The Eifelsteig leads you in 15 daily stages from north to south through the entire Eifel. The Eifelsteig has a lot to offer you: Views that will take your breath away, wide valleys full of dense forests in which chilly streams flow, climbs that will make you sweat and landscapes like you have never seen them before.
On your hike through the westernmost German low mountain range you will get to know the cultural heritage and the diverse geological history of the region at the same time. Even the Romans settled west of the Rhine and you can still discover the traces of their towns, villages and castles. The most famous Roman building on the Eifelsteig is of course the Port Nigra, the black city gate in Trier. On the Eifelsteig you will also find numerous castle ruins, historical handicraft workshops and buildings from the early industrialisation.
But the main protagonist of your hike is and remains the varied landscape of the Eifel: in the north, densely wooded mountain ranges and quiet reservoirs enchant you, you walk through hilly plateaus, visit picturesque volcanic meadows and in the very south, rugged sandstone rocks and ancient caves await you. No matter what time of the year you go, the Eifel is always dressed beautifully. In the spring, you’ll be witness to colorful meadows and flowering shrubs, while the summer brings deep green valleys and rippling streams. As the nights grow longer, fall reveals colorful pots and horizons of sparkling gold, before the winter slows everything down: cool, clear and crystallized.
On the Eifelsteig you cover a distance of about 330 kilometres in 15 stages. With a total of around 6,700 metres of altitude difference on the ascent, the Eifel proves to you that it is a genuine low mountain range. But you don't have to worry - the climbs and descents are evenly distributed over all 15 stages. Thanks to good bus and train connections, you can also plan only one section of the Eifelsteig or divide the entire tour into several hikes. The cities of Urft at the end of the fifth stage, Blankenheim at the end of the sixth stage, Hillesheim after the eighth stage, Gerolstein after the ninth stage and Kordel at the end of the 14th stage are the best starting or finishing points for a section - all five cities have their own railway station and can therefore be easily reached by Deutsche Bahn regional trains.
Your hike begins in the tranquil Körnelimünster near Aachen, through which flows the small river Inde. From the former Benedictine abbey in the historic center, it goes along the Inde los. On the Itertal Viaduct it goes out into the world and also over the first altitude meters. Up on narrow paths, you reach the places Hahn and Friesenrath, past the chapel of St. Bernard and into the woods, where you best insert a Wanderrast at the weather mushrooms. The wonderful nature reserve Struffelt you cross on boardwalks - an absolute highlight in the midst of the flowering heather. Soon after you enjoy the view over the Dreilägerbachtalsperre and make again a few meters before you look at Roetgen, your today's stage destination.
From contemplative Roetgen away it goes over the Vennbahntrasse. Soon you leave Germany for most of the hike behind you and dive into the moorland of the High Fens in Belgium. The hike through the rough and unspoiled landscape of the Venn is a real adventure. After about half of the way the Steling refuge invites you to rest. Immediately it goes back across the border to Germany and you can still learn a little history to the Vennbahn, before you later wander into the pretty old town of Monschau.
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Today you walk out of Monschau in the valley of the Rur. After a good climb, you circle around the rooftops of the city in a wide arc, the place you have just left behind. About narrow paths it goes through the Perlenbachtal. Walking along the eastern shore of the Perlenbachtalsprre, you soon notice the Eifel National Park, because in the village of Höfen there is the national park and an information center. Through the Monschauer hedgerow landscape into the Kluckbachtal, you will meet again on the Rurtal, where you can enjoy great views. The further hike runs until the finish line Einruhr am Obersee, mainly above the Rur.
On the fourth stage you can expect interesting history, interesting villages and a picturesque nature - not to forget the fascinating views of the lakes of the Eifel. Over the Obersee you wander in the national park Eifel. Here, Urft and Rur meet, and you follow the shore over hill and dale to the dam wall of the lake. Then it goes up to Dreiborner plateau. In the midst of this area, the Wollseifen deserted village with its former St. Rochus church tells of the sad but interesting history of the place. Wonderful views of the Urftsee are offered to you as you wander to the former Ordensburg Vogelsang. From the viewpoints Kickley and Modenhübel away, it goes out in the valley of the Urft down from the national park. Leave the national park and hike down into the valley of the Urft, to today's stage destination in Gemünd.
About a third of today leads you on a hike through the valley of the Olef. Continuously uphill you hike to the Kuckucksley and can enjoy a break at the local refuge and the beautiful view over the wide Oleftal. Then it goes down to the small village Olef. With a gentle ascent, the second third of the day begins. You leave the Oleftal valley and wander comfortably through the quiet forest. Behind the settlement Golbach the Eifelsteig still runs along the Kallbach. The last third of the tour is then more agricultural. Soon you will have the impressive Eifel Monastery Steinfeld as the truly grand finale of the day in view.
Today you are walking through the Romans. But before you hit on these you cross the Gillesbach and wander along the western flank of the Königsberg with the towers of Kloster Steinfeld visible from afar. After a leisurely hike in the dense forest, you will meet again the valley of the Urft, which you left yesterday at the beginning of the fifth stage. Here you get an interesting insight into the green Pütz. This source of a water pipe, was used by the Romans to supply the then Cologne with water from the Eifel. Continue along the Urft along, you get to Nettersheim. Shortly before, a visit to the Mannenberg caves and the nature center Eifel is worthwhile. Then it continues on a level track, always parallel to the Urft. Past the Roman pond to the end of the valley. Afterwards, the hiking trail continues through dense forests until you stand in front of Blankenheim Castle and see your destination below.
