The „Donaubergland” – hikes around the Swabian Grand Canyon

Hiking Collection by
Donaubergland

White limestone cliffs rather than red sandstone, the Danube instead of the Colorado River, green and luscious instead of dusty and dry – welcome to the Swabian Grand Canyon in the Upper Danube Valley. Here, the river meanders through the Upper Danube Nature Park, a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. In this Collection, we introduce you to several hikes in this unique landscape: the four-day Donauberglandweg and six day trips. Once you get on the path, you'll quickly understand why the Danube Valley is compared to the Grand Canyon.

The Donauberglandweg takes you 38 miles (about 60 kilometers) from Lemberg to Beuron and gives you a fantastic overview of the region. You will enjoy beautiful views over the Swabian Alb as you gradually wander deeper into the picturesque and wildly romantic Danube Valley. You can also easily separate the Fernwanderweg and choose just to walk one stage. No matter which option you decide on, you will find a choice of accommodation and restaurants in all of the destinations, as well as good public transport connections. As you will find many rest stops along the way, you can also pack light.

Also known as the “DonauWelle”, the six day hikes are another great way to get to know the beautiful region. All routes start at trail car parks and are planned as round trips. Enjoy the the Knopfmacherfelsen’s beautiful panorama, experience the unique natural phenomenon Donauversinkung and wander over the stunning Swabian Alb plateaus. All of the trails are well signposted and in perfect condition.

Late summer is the perfect time of year to explore the Danube valley. Fading trees and colored leaves, separated by rugged limestone rocks, paint a dreamlike landscape with the blue Danube carving leisurely down the valley. It’s simply wonderful, a touch of Indian Summer in the Swabian Grand Canyon.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    05:49
    11.9 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,700 ft
    2,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At 1,015 meters, Lviv is the highest mountain in the Swabian Alb. On the first stage of the four-day Donauberglandweg you will climb this highlight right at the beginning and you can get an overview of this beautiful region. Start of the almost 20-kilometer stage is in Gosheim, at the foot of Lviv.The warm-up is uphill. From the top you have a magnificent panorama over the Swabian Alb and with good visibility to the Alps. The perfect introduction to the hiking day. After having thoroughly enjoyed the distance view, you will walk downhill to Wehingen.But do not worry, you will be rewarded with more great vantage points. The path climbs again and leads you on the throats, with its 1,000 meters altitude also part of the so-called "Region of the 10 Thousands". These include ten mountains in the Swabian Alb, which are over 1,000 meters high - if only just.You stay at the height and continue on the Hummelsberg, up to the Klippeneck - where the highest airfield in Germany is located - and finally to the Dreifaltigkeitsberg. From here you can enjoy a great panorama over the Baar and the Black Forest. Then you will hike down to Spaichingen, your destination for today.Only at the end of the route you will find refreshments, so you should pack up provisions for the hike. In Spaichingen you will find several guest houses to stay overnight.

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  • Difficult
    06:35
    14.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Day two on the Donauberglandweg starts immediately with a crisp climb, but then you have the demanding part of the stage behind you. From Spaichingen you walk up to the Trinity Mountain, which you already know from the first stage.After a good eight kilometers you have reached the Old Mountain, another great vantage point along the route - on clear days you can even see the Säntis. Over sheep and juniper heaths you hike leisurely through the Schäfertal. You accompany the Lippach on its way to the Danube and continue hiking downhill along the river. If you get hungry, then you can take a break after 15 kilometers in the Lippachmühle.After almost 23 kilometers you have reached your today's stage destination Mühlheim an der Donau. You cross the river and find a small selection of accommodation in the Upper Town.

