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Full Malerweg

Bookatrekking.com Trips - 10 days

    Regular days with
  • 10 - 15 km per day
  • 250 - 500m ascent per day
  • T2 Trails / no difficulty markings
Overview
Route
What's Included
Accommodation
Packing List
FAQ
Arriving and departing
Safety
COVID-19
How to Book

Overview

> The complete classic Malerweg route
> From Pirna-Liebethal to Pirna
> Stay in pleasant guesthouses and hotels
 
Not far from Dresden, on the border with the Czech Republic and on the banks of the River Elbe, you will find one of the most beautiful examples of German nature. National Park Saxon Switzerland is home to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and this is where the Malerweg runs, a 112-kilometer hiking trail that can be walked in 8 stages. 
 
During this hiking holiday, you will hike the entire Malerweg in 8 stages, and experience Saxon Switzerland in all its glory. Because the accommodation before and after the hike is included, you will be on the road for 10 days. Your stay in comfortable guesthouses and hotels along the way is taken care of, and your remaining luggage is transported to your next accommodation. All you have to do is concentrate on the beauty of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and get inspiration for perhaps your first or next work of art. 

Why book with us?
 
You can do the Malerweg completely self-guided. However, putting together the right route including securing all accommodations can be a tricky affair. Bookatrekking.com has warm contacts with all the accommodations along the Malerweg and we are happy to take that burden off your shoulders. Contact our Trekking Experts for free travel advice and arranging your Malerweg hike will be a breeze.  

Route

What's the plan?

Day 1, Arrival in Pirna

Today you arrive in Pirna. Since it was undoubtedly a long journey here, it is best to relax at the hotel today. 
 
Day 2, Stage 1: Pirna-Liebethal - Stadt Wehlen

To start the hike, first, take a direct bus from the bus station in Pirna to Pirna-Liebethal. This takes about 20 minutes. The hike starts at the entrance of the romantic Liebethaler Grund. You can also choose to hike this part, which will take you an extra 1.5 hours.

The path follows the Wesenitz and passes the monumental Richard Wagner monument (designed by Richard Guhr, 1933) and the remains of the former Lochmühle. Then you pass the Uttewalder Grund with its famous rock gate. The path is now formed by rocks. You will pass the remains of one of the oldest castles in the region. The Malerweg runs along the Elbe to the end of this first day.
 
Distance: 12.5 kilometers (in case you take the bus to Pirna-Liebethal)
Walking time: 3 hours
Ascent: 200 meters
Descent: 200 meters
 
Day 3, Stage 2: Stadt Wehlen - Hohnstein

You start by ascending the Schwarzbergweg, where you reach the resting place called "Steinerner Tisch". The building of the same name was once built by Prince Augustus der Starke as a resting place for when he went hunting. The path leads you to one of the most famous sights of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains: the Bastei. This is one of the absolute attractions of the region and from here you have a fantastic view of the landscape. You descend via a staircase. Then you will pass the Rathen rock plateau with its spectacular natural scenery. Once in Hohnstein, the castle and the Kasper Museum in the tourist office are definitely worth a visit!
 
Distance: 12 kilometers
Walking time: 3.5 hours
Ascent: 460 meters
Descent: 300 meters
 
Day 4, Stage 3: Hohnstein - Altendorf

This hiking day starts on a forest path and passes the Brandaussicht. On this "Balcony of Saxon Switzerland", 170 meters above the Polenztal, you have a fantastic panoramic view. Then you descend more than 800 stair steps to the "den Tiefen Grund". In the last part of today, you can enjoy the view of the Schrammsteine.
 
Distance: 16.8 kilometers
Walking time: 5 hours
Ascent: 430 meters
Descent: 540 meters
 
Day 5, Stage 4: Altendorf - Neumannmühle

Today is a slightly longer hiking day. You will walk down through the Dorfbachklamm into the Kirnitzsch valley. The path then ascends into the Schrammsteine, an elongated, sharply divided rock group. The Jägersteig ascent leads you via iron ladders to the Schrammsteingratweg where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Schrammstein. You then pass Lichtenhainer Wasserfall and walk to the impressive Kuhstall rock cave.
 
Distance: 16.2 kilometers
Walking time: 5 hours
Ascent: 450 meters
Descent: 410 meters



Day 6, Stage 5: Neumannmühle - Schmilka

You start this day in the Kirnitzschtal. The trail leads you past the archaeological remains of a medieval rock castle. A natural, steep path then leads you to the Großer Pohlshorn. You walk through the old silver fir stables to the Zeughaus, an old arsenal. From here you start ascending, to the top of Großer Winterberg. This 556-meter high mountain was created by basaltic erosion through the plateau of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and is the second-highest mountain in Saxon Switzerland. The hiking day ends in Schmilka, where you can visit the Schmilka water mill. The mill was reconstructed in 2007 and is now fully functional again.
 