From Blankenheim you can hike through the wooded region in ups and downs and follow the historic "Brotpfad" path. Here there is a refuge with delicious food. Immediately afterwards, the forest path leads slightly downhill into the Schaafbachtal near Ripsdorf. Past the church, you cross an agricultural region to Alendorf. Between isolated juniper shrubs on grassy grasslands, the Eifelsteig takes you up to the summit cross on Kreuzberg. There you can again enjoy the panoramic view of North Rhine-Westphalia, because shortly after the descent you already cross the border to the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Over a small wooden bridge you leave the lonely juniper landscape in the Lampertstal and follow the Mirbach into the village of the same name. At the end of this stage, you can enjoy the tranquility of the Savior's Chapel, which rightfully earned the title of Eifeldom.
From the Redeemer Chapel you walk through green forests. On your way you will pass a distinctive refuge. After about half of the way you will reach the Dreimühlen waterfall in Mühlenbachtal. Before you come to the fairground town of Hillesheim, you can still the monastery Niederehe and the castle Kerpen, which rises on a dolomite spur above the village. Here you can once again enjoy the great view, before going to the Café Sherlock or even the Krimihotel to stay overnight.
On the way out of the criminal town of Hillesheim you walk straight to the remains of the historic city wall. Here is worth a short visit, alone for the great all-round view. Continue to the lakes, limestone cliffs and the Hillesheimer Bach in the Bolsdorf valley - pure nature. Afterwards you will reach the river Kyll, which you will cross and then walk steeply up the forest to the ice and millstone caves at the Rother's head. After a sightseeing, you continue with wide views over the gentle hills of the Eifel. Soon the Auberg is crossed and at the foot of the mountain you already see the stage destination Gerolstein. Before the day ends, however, you will hike through the so-called Gerolsteiner Dolomites. Spectacular limestone cliffs with many worthwhile vantage points. After this fantastic day, we will then descend serpentines into the Kyll valley to Gerolstein.
And immediately it goes uphill to the ruin Löwenburg. After the castle, it's idyllic on a narrow forest path a little further up. Arriving at the wooden observation tower on the Dietzenley, you have achieved the hardest climb. Then it goes on comfortably to Neuroth. In the valley of the Little Kyll another climb awaits you. This stage has it all in itself, but is also beautiful and varied. For the last time, the height meters will show up shortly before your day's goal in Daun. You can take a break at the Neunkirchen mill before a last, wooded hill with a good 80 meters of altitude is waiting for you - done.
From Daun today we first go to Liesertal and further up to Gemündener Maar, the first of three maaren, which meet you on the Eifelsteig. Up it goes to Mäuseberg and Dronketurm. From here you can already see the next maar. You will then completely circle the dead man's name Weinfelder Maar and then hike down a narrow path to the Schalkenmehrener Meer. After you have left behind the beautiful maars of the volcanic Eifel, it goes through dense forests in the green Liesertal. In the second half of this stage, only nature awaits you. Neither towns, nor streets can be found here. After the idyllic hike through the green valley you will reach your destination under the Manderscheider castles. A great sight.
Just like yesterday it continues today: Quiet, lonely, through untouched nature. You wander on narrow paths through the forest, the slopes of the Liesertal become ever narrower. On the way, there are some shelters that invite you to take a rest during which you can let the silence affect you again.At some point the trail winds out of the Liesertal. You follow the Ilgenbach, where the Eifelsteig is now oriented. Here and there, the forest clears and you have a great view over the fields and Eifel landscape with its hills. As soon as you see the village Großlittgen, it is not far away. Do you still have some energy, worth a visit to the 12th century monastery Himmerod.
You are now in Salmtal and follow the river Salm through an idyllic landscape on a winding path without much slope. Along the way you will be greeted by historic mills, and on to the edge of Landscheid, where you will soon be able to dive back into the Salmtal. The river leads you to the village of Bruch, where you can end the day with a visit to the castle Bruch.
The penultimate day will be crisp again; it is the longest section and also has some short but steep climbs. After leaving Bruch, the Salmtal ends a little later. About the first significant slope, it goes on well-developed forest trails to the high plateau at Zemmer. Now it is idyllic again, forests and fields alternate, here and there you cross a small town. In between, there is a wooden lookout tower, from which you can look up to the Hunsrück in good weather. From here it goes down into the Kyll valley. Before the today's stage goal in Kordel it goes over serpentines again in the height. Bravo! You've more than earned the ice cream for dessert today.
Today is your last day on the Eifelsteig and it should not be difficult for you to enjoy it to the fullest, because today the long distance hiking trail shows everything that it has. It starts with easy up and down through the Kyll valley, you pass the castle Ramstein and the picturesque Butzerbachtal. On the way, waterfalls splash, you cross suspension bridges and you can marvel at the relics of Roman miners in the pillars. But not enough. There are two impressive caves, the Chiusa Cave and the Genoveva Cave. If you have a little extra energy, it's worth making a detour to Geyersley Viewpoint.Then it really starts. As soon as you reach the Moselle valley at Biewer, you will continue on narrow rocky paths with spectacular views on a steep cliff to Weisshaus, where your hike ends.To slowly get used to civilization again, you can take the train to the city center in Trier and travel pleasantly home from there.