If you are a nature buff, a health freak, or just love the great outdoors, then Germany is the place for you. Grab your hiking boots, a bottle of water and some energy bars, jump in your Germany rental car, and head out to some of these truly inspiring hiking destinations.
Some of the best hiking trails in Germany can be accessed by renting a car and driving around the country. Germany has over 200,000 kilometers of well-marked accessible walking and hiking trails through national parks and in and around some of Germany’s biggest cities.
Take time and get out of the city on your next vacation, rent a car and follow our backpackers guide to Europe. Get off the beaten path and explore the rural landscapes of Germany. By renting a car you can pack the relevant essentials for camping and walking, and backpack around Europe more easily. You can experience as many trails as you want during your vacation and access some the most difficult to reach spots if you have your own transportation! The warmer months represent perhaps the best time to visit Europe and Germany provides all you can ever need to get your fill of outdoor adventure.
Here are some of the best hiking trails in Germany:
Backpack Around Europe: Rheinsteig Trail
Take this long distance hike along the bank of the Rhine and enjoy difficult gradients and spectacular views of the rural German landscape. With idyllic towns and villages, impressive castles and beautiful vineyards, this trail is a great way to experience traditional German architecture and culture. Make the most of Germany’s most famous river valley with this 320-km long hike.
The trail is excellently signposted, making it easy to follow the paths without using a GPS. Starting in the Rheingau region and finishing in the Siebenebirge hills, the route is scenic as well as adventurous. Experience the middle of the Rhine valley (the region between Bingen/Rudesheim and Koblenz) a UNESCO World Heritage Site while following a narrow path along the river. Highlights and stop offs include Lorch, Kaub, home to Gutenfels Castle and Pfalzgrafenstein, and Linz towards the end of the hike.
The Best Hiking Trails in Germany: Eifelsteig Trail
The 313 km trail through Eifelsteig takes you through unspoilt scenery in a unique volcanic region. The slogan for the trail is: “Just you, the water and the rocks,” because it is exactly that, as the diverse landscape of the region develops into some sensational views of the valleys and the countryside of this region.
Walk first through the countryside near Aachen, across the Hohe Venn moorlands and into the hidden Rurtal valley, which is home to a number of impressive reservoirs. Next, you will come to the national park in Eifel. Filled with limestone and volcanic rocks this part of the hike exposes you to some of the most unique landscapes in Germany. Take it all in on this atmospheric and exceptional journey.
Germany’s Nature Walks: Ahrsteig Trail
Crossing the Ahr Valley, also known as Germany’s “Red Wine Dorado,” located close to the Eifel region, this trail takes you to a number of beautiful villages, picturesque meadows, rock trails and working vineyards. Stop and take in the panoramic views of the Ahr Valley, with sights that stretch as far as Cologne and its cathedral.
The 110-km trail follows the Ahr river (a tributary of the Rhine River) and finishes at Sinzig, a town on the Rhine. You can spot the Ahrsteig trail logo on the tree trunks along the route, and rest on the trail’s comfortable seats along the way, should you need to.
Hiking in Germany: Lahnwanderweg Trail
Taking you high above the Lahn River from the start of the river at Lahnhof to where it meets the Rhine River at Lahnstein, the trail covers a series of high points with spectacular views of the Lahn valley and Westerwald forest. Stop off at beautiful towns and villages, castles and vineyards, and be transported back in time on this traditional hike.
The 290-km long trail is well signposted with its logo “LW,” and on some parts of this trail you will be in completely remote parts of the German countryside. That doesn’t mean you will be abandoned for long, discover a number of towns and villages on the trail and stop for a bite to eat at a local restaurant for a little piece of luxury on the way. The trail is split into 19 sections so another pit-stop is never too far away.
German Wilderness Escapes: Westerweld-Steig Trail
To discover Germany’s natural landscape, take the Westerweld-Steig trail and experience eight different natural environments. The 235-km trail takes in the Hessian Westerwald, the upper Westerwald/Lake Wiesensee, the Westerwald lakes, Kroppach Switzerland, the Siegtal valley, the Raiffeisenland region, the Wied valley and the Rhine-Westerwald nature reserve.
Take in mountain ridges, dense forests, orchards, steep hills, lofty summits and lots of rivers and streams on this trail for nature-lovers. Reach an altitude of 657 meters at Fuchskaute, and if you are really keen to get in touch with nature you can try the “sensory barefoot trail” through the spa town of Bad Marienberg on the way. There is also plenty of opportunity to stop and check out some of the local culture, with a number of castles and churches to appreciate, including Cistercian Abbey of Marienstatt in the Nistertal Valley.
Explore Germany with Auto Europe
Get out and backpack around Europe’s idyllic natural scenery during your next vacation, and explore some of the best hiking trails in Germany. Auto Europe makes it easy and affordable for travelers of all backgrounds to vacation in Europe. Whether you need to book hotel reservations for in-between nights during your backpacking trip, or a motorhome rental to take you to your next trail head, Auto Europe can take care of it for you, and all for the best prices in the industry.