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Malerweg — following the trails of the artists in Saxon Switzerland

skoeber (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Malerweg — following the trails of the artists in Saxon Switzerland

Hiking Collection by Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz

8

Tours

35:27 h

74.1 mi

10,725 ft

The Malerweg in Saxon Switzerland is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Germany. The dramatic sandstone landscape will cast a spell over you with every new look—as it has done for hundreds of years. This route follows the well-trodden Painter's Way (Malerweg), through which artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Ludwig Richter and Bernardo Bellotto discovered unique nature. The cliffs and table mountains, which were so beautifully captured in countless paintings remain untouched—and you now, following the footsteps of the great masters, you have the chance to discover these motifs for yourself.

Over eight stages, you’ll hike along these impressive rock formations, crossing the river as you go.The Malerweg is excellently marked and there are always cosy stops along the stages. The total length of the trail is 112 kilometres (70 miles) and starts and ends in Pirna. All stages are also easily accessible by public transport, so you can choose your favorite part as a day trip and start right away.

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Der Malerweg – auf den Spuren der Künstler in der Sächsischen Schweiz

72.8 mi

10,600 ft

10,725 ft

Last updated: December 8, 2021

All stages of the 'Malerweg'

  • Intermediate
    03:08
    7.26 mi
    2.3 mph
    375 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your hike in the footsteps of the great painters begins in the small Pirna district of Liebethal. The small village gets you in the right mood for your time travel during the heyday of the Saxon princes. The Malerweg leads above the Liebethaler Grund, which is closed due to the risk of falling rocks

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  • Intermediate
    03:30
    6.97 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,500 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your second stage leads you today to one of the greatest highlights of the Malerweg: the Bastei bridge. The way there initially leads up a steep climb, which rewards you with a first panoramic view of the Elbe Valley. Past the stone table and the forest restaurant of the same name, we now head to the

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  • Intermediate
    04:20
    9.10 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At this stage, a few vertical meters come together. After your start in Hohnstein, it goes through hilly forest along the omnipresent sandstone cliffs. After the first kilometer you can make a detour to the Gautschgrotte. You will feel tiny in the huge natural grotto. From there it goes up and down to

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  • Difficult
    05:27
    11.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Steep climbs, impressive rocks and phenomenal views await you on this tour. Through the Dorfbachklamm it goes from Altendorf past the mighty Falkenstein to the Schrammsteintor. The Schrammstein Gate is a narrow passage between the towering sandstone cliffs, which are particularly popular with climbers

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  • Intermediate
    04:40
    8.97 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At this stage there is a mountain ascent, because the Malerweg takes you up to the Großer Winterberg, the second highest mountain in Saxon Switzerland. Starting from the Neumannmühle, you follow the Kirnitzschtal for a while and then set off on the ascent to the Großer Pohlshorn. Afterwards it goes over

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  • Difficult
    05:09
    10.9 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,000 ft
    Ferry
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    From Schmilka you take the ferry to the other side of the Elbe and start your hike towards Schöna. A large part of today's route runs over hilly fields and meadows and you can already admire the right-Elbe table mountains in the distance.

    

    The Malerweg takes you through various small villages today. Between

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  • Difficult
    05:15
    10.6 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,700 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Gohrisch, you head towards the Pfaffenstein table mountain. Steep wooden and iron stairs lead through the eye of the needle up to the summit. From the top you have a great view of the Barbarine natural monument, a narrow sandstone column that rises on the side of the Pfaffenstein.

    

    Then you follow

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  • Intermediate
    03:58
    8.74 mi
    2.2 mph
    825 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The last stage takes you from Weißig to the historic old town of Pirna. You start your stage with the ascent to the Rauenstein. From the secured ridge path, you always have fantastic views of Saxon Switzerland. Enjoy these moments and let the landscape particularly affect you on the last day.

    

    After your

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    74.1 mi
  • Duration
    35:27 h
  • Elevation
    10,725 ft

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Malerweg — following the trails of the artists in Saxon Switzerland

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