High above the meandering Altmühl river, the Altmühl Valley Panorama Trail runs through a landscape of almost Arcadian character complete with rock ledges, broadleaf forest and juniper heathland.
South of Nuremberg, this splendid walking trail follows the twists and turns of the Altmühl river through unspoilt nature from Gunzenhausen to Kelheim: across gently rising riverside meadows, up to the juniper scrubs with their wild herbs and wonderful aromas, past bizarre rock formations and through sparse beech forests. Attractions along the first section include the recently certified spa town of Treuchtlingen, mighty Pappenheim Castle and natural features such as the Steinerne Rinne (stone gully) near Wolfsbronn. The next stage takes you past the quarries on the plateaus to the unmistakable Burgstein rock near Dollnstein; then onto the baroque splendour of Eichstätt. There are traces of Roman heritage to discover near Kipfenberg: remnants of the Limes border fortifications and a replica of a Roman watchtower speak of a long and fascinating history. The trail comes to an end against the backdrop of the Danube Gorge at famous Weltenburg Abbey.
Tip: a treasure trove near Eichstätt for amateur fossil collectors
The quarries of the Altmühl Valley with their platy limestone geology bear witness to a prehistoric world: more than 900 species of plant and animal have been found here, including ammonites, pterodactyls, predatory fish and crustaceans. At the Blumenberg fossil quarry near Eichstätt, you can scour for finds of your own.
At a glance:
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