Hiking the Eifelsteig: Discover Eifel National Park

By Sierd van der Bij

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Hiking the Eifelsteig: Discover Eifel National Park
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The Eifelsteig is a 313-kilometer trekking trail divided into 15 stages in the German Eifel region. Hike from Aachen in Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia) to beautiful Trier in Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) and experience Germany at its best. Together with Rheinsteig, Malerweg, Rothaarsteig, and Moselsteig, the Eifelsteig is one of the classics for a German hiking holiday. On the Eifelsteig, you are always accompanied by the elements. The motto of the Eifelsteig is therefore "Wo Fells und Wasser Dich begleiten. - Just you, the Water and the Rocks." Read our blog post about the Eifelsteig, discover the most beautiful stages, and prepare yourself well for the Eifelsteig Route using GPX files.

On the 313 km long Eifelsteig, hikers can intensively experience the different facets of the Eifel low mountain range. The seasons constantly give the route a new face. Thus, every time of year has its own charm. In spring, the Eifel awakens with colourful meadows and flowering hedges, followed by the famous broom blossoms - called the "Eifel Gold" by its inhabitants. The Eifel has a warm climate in summer when the forests and streams provide the necessary coolness. The autumn colours of the Eifel are also worthwhile and in winter the Eifel is perhaps at its best.

So Where Is the Eifelsteig?

The Eifelsteig runs through the so-called Eifel Region in Western Germany. It runs quite close by Belgium and it's not far from the Dutch border. The Eifel region is an attractive area of highlands between Aachen, Cologne, Koblenz, and Trier which is quite untypical of the rest of Germany’s landscapes. Visitors don’t normally think of this nation as volcanic territory, but dormant volcanoes have formed a lot of the higher ground, although it’s hard to spot their influence in the likes of the Swabian Alps, for example, down near Stuttgart, where erosion has produced a plateau.

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Eifelsteig - A 'Premium Hiking Trail'

The Eifelsteig, just like the Rheinsteig for example, is one of the LAW hiking trails that has been awarded the "Premium Wanderwege" seal of approval by the German Wanderinstitut. According to the Wanderinstitut, a Premium Wanderweg is characterised by "excellent markings and a particularly high level of experience". Premium hiking trails guarantee a balanced and beautiful hiking experience. Pleasant paths and trails, great views, beautiful forest scenes, water bodies, rock structures, well-maintained rest and relaxation areas, cultural and historical treasures, and many other aspects make hiking on premium trails a special pleasure.

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What Is the Best Season for the Eifelsteig?

The seasons in the German Eifel are more or less the same as in the rest of Northwestern parts of Europe. That means nice summers, beautiful mild spring and autumn seasons when you're lucky and don't have too much rain, and wet and sometimes cold winters. So the best seasons for a hike on the Eifelsteig are spring, summer or autumn. Of course, you should dress better in spring and autumn than in summer. Although the Eifelsteig is not recommended during winter, there are nevertheless hikers who brave the Eifelsteig even then. With good preparation and a slightly larger packing list, the Eifelsteig in winter can be an unforgettable adventure.

Where Can I Find an Eifelsteig Trail Map?

To get an idea of how the Eifelsteig passes throughNordrhein-Westfalen andRheinland-Pfalz, check out the map of the Eifelsteig route below. If you are looking for GPX files for a detailed map, read on.

All Eifelsteig Stages

Day
1

Arrival in Blankenheim

On your first day you will travel to Blankheim on your own. The first day you will have time to visit Blankheim and you can enjoy some food and drinks. Enjoy your schnitzel in the evening, but don't drink too much beer. Tomorrow the hike begins!

Hotel Finkenberg (Blankenheim)

Info
Hotel Finkenberg (Blankenheim)
Day
2

Blankenheim - Mirbach

Duration: 04:59 h
Distance: 18 km
Ascent: 320 m
Descent: 330 m
From the start in Blankenheid a beautiful trail leads you over the heights of Blankenheim downhill to the Schafbachtal near Ripsdorf and back to the plateau. Here a cross trail leads to the Calvary with panoramic views of the Eifel. You leave the lonely juniper landscape in Lampertstal over a wooden bridge and follow the narrow stream Mirbach to the village of the same name.

Ferienwohnung Mastiaux (Mirbach)

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Ferienwohnung Mastiaux (Mirbach)
Day
3

Mirbach - Hillesheim

Duration: 07:11 h
Distance: 26.2 km
Ascent: 400 m
Descent: 420 m
This stage offers passages through light forests and over high plateaus, with sweeping views of limestone quarries and impressive valleys. The absolute highlight is the Dreimühlen waterfall in the Ahbachtal - an extraordinary natural spectacle, which you reach halfway along the route. Before you reach your destination Hillesheim, you pass the Niederehe Monastery and Kerpen Castle.

