Hiking Trail Malerweg

Lilienstein bei Nebel

The Malerweg – Germany's most beautiful hiking trail 

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains Malerweg trail runs as a circular route from Liebethal to the Czech border and then back along the other side of the River Elbe to Pirna. The hiking trail does not just offer breathtaking panoramas and a never-ending range of bizarre rock formations; it also represents a challenge, as it features a total of eight medium to challenging daily stages, ranging from 11 to 18 kilometres in length. These can be combined, shortened or even lengthened. The hiking trail is rated "M" throughout Saxon Switzerland.

General information about the Malerweg hiking trail




Malerweg – Walking with quality

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains Malerweg trail is one of the most picturesque hiking trails in Germany. Where once painters, musicians and literary greats sought inspiration for their timeless works, 116 kilometres of diverse walking in eight daily stages now leads through the fascinating rocky landscape of Saxon Switzerland. Over 70 establishments welcome walkers with the "Wanderfreundlich am Malerweg" (Walker-friendly along the Malerweg) certificate and offer short stays, luggage transfer and pack-ups for lunch.

Prize-winning hiking trail


Bastei Neurathner Felsentor Ludwig Richter

A hiking trail as a source of inspiration

The Romantics were the first to discover this hiking trail. First it was the painters from the Dresden Art Academy – above all the Swiss Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff. It is believed that the region owes its name "Saxon Switzerland" to these artists. Half of the European artistic avant garde soon followed. Thus the Elbe Sandstone Mountains found its way into numerous works from the period, as an image, a description, a backdrop or an inspiration. The painting "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" by Caspar David Friedrich is particularly well-known, as are the masterpieces of "Freischütz" by Carl Maria von Weber and "Lohengrin" by Richard Wagner.

Art on the Malerweg




Malerweg – A fairytale of stone

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains, or Saxon Switzerland, represent an inimitable natural wonder in Central Europe. The Cretaceous erosion landscape with its thousands of faces, its micro-climate curiosities and its valuable flora and fauna is one of the most exciting walking regions there are. Those walking along the Malerweg hiking trail experience the impressive diversity of the Saxon Switzerland National Park and the surrounding protected landscape. You pass majestic table mountains and bizarre rock needles, cross rivers and brooks, roam through mystical valleys and visit picturesque towns and villages.

Formation of the landscape