detailed Dutch language guides with maps from ANWB for each section available.