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Basic information about the Rennsteig

Germany’s most famous long-distance hiking trail runs over the ridge of the Thuringian Forest for 170 kilometres and past breathtaking high-altitude-trails and deep valleys. The starting point of the hiking trail is the middle of the Werra river near Hörschel, which leads to the upper reaches of the Saale near Blankenstein. A varied adventure is guaranteed along the entire route. Along the way there are around 1,300 historical boundary stones, 44 Rennsteig panels with information on the surrounding sights of the region, numerous Rennsteig houses in the towns directly on the Rennsteig, as well as inviting inns and rest areas. Urgent medical care is also ensured at all times by means of bases specially set up by the Thuringian Mountain Rescue Services.

Hikers with a view on the Rennsteig

The most beautiful stages on the Rennsteig

High altitude hiking in Thuringia

On your Eurohike hiking holiday without luggage on the Rennsteig, you can fully devote yourself to your relaxing hiking experience, because we ensure a smooth journey and reliable luggage transfer. This leaves plenty of time to experience and enjoy the popular Rennsteig in the Thuringian Forest. Pure hiking pleasure accompanies you along the entire way: from impressive vantage points, eventful paths through the breathtaking natural landscapes and cosy inns with delicious specialties of the region, experience the best of the long-distance hiking trail on our 11-day Rennsteig hiking tour. The starting point of the route is Eisenach, because this is where the tour begins according to old tradition. The path leads you to Ruhla-Ascherbrück, on to the Ebertswiese and Oberhof, where you reach the highest point of the Rennsteig.

Hiking boot with beautiful view

On the next day’s stage, the path leads you to Masserberg in the Thuringian Slate Mountains. From there you walk to Neuhaus and Steinbach am Wald. Our tip: Don’t miss an action-packed ride on the summer toboggan run in Ernstthal. The next day, spectacular panoramas await you on the way from Steinbach am Wald to Grumbach at the lookout point on the Lauenhaun. The last stage of the hiking tour on the Rennsteig takes you from Grumbach to Blankenstein, where you can enjoy the rest of your active holiday. The two shorter options Rennsteig, 8 days and the short holiday option Rennsteig, 5 days will also let you experience the Rennsteig from its most beautiful side.

Hikers on the Rennsteig forest path

Our Eurohike moments on the Rennsteig

  • This is what the Rennsteig sounds like: The high-altitude-trail is not only a pleasure for the eyes, the hiking trail also offers something special for the ears. The Suhl folk musicians Karl Müller and Herbert Roth have composed their own song for the popular Rennsteig, which is also known as the ‘secret song of the Thuringian Forest’.
  • Experience tradition: In the Museum of Glass Art in Lauscha, learn everything about the more than 400-year-old glassmaking trade. The basis for the city glassblowers was laid as early as 1597. The resources required for production, such as the quartz sand, come directly from the region.
  • Feasts of the region: What you should definitely try as a Rennsteig hiker is the traditional Thuringian Rostbratwurst with the wonderful Altenburg mustard. Thuringia also offers just the right thing for vegetarians: the hearty onion cake made from yeasted dough. The region definitely has something delicious in store for every taste.
Signpost at the entrance to the Dragon Gorge

Route guidance on the Rennsteig

Long-distance hiking trail with a view

For more than 100 years, the Rennsteig in central Germany has been one of the most popular hiking trails in the country. Since the ridge path leads over numerous heights and impressive valleys, one is always accompanied by impressive views and beautiful natural landscapes. The path runs along the ridge of the Thuringian low mountain range and is well signposted throughout. A white ‘R’ is used to mark the path. The stages are categorised as easy to moderately difficult and can be mastered with a good basic level of fitness. The route guidance runs on good hiking trails and necessary breaks are always possible. Every five to ten kilometres, a small shelter hut offers the opportunity to take shelter. Furthermore, in many places directly on the Rennsteig there are the Rennsteig houses, so-called ‘multifunctional buildings’, which offer all the important services for active guests.

Marker at the Rennsteig

Facts and details about the Rennsteig

Historic cities, places full of tradition and idyllic mountain villages as you know them from picture books: these contrasts make a hiking holiday on the Rennsteig with luggage transfer an unforgettable active experience.

The long-distance hiking trail is not only the most popular hiking trail in Germany, it is also the oldest high-altitude hiking trail in the Thuringian Forest, offering exciting things to discover from bygone times. All facts and details about the Rennsteig can be found here at a glance:

  • Location: Thuringia and Bavaria
  • Length: 170 kilometres
  • Course: From Hörschel to Blankenstein (Eurohike hiking tour from Eisenach to Blankenstein)
  • Season: Best time to travel is from April to October
  • Difference in altitude: 787 metres
  • Highest point: 983 metres (Großer Beerberg)
  • Lowest point: 196 metres (Werraufer in Hörschel)
  • Parth markings: white ‚R‘
  • Special features: The historic Grenzweg runs partly on former trading trails, the history of which goes back to the 14th century. Our Eurohike hiking tours are paw-friendly and as walking holidays wtih a dog a great experience for two and four-legged friends. Also, the Rennsteig is a certified quality hiking trail in Germany. Read more about the quality & premium hiking trails in Germany on our Eurohike HikingBlog.
Hikers on the Rennsteig forest path

Questions and answers about hiking on the Rennsteig

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 The Rennsteig extends over the two Federal States of Thuringia and Bavaria in Germany.

The Rennsteig is 170 kilometres long.

The Rennsteig falls under our category type "Walking". The route leads over good hiking paths and impressive high-altitude trails. With good basic fitness, this hiking tour can become a successful break in Germany’s peaceful natural landscape.

A special highlight awaits you at the start of our hiking tours on the Rennsteig – the impressive Dragon Gorge in the Thuringian Forest. A culinary specialty that you shouldn’t miss on the hiking tour on the Rennsteig is the typical Thuringian Rostbratwurst.

On the daily stages of our hiking tours on the Rennsteig, you cover between 12 and 25 kilometres of hiking per day.

The route on our hiking tours on the Rennsteig is different depending on the duration of the tour – here you will find the routes summarized at a glance:

The best travel time for a hiking holiday on the Rennsteig is from April to October.

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