The Eifel, a land of dormant volcanoes, has a hot reputation. Located between Bonn and Trier, it is the most geologically active area in Germany. The German Volcanoes Route takes visitors on a 280 km tour of the region's top volcanic sites, from the River Rhine to the Eifel mountains.
The Eifel, a highland region created by volcanoes during the Cenozoic period, is a land of harshly beautiful countryside and has at its heart the Volcanic Eifel and a 10,000-year-old extinct volcano. Here more than anywhere else in Germany, the earth has retained signs of its fiery past.
A cabinet of curiosities
Traversing the fields and hills of the Eifel today, it is hard to believe that in times past, this land reached all the way up to the skies. It was not that many years ago that the earth here rumbled, bubbled and split open with a might roar. Evidence of this volatile past is still very much on display here along the German Volcanoes Route.
Treasures and historic sites
About 350 eruption sites narrate the exciting and fiery history of the Eifel region, whilst geological museums and institutes make this scientific phenomena accessible for all. Carefully selected tours can also take you on a journey of discovery through the treasures and historic sites of this awe-inspiring land.
A Mecca for geologists
The German Volcanoes Route includes around 40 geological attractions concerning industrial history and volcanoes. Each of these attractions lays bare a dizzying variety of volcanic relics such as mysterious volcanic lakes, violent sinkholes and cinder cones, spectacular quarries, lava flows, metre-thick walls of volcanic tuff and pumice, domes, geysers, effervescent mineral springs and carbonated springs, plumes and hot spots.
It can be difficult for non-specialists to understand geological processes, and so a little help comes in the shape of the Eifel Volcano Museum in the town of Daun or the Crater Lake Museum (Maarmuseum) in Manderscheid. Here volcanoes come back to life again, crater lakes open up out of the earth and lava flows rush hissing towards you, all thanks to high-tech computer simulations. Even if there is no longer any danger of a volcanic eruption, the volcanic fields are still active. Scientists believe that this volcanic activity is due to a magma column or "hot spot" found down in the bowels of the earth.
Length: approximately 280 km
Theme: countryside, volcanoes
Andernach: geyser, Namedy Castle, the Rhine Gate (Rheintor)
Brohl-Lützing: the Volcano Express railway, the East Eifel Volcano Park (Vulkanpark Osteifel), castle
Daun: crater lakes, volcano museum
Gerolstein: Löwenburg Castle, Savabodis Roman villa
Hillesheim: historical town centre, geological trail (Geopfad)
Manderscheid: crater lake museum (Maarmuseum), Oberburg Castle and Niederburg Castle, the Lieserpfad trail
Mayen: German Slate Mine, Mayen Volcano Park, Genoveva Castle
Mendig: lava cellar (Lavakeller), volcano museum
Walllenborn: cold-water geyser
Weibern: tuff rock centre
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