Bastei, Elbe Sandstone Mountains
View of the table mountains of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
The Elbe Cycle Path in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
View of the Schrammsteine: Falkenstein and Torsteinkette
View to the rear Saxon Switzerland from the north
Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Attractions in the Elbsandsteingebirge
Photo: Merops, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons
Sights in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
To protect the trade routes, some castles were built in the course of time. Of most of them, however, only ruins remain, such as the Small Bastion and the castle on the Falkenstein. Well preserved are still the famous fortress Königstein and the castle Hohnstein. Some of the castles in the area were formerly used as medieval robbery nests.
The most popular excursion destination in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains is the Bastei, the most famous rock formation in Saxon Switzerland. The unique panoramic view offers a view of Lilienstein and Königstein and also the 76 m long bridge connected to the Bastei to the ruins of the rock castle Neurathen is impressive.
Photo: Je-str, CC BY, Wikimedia Commons
Activities in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are considered one of the most spectacular hiking areas in Europe. On about 1200 km of marked trails, hikers are on their way through green forests, mystical valleys, over ridges with best views and past bizarre rock formations. Some paths lead over stairs and ladders, metal steps and grips, so that surefootedness and to have a head for heights are an advantage for a tour in Saxon Switzerland. In summer, there is the possibility to spend the night in the open nature and those who want to get to know the landscape in detail can join a guided hike.
Also cyclists can explore the nature of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains extensively. While the Elbe Cycle Path leads leisurely with a great view of the rocks of the mountains, the routes up into the mountains are demanding and partly rustic. An off-road bike is essential for these tours, but the great views compensate for all exertions.
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are considered the birthplace of free climbing. Climbing is perhaps the most popular sport on the 1134 free-standing sandstone rocks. There are own climbing rules and there is an own scale of difficulty – the rules protect the soft, sensitive sandstone as well as the habitats of plants and animals. About 27,000 climbing routes of all levels of difficulty lead into the unique world of bizarre rock formations.