For Hiking Holidays in Germany, most people think about the South of the country. But there is a lot more to discover.
As the gap years gives me a plentitude of free time, I decided to spend some of that time with my mom. We both love hiking, and since a young child I would spend weekends in the Harz national park, close to my home town.
We didn’t want to drive to far, so my mom came up with the idea to go to Saxony, to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. We started with a day trip to Dresden.
The region we went hiking is called Saxon Switzerland. A person coming from the South could argue that we don’t deal with real Mountains, as the highest peak is 644 m about sea level. I can understand that, but for people from the North, that is already exiting 😉
However, hiking in this area turns out to be scenery wise one of the most beautiful spots in this country. The two main Mountain ranges are separated by the Elbe.
We decided to take the most famous route which is called Malerweg (the Artist’s Way) and leads about both sides. In the last centuries many famous German artists got inspired by this route (Caspar David Friedrich, Richard Wagner).
The 112km long route is recommended to be tackled in eight daily stages. It starts in Pirna (30 min east of Dresden), leads the first 4 days more to the east and returns on the other side of the Elbe.
The hiking distances are around 12-18 km per day with different altitude levels. All parts of the way a accessible with public transportation.
Even though I feel basically fit, I have to admit, going the trail with around 8kg luggage was not directly easy. Unfortunately, after the forth day of hiking (a lot of ladders on that day) we had to exit the trail due to strong pain in my ankle (don’t worry, it already recovered 24h later).
Still, I loved the time. It was a beautiful experience and I hope that we can complete the trail in the future. It was also incredible to spend this time with my mom. We had an awesome time hiking, talking (depending on the elevation of the path), trying the Saxon wine and getting to know new people and places.
If you live in or visit the north of Germany, its definitely worth to visit the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, as it is a perfect adventure for a long weekend or a longer trip as we did.