Gästehaus Kloep (Hillesheim)

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Gästehaus Kloep (Hillesheim)
Day
4

Hillesheim - Gerolstein

Duration: 05:37 h
Distance: 19.5 km
Ascent: 430 m
Descent: 500 m
At the beginning we will descend through the Bolsdorf valley to the Kyll. After a steep ascent in the forest, you will reach the Rother Kopf caves. Then the route continues over the imposing Auberg and to the coral reef of Gerolstein, which was created 390 million years ago by reef-forming organisms. Spectacular rock formations and the impressive beechwood caves line the trail.

Seehotel am Stausee (Gerolstein)

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Seehotel am Stausee (Gerolstein)
Day
5

Gerolstein - Daun

Duration: 06:57 h
Distance: 23.9 km
Ascent: 640 m
Descent: 570 m
This stage can be divided into two different sections. Until Neroth (approx. 3 hours), the trail runs almost exclusively through light forest and is therefore ideal for warmer days. An exception is the Dietzenley, a volcanic spire with an observation tower. The view of the Kyll Valley and its surroundings is impressive. From Neroth you enter the valley of the Little Kyll and overcome the steep 200-meter altitude to cross the summit of the Nerother Kopf.

Hotel Stadt Daun (Daun)

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Hotel Stadt Daun (Daun)
Day
6

Daun - Manderscheid

Duration: 06:39 h
Distance: 23.2 km
Ascent: 510 m
Descent: 570 m
The first part of this stage goes steeply up to the Maars, to the heart of the Vulkaneifel. The water glistens dark blue, the broom is golden yellow, the horizon is wide - like a beautiful play of colors. The second part of the route initially offers solitude and silence, as it leads through green meadows in the Lieser valley and later through oak forests, finally ending with fireworks: the rocky path above the river and the castles near Manderscheid. Good luck!

Altes Forsthaus (Manderscheid)

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Altes  Forsthaus (Manderscheid)
Day
7

Manderscheid

After breakfast and after you have checked out of your hotel, your trip comes to an end. There are good bus and train connections back to Blankenheim to pick up your car again if necessary. These costs are not included.
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Eifelsteig Waymarking

Since the Eifelsteig is a Premium Hiking Trail, you can be sure that the Eifelsteig trail is excellently marked. The Eifelsteig logo can be seen on signposts and in trees along the way. Follow the signs and the 313 kilometres and 15 stages of the Eifelsteig are easy to follow. If you want to be even more sure, you can always use a GPS system and the GPX files belonging to the Eifelsteig.

Eifelsteig Waymarking

Packing List for the Eifelsteig

No matter where you go hiking or for how long, bringing the right equipment is of utmost importance. For your hike, the first thing you need is a good backpack. The size of it will depend on the number of days you will be trekking, the season and the clothes you take with you. If you have luggage transport, the comfort level of your daypack is most important. We have compiled a packing list with a few essential items of clothing you should bring and some extras you might find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

Eifelsteig Accommodation: Hotel or Gasthof

The Eifel is popular among both domestic and foreign tourists. You will therefore find plenty of accommodation options here. During your hike, you will always stay in typical Gasthöfer and Hotels. The Gasthöfer and Hotels along the Eifelsteig are usually family-run businesses, often accompanied by an in-house restaurant(s) and bar and play a central role in the community life of the village or town. The wine villages also offer wine tasting. Buffet breakfast is always included and it is possible to make a sandwich for the road. A typical example of a Gasthof along the Eifelsteig:

Eifelsteig Accommodation: Hotel or Gasthof

At Bookatrekking.com, we not only book your accommodation and luggage transport, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Eifelsteig, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Safety tips for the Eifelsteig

Although this is far from being a trek in the Himalayas, unexpected things can always happen and you might also find obstacles on the hiking trails along the way. The Eifelsteig is safe, the trails are quite straight forward and there is not an extreme difference in altitude. However, for your safety, every hike deserves a level of respect; respect for the terrain, the trails, wildlife and vegetation, local rules and regulations, and above all, your physical capabilities and safety. Therefore, for an unforgettable and safe hiking memory, please keep the following safety recommendations in mind:

  • Know your limits

    Always prepare each stage carefully to use your energy wisely, respect your physical and mental limitations, and avoid taking unnecessary risks. When ascending or descending, if applicable, always use the aids provided, such as handrails and ropes. Is this trek suitable for you? Well, familiarize yourself with the grading system and figure out if this trek matches your capabilities. If you still need professional advice you can always contact Bookatrekking.com experts.

  • Stay on marked trails

    The most important thing is to never leave the marked paths. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B in the Eifelsteig. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you.

  • Fully equipped

    Make sure you have the necessary gear for the conditions you'll be facing, including appropriate clothing, footwear, and any necessary equipment for the terrain you'll be hiking on. Always wear clothing adapted to the weather of Eifelsteig and protect yourself from cold and wetness or heat and sun. Besides, make sure you carry enough food and water for the duration of your trek. On the way, you might (or might not) be able to buy snacks.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Eifelsteig.

  • Respect for nature

    Do not litter, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

Where Can I Book the Eifelsteig?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Eifelsteig and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations, organizing luggage transportation and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Eifelsteig not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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