Get out of the city and into nature on these five weekend adventures that help you forget the stress of everyday life. Swap urban canyons for rocky gorges, slow-moving traffic for rushing water and leather shoes for hiking boots. Just one or two hours away from Cologne and Düsseldorf, you can visit fragrant forests, bizarre rock formations, steep vineyards, and mountains. To showcase these magnificent landscapes, culinary delights, and views, we’ve put together five weekend trips for you in this Collection. Each with two days of hiking, they take you to five different areas. So, get behind the wheel and set off on your journey – the most beautiful adventures and nature are often only a short road trip away.
Adventure 1 is located in the southern Sauerland where you explore Lake Bigge, one of the largest reservoirs in Germany, and climb the Hohe Bracht. Adventure 2 takes you over the Belgian border into the Ardennes where you visit the countryside around Semois River, a secret paradise for hikers. The third adventure takes you to the Eifel, where you walk along the Rur Dam and through wild nature reserves. Adventure number 4 visits castles, ruins and fairytale rock formations in the Palatinate and adventure 5 revolves around vineyards on the Moselle. Here, lonely paths lead through the forest, alternating with fantastic views over the Moselle River.
So that you can get exploring right away, we’ve selected excellent campsites nearby each adventure. You can find more information in the Tour descriptions. Pack your hiking gear in the car, start the engine and leave the city behind you – nature awaits.
The first day of your adventure takes you to the Hohe Bracht with a fabulous view of the Sauerland. The 23-kilometer hike starts in Oberveischede, not far from Attendorn. First it goes steadily uphill on a beautiful forest path. Small clearings and beautiful views loosen up your path. After a good hour you will reach the Ehmsenweg, which will take you up to the Hohe Bracht on a ridge without any major climbs.From the striking tower, which has been enthroned at almost 600 meters above sea level for 90 years, a wonderful panorama of the Sauerland opens up to you. Here you can also strengthen yourself in the restaurant before you descend back into the valley.In Bilstein you have arrived back in the Veischede valley. A huge castle watches over the place. Today a youth hostel is located there. A long slope later you are back in the middle of the quiet nature and follow the paths through the undulating terrain until you reach your starting point in Oberveischede.You can spend the night in the “Biggesee Camping Waldenburg” near Attendorn, which is charmingly located on the shores of Lake Bigge. biggesee-camping.de.
The Biggesee is one of the largest reservoirs in Germany and also a paradise for everyone who loves outdoor sports. That is why the second day of your adventure takes you to the east side of the lake. It starts right at “Biggesee Camping Waldenburg” near Attendorn (biggesee-camping.de).You follow the hiking trail along the lake shore. Due to the special location of the lake, there are many bays and side arms that protrude into the forest between the hills. When the weather is calm, the trees are reflected in the water and create a great play of colors.After about half of the way you leave the bank and hike back over a hill. It goes through the forest on small, quiet paths. After a good 15 kilometers you will be back at the campsite and can jump into the lake to cool off.
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The Semois flows slowly in innumerable meanders through the southern Ardennes in Belgium. A dream backdrop for everyone who likes to be outside, whether with a fishing rod, canoe, bike or hiking boots. On the first day of your adventure, we will show you some particularly beautiful sections.You start the tour near Chiny at Camping le Canada (campinglecanada.be). You follow the course of the river to the Ecureuil rock and master the first ascent. The path leads you through dense forests until you arrive at Katzenfelsen. A breathtaking panorama opens up to you there: wooded hills as far as the eye can see and in between the Semois babbles.After you've had your fill of seeing yourself from above, you descend into the river valley and enjoy the wonderful nature by the water. You shorten some meanders - then there is a short uphill and then down again. After 25 kilometers you have arrived back in Chiny.
The second day of your adventure is also all about the Semois. You start in the medieval town of Bouillon, which is almost completely surrounded by a Semois loop, and follow the course of the river. On wonderful, shady paths you can see how the river winds through the narrow valley.Slowly you leave the level and climb the "Pic du Diable", the Devil's Peak. Enjoy the great view before tackling the next, somewhat steeper ascent. This effort is also rewarded with a wonderful panorama.The path leads you further on the plateau to Corbion and then back down into the valley. The last bit is a bit steeper and is surrounded by striking rock formations - a truly impressive natural spectacle. You only stay in the valley for a short time, because it goes up a mountain again. On the descent, just before you reach Bouillon again, you can enjoy a beautiful view from above of the mighty castle complex and the Semois that surrounds the place.
