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Franconian hiking dreams — 24 stages of Germany’s Frankenweg

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Franconian hiking dreams — 24 stages of Germany’s Frankenweg

Hiking Collection by FrankenTourismus

22-50

days

3-6 h

/ day

330 mi

35,275 ft

35,325 ft

There’s nothing better than the arrival of spring when you can finally head out on a great hike again. Days spent with your backpack, walking on rural paths through varied landscapes — this is a real hiker's dream. And this dream will come true for you on the 323-mile (520 km) Frankenweg ('Franconia Trail'). From the Rennsteig to the Swabian Alb, this long-distance hiking trail shows you every side of Franconia’s personality over 24 stages.

From the green wilderness of the Franconian Forest with its wildly romantic Höllental Valley to the rafting country of the Wild Rodach, this trail takes you through a medieval landscape. Old castle ruins, wooden observation towers, magnificent buildings such as the Basilica of the Fourteen Saints or the pentagonal Wülzburg are some of the highlights you can look forward to on your hike. Bizarre rock formations, mysterious caves and tranquil villages with their typical Franconian half-timbered houses also make the way from Untereichenstein to the mighty Harburg an unforgettable experience.

To reach the starting point in Unit Reichenstein, you can take the Erfurt train which runs several times a day to Blankenstein station (Saale). The return journey from Harburg (Schwaben) is just as easy as the regional train runs in both directions. If you only want to hike one section of the Frankenweg, you’ll find towns with good railway connections en route. Kronach, Kulmbach, Neumarkt and Weißenburg are excellent starting and finishing points if you don't want to walk the trail in one go.

At almost every stage destination, you’ll find yourself in a pretty town or village along the route. Sometimes, however, the choice of accommodation will be limited so it's a good idea to book well in advance. As there are no alpine sections and as rest points are never far away, the trail is particularly suited to amateur hikers.

Has this sparked your curiosity? Then take a look at our Collections and get inspired for your next adventure: komoot.com/user/frankentourismus/collections

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Die 24 Etappen des Frankenwegs – Herbstwanderungen Franken

322 mi

35,825 ft

35,900 ft

Last updated: October 8, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Untereichenstein bis Schwarzenbach – Frankenweg

    Difficult
    08:16
    18.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,325 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your journey on the Frankenweg literally begins "in hell". But do not worry - it is one of the most beautiful sections of the long-distance hiking trail. You start exactly where the Rennsteig starts: at the "hub of hiking". At this point, five very different long-distance trails meet.

    

    You follow the Frankenweg

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  • Intermediate
    03:36
    7.89 mi
    2.2 mph
    800 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you wander on your way to Elbersreuth mainly through the beautiful valleys of the Franconian Forest. But at the beginning of the stage, it goes up to Döbraberg. Give yourself time to climb, because today's stage is refreshingly short.

    

    At the summit of the Döbraberg, climbing the steepled Prince

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  • Difficult
    07:54
    17.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,675 ft
    2,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the third stage you leave the valley of the Rodach and take the big steps towards the Middle Ages with its majestic castles and fortresses.

    

    Through the forest and across vast meadows and fields, the Frankenweg leads you to the Radspitze with its pebble schist peak. On it is a 20 meter high observation

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  • Difficult
    07:33
    16.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Towers with breathtaking views, vast forests and the brewing tradition of Franconian beers make the fourth stage a real pleasure.

    

    After leaving the Lucas Cranach town of Kronach behind you, you will reach the observation tower of the same name, named after the famous painter. A spiral staircase takes

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  • Difficult
    06:46
    15.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the fifth stage you hike through wonderful nature and discover historic places from the Baroque and Middle Ages.

    

    You leave the "secret capital of beer" Kulmbach behind you and follow the valley of the White Main. At the confluence of the White and the Red Main lies the magnificent Steinenhausen Castle

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  • Difficult
    07:08
    15.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Impressive places of worship, former palace complexes and fantastic distant views characterize the sixth stage on the Frankenweg.

    

    Shortly before the first ascent to the two saddles of the Large and Small Kordigast you pass Giechkröttendorf Castle, which is now privately owned. Through thick forests and

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  • Intermediate
    04:44
    10.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After the historical highlights of the sixth stage, a relaxing day full of idyllic nature awaits you today.

