Cycling in Saxon Switzerland

Discovery Cycle Tours

Huge sandstone rocks and historic buildings line the horizon like a string of pearls: anyone of a variety of

Bastei Region by FRANK EXSS

Bastei Region by FRANK EXSS

cycle tours is guaranteed to include impressive scenery. 40 km on the Elbe Cycle Path The well-signposted 860 km long cycle path, identified by a blue “e”, extends from Schöna to Cuxhaven in north Germany. The popular Elbe Cycle Path (Elberadweg) shadows Germany’s secondlargest river. The 40 km stretch that runs through Saxon Switzerland is the most spectacular section. It takes cyclists along the water’s edge in a valley lined all the way by fascinating sandstone formations. Along the way, numerous restaurants offer a wide choice of regional cuisine, including a menu of the day with a drink for around € 10.


Tip: A cycle tour through the Bielatal
Family tour: Rosenthal, Bielatal, Cunnersdorf, Bielatal, Königstein.
For sportier cyclists: Bielatal, Hermsdorf, Hirschstange, Festung Königstein (Parking area), Thürmsdorf, Bärensteine, Pötzscha and then the ferry to the pretty town of Wehlen.

Cycle tours:
The National Park of Saxon Switzerland boasts some 50 km of eventful and challenging cycle routes. These are indicated by green signs with the word “Radroute” (cyclepath) in yellow and a bicycle logo. In addition, there is a well-developed cyclepath network around Neustadt, Hohwald, Sebnitz, Kirnitzschtal, Stolpen and Hohnstein.



Bicycle hire:
There are several local companies that hire out suitable equipment, from classic bikes to mountain bikes and tandems. Private hire is also available at some hotels, inns and holiday homes.

Cycling Bicycle bus service:
From April to October, a regular bus service catering for cyclists and their bikes runs at the weekend and on public holidays. The service is particularly useful for those who wish to skip the most difficult and steep climbs and pick up the route when the going gets easier.

Cycling Information
Bicycle hire company addresses:
Cycle path maps for the National Park:
• You can get an overview of all bicycle bus routes at: or


Climbing in Saxon Switzerland

“The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are the Earth’s most beautiful climbing region”

– Climbing pioneer Jean Claude Droyer

Little wonder that elite climbers refer to “their” Saxon Switzerland as the centre of the “Old World”: this is the true home of the sport. In 1874, stonemason Otto Ewald Ufer and his companion H. Frick managed to reach the summit of the Mönchstein near Rathen using only ladders and iron clamps. In their wake, the rock was conquered by Oscar Schuster and later by Rudolf Fehrmann. And so Saxon Switzerland became the birthplace of free climbing. From the first climbing shoes with hemp soles and summit registers to the first difficulty scale, of I to III, and climbing regulations, the framework for the sport of climbing was made in Saxon Switzerland. Today, more than 1,100 climbing rocks, with approximately 18,000 routes, are available to free climbers of all levels and against the breathtaking backdrop of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Opportunities to ascend and descend are endless in what is a theatre of dreams for climbers who seek a unique experience in a precious natural environment. Names such as “Lokomotive” (locomotive),

Elbe Sandstone by FRANK EXSS

Elbe Sandstone by FRANK EXSS

“Talwächter” (keeper of the valley) or “Wehlnadel” (the needle) describe well nature’s works of art. Safely up the wall With few limitations (some areas have been afforded special conservation status) elite climbers come from all corners of the globe to find freestanding sandstone rocks and climbing trails of all degrees of difficulty, from I to XII.

Saxon Climbing Regulations protect the sensitive nature of the sandstone and important fauna and flora habitats in the National Park region. To protect the soft stone, the use of metal aids (clamps etc.) is prohibited. Traditionally, nooses have been used. It is forbidden to modify the rock surface except when affixing safety rings (only possible on permitted virgin ascents!). Climbing on wet or unsound rock is prohibited. At times of inclement weather, a climbing arena and indoor high-wire garden offer good alternatives. Why not climb in the most famous and undoubtedly most attractive climbing area in the region?
• Climbing taster courses for beginners; also with and for professionals (all year round). Equipment is available for hire
• Climbing is possible on climbing rocks and when raining in climbing arenas

Fearless and ready for a steep climb? In addition to more than 1,200 kilometres of marked hiking trails, there are some fully developed steep terrains. Some exist along signposted hiking routes such as the “Wildschützensteig” in the “Schrammsteine” range, while others are off the public trail. The most famous steep climb is the “Häntzschelstiege” in the “Affensteine”. It was extensively reconstructed by National Park authorities in 2002. To complete a climbing tour in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains you will need to watch your step – and be fearless!