Distance: 15.1 kilometers
Walking time: 5 hours
Ascent: 530 meters
Descent: 610 meters
 
Day 7, Stage 6: Schmilka - Kurort Gohrisch

Today you start on the ferry to get to the S-Bahn stop Schmilka-Hirschmühle. From here you will walk through small villages until you reach Reinhardtsdorf, where you will find a beautiful village church decorated in a rustic baroque style. Then you ascend to Papststein. From here you descend again to another so-called table mountain: the Gohrisch.
 
Distance: 17.5 kilometers
Walking time: 5 hours
Ascent: 510 meters
Descent: 300 meters
 
Day 8, Stage 7: Kurort Gohrisch - Weißig

Today you hike to Pfaffendorf. Via the ravine path, you walk down to the Quirl. You will pass Königstein, a fascinating rock building. You will walk past the town church and to the foot of the fortress of Königstein. For a visit to the fortress, you should plan an extra 2 hours.
 
Distance: 16.7 kilometers
Walking time: 5 hours
Ascent: 480 meters
Descent: 610 meters
 
Day 9, Stage 8: Weißig - Pirna

Today you hike along the ridge to Naundorf, where the Robert-Sterl-Haus is located, the most important art museum in Saxon Switzerland. The trail continues along the high banks of former stone quarries to the Königsnase. You follow the path until you reach the historic town center of Pirna. The endpoint of this hike is the Canaletto House on the market square.
 
Distance: 13.9 kilometers
Walking time: 4 hours
Ascent: 240 meters
Descent: 330 meters
 
Day 10, Departure

After breakfast, the program is over. We hope to see you again soon in Saxon Switzerland and wish you a pleasant journey back home!

What's Included

Included: 

√ Booking the hotels and guesthouses
We will take care of arranging accommodation for you. We will also provide you with a detailed itinerary for every stage and instructions on how to get to the trailhead. 
 
√ Accommodation before and after the trek
We will arrange the accommodation before and after your Malerweg trek. Both before and after the trek, you will spend the night in Pirna.
 
√ Baggage Transfer
This trek includes the transfer of your luggage throughout the entire trek. Your bags will be picked up every morning from the hotel lobby and will be driven to your next stop. Baggage transfers allow you to travel lighter during the day and enjoy the walk in a more relaxed manner.
 
√ Breakfast
Breakfast is, if possible, included in this trek and it will be provided every morning at the accommodation before you continue with your Malerweg adventure.

Excluded:

× Airfare and Visa
You have to make your way to Pirna. The total amount is exclusive of flights to Germany. 
 
× Transfers
Once in Germany, you will have to make your way to the trailhead in Pirna-Liebethal. We will provide the instructions and assist you with how to get there and back after the trek, but the bus/train tickets are not included, as well as the ferry tickets (if needed). 
 
× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.
 
× Lunch and Dinner
Breakfast is, if possible, included in the price of the trek. You can get lunch and dinner at the shops, hotels, and restaurants along the way.

× City tax
The inevitable city tax is also for your own account, in case this must be paid in the accommodations.
 
× Personal expenses
Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks, and other similar expenses are for your own account.

Accommodation

Accommodation

The Malerweg is one of the most popular long-distance hiking trails in Germany. This, in combination with the beauty of Saxon Switzerland and the attraction of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, ensures that you will find numerous accommodation options along the Malerweg. Be it a hotel, a guesthouse, a B&B, or a so-called Zimmer Frei. You will find it all along the Malerweg trail. The Gasthöfer, Pensions, and Hotels along the Malerweg are mostly family-run businesses, often accompanied by an in-house restaurant and bar, and play a central role in the community life of the village or town. 
 
Wanderfreundlich am Malerweg

Numerous accommodation facilities along the Malerweg are certified with the title "Wanderfreundlich am Malerweg" (Hiker-friendly along the Malerweg). They offer individual accommodation, packed lunches, assistance with luggage transport, and rooms for drying clothes. In restaurants, light meals are available from 11 am to 5 pm. Upon request, drinks can also be filled up to take away. 

Arranging the stages and booking the accommodation should not be taken lightly, since the hotels and guesthouses get fully booked months in advance. Below you will find the hotels we usually work with during this 10-day Malerweg trek. This trek also includes accommodation in Pirna before and after your Malerweg trek. Should any of these be completely booked, we will look for a different option of a similar category whenever possible:
 
Night 1: Pirna
We will book your first night, before starting the Malerweg, in Pirna, where you will be able to relax and prepare for your adventure.

