- 1. Rain hiking in the Black Forest
- 2. Wine hiking on the Moselle
- 3. Hiking on the Alpspitze
- 4. Canoeing on the Draupaddelweg
- 5. Premium hiking around Constance
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1. Rain hiking in the Black Forest
The Black Forest is a region that is second to none and promises magical moments, especially in so-called bad weather, when the clouds hang low on the mountains. Above all, hiking in the region is incredibly relaxing and decelerating.
This is ensured by a network of hiking trails of almost 2.300 kilometers with views of forests, mountains and lakes. As a result, the Upper Black Forest was named a premium hiking region by the German Hiking Institute in January 2020, which currently has 12 excellent connoisseur trails. These are 6 to 15 kilometers long round trips, which offer a varied route, beautiful landscapes and continuous signage. There are also 18 vital hiking trails in 7 climatic health resorts within the high-altitude Black Forest region.
One of these award-winning connoisseur trails is the Schluchseer Jägersteig, which partly leads along the old “Jägerpfad” and is easy to reach by train. The relaxing magic of this region is easy to develop, especially in bad weather, when there is little going on even on the much-traveled lake. Then the artificial artificial lake is dark and unfathomable in front of you, almost like a Scandinavian fjord. Not only that the clouds up here are dense on the mountain-top slopes, in heavy rain you sometimes have the feeling of diving into a cloud yourself. On the way there is always the opportunity to stand under trees or at viewpoints so as not to get too wet.
Magical rain hiking in am Schluchsee
The tour begins either at the hiking car park "Im Wolfsgrund!" or at the train station in Schluchsee-Aha (boarding board at the Seglerheim junction). From the parking lot “Im Wolfsgrund” I go through the underpass of the B500, I follow the hiking trail to the left and cross the L156 to Lenzkirch. After the intersection, I follow the hiking and cycling path along the B500. After a few meters I see the entrance portal of the Schluchseer Jägersteig. Here I dive into the spell forest and follow the narrow path past a lumber yard up to the Stutzhütte. From here I hike to the Hanselefelsen and then turn left. After a short time, a great view opens up! Over the Ahaberg I follow the path towards Bildstein.
This section of the path offers the opportunity to continue the direct route to the Bildstein or to make exciting discoveries on the “stalking path”. At the Bildstein viewpoint, I enjoy a breathtaking view of the Schluchsee and, with a little luck, up to the 3 m high Tödi in the Swiss Alps. After a break, it goes on a narrow path down to Unteraha. Here I hike to the boat landing stage and follow the circular path around the lake to Amalienruhe. A wonderful view over the lake opens up here. It continues in the direction of Schluchsee-Ort, over the pedestrian bridge and along the lake back to the hiking car park.
Accommodation and alternatives
Despite rain protection and shelter, I'm really wet after this tour. How good that I can warm up at the Hotel Garni Sonne in Hinterzarten, right near the train station. The hotel also has a small sauna in the basement and offers a lovingly prepared, excellent breakfast, some of the rooms have very nice balconies with a great view of Hinterzarten.
If the drive to Schluchsee is too far for you: Another very nice tour leads directly from the Adler Skistadion in Hinterzarten via the middle high path directly to the Titisee, including numerous viewpoints. On the other hand, the shady, cool Ravenna Gorge is ideal for hot summer days.
2. Wine hiking on the Moselle
For me, one of the most impressive landscapes in Germany is the picturesque Moselle valley with its vineyards and rugged side valleys. But anyone who knows the vineyards of the Lower and Middle Moselle, some of which rise steeply, will be more than surprised by the more pleasant, gentler Middle Moselle:
Moselsteig side jumps
The Moselle leaves that at Wasserliesch German-French strata and enters the Rhenish Slate Mountains with the Trier valley basin. One recognizes this clear on the red sandstone and shell limestone layers that come close to the Moselle between Igel and Wasserliesch and on the sharp dividing line of the "Igel fault". And here not only the Moselsteig leads along but also the 16 KM long, very picturesque side jump Wasserliescher Panoramasteig.
The start and finish point of the hike is the market square. From there the path leads in a pleasant alternation of ascent and descent to the heights between Saar and Moselle. It combines numerous cultural and natural landscape highlights. Orchid lovers will find one of the most species-rich occurrences in Germany in the Perfeist nature reserve. From the height of the “Old Camp”, the route continues down into the Albachtal nature reserve. Experiencing panoramic views of the natural and cultural landscape as well as varied detailed views, follow the course of the brook on a picturesque path and get back to the starting point via the viewpoint on the upper Roman road.
