Walking holidays along the Malerweg Trail in 10 days
On the tracks of popular artists
The Elbe Sandstone Malerweg trail, a 120 km long circular walking route, leads you from Pirna along the Bastei Bridge, the Brandstein view point, the Schrammsteine massif, the Fortress Königstein and charming villages back to its origin Pirna.
The region is also called "Saxon Switzerland" and the name dates back to the 18th century when the Swiss painters Anton Graff and Adrian Zingg felt reminded of their landscape back home. Later, Romantics such as Caspar David Friedrich and Ludwig Richter were inspired by the fascinating views in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and created unique works of art.
So you will hike along the tracks of famous painters as the name Malerweg Trail suggests (literal translation: Painter’s Path or Trail). Set out to experience the fairytale-like landscape of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains yourself!
Day 1: Individual arrival at Dresden/Pirna
The "Florence on the Elbe" shines with the world-famous sights of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), the Zwinger, the Semper Opera House and the Brühl Terrace and forms a picturesque silhouette. Let yourself be enchanted by the historical flair during a stroll through the baroque Old Town.
Overnight stay in Dresden
Day 2: Dresden/Pirna-Liebethal – Wehlen/Rathen (approx. 12/17 km, walking time: approx. 4/5,5 hrs, + 310/390 m, - 330/425 m)
In the morning, you will take the S-bahn train and bus to Pirna-Liebethal, the starting point of your first hiking tour along the Malerweg. During your first hiking stage you will walk through three wild and romantic ravines. Experience one of the special features of the natural landscape in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains: favoured by the microclimate, you will encounter a lush and varied flora in the deep gorges along the Malerweg Trail. The pretty resort town of Stadt Wehlen awaits you at the end of todays hike.
Overnight stay in Wehlen or Rathen
Day 3: Wehlen/Rathen – Hohnstein (approx. 11/7 km, walking time: approx. 4/2,5 hrs, + 480/255 m, - 400/175 m)
The first highlight of today is the probably most famous view point: the Bastei Bridge. Thereafter, you descend into the Amselgrund and head for the second highlight of todays route- the Hockstein. Through the Wolfsschlucht you reach the Polenztal valley, below the village of Hohnstein with its castle, which you will have enough time to visit.
Overnight stay in Hohnstein
Day 4: Hohnstein – Altendorf/Kirnitzschtal/Bad Schandau (approx. 15 km, walking time: approx. 6 hrs, + 600 m, - 520 m)
Today you will hike to the Brand viewpoint which is also called the ‘Balcony of Saxon Switzerland’. You will continue the tour by taking roughly 800 steps down into the ‘Tiefen Grund’ gorge. Passing Waitzdorf you will reach Altendorf or continue along the Panorama trail to the Kirnitzschtal valley.
Overnight stay in Altendorf, Kirnitzschtal valley or Bad Schandau
Day 5: Altendorf/Kirnitzschtal – Schrammsteine – Neumannmühle (approx. 18,5 km, walking time: 6.5 hrs, + 700 m, - 755 m)
Hike directly uphill to the Schrammstein viewpoint and along the ridge path through the Schrammstein massif. Passing the Großer and Kleiner Dom, you reach the Affensteinweg, which leads you to the Lichtenhainer Wasserfall. Via the Kuhstall with its sky ladder, you reach the stage destination - the technical monument Neumannmühle. By bus you return to the Kirnitzschtal valley or to Bad Schandau.
Overnight stay in Kirnitzschtal valley or Bad Schandau
Day 6: Neumannmühle – Großer Winterberg – region Schmilka/ Krippen (approx. 13,5 km, walking time: approx. 5.5 hrs, + 620 m, - 720 m)
You start the day taking the bus back to Neumannmühle to continue the walking tour along the Malerweg Trail. Explore the region called "Hintere Sächsische Schweiz" with Zeughaus and Goldstein view point before climbing up the mountain Großer Winterberg, with 556 metres the second highest mountain in Saxon Switzerland. In Schmilka you take the Elbe ferry and travel by S-bahn train to your accommodation in Bad Schandau/Krippen or continue hiking the Malerweg via Schöna and Reinhardtsdorf to Krippen (another approx. 9 km).
