By the Großer Arbersee lake
By the Großer Arbersee lake ©Tourismusverband Ostbayern (Andreas Hub)

The Goldsteig Trail - where hiking is worth its weight in gold

At 660 kilometres, the Goldsteig Trail is the longest certified hiking trail in Germany. The trail to the north through the Bavarian Forest National Park is an athletic challenge, the trail to the south is more relaxed.

Where does the name "Goldsteig" come from? Back in the Middle Ages, "white gold" (salt) was transported in eastern Bavaria from Nuremberg to Prague on a trade route. The region also has a wealth of streams and mines where gold seekers once hunted for the precious metal. On our hike along the Goldsteig trail today, the route gifts us with a hiking adventure worth its weight in gold.

We experience Bavaria's unspoiled natural world on the long route from the Upper Palatinate through the Bavarian Forest. The Goldsteig Trail starts in Marktredwitz and ends in Passau, the city of three rivers – the Inn, Ilz and Danube. You can stop for a relaxing break on one of the 70 sun loungers on the Goldsteig Trail. We enjoy the amazing vistas and take in the fresh air. Other high points, in the truest sense of the word, on this route are the fantastic Rachel, Lusen and Großer Falkenstein mountain summits.

The Goldsteig region is renowned for its Bavarian beer. The amber nectar is perfectly matched with the hearty local cuisine. And if you hold your beer stein up to the sun, you will discover the golden treasure of the Goldsteig Trail.

TIP: the stage from Eck to the Großer Arber

Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"I recommend the stage from Eck to the Großer Arber – a worthwhile challenge. We hike over a total of eight one-thousanders. Once we reach the Großer Arber, we take a proud look back at all the summits lined up, as if on a pearl necklace."

At a glance: Goldsteig

Starts: Marktredwitz

Ends: Passau

Length: 660 km

Number of stages: 38

Altitude variation: lowest point 304 m, highest point 1,441 m

Terrain: 47% unmade, 15% asphalt, 38% other, e.g. farm tracks

Certified quality hiking trail

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