Hiking in Saxon Switzerland

Ragged rocks and wild canyons

More than 1,200 km of hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty – from gentle walking paths to steep climbing treks, from the very quiet to the most thrilling – meander from one famous destination to another, linking the Bastei to the Kuhstall (Cow Shed rock archway) and the Königstein Fortress.

Schrammstein Region by FRANK EXSS

Schrammstein Region by FRANK EXSS

The romantic “Malerweg”. The “Malerweg” (Painters’ Way) guides you through the fascinating, rocky landscape of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and connects the region’s most beautiful places. It dates back to the 18 th century when, on returning from the region left of the Elbe (downstream), hikers spread the news ofthe wooded, wild and romantic canyons, bizarre rock formations and breathtaking views. It is not surprising that Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff, from Switzerland, were wooed by this picturesque world. Their sketches and paintings enticed many artists down the years to come to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, including such famous names as Romantics Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus and Ludwig Richter. They all followed a special route, which started at the Liebethaler Grund, led through the Bastei Massif and some of the most striking summits of Saxon Switzerland and ended at the “Prebischtor” (Prebisch Gate), in what is today the Czech Republic. This route became known as the “Malerweg” and still remains today. The Way leads through places, such as Pirna and Königstein that provided the inspiration for artists such as Robert Sterl and Bernardo Bellotto, also known as Canaletto. In the “Schweizer Haus” (Swiss House) on the Bastei (Bastion), you can  admire the works of numerous artists. Today, the Painters’ Way is 112 km long. To have enough time to admire the many attractions and natural wonders along the way, the route is best divided into 8 stages. Of the total length of the trail, 68 km lead mainly through the National Park. Narrow paths that run between wild canyons and rugged rocks lead to the most beautiful lookouts via steps of stone, wood and steel that have been either carved out of living rock or build into the landscape by man. One trail leads to the mighty rock massif known as the Bastei. It towers 190 m above the Elbe and affords a breathtaking panoramic view over raised rock needles, deep canyons, surrounding table mountains and the wonderful Elbe Valley. The path continues past the “Felsenbühne Rathen” (Rathens’ Rock Theatre) and into the pristine inner reaches of the National Park. The 44 km stretch on the opposite (left) side of the Elbe leads past the Koenigstein Fortess – for which you should allow at least two hours for a visit – towards Pirna and affords particularly beautiful views over the Papststein and Pfaffenstein peaks.

Hike. The rangers of the National Park of Saxon Switzerland or official National Park guides offer tours with different themes, none less fascinating than the next, several times a week. The tours offer visitors a deep insight into the relationships between nature and history. Tip: Package deal “Hiking without luggage”

Elbe Sandstone Mountains by FRANK EXSS

Elbe Sandstone Mountains by FRANK EXSS

Are you planning a hiking tour spanning several days? With our package deals, we can help you to enjoy your holiday from beginning to end. Your hosts will look after the details of your visit, including multiple accommodation and luggage transfer.

Hiking parking spaces. A limited number of parking spaces are available at the hike starting points. We recommend you arrive by public transport.

Hiking-friendly accommodation along the “Malerweg”, extensive directions and further hiking:
The “Malerweg” Brochure or at
Guided hikes: for dates and times, see or consult the
National Park administration schedule, which is published yearly
Package deal “Hiking without luggage”: bookings via the Tourism Association of Saxon Switzerland

Accommodation in Saxon Switzerland

Depending on how you would like to spend your holiday or day trip you can choose from a variety of accommodation in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

City of Rathen y FRANK EXSS

City of Rathen by FRANK EXSS

Hotels of 3-, 4- and 5-star rating offer complete packages and services, including saunas and gourmet restaurants. Private rooms with enchanting views are on offer for visitors who prefer the quiet, cosy life in a family atmosphere, while self-catering apartments, farm accommodation and holiday homes provide an ideal, tailormade environment for families. Hostels and Bed-and-Breakfast inns are popular with the younger market and with those passing through on a short stay.

A number of inns also offer rural gastronomy and accommodation. And if being closer to nature is your thing, there are options for those who like to sleep in the great outdoors: beyond many a good camp site, provision is made for those who simply wish to unroll their sleeping bag at a “walkers’ quarter”.
There are more than 700 listings in the current accommodation index for the area.

You can find more information at where you can also download / order brochures online. The tourist board is at your disposal should you need help in making your booking and can provide details of the latest offers and discounts. Online overview of hotels, hostels, pensions and guesthouses in Saxon Switzerland.

Tip: During peak times for hiking (May / June and September / October), customers are advised to book in advance.

