The Altmühltal Nature Park is the second-largest in Germany and lies about 100 km north of Munich, Bavaria’s capital. The Altmühltal Panorama Trail (Altmühltal-Panoramaweg) follows the Altmühl River from Gunzenhausen to Kelheim through meadows and valleys dotted with junipers and beautiful rock formations. Along the route, you will find historic towns, ancient castles and splendid palaces as well as many Celtic and Roman ruins. It is considered one of the best long-distance hiking trails in Germany.
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Day 1: Arrival Treuchtlingen
The idyllic town of Treuchtlingen is situated in the centre of Altmühltal. We recommend that upon arrival you relax in the famous Altmühl Thermal Spa.
Day 2: Treuchtlingen – Pappenheim | 14 km
With views onto the river Altmühl meandering through the valley you continue via the Devil’s Pulpit towards Medieval Pappenheim. You descend again to the river Altmühl via the viewpoint of Hollerstein and continue leisurely along the course of the river to Pappenheim, where you are greeted by the impressive castle, seat of the former Reichserbmarschälle.
- Walking for the day: 4 hours, 14 km, ↑280m ↓290m
Day 3: Pappenheim – Dollnstein | 25 km
Via a high path offering great views you walk over to Solnhofen, the mining place of the famous Solnhofer limestone slabs and site of over 140 million-year-old fossils. Soon after, a popular photo opportunity awaits: the nature monument Twelve Apostles, steep limestone rocks embedded in juniper heaths. The route then leads you to Dollnstein into the primaeval Danube valley.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 25 km, ↑650m ↓650m
Day 4: Dollnstein – Eichstätt | 15 km
You pass the geological monument of Burgsteinfelsen and continue through forests and juniper heaths on a path with great views all the way to Eichstätt with its impressive Baroque Willibalds castle towering over the town.
- Walking for the day: 5 hours, 15 km, ↑360m ↓340m
Day 5: Eichstätt – Kipfenberg | 22 km
With a lovely view onto the striking Osterberg mountain and the Roman fort Vetoniana, you walk to the Buchenhüller mammoth cave. You will walk on wonderful alpine paths above Altmühl and you will get fantastic views of the valley and the rock faces whilst walking along the panoramic path. You will walk through the Gugoldinger Wacholderheide, which is a beautiful nature protection area before you walk past the Arnsberger Leite and the Limes watch tower to Kipfenberg.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 22 km, ↑720m ↓740m
Day 6: Kipfenberg – Beilngries
Today’s walk starts with stunning views and insights into the beautiful Anlauter valley. Reach Kinding with its impressive fortified church and cosy inns. Shortly afterwards the panorama path again keeps its promise: magnificent views into the Altmühl valley and onto bizarre rock formations. After that, another scenic outpost awaits: the Main-Danube canal, Arzberg, Beilngries, Altmühl and Sulz. A steep descent to Beilngries follows.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 22 km, ↑720m ↓740m
Day 7: Departure / Optional Kelheim Extension: Beilngries – Riedenburg | 16/35 km)
Via the Arzberg mountain plateau walk into the Seven Valley Town of Dietfurt. Enjoy the view onto Eggersberg palace, then walk past rock formations and along the Altmühltal-boardwalk into the pretty village of Gundlfing. From the‚Devil’s Rock -Teufelsfelsen walk into the town of Riedenburg. You can take an optional bus ride (not included) to shorten the route.
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 35 km, ↑680m ↓700m (with optional bus ride: 3-4 hours, 16 km)
Day 8: Optional Kelheim Extension: Riedenburg – Kelheim | 19 km
Trees and rock towers line the steep path up to Prunn castle. Pass the blue glittering karst spring of Blautopf and continue along the Main-Danube Canal and enjoy the views. Back again in the valley, you walk along the Jura rock to the Celt’s Wall, which leads you back to the Danube – the views down to the valley and the Weltenburg Abbey are awe-inspiring. Then take a boat (included) along the Danube to Kelheim.
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 19 km, ↑470m ↓470m
Day 9: Optional Kelheim Extension – Departure
End of the tour after breakfast.
What to Expect
Accommodation is in a mix of 3-star hotels, country inns and traditional guesthouses. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Breakfast is included on all days. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way; there are plenty of beer gardens and small shops to satisfy your thirst and appetite! Dinners are available at all overnight accommodations or close by.
Difficulty & terrain
Some stages can be shortened by using public buses. Boats travel from Beilngries to Kelheim on the Main-Danube Canal. The tour requires a good fitness level and sure-footedness: some narrow and rocky paths to be expected (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available from April to end-October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date in the season.
The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the June-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain.
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Recommended airports: Munich and Nuremberg.
From Munich, there are regular bus and train connections to your starting point (2-3h) via Ingolstadt. For further information, visit the website of Deutsche Bahn or use the Omio planner above. Parking spaces at Treuchtlingen train station are free of charge. Limited paid parking is available at the starting hotel. No reservation in advance possible/needed. Paid parking is about EUR 5 per day. Return by train to Treuchtlingen, from Beilngries approx. 2 hours (1x change trains) and from Eichstätt approx. 30 minutes. If you finish in Kelheim: return by train to Treuchtlingen, from Kelheim (by bus to Kelheim-Saal) approx. 2.5 hours (1x change trains) and from Beilngries approx. 2 hours (1x change trains) and from Eichstätt approx. 30 minutes.
- 6 overnight stays (en-suite) with breakfast in typical Bavarian inns/hotels/guesthouses
- Luggage transfer on all walking days (one piece of luggage per person, 20 kg)
- Detailed digital holiday information pack including regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (1 x per room)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras & supplements
- Single room supplement for members of a group
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Kelheim extension – add two more nights and finish in Kelheim. Boat ride Weltenburg to Kelheim included
- The tour can be arranged in 5 days/4 nights: Treuchtlingen – Eichstätt
- Extra nights available upon request