There are countless places in the Eifel where you can be one with nature. A particularly beautiful spot is the Buchenwald Dedenborn nature reserve and the valley of the Wüstebach. The first day of your adventure leads through this wonderful wilderness. It starts in Hammer at "Camp Hammer", a particularly beautiful campsite (camp-hammer.de).The first five kilometers are steadily uphill, initially steep, later more and more comfortable. Sometimes across wide meadows, sometimes through dense forest, you reach the Wüstebachtal. Here you can experience how diverse nature develops if humans do not intervene. Observe interesting plants and rare animals that are comfortable here.Beautiful paths and narrow paths lead you through an area where slate was mined until the last century. Today, bats in particular make themselves comfortable in the local caves. After a leisurely descent through the Riffelsbachtal nature reserve, you have returned to Camp Hammer. After the hike, you can stretch your feet into the babbling Rur and cool off.
On the second day of your Eifel adventure, we will show you the southern part of the Urftsee and the Obersee, both parts of the huge Rur dam. The tour begins in Einruhr, a small town right on the lake shore. There you will also find a ship landing stage. So if you still have some time, you can explore the dam from the water.The first half of the tour you follow the Rur-Olef-Route directly on the shore. When there is no wind, the colorful forests are reflected in the water and a wonderful backdrop emerges before your eyes. The lake lies like a fjord between the wooded hills.The long ascent begins after about six kilometers. Even as you walk up, you can enjoy beautiful views into the distance. In Wollseifen you have already reached the highest point of the hike. If you still have some time and strength in your legs, you can make a detour to the NS Ordensburg Vogelsang and examine the remains of the architecturally captured cruelty.On the way back to Einruhr you cross a plateau and leisurely hike downhill. You can enjoy the wonderful nature again.
Your fourth adventure takes you to the Palatinate. On the first day you will explore impressive rocks and spectacular castles around Dahn on the Dahner Rundweg. The tour, which is around 20 kilometers long, starts at the popular and quietly located Moosbachtal campsite (campingplatz-moosbachtal.net). A beautiful path through the Moosbachtal also begins here. You will find rare plants such as orchids in the moorland.In the further course it goes up and down again and again, past unique rock formations with apt names, such as "bride and groom" or "witch mushroom". You touch the health resort Dahn twice, so you can strengthen yourself in the village and take a break. But there is also one or the other restaurant for a hearty meal on the way.The Burgklause below the Dahner Burgengruppe is a particularly good restaurant. The three ruins of the group of castles have been restored in an exemplary manner and it is great fun to explore the complex. From the maiden jump you have another nice view of Dahn. The last kilometers lead you through the forest again and other great rock formations accompany you back to the Moosbachtal campsite.
On the second day of your adventure in the Palatinate, everything revolves around bizarre rocks and breathtaking views. You start your short but crisp round in Gossersweiler-Stein. First you climb the Kriemhildenstein, from which you can enjoy the first beautiful view of the Palatinate Forest.The highlight of the tour is not only because of the altitude, but above all because of the view of the Rötzenstein. Take enough time to let yourself be captivated by the beautiful rock and the view of the wooded hills.After this magical place you descend to Dimbach and then partially steeply up. The path is dominated by the colorful sandstone that is typical here, which catches your eye in all its forms - sometimes rugged, sometimes covered with moss. Maybe you will also meet one or the other goblin? Shortly before you arrive back in Gossersweiler-Stein, a beautiful panorama awaits you at the Dimberg pillar.
The Moselle: it winds in many curves along steeply sloping rocks. Vineyards tower up to the left and right. And up on the mountains, beautiful hiking trails through beautiful forests await you. Sounds like an all-round successful weekend. The best thing to do is to pitch your tents at Campingpark Zell (campingpark-zell.de) near the wine-growing town of the same name.At the beginning of your tour you cross the Moselle and walk through the pretty city center of Zell. You follow the Mosel-Camino, which takes you high up over the river. A fabulous panorama opens up to you at the top. Briedel is on the left, Zell on the right and in between there is a huge vineyard surrounded by the Moselle.The path then leads downhill and uphill through the vines. Great views are always waiting for you. On the way back you come through Zell again. In the town center you can find out more about the legend of the black cat and end the day with a glass of wine on the opposite side.
On the second day of your adventure on the Moselle, the path leads you along the slopes of the Moselle loops. From Campingpark Zell you can hike comfortably on the ridge between two river loops. Below the ridge, the Moselle flows in one direction on the left and in the other on the right. You look at steep vineyards, which shine in bright colors, especially in autumn.From above you can also see an impressive engineering achievement, the longest slope viaduct in Germany at almost 800 meters. Here the train runs right through the vineyards. A little later you can see Arras Castle and Hell Valley from a vantage point. If you have the time and inclination, you can make a detour there. The 360-degree view from the castle and the gastronomy are definitely worth a trip.We continue to Reil on the banks of the Moselle. You are now walking along the Moselle back to Zell. You can always make small detours into the vineyards and enjoy a different perspective of the landscape. Shortly before Zell you cross a ridge again between two Moselle loops.