English Travel Guides on Saxon Switzerland and surroundings

Fortress Königstein: The mountain fortress of Saxon Switzerland (Paperback)
by Angelika Taube, Peter Mauksch, Michaela Siewert, und Hassilo von Wissmann

  • Publisher : TopSpot-Guide Verlag; 1st edition (June 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3938722142
  • ISBN-13: 978-3938722145

Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland (Hardback)
by Frank Richter (Author), Bohumil Eichler (Author), Susanne Gertoberens (Author)

  • Publisher : Edition Sächsische Zeitung (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3910175074
  • ISBN-13: 978-3910175075

Dresden – Meissen: Saxon Switzerland Nationalpark (Paperback)
by Christopher Watson

  • Publisher : Schoening Und Co.; new edition. (August 2008)
  • LAnguage: English
  • ISBN-10: 389917125X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3899171259

Steves Germany 2010 with map (Paperback)
by Rick Steves

  • Publisher : Avalon Travel Publishing; edition: Pap/Map (10. January 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598802941 NOT PUBLISHED YET!!!
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598802948

Steves Germany 2009 (Paperback)
by Rick Steves

  • Publisher: Avalon Travel; edition 2009. (13. January 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598801120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598801125

Frommer’s Germany 2009 (Paperback)
by Darwin Porter (Author), Danforth Prince (Author)4822

  • Publisher : Wiley & Sons; 3rd edition. (3. December 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470287845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470287842

The Rough Guide to Germany (Paperback)
by Neville Walker (Author), Christian Williams (Author), James Stewart (Author), Rough Guides (Author)

  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1st edition. (20. July 2009)
  • Language: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1848360169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848360167

Rough Guide Map Germany (Folded Map)

  • Publisher: Rough Guides (5. April 2010) 2010 Edition
  • Language: English NOT PUBLISHED YET!!!
  • ISBN-10: 184836556X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848365568

Baedeker Dresden (Paperback)

  • Publisher: Karl Baedeker Verlag, Ostfildern; 1st edition 2009 (24. March 2009)
  • Language: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 3829766114
  • ISBN-13: 978-3829766111

The Rough Guide to Europe On A Budget (Paperback)

  • Publisher: Rough Guides (1. February 2010)
  • Language: English 2010 Edition
  • ISBN-10: 184836458X NOT PUBLISHED YET!!!
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848364585
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1st edition. (21. April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843539942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843539940

3007 Huflattich Frommer’s Germany’s Best-Loved Driving Tours (Paperback)
by Adi Kraus (Author)

  • Publisher: Frommer; edition 0008 (19. February 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470226935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470226933

Let’s Go Western Europe: On a Budget (Paperback)

by Jason Meyer (Publisher), Ronan Devlin (Publisher), Krysten Keches (Publisher)

  • Publisher: St. Martin’S Press; 2009 edition (25. November 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312385749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312385743

Germany For Dummies (Paperback)
by Donald Olson (Author)

  • Publisher: Wiley & Sons; 4th edition. (10. August 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470474025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470474020

Europe on a Shoestring. Big Trips on small budgets (Paperback)
by Sarah Johnstone (Author), China Williams (Author), Reuben Acciano (Auhtor)

  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 4th edition. (1. February 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740597796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740597791

Eyewitness Travel Guide Germany (Bound Edition)
by Joanna Egert-Romanowskiej (Author), Malgorzata Omilanowska (Author)

  • Publisher: Penguin (3. March 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405320966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405320962

Bradt City Guide Dresden (Paperback)
by Tim Burford (Author)

  • Publisher: Bradt Pubn (Ny); 1st edition (15. September 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841622133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841622132

Europe by Eurail: Touring Europe by Train (Paperback)
by LaVerne Ferguson-Kosinski (Author), C. Darren Price (Other Contributor)

  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; 32 edition (31. January 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762745444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762745449 3068 Buschwindröschen

La Suisse Saxonne

La Suisse Saxonne (Sächsische Schweiz), aussi bien connue comme massif gréseux de l’Elbe (Elbsandsteingebirge), est une région en Allemagne de l’est à l’État libre de Saxe. La frontière tchèque est à cheval sur la Suisse Saxonne et la Suisse Bohémienne (Ceske Svycarsko). Le nom « Sächsische Schweiz » proviens de deux artistes suisses du XVIII siècle, Adrian Zingg et Anton Graff, qui ont écrit dans leurs lettres ‘Amitiés de la Suisse Saxonne’ et il était conservé. Ils ont tenu la beauté plantureuse de la région sur leurs peintures. La Suisse Saxonne a attiré beaucoup d’artistes de toute l‘Europe et depuis peu la course historique est ouverte pour les visiteurs (Malerweg).

