Germany is perhaps not the first place you think of for a trekking trip. But as you’ll see in this guide to Germany trekking holidays there is a lot of great trails and huge variety. We pick 7 of the best German treks to illustrate this point.
Guide to Germany trekking holidays
Think of Germany and beer-swilling, lederhosen-wearing locals probably spring to mind. But Germans are actually very health conscious and are known for their love of trekking.
Getting out into the countryside is very popular and many German’s take hiking vacations to complete multi day treks. Over three million Germans regularly spend their time Nordic walking (basically trekking with poles) – that’s about 4% of the population.
There are over 200,000 kilometres of documented walking trails crisscrossing the country. Which makes choosing the best German treks particularly tricky!
And the variety is huge. You can trek through silent valleys, explore fairytale castles or meandering through alpine forests. You can take in coastal hikes, or explore mountainous regions – there are plenty of peaks over 2500m in the Bavarian Alps.
Germany is drenched in history and culture, and offers some incredible sights. There’s no better way to experience this amazing scenery than to get up close and personal by exploring the country on foot.
When to hike the best German treks
Similar to the UK you can trek in Germany year round. Just be aware that there is more chance of snow in winter and areas of higher elevation won’t be accessible. Check out our guide to winter walking gear to be fully prepared.
Due to the continental landmass summer in Germany can get a lot hotter than in the UK. But like Britain summer is not all good weather so be prepared for everything, particularly in the mountains.
Spring and autumn can be a good time for Germany trekking holidays. The temperatures have warmed up but it is not too hot. That said there is more chance of rain…
Ultimately where you want to trek will dictate the season you should visit. So do some research and then check out the local climate.
7 of the best German treks
With so many trails to choose for this guide to Germany trekking holidays we have chosen seven that demonstrate the variety on offer.
The region around Rhine and Moselle are beautiful and quite a romantic setting. The Rhine Gorge is known for its dramatic scenery of steep vineyards and craggy edges.
Trails in this area take you through enchanting landscapes including the beautiful Mosel Valley. Expect hillside castles and idyllic villages, you’ll also pass places of historical interest on the way.
But if it’s a romantic fairytale that you’re looking for, look no further than the Bavarian Tyrol. This is one of Germany’s most beloved regions and it begins just outside of Munich.
Experience an eight-day hike of spectacular beauty, sparkling lakes and rugged mountains. You’ll even meet folkloric characters in villages along the way. The region also gives you the chance to try traditional Bavarian meals and German beers, all whilst enjoying spectacular views of the Alps.
Or for something a bit more adventurous, the Rheinsteig path is no easy walk. Narrow rock paths over hilly countryside make for a challenging route of 320 km, with sensational views of the River Rhine.
The trail starts from Rudesheim, a historic city of winegrowers. You take a chairlift up to the beginning of the walk cutting out a long climb.
Want to go a little higher? Then visit Oberammergau, again you can use ski lifts to get some elevation and there are a huge range of some of the best German treks to choose from.
This region is one of Germany’s most picturesque, with turquoise lakes and green rolling hills. It is the ideal place to base yourself for a week of demanding alpine treks.
Fancy something a bit more meaningful? The Westerwald-Steig trail will take you on a discovery tour of the historical and religious side of Germany.
There are eight different areas, each with their own natural environments. Trekking holidays here take you past castles and monasteries so you can indulge in some spiritualism along the way.
Harz Witches Trail
More into witches and broomsticks? Then the Harz Witches Trail will take you on a journey of myth and legend through the Harz Mountains. Witches still meet on the highest peak of Mount Brocken to celebrate Walpurgis, the goddess of spring.
Over a thousand years of mining is also evident within this area, with its high granite rocks and sparse forests. The trail passes ancient woodland and caves, ending in the grand canyon of the Harz, the Bode Valley.
Take a pilgrimage on a six-day walking tour of the Priest’s Way via plenty of Baroque Church architecture. This 88 mile (140 km) walk is fairly quiet and ideal for those wanting to reflect. You walk from the attractive town of Marktoberdorf to Kochel.
Germany trekking holidays: Next step!
For those that love to trek Germany has it all – there are hundreds of other routes we could have included. For full details on upcoming cultural events and walking routes visit the German National Tourist Office.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic hike, sightseeing walk, picturesque trail or a hardcore trek Germany delivers. So pack the lederhosen (we know you’ve got one!) and be prepared for great trails, excellent beer and friendly locals.
Be sure to check out our trekking holiday discounts as you could save a fortune on your next adventure.