Rabenstein/Fläming: Rabenstein Castle, Castle Road ©Adobe Stock (Animaflora PicsStock)

Inspiring Germany

11 impressive castle hiking adventures

Germany's castles are nestled in nature parks, biosphere reserves and vineyards. Join us on hikes full of history and with spectacular views.

Rheinburgenweg – on Germany's river

Bingen: Aerial view of the mouse tower on an island in the Rhine Bingen: Aerial view of the mouse tower on an island in the Rhine ©Rheintouristik Tal der Loreley, St. Goar (Mahlow Media, Winningen)

Romantic from the outset: the Rolandsbogen in Remagen is the relic of a medieval fortress. It is followed by one highlight after another until you reach the Mouse Tower in Bingen. More than 20 castles and ruins line the 200-kilometre RheinBurgenWeg Trail through the Middle Rhine Valley. Go castle hopping in this mystical landscape!

Three Castles Route – family tour with refreshments

Which is your favourite? The Schaumburg with the Gerichtslinde (a linden tree, in the shade of which court used to be held), dungeons and sweeping views from the 30-metre-tall tower? The overgrown ruins of the former Osterburg? Or perhaps the Paschenburg with refreshment stops for hikers? All three can be found along the Three Castles Route through the Weserbergland – at 13 kilometres, this is the perfect relaxed day trip for the whole family.

Werra-Burgen-Steig – dive into the Middle Ages

Witzenhausen: Berlepsch Castle Witzenhausen: Berlepsch Castle ©Hessen Tourismus

A discovery tour around Berlepsch Castle, built in the 14th century, an overnight stay within the historic walls of Ludwigstein Castle, a medieval festival with a large market at the Tannenburg: all aspects of court life live on to this day along the 128-kilometre Hessian section of the Werra-Burgen-Steig – a hiking trail with a tradition that dates back almost 140 years.

Burg-Nanstein-Weg – on the heights of the Palatinate Forest

Nanstein castle ruins Nanstein castle ruins ©Adobe Stock (Marc)

In the tradition of the knights of old, castles were meant to be captured. Set out in the heart of the West Palatinate resort town of Landstuhl, then travel through the forests and rock formations of the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve up to Nanstein Castle, which has been captured several times over the centuries. Today, it is the impressive high point of the 13-kilometre Nanstein Castle Trail with its sweeping views.

Burgenwanderweg – in the land of the Flemings

Rabenstein/Fläming: Rabenstein Castle, Castle Road Rabenstein/Fläming: Rabenstein Castle, Castle Road ©Adobe Stock (Animaflora PicsStock)

With its ridges and erratic boulders, the Fläming Heath dating back to the last ice age is a cultivated landscape in the south of Brandenburg. It is home to four structures that could hardly be any more different: from Rabenstein Castle to Wiesenburg Castle in a park of flourishing rhododendrons. The 147-kilometre Burgenwanderweg is the red thread that connects them. The ravine of the Neuendorfer Rummel is another highlight.

Burgensteig Bergstraße – historic and panoramic

Heidelberg: Heidelberg Castle in Summer Heidelberg: Heidelberg Castle in Summer ©Lookphotos (Hanna Wagner)

Attraction, landmark and famous ruin: experience Heidelberg Castle on the Königstuhl away from the streams of visitors on a hike along the 120-kilometre Burgensteig Bergstraße – along with 30 other castles and palaces. 'Hiking without baggage' offers are a great option, given the total elevation gain of 4,500 metres.

ParadiesTour Burgruine Albeck – in the shade of redwoods

Aerial view of Sulz am Neckar Aerial view of Sulz am Neckar ©Adobe Stock (magann)

What turns a hike into a 'Paradise Tour'? For this route of about twelve kilometres in the Neckar Valley, it's the combination of ancient forests and views of the Swabian Alps, the historic Römerkeller with connected museum and a grove of 45-year-old redwoods. And to conclude this route: the ruins of Albeck Castle, once captured by robber knights.

Saale Horizontale – in the footsteps of great poets

Dornburg Rococo Castle Dornburg Rococo Castle ©Adobe Stock (Lapping Pictures)

Goethe and Schiller wandered here with a view of the Saale river. Many of the panoramas they enjoyed account for today's fascination of the 91-kilometre Saale Horizontale , chosen as Germany's most beautiful hiking trail in 2023. In addition to 20 lookout points, you get to experience the three Dornburg Castles in the splendour of the Renaissance and Rococo.

Eifelsteig – castles in the Vulkanland

Manderscheid: The Lieserpfad and the Manderscheid castles in the Eifel Manderscheid: The Lieserpfad and the Manderscheid castles in the Eifel ©Eifel Tourismus GmbH (Dominik Ketz)

Fire and water shaped the Eifel region's diverse natural landscape – from high moors, to the maars of the Volcanic Eifel, to the sandstone formations in the south. No wonder the 313-kilometre Eifelsteig is among the 'Top Trails of Germany'. Castle lovers also get their fill along the way, for instance in Manderscheid where two ruins face each other, enthroned over the spa town.

Moselsteig – guardian of the vineyards

Cochem: Aerial view of the Reichsburg Cochem on the Moselle river Cochem: Aerial view of the Reichsburg Cochem on the Moselle river ©DZT (Florian Trykowski)

The Moselle region is famous for its excellent wines, waiting for you to enjoy after a day of hiking the 365-kilometre Moselsteig Trail . 24 stages and numerous partner trails, some easy and others a sporting challenge, take you along the river and high up to the castles guarding the valley. Stop at attractions along the way, such as a guided tour of Cochem Castle .

Hanstein-Teufelskanzel TOP hiking trail

Hanstein Castle in winter Hanstein Castle in winter ©Adobe Stock (Ralf)

The green belt along the former German-German border has developed into a lifeline, boasting habitat after habitat. Discover traces on the eight-kilometre hiking trail to the Hanstein castle ruin. Its keep offers fantastic, sweeping views, as do the Teufelskanzel and Lindewerrablick.