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Discover the mystical Mühlviertel in Austria – Castles & Palaces Trail

Duke of W4 | Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 AT)

Discover the mystical Mühlviertel in Austria – Castles & Palaces Trail

Hiking Collection by Valerie

8

Tours

70:07 h

154 mi

17,250 ft

It’s not everyday that you get to feel like a mighty lord of a castle or a regal dutchess as you walk through the magnificent corridors of a stately palace (or what remains of one). For many people, castles, palaces, and their ruins are synonymous with mysticism. These traces of past eras transport us back to these times gone by, even if you’re not such a history buff.

The Castles and Palaces Trail through the Mühlviertel in Austria takes you to as many as 15 of these historic buildings (or 19, I’ll explain more below). On a total of 200 kilometres (124 miles) spread over seven stages, you hike through this wonderful region to Budweis, a city just across the border in the Czech Republic.

So what awaits on your journey? As I mentioned at the beginning, you encounter magnificent castles, mighty fortresses and mystical ruins. They pop up time and time again along the entire route, impressively enthroned by spectacular nature and often perched atop huge rocks. You can explore many of them on your own whilst some offer guided tours. Some are privately owned and can only be admired from outside. One thing is certain: these historical Tours will make you watery-eyed. All castle lords and ladies, regardless of their regal expectations, will be impressed.

You can walk the route in both directions and extend, shorten or divide up the seven stages I have suggested in the way that suits you best. The itinerary suggested here requires you to have good stamina and endurance. You can easily reach Grein municipality and the city of Budweis, the start and endpoint, by train.

Tip: to extend this fun adventure and visit even more castles and palaces, you can follow the southern route of the Castles and Palaces Trail from Unter Sankt Thomas. This trail is a good 53 kilometres (33 miles), which makes it ideal for two or three additional hiking days. You rejoin the original route halfway through stage 3 in Gutau.

All that remains is to say – have fun exploring! Oh, and don’t lose yourself entirely in the history, even if these mysterious buildings tempt you to forget space and time...

On The Map

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Mystisches Mühlviertel: der Burgen- und Schlösserweg

116 mi

12,025 ft

11,600 ft

Last updated: December 7, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    06:33
    14.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,000 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 1 of the Burgen- und Schlösserweg leads you from Grein to Bad Kreuzen and presents you with three wonderful castles along the way. Almost 23 kilometers through the wonderful Mühlviertel are in front of you.

    

    You start in the heart of Grein, which you can also easily reach by train (fahrplan.oebb

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  • Difficult
    08:38
    18.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    3,000 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Let's go on - the castles are waiting! Stage two of your adventure is about to take you to the walls of two impressive ruins. Almost 30 kilometers are also on the program. You march in steady up and down from Bad Kreuzen to Schönau im Mühlkreis.

    

    And so you start yesterday's stage goal. First of all, it

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  • Difficult
    08:10
    17.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,500 ft
    2,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you take on stage 3 of the Burgen- und Schlösserweg. You have been able to admire quite a few of the former in the last few days. So that the path fully lives up to its name, it brings you today in front of the gates of two magnificent castles. Yes, and of course a ruin is there again.

    

    From Sch

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  • Difficult
    08:54
    19.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,375 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Before you cross the border to the Czech Republic tomorrow and see how the lords of the castle and their ladies lived there, you will stay in Austria today. A long stage lies ahead of you: 31.5 kilometers to be precise. Most of the vertical meters are limited to just two short climbs.

    

    The first of today

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  • Difficult
    08:16
    19.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    There are still three stages ahead of you. And now they will take you across the border to the Czech Republic. As you continue to hike, you will notice that the old castles and palaces there are a little more old than it might be in Austria. But that doesn't make them any less impressive.

    

    You leave Windhaag

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  • Difficult
    06:48
    15.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    You stay on Czech soil - stage 6 takes you on a comparatively relaxed 24.9 kilometers from Kaplitz to Weleschin. As always, two historical objects are waiting for you here. But first things first.

    

    Leaving Kaplitz behind you, you first hike back out into nature. The next few kilometers are very watery

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  • Difficult
    07:13
    17.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    600 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Stage 7 again has plenty of water and greenery, one last historical ruin and at the end a popular Czech city - the largest in South Bohemia - for you. Is it already tingling in your legs? Then let's go!

    

    From Weleschin you walk a short distance back, to then cross the Maltsch and get to Velešín Castle

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  • Difficult
    15:36
    33.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    4,825 ft
    4,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    If you have a particularly ambitious historian slumbering in you, you should consider this option. She extends the tour one more time. For this you take four more castles with you. Ready? Then you can start.

    

    As far as Unter Sankt Thomas you stick to the original route guidance of stage 1 (komoot.de/tour/306651786)

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    154 mi
  • Duration
    70:07 h
  • Elevation
    17,250 ft

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Discover the mystical Mühlviertel in Austria – Castles & Palaces Trail

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