© Francesco Carovillano

Malerweg Trail – Stage 2

A touch of Bella Italia is floating about in Stadt Wehlen’s market square. The second trail stage starts here in a relaxed way.

Facts and figures about the 2nd Malerweg trail stage:

10,9 m

The second stage of the Malerweg is 10.9 km long. Although it is shorter in distance than the first stage, more time is needed because of the altitude difference.

4:45 hours

The walking time needed on average for the second stage of the Malerweg Trail is four hours and forty five minutes, not including detours and breaks.

499 m altitude difference

UPHILL. The 2. stage of the trail is rated moderate in terms of the degree of difficulty. That means it is manageable without problems for persons of an average level of fitness used to occasional hiking. There are steps and iron stairs on this section.

345 m altitude difference

DOWNHILL. The lowest point of the stage is reached in the Amselgrund Gorge. Later there is another descent to the Polenztal Gorge before going uphill again to the town of Hohnstein.

Route description

After a first section upstream along the River Elbe, the trail continues uphill to a resting place called “Steinerner Tisch” (“Stone Table”). The age of this combination table and bench made of local stone is surprising. Prince Elector August the Strong (1670 – 1733) personally had this picnic site erected for a hunting trip.

The Malerweg Trail then follows the so-called “Fremdenweg” (“Strangers’ Trail”) up to the famous Bastei Rock. From there you descend along Basteiweg (Bastei Path) over several steps down to Kurort Rathen. A detour to this small town itself is recommendable for a visit to one of the numerous restaurants.

Back in the Amselgrund Gorge the trail passes the access road to Rathen’s open air theatre, the “Felsenbühne”, continues to Lake Amselsee and the Amselfall Waterfall and then to the village of Rathewalde. After leaving the village, the trail runs parallel to the road leading to the car park near Hockstein Mountain. From Hockstein Mountain you can already see the destination of the second stage, the town of Hohnstein situated on the other side of the Polenztal Gorge. To get there, you go down the steps through the narrow “Wolfsschlucht” (“Wolves Glen”), a short section along the Polenz Stream and then up again along a ruggedly picturesque path called “Schindergraben” (“Knacker’s Ditch”). Points of interest in the town of Hohnstein are the castle and the Punch museum.

Accommodation along the Malerweg Trail

Hosts listed on this page are certified to be “Hiker-friendly at the Malerweg Trail”; they are prepared for Malerweg trail hikers. If you are looking for hotels, guest houses, hostels or camp sites along the second stage only, click on this button.

Good to know...

Tips from the editors

Felsenbühne Rathen

Premiere einer Aufführung der Felsenbühne Rathen© Michael Schmidt

The Felsenbühne Rathen is located in the heart of the Saxon Switzerland National Park. Surrounded by wild beauty and unique rocky landscape, a unique theater experience awaits you - the Felsenbühnen Festival. Enjoy impressive highlights from musicals, operas and plays in front of a wild and romantic backdrop. Experience the fascination of the Felsenbühne Rathen as the finale of your Malerweg adventure!

(Detour distance: 0,5 km)

Program & tickets:www.felsenbuehne-rathen.de
Theater box office: kasse@landesbuehnen-sachsen.de | +49 351 - 89 54321
3D trip to the Felsenbühne Rathen: www.landesbuehnen-sachsen.de/felsenbuehne-rathen/#3DReise

Felsenbühne Rathen
01824 Kurort Rathen



Detours and Highlights along the Malerweg Trail


The most famous landmark in Saxon Switzerland, situated 193 meters above the Elbe River, provides a fabulous view to the Elbe Valley and to the elevations of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains up to Bohemian Switzerland. A visit to the Bastei bridge is free of charge.

© Francesco Carovillano

Neurathen Rock Fort

Directly at the Bastei bridge a worthwhile circuit trail along safe walkways crossing deep gorges leads through the ruins of a former rock fort. The views from there to the surrounding scenery of cliffs and valleys are just fantastic. An entry fee is charged. Please note: Neurathen Castle is currently closed (see News).

(0 km | loop walk time around 0.5 h)

© czechvibes

Kurort Rathen

This State-approved climatic health resort is situated directly at the Elbe River and at the foot of the world-famous Bastei Rock. Visitors to this pedestrianized place appreciate particularly the good train service, numerous hiking trails, the famous open air theatre, Lake Amselsee and the great miniature railway area “Eisenbahnwelten”.

© Achim Meurer

Schwedenlöcher Trail

The trail called “Schwedenlöcher” (“Swedes’ Holes”) could be used as an alternative route instead of the descent from Bastei past Lake Amselsee on the second stage. The name evokes images of hideaways the local population sought there during the Thirty Years War. Today it is one of the most beautiful moss-covered narrow gorges which are pleasantly cool in summer.

(Distance 1.4 km | 0.5 h)

© Michael Bader

Gamrig Rock near Kurort Rathen

This famous rock formation in the Rathen area is worth a detour for its pretty weathering forms and its wonderful views. The summit can easily be reached over wooden steps. But be cautious, there are no railings at the viewing plateau.

(Distance 3.8 km | 1.5 h)

© Philipp Zieger

Hockstein Mountain

A magnificent view from Hockstein Mountain looks into the 115 m deep Polenztal Gorge below. The remains of a medieval fort are to be found here. The stone bridge you can see there today dates back to 1821 and was one of the first constructions built for tourism in Saxon Switzerland. If you look closely, you may find a Nine Men’s Morris game scratched into the rock at its very top edge.

© Yvonne Brückner

Hohburkersdorf Panorama

This viewing point is situated at an elevation of 393 m not far from Hockstein Mountain and provides stunning views toward Lusatia, Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland as well as to the Eastern Ore Mountains. At the Napoleon’s Linden tree a memorial is dedicated  to the soldiers killed in the First and Second World Wars.

(Distance 2.4 km | 1h)

© Sebastian Thiel

Stolpen Castle

Stolpen Castle is a famous fort situated on a cone-shaped basalt hill at the edge of Saxon Switzerland National Park. This former bishops’ residence was later turned into the prison and place of death of the famous Countess of Cosel and is a museum and event location today.

(Distance 7 km | 2.5h)

© Yvonne Brückner

Town of Hohnstein

Hohnstein’s landmark is its mighty castle which seems to have merged with the rock underneath it. George Bähr, the master builder of the Dresden Frauenkirche also made the plans for Hohnstein Church. Every year a puppet festival takes place to honour Max Jakob, the inventor of the Punch character. In the tourist information, there is a small museum about the hand puppet tradition.

© Sebastian Thiel

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