From Stadt Wehlen to Hohnstein
In the town of Wehlen you walk a section up the River Elbe, before climbing the Schwarzbergweg (black mountain path) to »Steinerner Tisch«. This table of stone was commissioned by elector Augustus the Great to eat properly while hunting. The hiking trail takes you to one of the most famous sights of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains: the Bastei. Fantastic views of the landscape can be enjoyed from the Bastei Bridge and the surrounding viewpoints. The Schweizerhaus National Park Gallery at the Bastei Mountain Hotel is home to an exhibition of artworks featuring the Saxon Switzerland landscape. You walk down the Basteiweg path and head right, into the spa town of Rathen, which is home to numerous restaurants. You then have to double back on yourself. In Amselgrund you can visit Rathen Open-Air Stage with its spectacular natural backdrop. You then continue past Amselsee Lake, on which you can enjoy a short boat trip, before heading on to Amselfall, which is a national park information point, and then onto Rathewalde. The route runs parallel to the road, in the direction of Hocksteinparkplatz. From there, you walk to Hockstein and climb over the steps of the Wolfschlucht gorge, down into the Polenztal valley. The »Schindergraben« educational trail leads to Hohnstein. Here it is worth paying a visit to the castle and the Kasper Museum in the Tourist Information Centre.
Information and detours from the Malerweg
The Bastei, the most famous landmark in Saxon Switzerland some 193 metres above the River Elbe, presents a fantastic view of the Elbe Valley and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, right into Bohemian Switzerland. The National Park Information Point "Kunst & Natur" is home to a permanent collection of art from Saxon Switzerland.
A worthwhile round walk, beginning right by the Bastei Bridge, takes you past ruins from a former castle and over deep ravines on secure footbridges. You can enjoy fantastic views of the rocky world of the surrounding depths. An entry fee applies.
(0 km | Duration of round tour approx. 0.5 h)
SteinReich adventure world
Be enchanted by the timeless collection of fairytales and stories of Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland! A world of experience with attractions for the whole family – including food and drink outlets and tourist information.
The state-accredited climatic health resort of Rathen lies directly on the River Elbe, below the world-famous Bastei. Guests visiting the car-free resort particularly treasure the great connections to the S-Bahn train service, the numerous walking trails, the famous Open-Air Stage, Amselsee Lake and the large "Eisenbahnwelten" model railway.
As an alternative to the valley descent, which leads past Amselsee Lake as part of stage 2 of the Malerweg, you can also walk down via the Schwedenlöcher (literally: Sweden holes). The name refers to hiding places for the region's population during the 30 Years War. Today, it is one of the most beautiful, moss-covered, narrow ravines, which remains pleasantly cool in the summer months.
(Distance approx. 1.4 km | 0.5 hr)
Gamrig rock formation near Kurort Rathen
A renowned rocky viewpoint near Rathen, featuring beautiful weathered shapes and wonderful views, is worth a detour. The summit is easily reached via wooden steps. The viewing platform does not have any rails however, so caution is required.
(Distance approx. 3.8 km | 1.5 hr)
The Hockstein offers a wonderful view down into the 115-metre-deep Polenztal Valley. The remains of a medieval fortification can be found here. The current stone bridge dates back to 1821 and is one of the first tourist constructions to be built in Saxon Switzerland. Those paying close attention will find a "mill" game carved into the rocky promontory.
Not far from the Hockstein you can find the 393-metre-high viewing platform with its magnificent panorama of Lausitz, Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland and the Eastern Erz Mountains. A memorial stone for those who fell in the two world wars can be found on the so-called Napoleon linden tree.
(Distance approx. 2.4 km | 1 hr)
Stolpen Castle is a famous fortification on a basalt cone on the edge of the Saxon Switzerland National Park. Once the seat of a bishop, then the place where the famous Countess Cosel was held and died, today the castle is home to a museum and the venue for a range of events.
(Distance 7 km | 2.5 h)
Hohnstein's landmark is the defiant castle that has become fused into the rocks. Georg Bähr, who built the Dresden Frauenkirche, also planned the building of the church of Hohnstein. A puppet show festival takes place each year in honour of the inventor of the puppet Kasper, Max Jacob. A small hand puppet museum can be found in the Tourist Information Centre.