Altmühltal Natural Park
The Altmühl Valley Nature Park is a 2962km² large nature park in Bavaria, most of which is located in the Eichstätt district. Typical landscape features are the wonderful juniper heaths, beautiful forests, as well as rocks, caves and quarries.
We arrived in Treuchtlingen in rainy weather, which is why we use the first evening to warm up in the beautiful pools and the sauna area of the Altmühltherme. The next day, our 100km hike along the Altmühl river begins. Many breathtaking viewpoints, lonely juniper heaths and bizarre rock formations accompany us on the hiking trail.
Our personal Wow-moments
We experience a big surprise when we meet a flock of around 200 sheep in the middle of a large meadow.
The hospitable shepherd tells us that the sheep on the meadows are used as ‘landscape carers’ to prevent the juniper heaths from becoming overgrown and thus ensure that the beautiful park-like landscape is preserved.
After a few caresses and a short chat, we continue our hike.
We experience another very special moment when we finally see the castle walls of Dollnstein on the third day after the 25km hike. If you want, you can easily shorten this route by bus or train – but we decide to hike on foot.
One of the greatest highlights on our hike on the Altmühltal Panorama Trail are of course the ‘Twelve Apostles’: a mighty rock formation between Solnhofen and Eßlingen, which we only look at from a distance so we can keep to the path. From the top you have a breathtaking view of the Altmühl and the surrounding meadows and fields – what a panorama!
Visiting the Pappenheimers
The warmth and hospitality of the Franconians is as unique as the dialect they speak. No matter in which of the stage locations we arrive, we are always greeted with the greatest warmth. All accommodation is very cosy and we immediately feel in good hands everywhere.
In Treuchtlingen we visit the small town centre and the thermal bath in rainy weather. In Pappenheim we are particularly impressed by the old castle that towers over the city.
The centre of Dollnstein is surrounded by an old defensive wall. Here we discover the beautiful old city gate and enjoy the suns warm rays. Eichstätt counts as a baroque jewel of the Altmühltal Nature Park. Compared to the other small and quiet towns, there is a lot going on here!
Shortly before Kipfenberg we pass the geographic centre of Bavaria. We also really like the traditional market square in the town centre with all the nice little shops.
The most important thing after a long day of hiking? A really delicious dinner!
Those who like hearty food will love the choice of Franconian menus: even cheese spaetzle with green salad is listen as a ‘healthier’ meal!
Of course, we did not miss out on regional specialities such as ‘Schäufele’, ‘Baggers’ and a ‘Vesper’. And after our long hikes we finally deserve a proper dinner!