Hiking in Germany
Germany is just 88 miles from our Amsterdam port, and under 200 miles from Dunkirk and Calais so it’s easy to hop onto one of our ferries from Newcastle or Dover with a car-load of hiking gear and experience everything this amazing country has to offer.
If you're someone who relishes verdant open spaces and unspoiled vistas, then Germany is the place for you. Its landscapes are timeless, stretching from the Bavarian Alps to the Baltic Sea, beautified by forested uplands and the wide expanses of the Northern European Plain.
With unparalleled long-distance walks and plenty of short routes, you can soak up all the delights Germany is famous for, such as castles, palaces, stunning landscapes, hearty food and world-class beer.
Header image credit: Daniel Geiger
Gear and clothing
There are few dangers in walking in Germany, and although it can be very cold in winter, in spring and summer you’ll only need the same kit you would use in UK.
Pack lightweight and sturdy walking boots, good quality waterproofs, and a mobile phone. Even when it’s not seriously hot out, always pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip protection.
As with any hiking trip, you should always carry drinking water and make sure to check the weather forecast.
Image credit: Peter argus fotoagentur Frischmuth
Popular hiking routes in Germany
The Rheinsteig Trail
The Rheinsteig Trail is 320km of narrow paths and steep climbs passing through unique landscapes, picturesque towns, castles and vineyards along the banks of the Rhine river.
This trail takes you through the iconic Upper Middle Rhine Valley – a UNESCO World Heritage site – a region peppered with historic curios and charming villages, where weary hikers can rest their feet and enjoy hot food and a cold beer. You can even take a river cruise down the Rhine, should you need a break from the trail.
Image credit: Akvariofoto
Located in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate, known as AhrSteig, this trail crosses the Ahr Valley and moves on into the neighbouring Eifel region.
The entire route of the AhrSteig Trail, taking in the Ahr Hills, charming villages nestled in side valleys and some of Germany’s finest vineyards, can be completed in around seven days, making the trail the perfect destination for a two-week holiday.
Image credit: RuslanDashinsky
The Soonwaldsteig Trail runs from Bingen in the romantic Rhine valley through densely wooded hills to Kirn in the Hahnenbach valley.
This is a true nature lover’s trail, passing through kilometre upon kilometre of tranquil, unspoilt forests and revealing awe-inspiring natural beauty at every turn.
The Eifelsteig Trail can be reached with just a two-hour drive from our Amsterdam port, so you can get your German hiking adventure started pronto.
"Just you, the water and the rocks" is the slogan for the Eifelsteig Trail and it’s a fitting tribute to a region offering secluded valleys, windswept moorlands, vast reservoirs, volcanic rock formations and crater lakes.
The landscape of the Eifelsteig Trail is among some of the most varied of any German hiking route and it seems the further you go, the more the terrain around you changes.
Image credit: Monkeybusinessimages
The Lahnwanderweg Trail runs for 290 kilometres from its start to Lahnstein, where the Lahn river meets the Rhine. This remote trails runs mostly along high terrain, providing hikers with exceptional views of the Lahn valley and of the high plateaus of the Taunus and Westerwald hills.
Convenient rail links for the Lahn valley mean it’s an easy trip back to your car, so you can afford to lose yourself in the fortresses, quaint towns and vineyards, safe in the knowledge there’s a comfortable ride home at the end.
Image credit: Soundsnaps
The snow-capped Alps are the Holy Grail of mountaineering in Germany. If you're up for the challenge you can venture from hut to hut, taking winding paths to enjoy spectacles that are renewed each season: spring wildflowers, autumnal forests and summer swimming spots.
Walking routes in the Alps range from wide, open spaces to steep, narrow causeways covered in snow all year round, so whether you’re a casual rambler or an experienced hiker, you’re sure to find something to suit you.
Image credit: bopicture Björn Hänssler
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named again as the World and Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2016 at the World Travel Awards. We have been Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator for 5 years running now, and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator for 6 years.