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  • Intermediate
    04:24
    8.94 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With new energy you start in stage three of the Donauberglandweg. The 14-kilometer tour is back with tons of great viewpoints - you quickly understand why the Danube valley is also called the Swabian Grand Canyon. To enjoy the unique views, it goes from Mühlheim an der Donau once in a crisp climb uphill.After about five kilometers, the path leads you past the Kolbinger cave. As part of a guided tour, you can visit part of the 330-meter-long stalactite cave. Definitely spend some time, it's worth it. Shortly after you reach the Gansnestturm and enjoy an impressive panorama. Then it goes down in steep serpentines to Fridingen.But you have not reached your milestone goal yet. It goes straight uphill to Knopfmacherfelsen. Look forward to a fantastic view towards Beuron and Bronnen Castle - a wonderful taste of the fourth stage. How about the Berghaus Knopfmacher with a coffee break including a piece of Donauwelle?On the way you will come over lookouts, which offer you fantastic views into the unique Danube valley with its bright limestone cliffs. Then it goes downhill to the tranquil Fridingen with its historic half-timbered houses - now you have reached your milestone.

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  • Intermediate
    04:36
    8.20 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fourth and last stage on the Donauberglandweg will let you fully enjoy the Upper Danube Valley once again. The 13 kilometer hike starts in Fridingen on the Danube. The wonderfully dramatic landscape with water and rocks shows itself from its most beautiful side - riddled with ruins and castles, which sit on the heights.Soon you will pass the Stiegelesfelsen and enjoy the first great view. And now there are many more: From the ruin Kallenberg and on the way to Bronnen Castle, you will always find fantastic panoramas on the unique Danube valley. Pure hiking pleasure - and quite relaxed without many vertical meters.Slowly you say goodbye to the altitude and wander down into the valley to the river bank of the Danube. Not far, then you have reached your milestone Beuron. Arrived at the destination, definitely worth a visit to the monastery. Take a look at the impressive ceiling fresco in the church, sit down in the idyllic monastery garden and let the approximately 60 kilometers of hiking on the Donauberglandweg pass by.From Beuron you can take the train to Sigmaringen or Tuttlingen. Or you stay one more night in the hotel next to the monastery and start the return journey the next day.

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  • Intermediate
    03:41
    7.94 mi
    2.2 mph
    975 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This nearly 13-kilometer hike takes you along the Old Shepherd's Path through a side valley of the Danube. Several springs and fountains are bubbling in the area, which makes the otherwise barren landscape wonderfully fertile. In the past, the shepherds used the springs as a drinking stop for their flocks of sheep. Today, they offer hikers a great place for a refreshing break.The hike starts in Mahlstetten in the parking lot at Hirsch-Erlebniswald. The path leads you gently up and down the idyllic Schäfertal. Gradually, the path climbs until you reach the Old Mountain with the Josefskapelle. From up here you have a fantastic view over the western Swabian Alb.Continue past Böttingen and through the Schäfertal back towards Mahlstetten. On the way you come over and over at great vantage points. Shortly before the end of the tour you can stop at the Landgasthof Lippachmühle.If you still have enough energy after the hike, there are several climbing routes awaiting you in the Hirsch Adventure Forest.

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  • Intermediate
    04:37
    9.68 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This walk makes the title Donauwelle all the glory: in a beautiful up and down you wander through the unique landscape of the breakthrough valley of the Danube. You can expect beautiful views of the river, the green forest and the bright rocks. Soon you will understand why the area is also called the Swabian Grand Canyon.Start of the circular walk is at the parking lot at Knopfmacherfelsen. Numerous lookout rocks lie at a good 15 kilometers in front of you. So grab some provisions, then you can choose one of the vantage points for a long break. How about, for example, the lookout point Roggenbusch?In addition to the fairytale landscape you walk past the castle ruin Kallenberg and enjoy a dreamy view of the castle Bronnen. One hundred percent Danube Valley enjoyment!

