At home in the outdoors – hiking with a view in Thuringia in central Germany
Do you feel at home outdoors? If you love to hike through diverse landscapes with a sense of freedom then come to Thuringia in central Germany, a place of wonderful nature, idyllic landscapes and perfect panoramas. Hiking along the Saale River, you can look far into the countryside from rocky vantage points and the blue ribbon of the river and its reservoirs.
We’ve put together two wonderful multi-day Tours along the Saale for you. The 91-kilometre (56.5 mi) SaaleHorizontale leads nine stages through charming nature with breathtaking views. You discover exciting contemporary history around Jena, a pretty university town. To the left and right of the Saale, narrow paths lead through the shell limestone slopes, passing romantic castle ruins, dreamy half-timbered villages and the spectacular Middle Saale Valley. The stages are designed so that you can also hike them individually. This is made even easier as there are good public transport links along the route. For more detailed information (in German language only) see: vmt-thueringen.de
On the Upper Saale, lies the charming landscape of the Thuringian Sea. The largest continuous reservoir area in Europe, the Saale Cascade, was built here in the 1930s. The landscape is a charming mix of forest and water with fjord-like incisions in the Thuringian Slate Mountains. The 75-kilometre (46.6 mi) Hohenwarte Reservoir Trail is the best way to explore this wonderful region. In this Collection, we’ve divided it into four stages that lead to idyllic bays and impressive cliffs with magnificent panoramas.
If you’d like to ride these routes as day trips, you can easily tailor them with the help of the Mittelthüringen Transport Association. For more information (in German) see: vmt-thueringen.de. The Thuringian Sea hiking bus also runs from May until October. If you like, you can also order a hearty snack for your bus trip. A local bakery puts together a package of treats and drops it off to the bus.
Don’t forget to pack sturdy hiking shoes and poles as there are some steep and stony places that require surefootedness. Bring along a waterproof jacket, plenty of water and a small snack too. If you’re like Goethe and Schiller, however, you can stop at one of the cosy restaurants and enjoy specialties such as Thuringian sausage, red cabbage, dumplings and beef roulades.
Ready to go? You can look forward to being outdoors and close to nature, overlooking the wonderful Thuringian landscapes.
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Don't be alarmed, but on this tour you can expect two steeper climbs, which add up to a total of only 440 meters in altitude. It starts in Kunitz. You walk on the Laasaner Straße towards Saale and follow the signs towards Kunitzburg and Golmsdorf. On your way you pass the beautiful vineyards on the Grafenberg, which already make you want a delicious wine in the evening.
On some days the temperature difference between water and air is so great that clouds of mist form and the lake with its banks looks a little mystical. Maybe today is one of those days and you can start the hike in this great mood. And who knows? You might even meet the Thuringian mermaid. It is elected every two years to represent the region and make it known throughout Germany.
This wonderful stage will inspire you with a lot of nature and an impressive excursion into the world of technology. It is best to take enough drinks and a little provisions with you for the hike, because there are few places to stop for a break. There are countless picnic areas or a bench with a view, so that you can always take advantage of the opportunity for a short rest or to linger.