The Danube Peaks Trail on the southern edge of the Swabian Jura is easy to explore on foot in four daily stages. The thin strip of the still-narrow Danube snakes its way through the valley while hikers usually take the path at lofty heights.

At any rate, a hefty 3,200 metres need to be climbed on the just under 60 kilometre Danube Peaks Trail. This German low mountain range used to be considered nothing more than good practice for the Alps, the "real" mountains. But this mindset has now changed as you can still go on a very demanding and high-level hike in the Danube Valley. Once hikers have scaled the Lemberg, they find themselves standing on top of the highest mountain in the Swabian Jura at an elevation of 1,015 metres. The reward? Vistas stretching across to the Alps and the Black Forest. Other highlights on the Danube Peaks Trail include the medieval town of Mühlheim an der Donau and the juniper heaths. The Danube Valley narrows as you hike along the final stage of the trail from Fridingen to Beuron Archabbey. This part of the valley is also known as the Swabian Grand Canyon.

TIP: Beuron Archabbey

Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:

"I highly recommend going on a tour of Beuron Archabbey, a pilgrimage site and home to 50 monks. The abbey and library are striking, and you can buy supplies in the abbey's butcher shop."

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