La région de Schrammsteine by FRANK EXSS

La région de Schrammsteine by FRANK EXSS

La Suisse Saxonne est située à seulement 30 minutes de Dresde, la capitale de la Saxe. Une fréquentation est indispensable parce qu’il y a énormément des choses à découvrir comme des rochers gréseux, des vaux bas, des mesas et des gorges. La région est fameuse pour ses possibilités touristiques diverses (trekking, escalade de rocher, cyclisme) à l’environnement naturel. Vous pourriez aussi visiter le parc national de la Suisse Saxonne (Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz) qui est accompagné par le parc national de la Suisse Bohémienne à la Tchéquie. En été il y a toujours le festival du « Musique et Grès ».

Les cyclistes peuvent jouir de la piste cyclable Elberadweg qui longe la vallée de l’Elbe. Le fleuve a dessiné des paysages étonnants et divers. Proche du parc national se trouve la ville de Königstein avec une forteresse ancienne, la ville de Bad Schandau – une station thermale au rivière de l’Elbe et Rathen avec le bastion (Bastei) et autres rochers connus.

Comment voyager ?

En train

Dresde est bien connexe à d’autres cités d’Allemagne. Vous pouvez trouver des informations sur les trains en Allemagne chez Deutsche Bahn.

Venant de Dresde il y a des plusieurs possibilités de bénéficier de ce moyen de transport en commun.

Le train S1 connecte les villes de la Suisse Saxonne à Dresde, Radebeul et Meißen. Ils circulent toutes les demi-heures. (Les stations à la Suisse Saxonne sont : Pirna, Obervogelgesang, Stadt Wehlen, Kurort Rathen, Königstein, Bad

Le massif gréseux de l'Elbe by FRANK EXSS

Le massif gréseux de l'Elbe by FRANK EXSS

Schandau, Krippen, Schmilka-Hirschmühle et Schöna.)

La ligne S2 part d’aéroport de Dresde et continue toutes les demi-heures à Pirna, de lundi à vendredi. Un aller simple fait que EUR 3,50 par personne.

En bus

Variés compagnies d’autobus offrent des connexions entre Dresde et autres cités comme Prague et Berlin (Berlinlinienbus).

Pour arriver à la Suisse Saxon il y a des compagnies d’autocar interurbaines. Le Verkehrsverbund Oberelbe (Téléphone : +49 180 22662266) est la union des entreprises de transport différentes en la région. Le service visiteurs (Nationalparkzentrum routes et horaires au format PDF pour télécharger) offre un bien apercu concernant les services du parc national.

L’entreprise Frank Nuhn – Freizeit und Tourismus (routes et heures, Téléphone: +49 35021 67614 [en allemand]) offre variés services de « shuttle » entre Königstein, Bad Schandau, Wehlen et le Bastei.

En voiture

Les villes de la région sont connectés à la route nationale B172 et la autoroute A17.

En bateau

D’Avril à Octobre lest vapeurs circulent entre Dresde et Schöna plusieurs fois la journée. Ils s’arrêtent à Pirna, Wehlen, Rathen, Königstein, Bad Schandau et d’autres villes. Voir Sächsische Dampfschifffahrt (Téléphone : +49 351 8660940 [en allemand])

En avion

Il y a cinq aéroports à la proximité de Dresde :

  • Le aéroport de Dresde qui se trouve à bordure de la ville. Par là vous pourriez pendre le train S2 à Pirna.
  • Le aéroport de Leipzig / Halle qui est situé à environ 130 km de Dresde. Il est possible de prendre un train direct de Leipzig à Dresde. L’aller coûte EUR 21 par trajet.
  • Le aéroport de Prague qui se trouve à environs 165 km de Dresde. Vous pourriez prendre un train direct par là aussi. Lest trains partent presque d’heure en heure et le voyage coûte à peu près EUR 31.
  • Lest aéroports de Berlin Tegel et Berlin Schönefeld qui se trouvent à environ 190 km de Dresde. Il y a des trains directs qui partent toutes lest deux heures approché et coûtent EUR 33 par trajet.



est une ville à la rivière de l’Elbe, aussi appelé « La Porte à la Suisse Saxonne ». Là-bas vous pourriez savourer la vieille ville et c’est une option intéressante afin de trouver à se loger au milieu entre Dresde et d’autres monuments de la région.

Arrivez en voiture, bateau, bus ou en train interurbaine (S1/S2).


Le bastion est une formation de pierres curieuses qui s’élève deux cent mètres sur l’Elbe. Le pont de bastion fut construit en 1851 et jumelle les rocs aussi que plusieurs passerelles. Le mirador magnifique offre une perspective impressionnante sur l’ensemble du parc national. Là-bas il y a un hôtel avec restaurant (informations et réservation : Berghotel Bastei, Téléphone : +49 35024 7790) où vous pouvez goûter la vue fabuleuse.