Night 2, Stadt Wehlen: Villa Sophie
The bed and breakfast Villa Sophie in Stadt Wehlen, located directly on the Malerweg, offers all the amenities of modern holiday accommodation.



Night 3, Hohnstein: Burg Hohnstein
Burg Hohnstein is located directly at the Saxon Switzerland National Park and not far from the Bastei on a rocky spur above the romantic Polenz Valley and the small town of Hohnstein. 



Night 4, Altendorf: Ostrauer Mühle
The Ostrauer Mühle guesthouse is also located at the campsite. People like to sit in the beer garden on warm summer evenings.



Night 5, Neumannmühle: Neumannmühle Berghütte & Wirtshaus
The Neumann Mill is located in the middle of Saxon Switzerland. The guest rooms spread the charm of an idyllic mountain hut. Here, you will find good regional cooking, specialties out of the clay oven, and a beer garden.



Night 6, Schmilka: Pension Jitrenka Hrensko
Guesthouse Jitrenka is situated right next to the border with Germany in the middle of the lowest village in the Czech Republic. The history of this guesthouse reaches the year 1927 and in 2020 it has been fully renovated.



Night 7, Kurort Gohrisch: Pension Edelweiß
As early as 1869, the first guest was welcomed here for a summer retreat. Friendly, lovingly renovated villas from the turn of the century, guesthouses, country houses, hotels, and well-kept homes characterize the area today.



Night 8, Weißig: Lindenhof Scheumann
The three-sided farm was built in 1890 and completely renovated in 2005 to offer its guests modern, comfortable holiday rooms.  In the guesthouse, you will find peace and relaxation in the heart of Saxon Switzerland.



Night 9: Pirna
We will book your last night, after completing your Malerweg adventure, at a hotel in Pirna. Here you will be able to relax and rest after your journey.

Packing List

Packing list
 
It doesn't matter where you are going to walk or for how long. Bringing the right equipment is very important. The first thing you need for your hike is a good backpack. The size of your backpack depends on the number of days you go hiking, the season, and the clothes you take. The most important thing is the comfort level of your daypack. We have compiled a packing list with some essential clothing you should bring and some extras you might find useful:   
 
Essentials:  
- Hiking boots (worn in) 
- Hiking socks 
- Base layer tops - ideally thermal 
- Mid layer tops (e.g. fleece)
- Trekking trousers 
- Hat for warmth or shade 
- Gloves 
- Waterproof jacket 
- Waterproof trousers 
- Casual clothing & footwear for evenings.  
- Nightwear and underwear 
- Water bottle 
- Sunglasses & sunscreen 
- Toiletries   
 
Extras:    
- Small first aid kit 
- Blister plasters 
- Insect repellent 
- Camera and charger 
- Map and compass  
- Whistle 
- A book 
- Energy snacks
- Walking sticks 

FAQ

FAQ

What and where is the Malerweg?
Malerweg is German for Painters' Path and it has everything to do with the fact that Saxon Switzerland was a favorite destination for many artists in the 19th century to find inspiration. The Malerweg is Germany's most beautiful hiking trail and that is because it simply has everything to offer. A varied hiking trail, a rich history highlighted along the way and the most stunning views Germany has to offer. The landscape is not typically German. This is not the Black Forest, the Eifel, or the Alps. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are unique and that is exactly why painters, writers, and poets were drawn to this corner of Germany during the Romantic period. 
The name Saxon Switzerland also originated in the 18th century. The two Swiss artists Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff studied at the art academy in Dresden in 1766. From their new home, they saw mountains to the east. According to them, it showed a strangely flattened panorama, with table mountains and no real pointed mountain peaks. The landscape reminded them of the Swiss Jura, and in letters, they wrote about the difference between their Switzerland and this particular "Saxon Switzerland". 
 
The best season for Saxon Switzerland
The Malerweg is one of the long-distance paths in Germany that can be walked all year round. Of course, there is a high season and it is no surprise that this is in the summer. Please note that places like the Bastei attract not only hikers but also a lot of other tourists. Between May and October, some of the hotspots along the Malerweg can be extremely busy. The most colorful seasons for the Malerweg are spring and autumn. Temperatures are mild but expect the occasional rain shower. In winter the Malerweg can also be hiked, however, in case of high snowfall the hiking paths may become inaccessible. Fortunately, this does not happen very often. 
 
