Sprawling meadows, rolling fields, deep, dense forests and tiny villages. Welcome to the Upper Palatinate, one of the most northerly provinces in all of Bavaria—and one of the prettiest. To see it all, there are few better options than the Upper Palatinate Castle Trail, a route that takes you 182 kilometers (113 miles) from north to south in nine days. On the hike, you'll pass the nine most impressive and best-preserved castle ruins in the Upper Palatinate, while you wind your way through glorious mountain ranges. And even though you'll be forced to conquer a total of 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) of elevation as you ascend the mountains, the route is not one to fear thanks to the elevation being spread out evenly along the entire route. Hiking the Upper Palatinate Castle Trail is a real pleasure hike—and with numerous cozy guesthouses awaiting you at the end of each stage, you'll always have somewhere charming to retreat to when it's time to have a rest.
Hardly any other region in Germany is so sparsely populated and so dominated by the presence of old-school farming. However, the Upper Palatinate was not always so sleepy and peaceful. In the Middle Ages, Slavic groups repeatedly invaded the Bavarian territory and attacked the all-important trade routes that transported goods to Bohemia. Therefore, princes and dukes had countless castles built to protect the townsfolk and trade missions from the raids, leading to its contemporary reputation as the region in Germany with more castle ruins than anywhere else.
If you are looking to get a little distance from the chaos of your everyday life and would like to dive into the idyllic and historic landscape of the Upper Palatinate, then this hike is just the thing for you. On the lonely paths between the small villages, you can really relax and leave the stress of modern living behind you, while you take in the glorious landscape and get a snapshot of a time gone by.
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Last updated: November 24, 2021
Your tour through the Upper Palatinate begins in the small town of Marktredwitz. You leave the station, stroll through the streets and soon you can enjoy the view of the picturesque hills on your hiking trail.
On the first half of today's tour, you can leave your worries behind you and wander through…
After a restful night in the peaceful village of Friedenfels you will feel freshly prepared for the second stage.
With a steady step, you wander through the lovely landscape and soon reach the land of 1,000 ponds. The area around Wiesau has been used for hundreds of years for fish farming. The peasants…
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The third stage is a real dream tour, because it has a great highlight of the Upper Palatinate in store for you. Shortly after Falkenberg you enter the wild and romantic Waldnaabtal.
The Waldnaab has created an incredible landscape here over the millennia as it flowed through the numerous rocks of the…
The fourth day of your hike on the Castle Trail begins with a visit to the castle. Through the impressive, renovated Schafferhof with its inn you reach the castle courtyard of Neuhaus Castle. The Waldnaab Valley Museum is housed in the former hunting lodge and is open on Sundays and public holidays from…
At 14 kilometers, the fifth stage is one of the shorter tours on the Oberpfälzer Burgenweg. Today's tour takes you past small villages, across wide meadows and through dense forests.
You start in Oberhöll and after a short wooded area you reach the chapel on the Dreifaltigkeitsberg. From here you can…
On the sixth stage a few meters of altitude come together. But expect you again and again great views of the countryside of the Upper Palatinate.
Leave Leuchtenberg and follow the castle path along extensive woodland. Again and again, the trees give your view of the soft hills. Soon it will pass through…
On your seventh stage, you will pass through the beautiful and densely covered Oberpfälzer forest. You start in Tännesberg and soon you leave civilization behind you and immerse yourself in the romantic nature of the Upper Palatinate. Here in the forest you can forget all the hurry and follow the castle…
On the penultimate stage, the castle path once again shows its best side. Although you can expect a challenging 25-kilometer route and a climb of over 600 meters, but there are three castles on your way.
After just a short distance, you will reach the impressive Burg Obermurach. Its distinctive keep and…
The last stage is also the longest stage on the Burgenweg. But as every seasoned hiker knows, you finally immigrated to life. With fresh energy you start in Rötz and get on your way.
The ninth stage is all about the Schwarzach, which you will encounter again and again on your hike. Shortly after your…
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