The 15 stages of the Eifelsteig Trail — Between rocks and waters
© Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH | Foto: Dominik Ketz
The Eifelsteig leads you in 15 daily stages from north to south through the entire Eifel. The Eifelsteig has a lot to offer you: Views that will take your breath away, wide valleys full of dense forests in which chilly streams flow, climbs that will make you sweat and landscapes like you have never seen them before.
On your hike through the westernmost German low mountain range you will get to know the cultural heritage and the diverse geological history of the region at the same time. Even the Romans settled west of the Rhine and you can still discover the traces of their towns, villages and castles. The most famous Roman building on the Eifelsteig is of course the Porta Nigra, the black city gate in Trier. On the Eifelsteig you will also find numerous castle ruins, historical handicraft workshops and buildings from the early industrialisation.
But the main protagonist of your hike is and remains the varied landscape of the Eifel: in the north, densely wooded mountain ranges and quiet reservoirs enchant you, you walk through hilly plateaus, visit picturesque volcanic meadows and in the very south, rugged sandstone rocks and ancient caves await you. No matter what time of the year you go, the Eifel is always dressed beautifully. In the spring, you’ll be witness to colorful meadows and flowering shrubs, while the summer brings deep green valleys and rippling streams. As the nights grow longer, fall reveals colorful pots and horizons of sparkling gold, before the winter slows everything down: cool, clear and crystallized.
On the Eifelsteig you cover a distance of about 313 kilometres in 15 stages. With a total of around 6,700 metres of altitude difference on the ascent, the Eifel proves to you that it is a genuine low mountain range. But you don't have to worry - the climbs and descents are evenly distributed over all 15 stages. Thanks to good bus and train connections, you can also plan only one section of the Eifelsteig or divide the entire tour into several hikes. The cities of Urft at the end of the fifth stage, Blankenheim at the end of the sixth stage, Hillesheim after the eighth stage, Gerolstein after the ninth stage and Kordel at the end of the 14th stage are the best starting or finishing points for a section - all five cities have their own railway station and can therefore be easily reached by Deutsche Bahn regional trains.
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About a third of the day the hike takes you through the valley of the Olef. You hike steadily uphill to Kuckucksley and can enjoy a break at the refuge there and the beautiful view over the wide Oleftal. Then it goes down to the small town of Olef. The second third of the day begins with a gentle ascent. You leave the Oleftal and walk comfortably through the quiet forest.
Today you are walking in the footsteps of the Romans. Before you come across it, however, you cross the Gillesbach and hike along the western flank of the Königsberg with the towers of Steinfeld Monastery in view. After a leisurely hike in the dense forest, you will come back to the Urft valley, which you left yesterday at the beginning of the fifth stage.
You start your hike at Mirbach's impressive Erlöserkapelle. It's worth taking a look inside and marveling at the golden mosaic. We continue on pleasant paths through green forests and meadows. Soon you will catch the first glimpses of the volcanic landscape of the Eifel. On your way you will pass a striking refuge. After about half of today's route you will reach the Dreimühlen waterfall in the Mühlenbachtal.
You are now in the Salmtal and follow the Salm river through an idyllic landscape on a winding path without much incline. Historic mills greet you at the edge of the path, you continue on lonely to the outskirts of Landscheid, and then dive straight back into the Salmtal. The river leads you to the village of Bruch, your destination for today.