Another insider tip is the Moselsteig Trail, Wehrer Rosenberg: Under the motto Small but Oho - the path is less than 5 KM - the hike offers wonderful views of the Moselle and Luxembourg. For me, the special highlight here was first the leisurely stroll along the Moselle and then the via ferrata that leads up over steep limestone cliffs and narrow vineyard terraces. A real little adventure tour.
Overnight stay and culinary delights
If you are a hiker who wants to stay overnight well and cheaply, we recommend the small Weingut-Pension Dostert in beautiful Nittel: Although it only has 4 rooms in a private house, it offers everything you need including your own bathroom, WiFi and TV in the room at an excellent one Price. Breakfast is also served with care.
In general, the small town of Nittel, right on the border with Luxembourg, also offers some culinary surprises, as there is certainly a clientele for upscale cuisine here. The Apel wine bar and the Zilliken sparkling wine barn, for example, are very good. It is also warmly recommended for hikers because of its location on the Moselsteig Trail and its rock formations.
3. Hiking on the Alpspitze
A real mountain hike - but inexperienced, this is how the hiking tour from Kreuzeck to Osterfelderkopf, the mountain station of the Alspitzbahn, can be described. Around 400 meters of altitude have to be overcome here.
Hiking with the cable car
First you take the Kreuzeckbahn up to the Kreuzeck at 1638 meters. From here you always head west on a flat and wide trail with the backdrop of the Alpspitze. At the Hochalm there is the opportunity for a first break before the main section leads up to the Osterfelderkopf. If you are put off by the upcoming meters in altitude, you can use the Hochalmbahn up to the Osterfelderkopf. For everyone else, it's now past the imposing north face of the Alpspitze, along pastures and climbing rocks. If you take a closer look, you can see the routes over the Mauerläufersteig up to the Bernadeinkopf, the Schöngang and the Nordwandsteig on the Alpspitze.
When you arrive at the Osterfelderkopf, the Alpspix awaits you with a wide view of the Höllental or a hearty snack in the “Restaurant Alpspitz”. For the descent on the Osterfeldkopf there is the Alpspitzbahn, the valley station of which is also located at the Kreuzeck car park and can also be used with a Kreuzeckbahn (Garmisch-Classic) mountain and valley ticket.
On the other hand, it is much more demanding Ascent through the Höllental to the Osterfelderkopf. However, this tour offers a lot of variety. The starting point for the approximately six-hour tour to the Osterfelderkopf is Hammersbach. Here you follow the generous signs to Höllentalklamm. At the gorge entrance hut you can decide, whether you choose the path through the impressive gorge or above via the Stangensteig (only for sure-footed people).
Overnight stay and culinary delights
An excellent and inexpensive hotel is the Garmischer Hof. It is not only an organic, but also an alkaline fasting hotel. The hotel offers a special alkaline fasting cure after the WackerMethod® with which guests can detox perfectly.
The great thing about it: The basic vegan focus, which the ownerFamily Seidel is also personally represented, is not only part of a special cure, but is also reflected in breakfast and in the regular restaurant operation, whereby special requests are also gladly taken into account. Definitely recommendable!
4. Canoeing on the Draupaddelweg
Hiking is not only on the water, but also on the water, namely canoeing in picturesque Carinthia on the Drau, which flows into the Danube and the Black Sea.
From Carinthia to the Danube
The starting point of the second and probably most beautiful stage of the Drau Paddelweg is directly at the Oberdrauburg train station. This currently offers 7 eventful stages over 110 km of paddling pleasure between Lienz and Ferlach. Due to the calm speed of the water, even beginners can undertake these easy tours. The paddling path is also excellently signposted and through the Company “Draupaddelweg” maintained: All start and end points are in the immediate vicinity of train stations, so that you can take the train fast and can easily return to the starting point.
With tour guide Franziska König, who is also the social media manager of the Draupaddelweg and is on the way as the river ambassador, I start around 10 a.m. The water is not deep at this point, the subsoil is made of gravel, so that you can enter barefoot in an emergency and the flow speed makes it even easier to enter. Unfortunately, it's also freezing cold that my feet hurt.
We paddle downstream between the Gailtal Alps and the Weissensee Nature Park at 10 to 15 km/h. The environment is a dream to say the least, as you neither roads nor People still sees houses, you feel almost one with nature. Actually, you could get along well without paddling, only in a few places you get an idea of what it must be like in a whitewater kayak and I'm glad that Franziska is there and knows her way around.
Overnight stay and culinary delights
Halfway between Oberdrauburg and ours Objective Greifenburg there is a nice rest area near Dellach east of the Drau Bridge. The canoes are lying for sure on the shore, while you can use the viewing platform on the tower or the barbecue area. A few meters from the Drau oasis is also the campsite at the Waldbad. There is also a restaurant and a snack bar.
