©Andreas Kahl
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The Erzgebirge Mountains/Vogtland: experience nature close-up

This 1495 square kilometre nature park is located in the south-west of Saxony and spans from Schönberg in Vogtland to Frauenstein in the eastern Ore Mountains. Visitors can go to the spa resort Oberwiesenthal which, at 1215 metres above sea level, is Germany's highest town and located in the centre of the park at the foot of the Fichtelberg mountain.

The natural highlights of the park include hedged plains criss-crossed with clearance cairns and field trees, bogs in mountain ridges, numerous swampy moors in river valleys, frequently used mountain and wetland meadows, the remains of the Hercynian Forest and scores of old mines.

These sights are not only an inspiration to hikers but are also habitats for many rare animal and plant species that are endangered in Europe. The Eurasian pygmy owl, black grouse, kingfisher, freshwater pearl mussel and clouded yellow butterfly are just some of the exquisite, nationally-significant fauna that can be found here. Floral highlights include Alpine Clubmoss, fire lilies, arnica, as well as many species of gentian and domestic orchids.

Hundreds of kilometres of well-maintained hiking, cycle paths, bridle paths and ski trails take visitors through wide-ranging forests and romantic brook valleys to the most beautiful observation points and the region's most interesting historical buildings, heritage sites and museums. Countless nature trails have also been created so that visitors can experience nature close-up and come to understand it better.

Many signs of the region's mining heritage, as well as a number of visitor mines, can also be found across the countryside. Low average temperatures and high rainfall are ideal conditions for snow, and so the Erzgebirge mountains and Vogtland are a paradise for both winter sports enthusiasts and people looking for a traditional summer retreat from the surrounding urban areas. The most famous holiday and ski resorts are Schöneck, Klingenthal/Mühlleithen, Carlsfeld/Johanngeorgenstadt, Oberwiesenthal, Seiffen, Cämmerswalde/Holzhau and the spa resorts of Bad Elster and Bad Brambach.

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