The Saxon Switzerland National Park in the east of Germany borders on the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic. With the cross-border nature conservation in this region, the opportunities for outdoor adventure know no bounds. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains in the national park are famous for being home to an incredible number of bird species and make for one of the most spectacular hiking areas in the whole of Europe.
Here, you can enjoy freedom and adventure across 700 square kilometres. With hiking, climbing, cycling, canoeing, horse riding and more on offer, the Saxon Switzerland National Park and Elbe Sandstone Mountains are dream destinations for all you sporty active types. This unique natural landscape also happens to be Germany's oldest hiking region. Trails spanning 400 km weave through the park, whilst the tall rocky crags will get any keen climber's heart racing. The region is also the perfect place to push yourself to the limits on a bike ride.
Birdwatchers will be in their element here, as the national park's landscape dominated by wooded areas and peculiar rock formations is home to wallcreepers, peregrine falcons, eagle owls and black storks.
The Bastei, a spectacular rock formation offering a picturesque view of the scenery surrounding the Elbe River, is one of the most popular and most photographed attractions in the region. We'd also highly recommend you pay a visit to some of the many palaces and castles. But if what your heart truly desires is a peaceful spot away from the main tourist haunts, Kirnitzschtal provides just the romantic setting you're looking for.
The train from Leipzig and Dresden goes all the way to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. You can also choose to travel via the Bad Schandau train station in the Saxon Switzerland National Park.
You can find the best train route here or on the DB Navigator app.
Top tip: Make sure you enter your exact starting and finishing points when searching for a route.
For example: Stephensonstrasse 1, Frankfurt am Main to An der Elbe 4, Bad Schandau.
You can also find international super saver fares on the Deutsche Bahn website.
Getting around the local area
If you get a train to the local train stations in Bad Schandau and Sebnitz, you'll be all set to explore the national park and the surrounding area. Anyone staying in Bad Schandau will be given a visitor card when they arrive at their accommodation, which grants holders free travel on one specific bus line and ferries in the area. You can find out more about getting around the local area online.
Black Forest National Park and
The two nature parks in the Black Forest promise unforgettable experiences surrounded by nature and a stunning cultural landscape. The national park is a little bit on the wilder side, with perfectly intact habitats that provide undisrupted homes for native flora and fauna.
Thuringian Forest Biosphere Reserve and
The oldest and best-known hiking trail in Germany, the Rennsteig, covers almost 170 km through the region in the centre of Germany, linking the Thuringian Forest Nature Parks and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It sure does pay to be well connected!