Fairytale castles, breathtaking views from rock pulpits, enchanted stalactite caves and beech forests flooded with light — the Swabian Jura is a special place. You can discover this incredible region in all its glory on the 222-mile (358 km) long Albsteig.
With tradition dating back over 100 years, the Albsteig is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the Swabian Jura. Countless ascents and descents take you up to the Jura plateau at 3,280 feet (1,000 m) above sea level and down into picturesque valleys. You mostly hike along the northern edge of the cliff and the length of the Swabian Jura.
The oldest main hiking trail (HWI) of the Swabian Hiking Association, the Albsteig leads you once across the length of the mountains from northeast to southwest. Starting in the tranquil Donauwörth, the trail shows you the beauty of the Jura in 16 stages.
You will come across castle ruins and magnificent panoramas, and — with a little luck – you will spot the Black Forest to the west and the Alps to the south. The route also takes you to Harburg Castle, one of the largest Staufer castles north of the Alps, to the magnificent Lichtenstein Castle and the gushing Urach Waterfall. Breathtaking viewpoints such as the Breitenstein, the Dreifürstenstein or the Lemberg, which marks the highest point of the Jura, are also fascinating. At the Albsteig’s end point, you can explore Tuttlingen’s romantic town centre and stroll along the Danube promenade.
The starting and end points of the trail in Donauwörth and Tuttlingen are well-connected by rail, making it easy to reach your adventure and return home when you’re done. There’s more information about other rail connections along the trail in the route descriptions. From April 2020, you can even use regional buses and trains free of charge to get to the stages. All you need is the AlbCard, which you will receive as for free if you spend a night in one of the AlbCard establishments. The AlbCard also gives you free entry to many attractions along or near the trail, such as the Fog Cave. You can find more information at albcard.de
As the path crosses many villages, you will also have the opportunity to stop at cosy inns. Regional dishes of the Jura are known far beyond its borders, such as Alb lentils with spaetzle or Swabian Maultaschen. If you want to cater for yourself, you will find numerous resting places along the Albsteig which are mostly equipped with a barbecue area. So pack some barbecue food if you fancy a grill. One thing is certain, hiking along the Jura is a special experience.
For more insight into hiking the Albsteig trail, check out this video:
Today, a rather short stage awaits you, which gives you enough time to explore the beautiful Harburg. Then it goes along forest paths and narrow paths into the idyllic nature reserve.Before you leave Harburg behind, we recommend that you explore one of the oldest and best-preserved castle complexes in southern Germany - the Harburg. You can do this, for example, as part of a guided tour.
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