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Hiking, Biking & Travel

The Eifelsteig, hiking through a volcanic landscape in Germany

Just across the border, a few hours away from us, is the Eifelsteig. A 313 kilometer long trail, through a varied landscape. One of the top trails in Germany. Deep volcanic lakes, jagged rock formations, enormous forests and beautiful river valleys. The Eifelsteig runs from Aachen to Trier and we opt for stage 11 and 12.

If you would like to hike in Luxemburg, take a look at our page about the Mullerthaltrail!

Starting point

On Friday afternoon we drive to Gerolstein. Here we take a look at the rugged rocks of the Gerolsteiner Dolomites and are already looking forward to the other stages. We spend the night in Daun and park our car at Gemunden. Stage 11 runs from Daun to Manderscheid and is 23.7 kilometers, starting in Gemunden it is about 20 kilometers. In Manderscheid you can take the bus back to Gemunden or stay overnight. Stage 12 runs from Manderscheid to HImmerod. All in all, you bridge quite a few vertical meters (450 to 750 meters) and there are some spicy slopes in between. But nowhere does it get too crazy.

The Eifelsteig is easily accessible, there are regular buses passing the villages and towns along the route. In summer there is even a special hiking bus. Sometimes the route really goes through the place, sometimes you have to deviate a bit, but it is never long. Yet you always have the feeling that you are walking in the middle of nature.

If you want to know where we slept, look at the bottom of this page.

The Volcano Lakes

Right at the start we see the Gemunder Maar. This volcanic lake is 39 meters deep and is beautifully situated. We walk around it and arrive at the Dronke Turm. A tower that was founded by Adolf Dronke, to attract visitors to the region. From the tower you have a beautiful view of the Gemunder Maar and the surrounding area with the volcano mountains.

We walk further to the Weinfelder Maar and Schalkenmehrener Maar. These lakes are also called Dauner Maren. Long ago, this landscape was shaped by huge volcanic eruptions.

Beautiful donkeys are grazing between the Weinfelder Maar and Schalkenmehrener Maar. They keep the grass nice and short here and willingly allow themselves to be photographed.

Impressive forests

After Schalkenmehr we walk through some fields and meadows into a forest. Impressive forests, with huge forest giants. It is remarkably quiet here. Some birdsong but otherwise there is wonderful peace. Then we arrive in the beautiful Lieserdal.

Lieserpfad

The Lieserpfad runs through the Lieser Valley together with the Eifelsteig. We walk into the valley, the river meanders through the landscape, the sun is shining and we enjoy it immensely. We see buzzards circling and hear them calling. We expect to see a deer any moment. Unfortunately, the deer are hiding.

The path rises and narrows. It is immediately a bit more adventurous. Deep below us, the Lieser finds its way. Here and there we see the remnants of the rough storms of a few weeks ago. Tree trunks seem to have fallen over like matchsticks.

Oberburg Manderscheid

Shortly before Manderscheid we see the Oberburg, a beautiful ruin, lying in the late afternoon sun. We walk into Manderscheid and look for the bus stop. We’re just in time!

From Manderscheid to Karl

Stage 12 goes from Manderscheid to Himmerod. We break off the stage a little earlier. It’s quite chilly this morning. Around freezing point and with a cold wind. Fortunately, we have counted on this and have the necessary layers on.

We start at the Niederburg of Manderscheid, an even larger ruin that is close to the Oberburg. A large playmobil world, all elements are there. Towers, battlements, banners. Magnificent!

The River Lieser

The path still follows the Lieser. The valley narrows. We follow the river and enjoy the tranquility. We hardly encounter any other hikers and there are no environmental noises either. Delicious!

At Philosophereck a bench is waiting for a tea break. What a nice place! Beautiful view, a lovely sun and a warm cup of tea. We want to stay here forever! But the path is calling us….

There are shelters or covered viewpoints all along the path. You have plenty of choice to enjoy your lunch with a beautiful view. Lunch along the Lieser

We have lunch along the river. The rippling water makes the sandwiches taste even better. The path is generally a bit narrower these days. It occasionally offers the hiker with a fear of heights even cables or ropes. But actually they are not really necessary. It doesn’t really get dangerous anywhere.

A little later we leave the Lieserpfad and follow a narrower stream, the Ilgenbach. We are now approaching the exit to Grosslitgen and then we can turn to Karl.

A little later we pass by car the impressive monastery Himmerod, the end point of stage 12. An abbey in German style, with an enormous church.These stages make us curious about the other stages! And perhaps to other interesting hiking trails. Just across the border at the Eastern neighbors there is still a lot to discover!

Overnight stays

The first night we slept in Daun in the Schloßhotel Kurfürstliches Amtshaus Dauner Burg. A castle hotel that stands on the site of the former castle of the Count of Daun. We had a beautiful room with a four-poster bed and a spacious bathroom. The castle is full of antique furniture, thick carpets are everywhere and there is a real castle atmosphere. The owners are very friendly and make you feel right at home. In addition to the lovely room, there is also a swimming pool and a sauna. The breakfast is really great. Lots of choice and very tasty! In short, really enjoy! This hotel is slightly more expensive but you really do get your money’s worth.

The second night we slept in Manderscheid, in the Altes Forthaus. A bed & breakfast with spacious rooms. A completely different atmosphere than the castle hotel of the first night and that took some getting used to. The owner was not present, by telephone we received the directions to enter. It took a while to get comfortable in the room. We slept well and the breakfast was delicious. Beate went above and beyond and we were even allowed to bring sandwiches for lunch. This room was fine for an overnight stay while hiking.