© Yvonne Brückner

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains – Hiking in a winter wonderland

© Sebastian Thiel

Immersing oneself into a world of clarity and silence, finding inner peace, experiencing the mysterious side of the rocky landscape – this is what winter hiking in Saxon Switzerland means.

Bundle yourself up, pack your thermos flask in the backpack and just start walking! The good thing about hiking is its simplicity. Walking through this enchanted scenery in winter is a magic experience. And the most popular hiking trails are now often for you alone.

The most beautiful winter hiking tours

© Yvonne Brückner

Saxon Switzerland’s winter hiking map indicates 33 particularly charming tours ranging from easy strolls to challenging hiking adventures. On each of these routes there is at least one catering facility open in winter. The map not only provides the route but also informs about viewing points, winter trip destinations and spare time activities.

List of all 33 winter hiking routes!

The degrees of difficulty of the tours are marked by colours:

Blue – easy tour, mostly level, often cleared, always almost hikeable

Red – moderately difficult, including slight ascents, may be difficult in deep snow

Black – difficult tour, with steep ascents, including steps and trail sections not always accessible due to snow and ice



Drop here!

Experience nature in winter

© Rico Richter

Hiking in winter is not only nice but wonderfully uncomplicated as well. Beginners should nevertheless not just start hiking without taking any considerations.  Just as in road traffic you should prepare for winter conditions on hiking trails. Trails in Saxon Switzerland are not cleared from snow and ice.

In particular on narrow and steep paths you should be careful, especially on steps, stairs and ladders. Hiking poles or spikes buckled under your shoes can improve the grip on such difficult terrain but they never replace caution!!! Shoe spikes – known as “Eisgrödel” in German – can be borrowed from the Aktiv Zentrum Bad Schandau.

For your safety you should not hike at all in winter if there is black ice.


Tips for hiking in winter

© Katrin Baldrich

First of all it is important to find a suitable route. In dry weather all of Saxon Switzerland’s paths are hikeable in winter, too. There are some reservations in case of ice and snow in particular where steep ascents, steps and ladders have to be overcome. In case of doubt choose a less difficult alternative route.
The next issue to be considered is suitable clothing. Also in winter, dressing in layers helps to react to different situations. Wearing a hat goes without saying. Gloves are important for holding onto the cold railings, and hiking boots should have a good grip suitable for winter.

Hiking poles and shoe spikes buckled under your soles can improve your grip on winterly terrain, but never replace caution. However, hiking is not recommendable at all in conditions of deep snow, black ice or extremely low temperatures.
And what to put into your backpack? A good hiking map is essential. If you plan a longer tour, you should not forget some snacks and a flask of hot tea for your physical and mental wellbeing. Single hikers in particular should have a mobile phone on them.  A torch might be helpful, too, in case the tour takes longer than expected.



Available in our shop:

Winter hiking maps

Edition with 33 selected hiking tours including winter catering facilities

Scale: 1:35,000

Saxon Switzerland is criss-crossed by 1,200 km of marked trails. Most of them are also suitable for winter hikes if the weather allows.  Saxon Switzerland Tourism Association presents the most attractive tours in this completely revised and newly edited winter hiking map.

The colour of the route indicates its degree of difficulty, easy tours are blue, moderately difficult ones red, and black are the challenging tours. On each tour, you find at least one mountain inn or eatery open in winter. In addition, spa and spare time facilities are listed with their winter offers.

It appears that you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser to access our site.

For practical and security reasons, we recommend that you use a current web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Edge. Internet Explorer does not always display the complete content of our website and does not offer all the necessary functions.