    

    From Loffeld, a steep climb takes you through the forest up to Morgenbühl - a high plateau with a wide variety of shrubs. From here you have another great view of the Staffelberg. The Küpser Linde

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  • Difficult
    06:31
    14.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Leaving the pretty village of Scheßlitz, you are now crossing the gate to the Franconian Switzerland. Churches, castles and mills line your way on the eighth stage.

    

    Your day begins with a climb up two hills, from which you can look towards Bamberg. Up here are the impressive Chapel and the Giechburg with

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  • Difficult
    06:17
    13.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,900 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Franconian Switzerland charms you today with a hilly stage and magnificent views over idyllic valleys.

    

    After leaving Heiligenstadt behind you, you first wander through the Leinleitertal into the Mathelbachtal. The next ascent is rewarded with mesmerizing panoramic views over bizarre, rocky hills and

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  • Difficult
    05:39
    12.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Another day follows through hilly terrain and unique rock formations in the heart of Franconian Switzerland.

    

    Shortly after you have left Muggendorf, the first spectacular crossing awaits you - that of the tunnel-like Oswaldshöhle, a karst cave. Stepping out of the cave, you can see the Franconian Switzerland

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  • Intermediate
    04:33
    10.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,100 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eleventh stage is kept short, so today you have more time for some exploration off the Frankenweg.

    

    Still within your starting place Pottenstein is the Teufelshöhle. The gallery is brightly lit and reminiscent of a shiny treasury. The visit is possible as part of a guided tour. Even the wild and romantic

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  • Intermediate
    04:53
    10.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Even today you can expect a comparatively relaxed day on the Frankenweg, which lets you enjoy nature to the fullest.

    

    You roam the forest criss-crossed with rocks and suddenly you hear water splashing next to you. You have arrived at the Egloffsteiner waterfalls, which rush through the forest via small

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  • Difficult
    06:24
    13.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    A natural spectacle of the special kind lies on the 13th stage of the Frankenweg: the sinter terraces. And you also do not have to worry about the physical well-being.

    

    With Gräfenberg you leave behind another place of medieval grace behind you. From the Michelsberg with its remarkable monument to the

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  • Intermediate
    04:09
    8.13 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With only about 13 kilometers, you can set off a little later today or take your time for one or the other visit along the way.

    

    The Frankenweg takes you up to the beginning of the day on a charming fruit avenue up to the Rothenberg with the same name medieval fortress. It can be visited during the summer

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  • Difficult
    05:44
    12.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Medieval flair and Franconian half-timbered art characterize the 15th stage of the Frankenweg.

    

    You wander today along the western edge of the Frankenalb and meet after about 6 kilometers on an old monastery wall - relics of a once-large monastery complex. Time and again, you will meet historical Hutangern

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  • Difficult
    05:30
    11.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    It continues along the edge of the Franconian Jura. You can expect quite hilly terrain today, which is interrupted for a longer distance by a high plateau.

    

    Once you have left the pretty Altdorf, you first hike over gentle hills through the Franconian Jura. On your way lies the handsome ruins of the Gnadenberg

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  • Difficult
    06:21
    14.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Look forward to an impressive castle complex and interesting rock formations on your way along the Franconian Jura.

    

    You first hike leisurely from the tranquil Pilsach and roam through dense forest. It descends briefly before the Frankenweg now pulls up quite steeply. Once on the Wolfstein you will find

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  • Difficult
    05:16
    12.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    A leisurely stage with pretty villages and a medieval highlight lies ahead of you today.

    

    Your tour starts at Deining train station, which is just outside of town. You pass the romantic village of Döllwang, whose white village church is clearly visible from afar from the open dirt road. Then the remote

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  • Difficult
    07:00
    15.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 18th stage takes you back into hilly terrain and densely leafy forests.

    

    You leave your starting point in Berching along the stone wall and cross the Main-Danube Canal. From the other side of the river, it is worth looking back into the village from a hill. From now on the path runs along the edge

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  • Difficult
    07:44
    17.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,075 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    A mighty, pentagon-shaped castle awaits you today as an absolute highlight on this section of the day. You always hike along the Albrand on an equally scenic route.

    

    From Thalmässing you climb quite steeply to a terrace on the slope of the Frankenalb. A mighty - probably from Celtic times - earth wall

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    24
  • Distance
    330 mi
  • Duration
    150:02 h
  • Elevation
    35,275 ft35,325 ft

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Franconian hiking dreams — 24 stages of Germany’s Frankenweg

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