Lüneburg Heath is known for its vast swathes of heathland. The Heidschnuckenweg passes through over 30 areas of purple heathland between Hamburg and Celle.
Fine sand crunching underfoot, bristly branches from low scrub lightly scratching your legs, the sounds of Heidschnucke sheep bleating. In August, the gently undulating landscape is transformed by a carpet of purple. Bizarrely shaped juniper bushes point their prickly branches towards the sun. Nothing can be heard but the sounds of nature: walking on the Heidschnuckenweg is a delight for the senses. Here, where the Heidschnucke sheep graze, you’ll find one expanse of heathland after another – each more beautiful than the last and every one unique in its own way. Steep heatherclad hillsides, crystal-clear streams and valley basins covered in juniper are characteristic features of the landscape. Solitary pine trees with widely spread branches and sprawling juniper bushes provide shade on warm sunny days.
Interspersed between the heathland are river meadows, ancient forests and a mosaic of fields, pastures and small patches of woodland. The route passes through many heathland villages that have lost none of their traditional charm. Expect to see isolated farmhouses in the typical half-timbered style, walls made from boulders and stone churches beneath mighty oaks.
The Heidschnuckenweg is more than just a walk through the Lüneburg Heath: it a journey through one of the oldest and most unspoilt regions of Germany.
Tip: Wilsede hill in the Lüneburg Heath nature reserve
Wilsede hill (169m) is a highlight on the Heidschnuckenweg and affords breathtaking views of the heathland from its summit.
At a glance: