A beautiful stretch of landscape between the Rhine, Neckar and Odenwald – welcome to the Bergstraße. You can get to know this beautiful strip of earth in southwestern Germany especially well on the Burgensteig. Steep vineyards, flowering orchards and green hills accompany you on the 90 mile (about 144km) hiking trail from Darmstadt to Heidelberg. And, as if the dreamlike landscape was not enough already, you can also discover 30 castles, palaces and places of worship along the way. In this Collection, you can explore the area the Romans called the „Strata Montana“ in all its glory.
The Burgensteig Bergstraße follows the course of a trade route, which was founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago. As, for a long time, the Rhine plain was too damp for the construction of a permanent road, the Roman settlers built a road where the slopes of the Odenwald and the Rhinish lowlands meet. This road, which would later be called Bergstraße, became the most important trading and military road between Heidelberg and Darmstadt – and today offers excellent hiking opportunities.
In this Collection, we have divided the trail into nine stages. Each section ends in one of the tranquil villages along the mountain road where you can spend the night. If you do not want to hike all the way at once, or if you just want to pick out a few day trips, you can reach all the start and ending points by public transport. We guide you along the Burgensteig from Darmstadt to Heidelberg, but you can also walk it in the opposite direction, from south to north.
With more than 14,700 feet (about 4500 meters) of elevation, the Burgensteig Bergstraße has some tough climbs, but the beautiful landscape rewards you at every turn. You can look forward to varied hikes with lots of nature and culture. While the northern part runs mainly through the forested area around Frankenstein Castle and Melibokus, the southern part leads you through the idyllic vineyards of Bergstraße. A quarter of wine tastes particularly delicious after an eventful hiking.
Do you want to discover more of the Odenwald and Bergstraße? More long-distance hiking trails and day routes can be found in these Collections:
On the second stage, two outstanding castles await you on the Burgensteig.The first destination is the Alsbacher Schloss. The medieval fortress was probably built as a defensive fortress against the castle Auerbach. You can visit the castle the whole year from Wednesday to Sunday. After visiting the castle, the castle tavern awaits you where you can have a good break.
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On your third hiking day, the Burgensteig leads you first into the state park Fürstenlager.The princely camp is located in a park of more than 40 hectares and elegantly landscaped. In the heyday of the landgraves of Hesse-Darmstadt, the counts built a lush summer residence with various mansions, stables, garden temples, pavilions and jewelery. On the extensive hunting trips here also the guests were royally hosted and accommodated.
On the sixth stage, there are again two mighty castles, which, however, have a completely different story.First goal is the medieval castle ruin Windeck. Despite the advanced decline, it still offers a great sight. In recent years, large parts have been restored to preserve the current state of the castle for posterity. From the castle walls you can already discover the second Weinheimer castle, the Wachenburg.
The ninth stage is the grand finale of your hike on the Burgensteig.The first half of today's hike passes through vineyards and natural forest trails. Time and again beautiful views open up as the trees clear and clear the view of the Rhine plain.After you have crossed the Mühlbachtal it goes up in a steep climb to Heiligenberg. Up here, exciting historic sites await you.