Overnight stay in Krippen
Day 7: region Schmilka/ Krippen – Gohrisch (approx. 18 km, walking time: 6.5 hrs, + 640 m, - 470 m)
Take the S-Bahn to the end of yesterdays hike to Schmilka or continue directly from Krippen on the Malerweg. Climbing the table mountains Papststein and Gohrisch are on your tour plan today. You will spend the night in Gohrisch.
Overnight stay in Gohrisch
Day 8: Gohrisch - Königstein (approx. 9 km, walking time: approx. 4 hrs, + 270 m, - 470 m)
Todays short hike along the Malerweg leads you over the Pfaffenstein, past the Diebeskeller cave to Königstein Fortress. This leaves enough time for a visit to the "Impregnable".
Overnight stay in Königstein
Day 9: Königstein – Dresden/Pirna (approx. 21,5 km, walking time: approx. 7.5 hrs, + 670 m, - 660 m)
Passing Thürmsdorf and Weissig, the last hiking stage on the Malerweg trail leads you to the Rauenstein massif. From the top you can catch sight of the Bastei Bridge on the other side of the Elbe River. Over the ridge you walk on towards Pirna. Depending on availability, you will sleep in Dresden (tickets included).
Overnight stay in Dresden or Pirna
Day 10: Departure
After an unforgettable hiking trip along the Malerweg you will start your return journey today. Or you can extend your hiking vacation with an additional night in Dresden and enjoy the cultural flair of the baroque "Florence on the Elbe". We would be happy to book additional nights in Dresden or Pirna for you - just ask us! Please note
that the routes indicated in the itinerary are the hiking stages only. The places of accommodation may differ from the starting and finishing points of the hikes.
Experience PACKAGES: Put the crown on your holiday!
- 9 x overnight stay in hotels with 3-star-standard and guesthouses
- 9 x continental breakfast
- 1 x dinner as 2-course menu or buffet
- Luggage transfer from accommodation to accommodation during your walking tours
- GPS data on request
- 1 package with maps and information material per room (in English language)
- Telephone-service-hotline during your walking holidays
Please feel free to add the following value-added services to the basic travel package to personalize your walking holidays along the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Malerweg trail:
- Additional nights in Pirna or Dresden
- Trip to Lilienstein on Day 8 from/to Gohrisch (additional night)
- FlexPLUS: rebook or cancel up to 28 days before arrival without giving reasons (more about our FlexPLUS)
Please note that in some cities accommodation taxes, visitor's taxes, etc. apply. Unless otherwise stated, these are not included in the tour price and must be paid locally.
This cycle trip is not recommendable for travellers with mobility impairments.
Arrival & Departure
How to get to the tour
Arrival by train:
From Dresden main station, the S1 and S2 suburban trains in the direction of Schöna run regularly every half hour between 04:30 and 01:00, sometimes even every 10 minutes to Pirna.
Coming from the direction of Stolpen, Neustadt i.Sa. and Sebnitz, the regional train RB 71 brings travelers to the city.
From the train station you can reach your hotel on foot in no time or we recommend taking a cab (depending on the location of your hotel).
Current timetable information and prices can be found at www.bahn.de.
Arrival by car and parking facilities:
Pirna is only 25 km from the state capital Dresden and easily accessible by car via the A17 and then on the federal highway.
On www.parkopedia.de you will find a good overview of public parking lots and parking garages.
- Prices for services includedPrice validity: 01.04.2017 to 31.10.2024incl. luggage transferDblSglPrice validity: 01.04.2024 to 05.05.2024899.00 € per person1,219.00 € per personPrice validity: 06.05.2024 to 05.10.2024899.00 € per person1,219.00 € per personPrice validity: 06.10.2024 to 31.10.2024945.00 € per person1,265.00 € per person899.00 € per person1,219.00 € per person
- Prices for additional nightsDblSglDresden75.00 €110.00 €Pirna85.00 €115.00 €Bad Schandau85.00 €115.00 €
- Experience packagesPriceFlexPLUS39.00 € (DZ), 39.00 € (EZ)
per personWanderung zum Prebischtor (CZ)75.00 € (DZ), 110.00 € (EZ)
per personWanderung zum Lilienstein75.00 € (DZ), 110.00 € (EZ)
per personKunstPLUS: Caspar David Friedrich100.00 € (DZ), 140.00 € (EZ)
per personWanderung auf dem Caspar-David-Friedrich-Weg75.00 € (DZ), 110.00 € (EZ)
5% Early Bird Discount
on all active holidays