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains stretch on both sides of the Elbe River from the Saxon town of Pirna in the northwest to the Bohemian Decín in the southeast. The highest peak at 723m is Decinský Snezník on the Czech side. The mountain range connects the Ore Mountains in the west with the Lusatian Mountains of the Sudetes in the east.
Saxon Switzerland and the Zittau Mountains of the Lusatian range form the Saxon-Bohemian Cretaceous Sandstone Range. The eroded sandstone landscape of this region was formed from deposits accumulated at the bottom of the sea millions of years ago. Rough quartz sand, clay, and fine marl sank and were hardened layer by layer. This explains the unique landscape of Saxon Switzerland with its flattened peaks. 
 
National Park Saxon Switzerland
The National Park of Saxon Switzerland covers an area of almost 100 km² over the core areas of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The national park was established on October 1st, 1990 by the former GDR. In the neighboring Czech Republic, the protected area continues as the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
Naturally, the national park lends itself perfectly to hiking, both for small excursions and long-distance hikes. The National Park of Saxon Switzerland has around 400 kilometers of marked trails, and it is not only the Malerweg that runs through the park. European Hiking Route E3, which runs from Santiago de Compostela to the Black Sea, also passes through Saxon Switzerland.

Arriving and departing

How do I get to the Malerweg and back?

The Malerweg is not just around the corner. On the contrary, the trail is located near the Czech border, in the far east of Germany, near Dresden. The starting and finishing point of the Malerweg is in the town of Pirna, directly on the Elbe. 

Arriving by plane
You can book a flight to Dresden. From there you can take the bus or train to Pirna.

Arriving by car 
You can drive via Osnabrück-Hannover-Magdeburg-Leipzig or via Dortmund-Kassel-Leipzig. 
 
Arriving by train
You can take the train to Berlin. From Berlin, take the international IC to Decin Hl.n. and get off in Dresden. From here an S-Bahn runs directly to Pirna. 
 
By bus along the Malerweg
The Malerweg starts in Pirna-Liebethal, on the other side of the Elbe, just north of Pirna itself. This means that the Malerweg cannot be walked in a precise circle. Of course, you can walk to Liebethal, but most hikers just take the bus from the bus station to Liebethal. The bus goes every half hour and runs directly. 
Along the rest of the Malerweg, buses also run regularly. The regular buses have been renamed Wanderbus by the local transport company (RVSOE) and so they are easily recognizable by hikers. In the season, from April to November, there are more buses than usual. It is very convenient.

Safety

Safety

The Malerweg is the most beautiful hiking trail in Germany, proclaimed by hikers. The path is well signposted in both directions with the recognizable Malerweg symbol. This is a kind of drawn M-symbol. 
Although the Malerweg is anything but a trek in the Himalayas, something can always happen and there are also obstacles on the trails along the way. For an unforgettable and safe memory, please keep the following in mind:
 
- Wear appropriate clothing adapted to the weather and protect you from cold and wetness or from the heat and sun.
- Do not leave the marked paths.
- Prepare your stages carefully and use your energy wisely. 
- Always make sure you have enough water with you. 
- Always use the aids provided, such as handrails and ropes, when ascending or descending. 
- Hiking trails can be particularly treacherous in autumn and winter. 
 
Important phone numbers
Make sure that those closest to you have been informed of your walking program. Bring a charged phone with you that has at least the following numbers on it: 
 
- Immediate family member
- Places to stay en route
- European general emergency number: 112

COVID-19

COVID-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has had its grip on us, and accommodations all over the world have had to take several preventive measures over the past two years. In the meantime, most of the measurements are not taken into consideration anymore, yet it is definitely still a factor to take into account. Some restrictions that are worth mentioning:

- Don't go on your hiking trip if you have symptoms.
- Not all the accommodations are allowed to operate at full capacity yet, so make sure you book your stay in advance.
- Keep your distance and hygiene.
- Use disinfectants and hand sanitizers.

Stay informed about the current rules per country. Make sure you know before you leave which measures you need to take during your stay. The best thing to do is to check the websites of the government.

How to Book

How to Book?

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking your match? In that case, you can proceed with your booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 30% of the total amount. In the case of this trek, we will check the availability at the respective accommodations for you. There are two possible outcomes:

 There is availability 
We go ahead and make all necessary arrangements for your trip. Once confirmed, we will send you a confirmation and your personal hiking guide. The remaining 70% must be paid at least two (2) weeks before the start of the trekking.

X There is no availability 
If there is no availability, we will look for other starting dates or another trekking in agreement with you. Are there no other options for you? Then your deposit of 30% will be refunded.

Cancellation Policy
If all the accommodations of this trekking are booked and confirmed, you will lose your deposit of 30% at all times. If you cancel within 14 days of your start date, you will lose your full booking amount.

Is it not quite clear yet or do you have questions? Please contact us via support@bookatrekking.com. We are happy to help you.

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