Arrivez en voiture (Lohmen, Rathen, Wehlen), en bateau (Rathen ou Wehlen), en train (Rathen ou Wehlen) et en autobus (vers Rathen et Wehlen).


La ville de Königstein dispose d’une des plus belles forteresses de la Suisse Saxonne. La Festung Königstein est une des places la plus fréquentée.

La Forteresse de Königstein by FRANK EXSS

La Forteresse de Königstein by FRANK EXSS

Construit au XVI siècle c’était un château fort du Moyen-Âge et fut aménagé au XVII et XVIII siècle. Avec plus que 750 années d’histoire cette construction s’est transmué en une totalité des styles d’architecture maint, comme le style flamboyant, le style de la Renaissance et du baroque. Après être office de défense du tribunal de Saxe, la forteresse avait été utilisé comme prison où il était impossible de s’évader. Différentes personnes fameuses furent emprisonnées, d’entre eux était Johann Friedrich Böttger, l’inventeur des porcelaines de Saxe. Aujourd’hui la forteresse abrite expositions variées, permanentes et itinérantes. Il y a aussi des visites guidées en que vous pouvez découvrir plus de la construction et son histoire. Au circuit vous avez une vue spectaculaire.

Arrivez en voiture, en bateau, en bus (p. ex. ligne 241 de Pirna) et en train (S1). Il y a un parc relais où un petit train, appelé Festungsexpress, vous mène à la forteresse et retour. Du centre-ville part un bus qui vous prend jusqu’à la porte du château fort.

Bad Schandau

Bad Schandau est la cité plus importante pour les touristes à la Suisse Saxonne. C’est une station thermale connue pour ses fontaines ferrugineuse qui ont été utilisé depuis 1730 et offre plusieurs facultés afin de se récréer et se sentir bien. La maison du Parc National (Nationalparkzentrum – information, horaire et prix) se trouve au centre-ville de Bad Schandau, aussi qu’un thermes appelé « Toskana Therme », un ascenseur multiséculaire que vous prend 50 mètres en haut à un point de vue et la « Kirnitzschtalbahn », un tramway historique traversant la vallée de la Kirnitzsch à la cascade de Lichtenhain. Tout autour de Bad Schandau vous avez la possibilité de faire du sport comme trekking, escalade de rocher et cyclisme au parc national ou le long de l’Elbe.

Arrivez en voiture, en bateau, en bus et en train (S1 + autres trains international de Prague, Budapest, Vienne).

L’Association du Tourisme de la Suisse Saxonne (Tourismusverband Sächsische Schweiz e. V. ) a assemblé tous les informations dont vous avez besoin pour passer des vacances inoubliables. A notre site web vous trouvez des informations détaillés en allemand, anglais et tchèque sur les dates historiques et géographiques, des propositions des routes et excursions, brochures, l’agenda culturel et l’hébergement (hôtels, hostels, pensions, appartements de vacances) dans la région.

Guides pour la région de la Suisse Saxonne et ses environs

Michelin Allemagne (Guides Verts) (Couverture souple)

    • Editeur: Travel House Media; réédition. ( mars 2008)

      Lilienstein by FRANK EXSS

      Lilienstein by FRANK EXSS

    • Langue: Français
    • ISBN-10: 2067130161
    • ISBN-13: 978-2067130166

Le petit futé Allemagne 2007/2008 (Broché)
    • Editeur: Le Petit Futé (2007)
    • Langue: Français
    • ISBN-10: 2746916118
    • ISBN-13: 978-2746916111

Voyager Presque Gratuit (Broché)

    • Editeur : Solilang; (5 février 2009)
    • Langue : Français
    • ISBN-10: 2849320285
    • ISBN-13: 978-2849320280

La revue de presse

« […] Dresde ne serait pas Dresde sans son hinterland. À parcourir, au choix, en bateau à aubes ou à bicyclette, le long des pistes cyclables qui bordent les rives de l’Elbe. À douze kilomètres en amont, à Pillnitz, se trouve, au milieu des coteaux de vigne, la résidence d’été des princes-électeurs de Saxe. Auguste Le Fort, toujours lui, demanda à son architecte attitré, Pöppelmann, de lui construire une ” folie ” baroque, un véritable château au bord de l’eau en l’honneur de la comtesse von Cosel. Un peu plus loin, la haute vallée du fleuve s’engage dans un défilé pittoresque. De longs méandres circulent entre des parois abruptes. Du haut de ses ” bastei “, notamment à la hauteur du village de Rathen, on découvre d’étonnants panoramas, ceux-là même qui inspirèrent à Caspar David Friedrich quelques-uns de ses tableaux les plus célèbres. »

