The Saxon Switzerland National Park isn’t in Switzerland as the name indicates, but lays 50 km east of Dresden – right at the border, and the bigger part is actually in the Czech Republic. The cross-border national park is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing or just spending a day in nature - observing beautiful flora and fauna. With 700 km2 of space the national park between Dresden and Prague is one of the largest remaining wildernesses in Europe. Also people with limited mobility are able to experience the Elbe Sanstone Mountains. There is a brochure available, currently only in German, on how to discover Saxon Switzerland barrier-free – giving a comprehensive overview of suitable tourist offers. The most popular destination in Saxon Switzerland are the Bastei Bridge and the Koenigstein Fortress – read further to get more details about what can be discovered.
It is said that the Painter’s Way hiking trail inspired artists from all over Europe – leading right through the Saxon Switzerland National Park – showing its impressive rock formations. The hike is known as one of the most picturesque in Germany – stretching over a distance of 112 km. If you are triggered and want to do the unique trail, planning is important - especially if you want to do the whole track. It is recommended to tackle the Painter’s Way in eight stages (one per day) - the first starts in Pirna-Liebethal and the last ends in the centre of Pirna. Following map shows the eight proposed day destinations.
There are over 70 establishments welcoming hikers along the way and public transport is also in service. Detailed information about the beautiful rock sandstone formations can be discovered when you get here.
A very popular day trip destination is the Bastei Bridge – reachable from the capital of Saxony, Dresden in only one hour by car or public transport. Around the 76.5 m high bridge, which will allow you an incredible panoramic view over the Elber river and the surrounding mountains, are a lot of hiking trails. Highly recommend is the ‘golden triangle’ – starting in Wehlen, passing through the Bastei and ending in Rahten.
The Koenigstein Fortress was in times of threat or danger; the safest place for Dukes to save their treasures and entourage in Saxony. The historical monument is over 750 years old – first mentioned in 1241. Its 40m high walls and a overall altitude of 245 m over the Elbe river offer visitors a spectacular view, best discovered on the 2.2 km fortress wall walking track.
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