Swabian Alb North Rim Trail - From the edge of the Swabian Alb to the Danube valley

The Albsteig (also called the Swabian Alb North Rim Trail/HW1) follows the Albtrauf, the north-westerly edge of the Swabian Alb, to the Danube valley, revealing spectacular views, ancient rock formations, castles and caves.

Situated to the south of Stuttgart, the Swabian Alb offers some of Germany’s most striking scenery. On its north-western edge, the Swabian Alb rises steeply from the plain. This sharp incline with its remarkable wooded slopes and gorges is known as the Albtrauf. The Albsteig route starts in Donauwörth and heads along the Albtrauf past bizarre rock formations rising suddenly from the forest. Some of them are topped with palaces, castles and ruins that you can visit en route. This fascinating trail also passes wildlife enclosures, springs, streams, conservation areas and dripstone caves. A multitude of vantage points, including from towers and viewing platforms, provide magnificent panoramas far across the Swabian Alb. On its southern edge, the Alb plateau stretches as far as the Danube. The Albsteig takes you down into the valley of the Upper Danube, where it ends in the small town of Tuttlingen. Parts of the trail are on steep inclines and narrow paths. For seasoned walkers, the North Rim Trail offers lots of enjoyment and adventure.

Tip: Lichtenstein Castle

Perched at the top of a sheer rock face above the Echaz valley, romantic Lichtenstein Castle was built in 1842 for King Wilhelm of Württemberg and was inspired by a novel by Wilhelm Hauff. The armoury, taproom and chapel with its altar panels are well worth a visit.

At a glance:

  • Starts: Donauwörth
  • Ends: Tuttlingen
  • Length: 365km
  • Number of stages: 25
  • Altitude variation: ascent 19,600m, descent 19,400m
  • Terrain: 46% unmade, 20% asphalt, 34% other, e.g. farm tracks

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