Les Échos, Dresde au fil de l’Elbe,13/06/08  – Série Limitée N° 064, 22/09/2009,

«[…] L’Allemagne de l’Est d’un coup d’œil. Riches en beautés naturelles et architecturales, les nouveaux Länder se sont largement ouverts au tourisme depuis la réunification. Les visiteurs peuvent profiter d’excellents équipements de loisirs dans de splendides régions comme la vallée de l’Elbe […] et la Suisse saxonne. Depuis les palais baroques de Potsdam jusqu’aux majestueux ensembles urbains de Dresde et Leipzig, et des villes telles Weimar ou Wittenberg, marquées par de grands intellectuels comme Goethe et Luther, l’est de l’Allemagne conserve un important patrimoine historique.», Allemagne: histoire et romantisme -Extrait de Allemagne – Guides Voir, 22/09/2009,

automne dans la suisse saxonne

L'automne dans la Suisse Saxonne par Mandy Krebs

«Rivages du Monde propose une croisière sur l’Elbe entre mai et septembre 2008 intitulée « la croisière des Lumières », un voyage dans le berceau de la culture allemande. […] Meissen (est) le berceau de la fabrication de porcelaine en Europe, grande rivale de Sèvres au XVIIème siècle. La visite de la manufacture de porcelaine de Meissen sera l’occasion de découvrir plus de 300 ans de traditions et d’admirer les objets en porcelaine décorés de deux épées bleues entrecroisées qui ont fait la réputation de la ville.
[…] Dresde, cette ville baroque considérée comme l’une des plus belles d’Allemagne. La visite de la vieille ville permettra d’admirer le musée Albertinum qui abrite des œuvres européennes du XIX et XXème siècles ou encore le Palais Zwinger où résidaient les rois de Saxe.
Après une escale à Bad Schandau, au cœur de la « Suisse Saxonne » où les rives du fleuve sont bordées de curieux rochers, les passagers découvriront la République Tchèque. […]», Croisière fluviale sur l’Elbe, 29/11/2007, 22/09/2009,

Press Reviews on Elbe Sandstone Mountains / Saxon Switzerland

“[…] The steps began to obsess me. Our arrival in “Saxon Switzerland” – the region of Germany that lies between Dresden and the Czech border – had coincided with a heatwave. The adventurers who explored and mapped this territory, which is filled with curiously formed cliffs, table-shaped outcrops and solitary pillars, had done so in style, by constructing stone staircases, flights of wooden steps and metal rungs at every juncture […].

Polenztal by FRANK EXSS

Polenztal by FRANK EXSS

My fascination with the area started three years ago when revisiting Pirna, a pretty city on the Elbe with a sandstone bridge and medieval Marienkirche, looking much the same as when it was painted by Canaletto. Pirna describes itself as “the gateway to Saxon Switzerland” […].

This area is famous for rock-climbing […]

[…] The view was wondrous: we could see all the peaks we had climbed and walked between, and they were impressively distant. It was our highest day, too: 1,173 steps from our starting point beside the Elbe.[…] ”

The Independent, Don’t look down: the ‘Saxon Switzerland’, 19/07/2008 by Hilary Macaskill, 22/09/2009

“ […] It’s very popular with West German, Swiss and Austrian tourists, but non-German speakers haven’t really discovered it yet. In summer, one of the most seductive destinations is the national park […]

Untouched by fire or war since the Middle Ages, the picturesque town of Pirna, not far from the Czech border, looks almost exactly as it did when Canaletto painted it in the 1750s, and it is an ideal place to base yourself. From here you can cycle along the Elbe as far as Prague, ramble around the 1,000-plus kilometres of waymarked paths through the wooded mountains, or climb the weird weathered- sandstone rock formations. […]

The soullessness is an illusion though, as numerous modern artists work and exhibit in the city, the restored opera house draws hosts of international visitors, and the people are friendly and welcoming. […]

Most visitors come to Dresden for the art and architecture, but perhaps the most pleasing attraction is the green heart of the city. Building on the riverbanks was banned for hundreds of years. Sitting above them on the Brühlsche Terrace, nicknamed the “Balcony of Europe”, you can watch paddle steamers chug down the Elbe.[…]”

The Independent, The complete guide to Saxony, 10/05/2001 by Anthea Milnes, 22/09/2009,

“[…] Dresden is just over 30 kilometres from Saxon National Park, but it felt as if we were driving into another decade.[…]

we headed into the fairy-tale landscape of golden autumn forest from which the famous stacks of sandstone emerged […].