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  • Intermediate
    03:42
    8.16 mi
    2.2 mph
    900 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this route you will experience something unique in the world: between Immendingen and Möhringen, the Danube simply disappears from the surface. At about 155 days a year - in spring and autumn - the river sinks completely and you can walk dry through the riverbed. The water seeps away, flows southward in a constantly expanding cave system and reappears after an average of 60 hours in the 12 km distant Aachtopf, Germany's largest spring, with 10,000 liters per second - and flows from there into the North Sea. The water of the Danube only reaches two thirds of the year in the Black Sea. The trigger for the natural spectacle are the calcareous rock strata of the Jurassic period, from which a large part of the Swabian Alb is built.The start of this unique hike is at the hiking car park in Immendingen. Right at the beginning you wander through the natural phenomenon of Danube Sinking. The path leads you thereafter in a leisurely up and down through the Kirchtal. From a beautiful vantage point you can look as far as Hegau and Lake Constance.Continue along the volcanic crater Höwenegg with its naturally formed lake. Through the forest of the Pfaffenwinkel you wander relaxed back to the starting point.Along the route you will pass several nice resting places. If you do not want to carry your food, you can also stop in Hattingen or at the starting point of the tour.

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  • Intermediate
    04:22
    8.70 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This circular walk takes you on winding paths and wonderful panoramic paths through the heart of the Upper Danube Nature Park. Starting point of the hike is at the impressive monastery Beuron. The visit of the monastery church can be saved as a highlight for the completion of your tour. First, it is 14 kilometers and more than 500 meters to master.A crisp climb awaits you right on the first two kilometers. But the ascent is rewarded: From Eichfelsen you can enjoy a fantastic view of the beautiful Danube valley - the perfect place for a rest. In the distance you can see Werenwang Castle on the limestone cliffs so typical of the landscape.You descend into the valley, cross the river and climb steeply up to Wildenstein Castle on the other side of the river. On your further journey, you will always be able to enjoy wonderful views of the Upper Danube Nature Park.At the end of the tour you can look forward to a visit to the monastery church Beuron. The ceiling fresco is totally impressive. Keep an eye out for the famous white horse - he'll keep an eye on you in every corner of the church.

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  • Intermediate
    02:49
    5.68 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,025 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this almost ten-kilometer hike, the focus is on the Albtrauf - and from different perspectives. You will run below the steep edge and enjoy a little later the magnificent view from the edge of the hill to the Black Forest. Even the way itself offers variety: Sometimes you walk on green meadows, sometimes you offer great views, sometimes you walk along the route of the former Heubergbahn.Start of the tour is in Denkingen on the trail parking lot. The first third leads you relaxed on a fairly level track along the former railway line. From 1928 and 1966, the train rolled here between Spaichingen and Reichenbach. Then the short climb over the Stations of the Cross on the Dreifaltigkeitsberg begins. 300 meters in altitude you have to master, above you can expect a beautiful panorama.On the plateau you continue hiking to the cliff corner. Maybe you can just watch a plane taking off or landing on the glider area. From Klippeneck the path leads you quickly down to Denkingen to your starting point.Along the way you will find several restaurants, for example, the cozy restaurant on the Trinity mountain with a large outdoor terrace.

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  • Intermediate
    03:17
    7.05 mi
    2.1 mph
    900 ft
    900 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This moderate hike takes you through a virtually untouched natural landscape on the plateau of the Swabian Alb via a side valley of the Danube. You expect along the eleven kilometers long route only a few meters, but pure nature in the highlands above the Upper Danube.The starting point of the circular hike is at the hiking car park just outside Dürbheim. Immediately dive into the peaceful landscape and wander over the beautiful heaths and meadows of the Alb landscape. Again and again you can enjoy fantastic views of the original Ursental valley. You pass several former castles - Altrietheim, Wallenburg, Bräunisburg and finally the castle ruins of Kraftstein, from which you can still discover remnants of the residential tower.On the Risiberg, just before the end of the tour, you can stop at the Landgasthof Waldeck. From here it is not far to the starting point of your hike.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    90.5 mi
  • Duration
    43:51 h
  • Elevation
    13,025 ft
The „Donaubergland” – hikes around the Swabian Grand Canyon
Hiking Collection by
Donaubergland