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The Malerweg hiking trail in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Multi-day hiking tour in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe
Bastei? Check. Königstein Fortress? Check. Schrammsteine? Check. Pfaffenstein? Check. Once you have completed the entire Malerweg Trail, you can tick off these and countless other highlights of Saxon Switzerland. No other route through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains offers such a wide range of sights; this is what makes it so unique. The hiking trail near Dresden stretches over 116 kilometers from its starting point in the village of Liebethal through the wild rock formations of Saxon Switzerland National Park to the Bohemian border. Returning on the left side of the Elbe River, it meanders through the realm of the table mountains to its final point in the heart of the small town of Pirna. Narrow gorges and endless expanses, enchanted valleys and sunny heights, dreamy villages and lively tourist towns: all this is what the trail offers to those who venture on it.
Distance. The total length of the Malerweg Trail in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains is approximately 116 km. This figure is estimated as deviations are possible because of different measuring techniques.
Walking time. The time to complete the full tour depends on the individual hiker’s fitness level and should not be underestimated. The time suggested is an average value based on experience.
Total ascent. The Malerweg trail consists of continuously changing up and down sections including many steps and ladders in typical rocky terrain.
"Germany's most beautiful hiking trail 2023"
Award-winning hiking pleasure
The Malerweg Elbe Sandstone Mountains has done it again! Of 10 nominated multi-day tours, the stage tour, which walks in the footsteps of the artists of the Romantic period, was able to secure third place! Thanks to numerous votes, the Malerweg Elbsandsteingebirge can be pleased about the podium place at the audience award of the german hiking magazine "Wandermagazin".
In 2006, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Painters' Trail was reconstructed on the basis of historical documents and newly signposted to meet the quality requirements of today's hikers. Just one year later, the hiking magazine named it "Germany's most beautiful hiking trail". A year later, it also won the Internet public award for "Germany's Most Popular Hiking Trail". Countless travel reports, blog posts or press articles sing the praises of the Malerweg. They confirm that the Malerweg deserves the title of Germany's most beautiful hiking trail. In 2016, readers of Globetrotter magazine voted the Malerweg third most popular trip in the world, after Patagonia and Iceland. So, when does your Malerweg adventure start?
Good to know
How challenging is a hiking tour section on the Malerweg Trail? What kind of equipment is recommendable? What is the best season for hiking on the Malerweg Trail?
Find detailed answers to these questions by clicking the button below.
>> Hiking trail
Sometimes a hike can be deeply moving when the scenery inexplicably and incomprehensively touches us. In such a moment a hiking tour turns into an experience with a long-lasting effect.
The Malerweg hiking trail is a likely prospect for such an experience. On this trail you walk in the footsteps of artists we today count among the inventors of Romanticism. They returned again and again as they had discovered something here that was and is nowhere else to be found in Europe.
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Malerweg Trail package offers
Are you planning a tour on the Malerweg Trail as a couple or with some good friends as a smaller or bigger group? Your Malerweg Trail experience, including hotel reservations and luggage transport from stage to stage, will be optimally prepared. The booking service team of the tourist information office is happy to help you in finding out the best option for you.
Phone: +49 3501 470147
Self-planned Malerweg Trail hiking
All hosts appearing on this website are certified as “Hiker-Friendly on the Malerweg Trail” (“Wanderfreundlich am Malerweg”). They know how to make Malerweg Trail hikers happy and offer among other things single-night stays, packed lunches for a healthy picnic in the countryside, support in luggage transfer or drying facilities for wet clothing. Hiker-friendly restaurants provide warm and light meals as well as drinks to take away. All hosts appearing on this website are certified as “Hiker-Friendly on the Malerweg Trail” (“Wanderfreundlich am Malerweg”). They know how to make Malerweg Trail hikers happy and offer among other things single-night stays, packed lunches for a healthy picnic in the countryside, support in luggage transfer or drying facilities for wet clothing. Hiker-friendly restaurants provide warm and light meals as well as drinks to take away.
Our service for you
We are happy to send you our >> Hiking in Saxon Switzerland brochure free of charge directly to your letter box at home, or you can do it the environmental-friendly way by saving it on your electronic device. The hiking brochure is an ideal basis for organizing your tour on the Malerweg Trail in Saxon Switzerland. Clearly laid out maps for each stage provide route descriptions and contacts for hiker-friendly resorts and restaurants. A special extra reward is the Malerweg hiking pass: get it stamped at each stage and you have a certificate to take home in the end of your tour!
Hiking guides, hiking maps, illustrated books, magazines, souvenirs. We provide a small but exclusive selection of useful and beautiful items for Malerweg Trail hikers in our shop. Just have a browse!