Climbing in Saxony is one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had. It was also the most dramatic introduction I could have asked for to my new-found passion, a sport where nobody loses and everyone wins.”, Don’t look down, 21/04/2009 by Holly Hunt, 22/09/2009,

View to Königstein by FRANK EXSS

View to Königstein by FRANK EXSS

“ONLY 30KM FROM Dresden lies one of Germany’s best-kept secrets. Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland) national park, which is dominated by the imposing Elbe Sandstone Mountains, includes 400km of hiking trails, 36km of cycle routes and more than 11,500 climbing paths, from which you can fully appreciate the stunning rock formations and the beauty of the valley below.[…]

A walk along the parapets and an iconic stone bridge offer staggering views of the river and valley below on one side and a coniferous forest on the other, where the park continues into the Czech Republic. […]”, A German vision of towering beauty, 10/01/2009 by Mark Rodden, 22/09/2009,

“Dresden is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Europe.[…]

The bizarre formations of Saxon Switzerland in sandstone cover an enormous area.  Here it is possible to undertake long hikes in a strikingly beautiful region.  For those who are short on time, at the very least a visit to the Bastei and the Fortress Königsstein is a must.“, Dresden World Heritage Site: A Baroque City, Risen From The Ashes, 23/10/2006 by Mathaba, 22/09/2009,

“[…] Nothing here is done by halves. […]

Pleasure, playfulness and mischief. This is the capital of Saxony […]

If you have only one day for a trip out, consider taking the S-Bahn to Königstein, 15 miles to the southeast, or the boat to the Wettins’ summer palace at Pillnitz. Either way, you get the mysterious, magnificent Elbe, Germany’s greatest river after the Rhine.[…]

Königstein is a formidable medieval and Renaissance fortress that commands the landscape of tabletop rocks, winding gorges, stone chimneys and the occasional crashed tree […]

(it’s) also known as Saxon Switzerland, although ”Mesas With Forest On” would be nearer the mark. The weather during our visit was thrillingly Romantic, too: hectic sunshine, biting gale, squalls of rain and enormous, racing, white clouds.[…]

as we entered the park at Pillnitz […] Stone sphinxes, heads in the air, stared across the stream to the

Daffodils by FRANK EXSS

Daffodils by FRANK EXSS

pheasants’ island. Two scullers rowed past in the dusk. An old cherry tree big as a black dragon had fallen, mostly died, then sprawled towards the water in a final explosion of dazzling white. There was almost no sound, and the spell deepened further when we walked through a door on the way to supper and found ourselves in a large lilac garden crammed to the corners with trees of every knockout scent and shade. After supper, we returned to the now dark river one last time, and discovered a little pension at the water’s edge.[…]”

The New York Times, Dresden still and again, 11/08/2002 by Michael Ratcliffe, 22/09/2009,

“[…] the Felsenbühne, a stunning outdoor theater built into towering sandstone cliffs outside Rathen, a gingerbread village on a sweeping bend of the Elbe River […]
the theater itself, built in 1937 and reached by a steep path through a rocky, tree-shaded gorge, is an attraction in its own right. […]
(Rathen) is a gateway to the national park known as the “Saxon Switzerland,” a striking landscape of bizarre rock formations and bare sandstone crags that stretches southeast into the Czech Republic […].
The area has long been popular with hikers, climbers, and lovers of romantic landscapes, and there are well-marked paths for all levels of skill and stamina. […]
The majestic Festung Königstein, one of the biggest fortresses in Germany, soon hove into sight, high above us on a rocky plateau […].
The route hugged the Elbe almost the entire way, affording spectacular views of riverside scenery. […]”

The New York Times, Meandering along the Elbe by riverboat and train, 02/06/2008 by Ruth Ellen Gruber, 23/09/2009,

“ […] As we followed the winding course of the Elbe, I watched out of the window spellbound. This, I thought, was the way to travel. […] “, Railway journeys :the Danube Express, 26/09/2008 by Adrian Bridge, 23/09/2009,

“ […] Switzerland comes to Saxony
When it comes to mountains, Germany is blessed with the Alps in the south and the Harz towards the north.