After about two hours and 18,2 km of paddling, we have reached our destination of Greifenburg and strengthen ourselves with good food in the Gasthaus Wulz in Bruggen, which also offers a special feature for beer lovers. Over 013 types of beer from all over the world are stored in Shop1.000 World. In general, accommodation and good food are well taken care of on the way: in every village there is simple but comfortable accommodation such as the Gasthof Post in Oberdrauburg, some of them have even joined together to form the Drauradweg Wirte association, which also includes the "Goldenes Rössl" inn in the historic town center of Sachsenburg. I let the day end by exploring the small town a little and discovering the wonderfully located public swimming pool with panoramic views and dining very well in the 800-year-old golden steed.
5. Premium hiking around Constance
Lake Constance, which is better known as a summer destination, also invites you to take a relaxing short break in the fall: Konstanz and the Regio Hegau in particular are well worth seeing and offer only little known oases of peace.
Hiking with different levels of difficulty
First and foremost, of course, the more than 50 KM long SeeGang premium hiking trail should be mentioned. As a long-distance hiking trail, it connects Konstanz and Überlingen on several stages and has been awarded the “German hiking seal for premium hiking trails”.
We only made a small part of the 50 km from Konstanz to almost the island of Mainau and then over the Rhine to the historic center, but I really liked the route because of the simple route and the beautiful view of the city and the lake, it is next to Events can be done very well in a morning or afternoon. However, there are also more demanding hiking trails on Lake Constance, as my hiking guide Viktor Gaefke from the German Alpine Association reports to me.
This probably includes the premium hiking trail “Hegauer Kegelspiel”, on which bizarre rock formations, stately knight castles and enchanting river landscapes are supposed to alternate - unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to walk it so far. Like the “SeeGang”, the “Hegauer Kegelspiel” takes you past historical places, such as the Hohentwiel fortress ruins near the “Hohentwieler”. It also gives interesting insights into the extraordinary geology, flora and fauna of the Hohentwiel.
Hiking in the Hegau and Thurgau regions
I find hiking in the Hega region just as exciting, as it is usually associated with spectacular views. Climbing one of the Hegau volcanoes, for example, promises a view far beyond the blue lake region to the nearby Alpine chain as a reward. On the panorama path on the Höri peninsula, you can hike in the footsteps of artists such as Otto Dix, Eugen Segewitz, Helmut Macke and Hermann Hesse. You can visit the Haus Dix museum and drink coffee on the Dix terrace.
On the Swiss south side of the lake, the Thurgaurundweg, which can be easily reached by public transport, runs from Kreuzlingen: splendid villas alternate with original fishing villages such as Ermatingen. I stop in Arenenberg Castle, where once Napoleon III. resided and today is still the Napoleon Museum. A little further on you reach Berlingen, one of the oldest villages in the region. On the other hand, you can see the vegetable and vineyards, as well as their historically important monastery.
Rental bike systems and bike rides
For those who find it too slow on foot, the Konrad region also offers its own bike rental system with 15 rental stations throughout the city. 150 bicycles and special cargo bikes are available around the clock. Guests can simply download the app, walk to the pick-up station, release their bike and set off. Some hotels also lend their guests bicycles or eBikes.
Under the motto "The unknown Lake Constance", cyclists and culture fans can explore the historical and cultural wealth explore the four-country region of Lake Constance by bike, while those familiar with the region bring everything worth knowing closer to the participants. There are also spontaneously organized tours, which are announced every Wednesday for the following weekend. And if you like it comfortable, you can take the “Seepferdle-Express” – rickshaws with eBike function and student drivers – to drive you through the area
Overnight stay and culinary delights
Kuliknarik is very important on Lake Constance, as the region is the one with the greatest concentration of starred restaurants in Germany. I was able to visit one of them during my visit to Konstanz: Chef Dirk Hoberg's Ophelia. It has two stars in the Michelin Guide and 18 points in the Gault Millau and interprets the Haut Cuisine in a modern way - see the two pictures below.
This includes, above all, fresh, regional products that can be enjoyed in the stylish ambience of the Art Nouveau villa belonging to the Hotel RIVA right on the lake. Interesting for groups: Dirk Hoberg also always offers cooking courses - from “Fit in the spring” to the “large Xmas menu” to the premier class “turbot as a whole”.
In general, regional fresh produce plays a big role in many restaurants: Especially the proximity to the island of Reichenau with herbs, tomatoes, apples, fresh fish or wine offers the chefs fresh ingredients right outside the door. Star chef Hoberg can even be supplied with special products that have been grown in small quantities.
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