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Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland

Painter walking tour

On foot through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains

7 Days / 6 Nights
Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland

What do famous painters Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus and Ludwig Richter have in common? They all hiked through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains on this path. They were fascinated by the inexhaustible abundance of bizarre rock formations, wildly romantic gorges and breathtaking views. The impressive route through central Germany therefore earned the name ‘Malerweg Trail’ (Painter’s Way).

What makes the path so special? Quite simply: the scenic beauty. There’s a reason why this was named Germany’s most beautiful hiking trail in 2017. The Eurohike route stretches for around 70 kilometres through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and is divided into eight daily stages. Travel across the fascinating rock world of this region!

Stephanie Erbschwendtner
Stephanie Erbschwendtner
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The path leads from Bad Schandau via Krippen, Gohrisch, Königstein and Rathen until the Krinitzschtalban cable car takes you back to the starting point in Bad Schandau. The individual stages with their picturesque locations are worth a visit and offer hikers variety and unforgettable holiday highlights. 200 years ago the Malerweg was already luring enthusiastic travellers on its route through the beautiful country. It shows in an impressive way the scenery Germany has to offer.

  • Kleinhennersdorfer Höhlen: In Saxon Switzerland, the Eurohike hike takes you to the fascinating caves. All three are on the Kleinhennersdorfer Stein.
  • Lichtenhain waterfall: This waterfall in Saxon, Swizerland is also worth a visit. Originally it was rather small and not very exciting. That is why it was raised a bit and staged in a spectacular way with a retractable weir. It is located in gorge-like notch between the sandstone cliffs above the Kirnitzschtal.

Head across central Germany over eight days. On this Eurohike hiking tour you will pass sandstone rock formations and pass through impressive gorges. Cultural wonders, artistic influences and idyllic towns make the hike along the Malerweg an incomparably beautiful holiday experience.

Get an impression for yourself and hike with Eurohike through central Germany!

  • All details and information about the beautiful Malerweg are summarised here at a glance.

Itinerary at a glance

The extraordinary landscapes of Saxon Switzerland include attractions like the Kleinhennersdorf Caves, the Bastei Bridge, and the impressive Leichtenhainer Waterfall. The Königstein Fortress is also among the cultural attractions in the region.

We recommend you seize the afternoon and enjoy a little stroll through this tranquil spa resort.

After your first ascent on today’s tour you get to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view. Onwards via the ‚Brandstufen’ to the ‚balcony’ of Saxon Switzerland, the so-called ‚Brand’. Past Hohnstein castle and Lake Amselsee you reach the spa resort Rathen.

Today you start with the ascent onto Mount ‚Basteifelsen’ with its well-known bridge ‚Basteibrücke’. You continue via the ‚Höllengrund’ and the ‚Wehlener Grund’ to the town of Wehlen. Via the Rauenstein table mountain you hike back to Rathen or on to Königstein (depending on hotel availability).

After spending the night in Rathen, you climb via Weißig to Königstein Fortress, the largest fortress complex in Europe. After passing through the village of Königstein, you walk on comfortable hiking trails towards the famous rock needle Barbarine. We recommend a short break and refreshment in the ‚Pfaffenstein Baude’. Enjoy a beautiful view onto the well-known Mount Lilienstein. Via the path ‚Muselweg’ you soon reach the pretty spa resort Gohrisch, situated in a quiet, arboreous area.

The region around Gohrisch is called the ‚Realm of Rocks’. After a gentle start across the plateau you then head up towards Mount Gohrisch and afterwards ascend Mount Papststein. You walk past the caves ‚Kleinhennersdorfer Höhlen’ and reach the Liethener-valley with its old mill shortly before Krippen.

Today the route takes you to a rock formation called ‚Schrammsteine’. Here you have to overcome in parts steep ascents and metal strairs. You walk on forest paths along the ‚Affensteig’-trail and afterwards follow the ‚Malerweg’-path all the way to the ‚Lichtenhain waterfall’. Return journey to Bad Schandau by the long-standing railway ‚Kirnitzschtalbahn’.

Departure or extension

Route information


Easy to moderate walking tours past sandstone formations and through gorges. A good basic fitness level and in parts surefootedness is required.

Prices & Dates

Category A: very beautiful 3***- and 4****hotels, 3x 5*****-hotel (Bad Schandau)

Category B: beautiful 3***-hotels and guesthouses

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accommodations as already mentioned
  • Breakfast
  • 6x dinner (category A)
  • 2x dinner (category B)

  • Luggage transfer
  • Admission Toskana Therme Bad Schandau (category A)
  • Carefully elaborated route description
  • Detailed travel and tour documents 1x per room (German, English)
  • Service-Hotline

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Arrival by train via Dresden to Bad Schandau. From the train station by ferry to the Elb-pier, only a few minutes walk to the hotel from there.
  • Dresden Airport.
  • Parking: Public car park on the Elb-pier, approx. EUR 8 per day.

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price
  • Ride Kirnitzschtalbahn to Bad Schandau, approx. EUR 6 per person
  • In exceptional cases, there will be another overnight stay in the spa town of Rathen on the 3rd day and in Bad Schandau on the 5th day. The necessary transfers are organised and included.
  • If you arrive on Friday or Saturday in category A, you will stay overnight in Bad Schandau on the 1st and 2nd day. The hike to the Lichtenhain waterfall will then be scheduled for the 2nd day instead of the 6th day. Transfers are free of charge with included guest card.
  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.
Stephanie Erbschwendtner

"I look forward to making your vacation dreams come true."

Stephanie Erbschwendtner
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