The quality-tested SaaleHorizontale Trail in Thuringia is a 72 kilometre tour which loops around both sides of the Middle Saale Valley. The university city of Jena is the central point of our hiking trail.
The SaaleHorizontale Trail is sponsored by Carl Zeiss, the world-famous lens company based in Jena. The optics specialist's motto for the hiking path is: "When the distance suddenly seems near." You can still enjoy the spectacular views of the Middle Saale Valley from the hills on this route – even without binoculars. The gently rolling landscape is a soft mixture of horizontal and vertical lines.
Nature is king on the SaaleHorizontale Trail. We hike through beech forests and cross meadows scattered with fruit trees – we even find blossoming orchids in spring. We are fascinated by the castle ruins we find along the way. But the highlight is definitely the Dornburg Palaces, a complex comprising three palaces from different eras. Our tour starts and ends in Jena, the lively city which was once home to philosophers Hegel and Schiller. Jena has always been home to foresighted thinkers.
Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"Jena's local mountain is the Jenzig. At a height of 385 metres, it is the Mount Everest of the SaaleHorizontale Trail. The mountain's prominent shape is reminiscent of a nose. Our keen noses also sniff out the mountain inn on the Jenzig."
At a glance: SaaleHorizontale
Length: 72 km
Number of stages: 4
Altitude variation: lowest point 127 m, highest point 401 m
Terrain: 68% unmade, 8% asphalt, 24% other, e.g. farm tracks