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Exploring the Swabian Grand Canyon – hike the Danube Upland Trail

© Donaubergland GmbH | Wolfgang Veeser

Exploring the Swabian Grand Canyon – hike the Danube Upland Trail

Hiking Collection by Schwäbische Alb

4-7

days

3-5 h

/ day

43.7 mi

5,975 ft

6,675 ft

A river winds through a vast gorge and rocks formed millions of years ago, a castle towers impressively above. You may feel as though you have been transported to the Grand Canyon but you are actually in central Germany in the Danube Uplands rather than hot and barren Arizona. A little smaller and much greener than its American cousin, the Swabian Grand Canyon expands into the horizon, creating an impressive panorama before your eyes.

Over the past millennia, the Danube has eroded a breathtaking valley into the bright limestone cliffs. In some places, the cliffs rise up to 656 feet (200 m) into the sky. Between fragrant juniper heaths, well-preserved ruins, stately castles and quiet nature, this unique landscape is best explored on the Danube Upland Trail. The 37-mile long (60 km) long-distance hiking trail was certified, quite rightly, both as "Leading Quality Trail - Best of Europe" and as "Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland".

Along the four stages, you will experience new and spectacular scenery every day. Each vista requires a little effort as, typical for canyon trails, you hike over the hills of the Upper Danube Valley and down towards the gently-flowing river. In return, you can look forward to looking out from the rugged rocks to perfect views of castles and palaces surrounded by stunning nature.

The Danube Upland Trail starts on the Lemberg, which at 3,330 feet (1,015 m) is one of the 10 ”Thousands" in the region. From here, the trail takes you along the Albtrauf over hills and into picturesque half-timbered towns in the southwestern Swabian Alb, then through the heart of the Upper Danube Nature Park to the Beuron Monastery with its impressive abbey.

All stage destinations have a good choice of accommodation and restaurants. All start and destination points can also be reached by public transportation. This gives you the opportunity to split the Danube Upland Trail into sections and enjoy it in the way that suits you best.

Get a taste of what to expect on the Danube Upland Trail here:

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Der Donauberglandweg

37.7 mi

4,675 ft

5,375 ft

Last updated: December 21, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Lemberg bis Spaichingen – Donauberglandweg

    Difficult
    06:03
    12.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,775 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    At 1,015 meters, Lviv is the highest mountain in the Swabian Jura. On the first stage of the four-day Donauberglandweg you will climb this highlight right at the beginning and can get an overview of this beautiful region. The almost 20-kilometer stage starts in Gosheim, at the foot of the Lviv.

    

    So the

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  • Difficult
    06:26
    13.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Day two on the Donauberglandweg starts with a crisp climb, but you have already completed the demanding part of the stage. From Spaichingen you hike up into the forest area.

    

    After a good eight kilometers you have reached the Alte Berg, another great viewpoint along the route - on clear days you can even

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  • Intermediate
    04:21
    8.83 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In stage three of the Donauberglandweg you start with new energy. The 13-kilometer tour again has lots of great viewpoints - you quickly understand why the Danube Valley is also called the "Swabian Grand Canyon". To enjoy the unique views, Mühlheim an der Donau starts out with a crisp climb.

    

    After about

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  • Intermediate
    04:44
    8.47 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fourth and last stage on the Donauberglandweg lets you fully enjoy the Upper Danube Valley again. It starts the 13 km long hike in Fridingen on the Danube. The wonderfully dramatic landscape with water and rocks shows you its most beautiful side - peppered with ruins and castles enthroned on the

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    43.7 mi
  • Duration
    21:34 h
  • Elevation
    5,975 ft6,675 ft

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Exploring the Swabian Grand Canyon – hike the Danube Upland Trail

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