Elbe Sandstone Mountains – hiking in Germany

Elbsandsteingebirge – Hiking the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Saxony

Two years ago we went on a hiking holiday to Saxony in Germany. Close the the Czech border they have one of the most amazing mountains I have seen so far.

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains (on german: Elbsandsteingebirge).
It is a very special place in Germany. Only 1% of the country is wild nature while 99% is human shaped  cultural landscape (I am shocked and sad while reading this for the first time in my life. I am german but I didn’t know we just had  1% of wild nature left 🙁  )

This mountain range is straddling the border between Saxony. A german state southeast of the country. The northern region of the Czech Republic. 
Three quarters of the mountain Area is lying on the German side.

This Region is also called the Saxon Switzerland and Bohemian Switzerland.

In both countries the mountain area has been declared a national park! 

The name Elbe Sandstone Mountains derives from the river Elbe. The river breaks through the mountain range. Second part of the name comes from the sandstones which are carved by erosion.
The Elbe river is causing heavy flooding every now and then. The last heavy one happened in 2013.

How to get there

We started our trip in Berlin and we took the train to Dresden, and then another train from Dresden to Bad Schandau. 
You could also take a train to Dresden and then a ferry to Bad Schandau or any other town along the river. 

Where to stay

There are a lot of private rooms or Bed and Breakfast in the area. 

That’s what I prefer. 
Most of them are still a little old fashioned, but that is the charm of traveling to smaller towns right?
Most of them also have breakfast included or have a kitchen their guest can use. I prefer to make my own food and snacks for the hikes. So I am always looking for places with a small kitchen.

They are also smaller hotels along the river, so whatever you like most you will find your favorite place.

We had breakfast included and bought everything else we needed for our trips in a supermarket and a bakery in town.

How to get around

Our bed and breakfast was perfectly located. The trails just started a two minutes walk from our door. The city center was a 20 minute walk from our place.

They have great public transport all around though. From busses that run regularly and trains along the river or the boats/ferries. So it is easy to get to everywhere and back.

Find all the visitor informations you need here-> Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz

Our experience

We went there for a long easter weekend. It is a busy time of the year in some places because of the holidays. But “lucky” us this easter was a little colder and rainy and even snowy so we had no crowds around us 🙂 Just once when we had a very sunny day and went to one of the highlights of the national park.

So we packed kind of everything. Rain coats, and rain pants. Winter jackets. Water resistant hiking boots. Warm hats and scarfs. Two small backpacks (because we only made day trips). 
Check our hiking packing list and our tips for winter hiking if you need more inspirations on what to pack.)

We had every kind of weather that one can imagine!

On the day we arrived we just went for a 2 hour walk through the park and to town to do grocery shopping. It rained…

Next day after our breakfast we started when it rained and after a 15 minutes we hiked into a snow weather. An hour or two later we hiked through a perfect snowy winter weather.  
This shows again that you need to be prepared for all kinds of weather if you’r hiking up mountains or just going on trips in early spring or late autumn…. (Find the right Hiking Gear for Winter)

We had a coffee and a piece of cake in a hut in the mountains and walked down into the rain again to catch a bus back to our place.

Next day we went up the mountains by bus to hike a different trail back. We saw a waterfall, some nice ancient houses.
The weather was better so along the path closer to the bus stops there where a few more people outdoors, but just about hiking 30 minutes we were only seeing a few on the trails!

Relaxing times….

During the afternoon we went to relax for a few hours in the Spa (“Toscana Therme“). We got bath towels at the reception because we had no towels with us. Ugh so good to feel the hot water, chill in the sauna after a hike in the cold spring air.

The third day we went by train to one the highlights the “Bastei Brücke“. A beautiful bridge between the sand stone mountains!

On our last day it was sunny and we went for another hike up the hill where we went on our first day through the snow storm. Wow! We hiked so close to the edge and we didn’t even knew because it was so snowy and the clouds so tight that we couldn’t even see it 😀 What an adventure without knowing, and how beautiful in the sun!

I will definitely be back one day!

I sadly deleted a lot of my pictures from this trip :(( So I can’t show so much of it… Means I have no choice than to go back to make new pictures…  😉

Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Hiking Elbe Sandstone Mountains
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