Hiking in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Saxon Switzerland
Hikes in Saxon Switzerland
Saxon Switzerland is a unique landscape in eastern Germany that is particularly popular for hiking. The spectacular mountain range boasts a fortress, a rock labyrinth and the world-famous Basteibrücke. If you are looking for a holiday destination where you can enjoy hiking and unique nature, you will be enchanted by Southern Switzerland.
The 10 Most Beautiful hikes in Saxon Switzerland
Where is the best place to go hiking in Saxon Switzerland?
Saxon Switzerland is a small mountain range that has a lot to offer. Anyone who has been here once will come back again and again, attracted by the unique atmosphere. Many stations and vantage points can be linked together on hiking tours. For this purpose, you can also hike the Malerweg, which integrates several high points. If you would like to plan your time in Saxon Switzerland individually, you should include the following highlights in your plans:
- The Festung Königstein
- The Basteibrücke
- The Herkulessäulen
- The Lilienstein
- The Felsenlabyrinth bei Langenhennersdorf
- The Schwedenlöcher
- The Schrammsteine
- The Kuhstall
The Kuhstall in the mountains
If you start your hiking tour in Sebnitz in the Sächsische Schweiz, you will reach the so-called Kuhstall after only 45 minutes. This is the name of a rock gate that probably got its name during the Thirty Years' War.
The cowshed is enormous, 11 metres high, 17 metres wide and 24 metres deep. The gate inside the rock formation served as a shelter for cattle hidden from the Swedish soldiers during wartime.
Directly behind the rock breakthrough and a viewing platform that offers a view over the rock teeth, the Himmelsleiter emerges. A steep staircase leads up through the middle of the rocks to the remains of a castle and a spectacular vantage point.
Bizarre sandstone formations
Between Bad Schandau and Schmilka you can already see the Schrammsteine towering from a distance. The hiking trails that lead through this part of the mountain range are characterised by metre-high sandstone formations. When you reach the Schrammtor, you enter through an entrance with rock towers rising up on both sides.
The ascent to the Schrammstein lookout requires athletic fitness, good technique and stamina, because after the hike through the forest, narrow metal ladders, ravines and steps carved into the stone await you. In return, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view at the end of your hike. At an altitude of 400 metres, you can see the rocks of Hohe Liebe, the Affensteine and the Bloßstock. It also gets narrow on the way back, because there is not much room for oncoming traffic between the rock formations.
Very important: The hike to the Schrammsteinaussicht is not for people with a fear of heights. Families with children should also choose an easier route, such as the tour to the Hercules Columns in Rosenthal Bielatal. The large and small Hercules Pillars can be reached from the car park within 15 minutes. Both rock towers are among the landmarks of the Upper Biela Valley, which regularly attract climbers.
The main attraction of Saxon Switzerland: the Basteibrücke
Once you're in the Sächsische Schweiz, you'll hardly miss the chance to hike up to the Bastei. The famous bridge is a highlight for all visitors and even if it can get crowded here, the hike is definitely worth it. It is particularly nice to start from Wehlen. We hike through the forest to the Bastei and then on to the spa town of Rathen. Both places are idyllic to look at and perfect starting and ending points for a beautiful tour.
The Bastei is also part of the Malerweg (Painters' Path). The hike takes us on 8 stages through the beautiful landscape of the Sächsische Schweiz. Depending on the stage, very good physical condition is required, as well as good technique, as there are many metres of ascent in some parts.
Varied hikes in Saxon Switzerland
The diversity of Southern Switzerland is reflected in the large selection of tours, which offers everything a hiker's heart desires: from the panorama trail above the Elbe to hiking tours to the Bastei or to the Affensteinen, there is the right tour for everyone.
Excursions to the Polenz Valley and through the Biela Valley are also very popular, as is the Caspar David Friedrich Trail. In addition, you can hike across the border to Bydgoszcz (Czech Republic) and experience the culture and hospitality of the people there. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are also not far from here.
Several hikes, such as the tours through the Weißbachtal valley or up the Zirkelstein, lead directly along the border and give you a first impression of it.