In September 2019 we hiked for five days along the Malerweg at the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. We left in Bad Schandau and returned there again.
The self-guided hiking trip which we had booked with a travel agency, followed primarily the Malerweg, led to its main attractions, but left out walking from Bad Schandau to Pirna, which suited us. The stages of our itinerary first seemed to me very short. They were planned between 10 and 17 km per day. Altogether, we walked (without additional sightseeing, like f.ex. the Feste Königstein) only 63 km. We had also booked the transport of our bags between accommodations . „Well,“ I thought, „that will be quite comfortable. This is going to be pleasure hiking! “
Actually, we enjoyed the hike very much, had breathtaking scenic experiences: the dramatic rock towers, the magnificent mixed forests with huge beech and birch, the moss-covered boulders, the spectacular views over the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and the course of the river. Such magnificient and varied nature, even beyond the well-known photo spots, we had not expected. And we could often stop off at quaint and cozy inns with tasty food and delicious cakes, such as dishes with Saxon dumplings and Dresdner Eierschecke.
One has to climb a lot in the Saxon Switzerland National Park. It is always uphill and then often immediately downhill and so on, but everything is very well secured. At each steep spot there are steps, often with railings, and as soon as one starts the climb of the sandstone cliffs, the ladders begin. These often run between the towering stones and sometimes it is so tight that you have to squeeze through. I was so glad I only carried my day pack on the back. Once, we even climbed up a ladder at 90 degrees! With a heavy backpack I might have had problems.
As a reward for strenuous climbing (in total we went up 2317 m and down 2139 m) we always got fantastic panorama views. But the National Park Administration, which maintains the whole area perfectly, sometimes meant too well with the visitor in this regard. Often, when several rocks lay side by side, the path did not only take us to a viewpoint and then down again. No, once on the ridge we were allowed, e.g. at the Bärensteine on the way to Königstein, to go a stil higher and then climb up and down each of the numerous rocks.
In short, we hiked through a unique landscape. Despite the short stages, we were physically challenged. For all that continuous climbing over steps of any size and height, as well as ladders without end, walking was never dangerous. The hiker though should be sure-footed and free from vertigo. We mostly had dry weather. In the rain, you have to be extra careful.
Below I like to share a few impressions of our hiking holiday on the Malerweg.
We were privileged to spend our hiking holiday in the fantastic scenery of Saxon Switzerland. There you can also walk many trails of various lenghts , which are not situated along the Malerweg. As the distances in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains are not far, the area is also very suitable for day hikes, e.g. from Bad Schandau. From Dresden you can even take a surburban train. It is also supposed to be very idyllic in the Bielatal. In any case, I would like to hike in the area again, maybe see the scenery in the fall with colorful foliage. It’s just so beautiful there!
Have you ever been hiking the Malerweg ? And how did you like it?
Looking forward to your comments and likes.