Sanstone Mountain by FRANK EXSS

Sandstone Mountain by FRANK EXSS

Tucked away in what used to be the far, far east, is the beautiful region known as the “Saxon Switzerland”, a wild, craggy area along the gorge cut into the lesser known Elbsandstein mountains by the River Elbe. Stunning scenery: a real highlight on the train or river journey between Berlin and Prague. […]” Germany: Ten good reasons to go, 10/05/2005 by Adrian Bridge, 23/09/2009,

“ […] a region with such picturesque scenery that it is called Saxon Switzerland. […]
is most charming for foot tours; and, although conveyance may be had, still, to derive the highest enjoyment, one must wander through the flower-starred valleys, climb the fragrant wooded mountains, hang over steep cliffs, struggle up ascents, rest beneath forest trees, talk with the peasants by the wayside, linger at the primitive houses, lunch at all hours and in unexpected manner, — and all this is only to be had by the pedestrian.[…]
Never was rarer day than this, and life seems very beautiful on a June day, on the banks of the Elbe, just entering fresh forests, with health and spirits, the charm of a foreign land about us, and such a sky above us! […]
A ride on the Elbe in the evening twilight ; past old König-stein, the fortress deemed impregnable, and where the crown-jewels are taken in time of war ; past the Bastei, the palaces, and then the glittering lights on the terraces of Elb Florenz (Dresden, the Florence of the Elbe), and the music wafted from its gardens recalls us to the world of man from the world of nature. […]”

Old and, On foot through Saxon Switzerland, 1887, 23/09/2009,

“ […] Saxon Switzerland is a region with a bizarre and intriguing landscape. […]
(it) got its name from the fact that its huge, smooth rocks and deep, narrow valleys and gorges seem far more like those of Switzerland […]
The region provides plenty of activities for active holidaymakers, ranging from hiking the trails to climbing the huge, steep rocks. […]
the area is also significant from a historical standpoint. […]”, Germany inside out: Eastern Germany, 23/09/2009,

“[…] Visitare la Sassonia non significa soltanto rivolgere uno sguardo nostalgico al suo glorioso passato. Chi si aspetta dalla sua vacanza di recuperare la forma può sempre dedicarsi a qualche attività aerobica: escursioni a piedi, itinerari in bicicletta, arrampicate in montagna, gite in canoa sono alla portata di tutti in questa regione soprannominata anche Sächsische Schweiz (la Svizzera sassone). Ma la Sassonia non seduce solo i cultori della calma e del relax. I centauri apprezzeranno le strade ricche di curve e paesaggi mozzafiato in piacevoli viaggii all’insegna della bellezza naturale e del piacere di guida. Chi predilige la velocità senza dover rischiare il ritiro dell patente potrà sfogarsi sul Sachsenring, un circuito tra i più moderni d’Europa, immerso in un parco di 30 ettari.”
Sassonia, terra di castelli:

Swift Arrival!

No matter where you are travelling from, you can look forward to a comfortable and romantic journey to Saxon Switzerland. By car, you can reach the region via the A17 or A4 motorways. Dresden Airport is just 30 km or so away, while Prague Airport has good connections to the Deutsche Bahn rail network that serves Saxon Switzerland. Car rental is widely available, the modern S-Bahn (urban railway) departs every 30 minutes from Dresden to the towns of Saxon Switzerland, while there is no shortage of regular bus services. Or there’s the old stagecoach for the romantic at heart.

Beyond the standard forms of travel, there’s the free-standing “Ostrauer Fahrstuhl” (Ostraus’ Elevator) that takes visitors 50 m above the banks of the Elbe to the Ostrau district of Bad Schandau. The lift is structurally identical – though four times smaller – to the one at Lake Lucerne in the real Switzerland. The rarest form of transport in the region has to be the “Kirnitzschtalbahn” tram line, built in 1898. In peak season, the historically important electric tram – the only tram in the world to enter a National Park – runs every 30 minutes from 8 am to 8 pm between Bad Schandau and the Lichtenhain Waterfall. The best-known passenger of late was British actress Kate Winslett, who filmed scenes on the Kirnitzschtalbahn line for Hollywood production “The Reader”.

The Elbe Valley by FRANK EXSS

The Elbe Valley by FRANK EXSS

Travel tips, Maps and guides: Would you like to plan your tour even before you leave home – and get some insider tips in the bargain? Look no further than the Tourism Association of Saxon Switzerland, which offers a variety of regional hiking maps for the region. Day trips and hiking tours can also be planned online at: you will find a free tour planner with information on bus departure times, accommodation, gastronomy and opening times.

Climate: You will definitely need sturdy (hiking) shoes. But it is safe to leave your crampons at home. In this “Switzerland” you will rarely encounter the extreme weather conditions typical of mountain regions that are thousands of metres higher. At an altitude of between 100 and 560 m, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains have a distinct climate of their own: cold at the bottom and warm at the top. If the Elbe Valley experiences the lowest levels of precipitation in the area, you’ll find the most sun up on the exposed table mountains, while the canyons afford protection from wind and heat.

Travel tips & Perfect planning!

The Tourism Association assists you with your travel plans in Saxon Switzerland: booking accommodation, sourcing package deals and other offers, and provision of information and printed material that will help you to make the right choices for a happy holiday.

Tel.: +49 (0) 3501 47 01 47