The Zittau Mountains Nature Park is a scenic gem in the area near the German borders with Poland and the Czech Republic. A cultural landscape dating back 1,000 years has developed alongside the deep-blue waters of the River Mandau.
The irresistible charm of Germany's smallest highland area lies in its various rock formations, sandstone mountains, volcanic peaks and picturesque valleys. Nature lovers will be in their element as they discover exquisite plants including marsh marigolds, martagon lilies and carline thistles or watch roe deer, badgers, eagle owls and peregrine falcons in the wild. Hiking trails, cycle paths, ski runs, bridle paths and educational trails cover hundreds of kilometres through the natural landscape. It is well worth climbing to the top of the mountain peaks offering spectacular views and visiting villages that are home to traditional rural houses. The nature park visitor centre in the 600-year-old Niederkretscham building in Waltersdorf is a veritable treasure trove of information about the natural habitat, geology and culture.