Between Pirna and Diesbar-Seusslitz near Meissen, the Saxon Wine Route wends its way for almost 60 km through the sunny, mild and captivatingly varied valley of the Elbe, along with the international Elbe Cycle Route and the Saxony Wine Trail. This is Germany's smallest wine-growing region and the most northernly in Europe.
This centuries-old wine-growing tradition has had a significant impact on the appearance of the landscape here. Vined hillsides, splendid historic buildings and quaint little wine taverns: these are just some of the sights that visitors encounter time and time again as they continue along the route. However, the real source of this region's popularity is the harmony of its architecture, viniculture, countryside and history.
An exceptional performance from the region's vineyards
This part of Saxony enjoys a particularly favourable climate. Grapes have been grown here for 800 years, and the local porcelain manufacturing tradition dates back almost 300 years. It was wine and porcelain, together with rich silver deposits, that brought fame and fortune to Saxony. As you follow the Saxon Wine Route, you will see vines for the first time near Pirna, then in Pillnitz, close to the stately home there, and then beneath the palaces that line the river Elbe in Dresden. Just outside Dresden going towards Meissen , you will see the next vines growing on terraces on the Radebeul and Coswig slopes, which end at the romantic Elbe wine villages near Diesbar-Seusslitz.
Enchanted by wine
The Mediterranean feel, lovely scenery and cheery innkeepers create a carefree atmosphere, which works its magic as your paddle steamer cruises down the river and your gaze wanders over the vine-clad terraces and vineyards along the Elbe's riverbanks. During high-season, the world's oldest and largest paddle steamer sails daily from Dresden through the wine-growing regions to Meissen.
Where winegrowers become your hosts
The route forms a link through the most beautiful vineyards, interesting observation points and quaint wine taverns to the region's greatest treasures. Some of the charms of this delightful countryside dotted with towns and romantic villages are the countless reminders of its wine heritage: here and there a freshly whitewashed vintner's cottage, a soaring church steeple or a snug wine tavern. Stop off at a winegrower's tavern and let your host pour you one of his best vintages accompanied by some hearty fare or a sweet dish from the list of house specials, all served up with an amusing Saxon tale or two.
Length: approximately 60 km
Theme: wine, arts, architecture
Coswig: Karrasburg Museum, Villa Theresa, Sörnewitz Craft Centre (Handwerkerhof Sörnewitz)
Diesbar-Seußlitz: Elb wine towns, Baroque castle
Dresden: castle, Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), museums
Meissen: porcelain manufacturing
Pirna: historical old quarter
Radebeul: Wackerbarth House, Karl May Museum, observatory
Weinböhla: historical vineyard guesthouse, lookout tower at Ratsweinburg
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