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Saxon & Bohemian Switzerland

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.7 Read 28 reviews
  • Exploring the unique and photogenic sandstone formations of ‘Sachsische Schweiz’
  • Walking up to the world-famous rocky viewpoint of the Bastei, formed over a million years ago by water erosion and standing 194m above the river Elbe
  • Crossing the Barenstein rock outcrops to the impressive fortress of Konigstein
  • Visiting the Pravicka brana, the largest natural rock arch in Europe!
  • Rewarding yourself with a glass of cool German beer or wine as you relax after a fantastic day’s walking
Saxon Switzerland, or the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, is one of the most captivating of parts of eastern Germany. Saxon Switzerland lies either side of the River Elbe south of Dresden and crosses into the Czech Republic; the contrast between riverscapes and dramatic rock outcrops makes for a unique countryside. Much of the route follows the Malerweg or Painters Trail. Saxon Switzerland was much favoured by the artists of the German Romantic school, such as Caspar David Friedrich and this trail was very much inspired by walks popularised by these artists. This is one of four prime walking areas covered in the BBC TV series German Wanderlust featuring Julia Bradbury. Here you will find river landscapes, fantastic weathered rock outcrops, flat-topped and offering superb views over unspoiled forests and across to castles and fortresses. This walking tour will introduce you to much of the finest countryside in this fascinating corner of Germany and the Czech Republic. Over six walking days enjoy a classic loop trail from Bad Schandau, which is easily reached from Dresden or Prague (a great excuse to extend your stay!), with no more than 18km to walk each day. You’ll also enjoy occasional ferry crossings across the Elbe river between charming German towns and villages as part of your tour.
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What To Expect

Unique sandstone countryside popularised by the Romantic artists is the focus of this moderate graded walking tour. Walk between traditional Saxon towns, following trails along the well-known Elbe river and up to rocky outcrops. This tour is an ideal accompaniment to time spent in the cultural city of Dresden or romantic Prague.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.


Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night



Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is graded Moderate. Daily distances increase on some days and the terrain may be rugged underfoot with some hills, perfect for those with a relatively good level of fitness. The most you'll walk in any one day is 17km.


You will be provided with detailed walking route notes and maps to make your way each day, and have telephone support and back-up of our local partner and UK office teams, should you require any assistance.


The accommodation on this walk is a combination of 3 star hotels and guesthouses. Some hotels do not have an official rating. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and an authentic experience. Please note that hotels in this region of Germany do not tend to have ‘true’ double or twin rooms; 2 x single mattresses, each with their own bedding, are usually found placed together on a double bed frame. The Pension Villa Irene in Goehrisch does not have twin rooms. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your requirements.

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in 3 star hotels, pensions and guesthouses
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport of 1 bag of up to 20kg per person
  • Return rail tickets from Krippen to Schöna (Day 6)
  • Detailed route descriptions and pre-departure information pack
  • Maps of the walks
  • 24-hour assistance by telephone
  • Travel to and from Germany and start/end of the walk
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Drinks & snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Ferry crossings (payable locally only)
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, telephone calls, extra transfers (such as by train or boat during the walk), tips, etc
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
  • Additional nights

When To Go

This trip is available from the beginning of April to end of October, to start on any day of the week. Traditionally July/August has always been the most popular time of year because the weather is usually at its best. Although we believe any time between April and October offers a wonderful experience.

Getting to the Start

Bad Schandau is perched right on the edge of the Saxon Switzerland National Park, in the Elbe sandstone mountains. Just 6km from the Czech border, the town dates back to the 14th century, and is home to many timber-framed houses and typically Germanic architecture. By Air Dresden, Prague, or Berlin Airports are gateway hubs into this part of Germany, and are served by a variety of low cost and international airlines. By Train Intercity trains are available from the cities’ main train stations to Bad Schandau; Berlin (2h50, direct service), Prague (1h46, direct service) and a local service is available from Dresden (30-45 mins, direct service). The train station in Bad Schandau is a short ferry ride across the river from the town.

Getting from the End

Leaving Bad Schandau, use any of the methods described above. From Bad Schandau you can get to any German destination via Dresden by train, should you have time to discover more of Germany. 

Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask that you limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Day 1 Arrive in Bad Schandau Day 2 Hohnstein Castle and walk to Rathen 11 miles / 17.5 km Day 3 Bastei viewpoint, walk to Konigstein 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 4 Barbarine rock needle, Pfaffenstein, walk to Gohrisch 5 miles / 7.5 km Day 5 Barbarine rock needle, Pfaffenstein, walk to Gohrisch 5.5 miles / 8.5 km Day 6 Pravcicka Brana rock arch, Edmundova Souteska Gorge boat trip 10 miles / 15.5 km Day 7 Schramstein rocks, Kuhstall cave, Lichtenhainer waterfall 8 miles / 12.5 km Day 8 Onward travel

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