The Marksburg is the only medieval castle to have survived undamaged on the Rhine. Its shining white appearance and soaring white towers make it one of the most iconic images of the Rhine valley and one of its most historically immersive. This hike is about walking around the ridge of the surrounding valley to get the best views of the castle from a distance.
One of Germany's truly hidden gems is the Nahe Valley and the dramatic gorge that the river carves through the landscape. The Rothenfels or the Red Cliffs is a sheer vertical massif that rises from the otherwise flat landscape of the Palatinate. This hike takes you to the two main sights, the beautiful Red Cliffs and the ruined Artillery Bastion on top of them.
The three Gleichen castles were the seat of the County Gleichen, in addition to fortresses belonging to the Abbot of Hersfeld and the Margraves of Thuringia. The castles guarded the important trade route of the Via Regia, and were subsequently besieged and destroyed multiple times over the course of history. Today, the three castles form a dramatic landscape in the Thuringian basin that is also easily accessible. Take a high-speed train from Frankfurt to Berlin through Erfurt, and you will see them as you pass by. This hike takes you on a trip to visit all three.
This combines the first two stages of the Malerweg, or the Painters' Way, through the forests of Saxon-Switzerland. The highlight is, without doubt, the fortress-like bridge of the Bastei and the dramatic views of the Elbe Valley below. The hike also includes some spectacular scenery up in the forests near Hohnstein.
This long hike covers many beautiful highlights of the interior Saxon-Switzerland park. You start climbing along the German Czech border to the rocky sandstone cliffs of the Carolafelsen and Kreuzturm. This hike gives a much better impression of what the Romantic painters would have experienced 100 years ago. Though intense, it will be mostly free of tourists, making it worth a try.