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  • Wanderer im Wald © Robert Michalk Photography
    Wanderer im Wald © Robert Michalk Photography
  • Karte zur Wanderreise am Malerweg in der Sächsischen Schweiz © AugustusTours
    Karte zur Wanderreise am Malerweg in der Sächsischen Schweiz © AugustusTours
  • Rauenstein Aussicht am Abend
    Rauenstein Aussicht am Abend
  • Malerweg Liebethaler Grund
    Malerweg Liebethaler Grund
  • Saechsische Schweiz und die Elbe
    Saechsische Schweiz und die Elbe
  • Die Basteibrücke Rathen
    Die Basteibrücke Rathen
  • Schrammsteine im Morgennebel © Uwe Kögler
    Schrammsteine im Morgennebel © Uwe Kögler
  • Kuhstall am Malerweg © AugustusTours
    Kuhstall am Malerweg © AugustusTours
  • Neumannmühle (technisches Denkmal) © AugustusTours
    Neumannmühle (technisches Denkmal) © AugustusTours
  • Die Kirnitzschtalbahn
    Die Kirnitzschtalbahn
  • Ausblick vom Winterberg © Uwe Kögler
    Ausblick vom Winterberg © Uwe Kögler
  • Schmilka © AugustusTours
    Schmilka © AugustusTours
  • Kiefer auf dem Papststein © Uwe Kögler
    Kiefer auf dem Papststein © Uwe Kögler
  • Blick von der Festung Königstein © Gunnar Freise
    Blick von der Festung Königstein © Gunnar Freise

Walking holidays along the Malerweg Trail in 10 days

On the tracks of popular artists

In the far southeast of Germany the rather small but very famous Elbe Sandstone Mountains are located. Just a stone’s throw from Saxony’s capitol Dresden, you can immerge into a magic world of bizzare rock formations, deep valleys, historical fortresses and the river landscape of the Elbe.

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!
10 days/ 9 nights
Travel period
06.05.2024 - 31.10.2024
Anreise: Daily
Bookable from
1 person(s)
Total length of tour
120 km
Characteristics of the tour
Level of difficulty: averageCircular tour (1st and last overnight stay in the same hotel)AugustusTours Original Tour (organized by AugustusTours)Top-Tour (popular tour)Travel with dog
© Robert Michalk Photography © Robert Michalk Photography
Your Contact Persons


  • 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

    Bookable ExperiencePACKAGE:
    Make it cultural!
    ArtPLUS: Caspar David Friedrich
  • 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

    Bookable ExperiencePACKAGE:
    Make it even more beautiful!
    Hike to the Prebischtor in Bohemian Switzerland
  • 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

    Bookable ExperiencePACKAGE:
    Make it even more beautiful!
    Hike to the Lilienstein table mountain
  • 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!

  • Hike to the Prebischtor in Bohemian Switzerland

    Make it even more beautiful!

    Europe's largest rock gate awaits your visit! Public transport will take you to the start and end point of the hike to Hrensko in Bohemian Switzerland (approx. 14 km, walking time: approx. 4.5 h, +545 m, -380 m).


    • Overnight stay incl. breakfast in Bad Schandau/Krippen

    Price: from 75 € p.p. in a double room

  • ArtPLUS: Caspar David Friedrich

    Make it cultural!

    Visit the Albertinum in Dresden with the New Masters Gallery (open daily except Mondays) and marvel at Caspar David Friedrich's works. You will receive a ticket for the permanent exhibition (until 23 August 2024) or for the special exhibition about the painter (from 24 August 2024) and stay overnight in Dresden. Please let us know the desired date in the booking notes.


    • Overnight stay incl. breakfast in Dresden
    • Luggage transport
    • Public transport ticket
    • Ticket for the Albertinum (permanent exhibition or special exhibition)

    Price: from 100 € p.p. in a double room

  • Hike to the Lilienstein table mountain

    Make it even more beautiful!

    Spend another night in Gohrisch and go on a breathtaking circular hike to the Lilienstein table mountain on the right bank of the Elbe, the landmark of Saxon Switzerland. An impressive view of the Elbe and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains awaits you (approx. 11 km, walking time: approx. 4 h, +480 m, -480 m)!


    • Overnight stay incl. breakfast in Gohrisch

    Price: from 75 € p.p. in a double room


Services included

  • 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 (up to 2 pieces of luggage per person, maximum 20 kg each)
  • GPS data on request
  • 1 package with maps and information material per room (in English language)
  • Telephone-service-hotline during your walking holidays

Additional services

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)

Accommodation categories

We book hiker-friendly hotels and guesthouses with 3-star standard for you.

Further information

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

Tips on how to get to Pirna

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

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 you will find a good overview of public parking lots and parking garages.


  • Prices for services included
    incl. luggage transfer
    Price validity: 06.05.2024 to 05.10.2024
    945.00 € per person
    1,265.00 € per person
    Price validity: 06.10.2024 to 31.10.2024
    899.00 € per person
    1,219.00 € per person
  • Prices for additional nights
    75.00 €
    110.00 €
    85.00 €
    115.00 €
    Bad Schandau
    85.00 €
    115.00 €
  • Experience packages & additional services
    up to 28 days before arrival, you can rebook or cancel free of charge one time
    39.00 € (DZ), 39.00 € (EZ)
    per person
    Walking tour to the Prebisch Gate (CZ)
    incl. overnight stay with breakfast in Krippen/Bad Schandau
    75.00 € (DZ), 110.00 € (EZ)
    per person
    Trip to Lilienstein
    Walking tour from/to Gohrisch & extra night
    75.00 € (DZ), 110.00 € (EZ)
    per person
    ArtPLUS: Caspar David Friedrich
    Admission to permanent exhibition Albertinum or special exhibition, B&B in Dresden
    100.00 € (DZ), 140.00 € (EZ)
    per person

As always...

5% Early Bird Discount
on all active holidays

until 29/02/2024 (upon the basic package price)