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On the Way of St. James through Hesse – from the Fulda to the Main

chrisar676 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

On the Way of St. James through Hesse – from the Fulda to the Main

Hiking Collection by Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund

5-11

days

3-6 h

/ day

79.0 mi

4,050 ft

4,600 ft

A pilgrimage on the Way of St. James is on many hikers’ bucketlist. But there are more options than just the Santiago de Compostela. Many routes lead to Spain, such as the Way of St James from the Fulda to the Main. This is an opportunity to set off on a pilgrimage right on your own doorstep that lets you switch off, quieten your thoughts, enjoy nature and move forward a little more day by day under your own steam.

In this Collection, we present the eight stages of the Way of St. James through Hesse. If the whole route is too long for you, you can simply choose a section. Thanks to the excellent local transport network, this is easy to do.

Your pilgrimage starts in Fulda, which is easy to reach by train. After a visit to this eastern Hessian town’s cathedral, you start your 130-kilometre (80 mi) walk through the gentle countryside. The stages are fairly easy with only a few hills to overcome. If you find that some of the hikes are too short, you can just join them together. But don't worry: there's plenty to see along the way. You discover castles, churches and monasteries and the charm of half-timbered houses. This hike is one of the most popular routes in the RMV's ‘Rhein-Main-Vergnügen’ series for good reason.

Along the trail, you regularly pass food outlets where you can enjoy Hessian cuisine. The towns en route have plenty of accommodation too, although the choice is sometimes limited. You can ask in the parish office if they have any tips for pilgrims before you arrive. As mentioned above, you can always reach the nearest big city by bus or train in no time. To enable you to split up or shorten the walk as you wish, we’ve included stations and bus stops in the stage descriptions. They sometimes involve a small detour, but you can ignore these if you do the whole Tour. The best thing to do is to download the RMV app, which gives you the most up to date timetable information and allows you to buy your ticket at the same time: sites.rmv.de/rmv-app.

As you would expect on a pilgrimage, you can collect stamps along your journey in a pilgrim’s passport. You can collect your reward to take home at Punctum in Frankfurt (Liebfrauenstraße 2). Apply for your pilgrim's passport online here (website only available in German): pilgern.bistumlimburg.de/beitrag/hier-pilgerausweis-beantragen.

Immerse yourself in the experience of a pilgrimage and follow this famous route through the state of Hesse. It’s a fantastic opportuntiy to leave everyday life behind for a few days. On a pilgrimage, only the here and now counts. And who knows, maybe the pilgrimage through Hesse will inspire you to make further stops along the long-distance route to Galicia.

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Der Jakobsweg von der Fulda an den Main

78.7 mi

4,050 ft

4,625 ft

Last updated: June 30, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Fulda to Flieden – Way of St. James from the Fulda to the Main

    Difficult
    05:41
    13.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The start of your hike on the Way of St. James through Hesse begins in Fulda. Ahead of you are eight contemplative stages through the soothing nature, where you have time to switch off and leave your everyday life behind for a few days.

    

    To get in the mood, you walk through the pretty city center of Fulda

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  • Intermediate
    03:49
    8.47 mi
    2.2 mph
    800 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage on the Way of St. James through Hesse takes you from Flieden to Schluechtern. At almost 14 kilometers, the tour is very relaxed, so you have enough time along the way to enjoy long breaks or to end work early - both nice.

    

    The first part of the hike is gently uphill, while you always enjoy

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  • Easy
    01:51
    4.44 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    150 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Things get really relaxed on the third stage from Fulda to Main: there are only a good seven kilometers between Schluechtern and Steinau an der Straße. But the short hike is no less beautiful.

    

    You leave your starting point and stroll along the Kinzig. Mostly pretty surrounded by lush meadows, the river

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  • Intermediate
    04:37
    10.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    500 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fourth stage on the Way of St. James runs from Steinau an der Straße to Wächtersbach. On the way you will encounter a lot of half-timbered charm, the Kinzig reservoir, stately churches and the gentle Hessian landscape.

    

    You leave Steinau and follow the Kinzig until you are soon at the reservoir. How

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  • Intermediate
    03:06
    7.53 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fifth stage of your short pilgrimage takes you from Wächtersbach to Gelnhausen. There are practically no vertical meters awaiting you on the twelve kilometers, so you can take it easy. Although the path often runs along the A66, you've relaxed so much in the meantime that the noise won't bother you

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  • Intermediate
    04:46
    10.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's sixth stage takes you from Gelnhausen to Langenselbold. On the 17-kilometer route, you have to master a few meters in altitude, but you cover most of it right at the beginning - and such an ascent is of course always rewarded.

    

    You hike along a promising path through the beautiful nature and let

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  • Intermediate
    03:11
    7.72 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On day seven of your little pilgrimage, you hike from Langenselbold to Bruchköbel - a good twelve kilometers that offer you a nice mix of nature and culture. There are almost no vertical meters to master today.

    

    On your way west from Langenselbold you will pass the castle of the same name. The Way of St

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  • Difficult
    06:48
    16.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    625 ft
    650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today is actually the final sprint of your short pilgrimage through Hesse. The eighth stage from Bruchköbel to Frankfurt is still quite a challenge at almost 26 kilometers, but after several days of hiking you are in full training and can easily put it away.

    

    The Way of St. James leads you through the

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    79.0 mi
  • Duration
    33:48 h
  • Elevation
    4,050 ft4,600 ft

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