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Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland is the national natural treasure of Germany. A fantastic mountain-woodland landscape together with a great range of natural, as well as historical remarkable sights, make the park unique and attractive for tourists. Here you can enjoy not only the admirable views and breathe the purest air but also go horseback riding, experience rock-climbing, float down the river Elbe, ride the mountain bike, and explore the local mountains and forests.

E
  lbe Sandstone Mountains

Saxon Switzerland with its sandstone rock massif Bastei located not far from Dresden, so it will take just 30 minutes by electric train to get to the reserve zone. The National Park is one-of-a-kind where various uncommon kinds of plants are growing as well. In the East part of the Protected Area, different rare species of animals and birds can be found here, such as the Black Stork, halcyon, marten, otter, and others.

The imposing natural “sculptures” are formed by the erosive destruction of ancient sandstone cliffs.
Sandstone cliff

What to do - sights to visit

Saxon Switzerland map

The touring routes, hiking and biking trails are open for the tourists. On the ascent uphill, there are some observation platforms, from where you can admire the stunning views and take pictures of the fabulous landscapes of the National Park of Saxon Switzerland. Most tourists get up on the road to the Bastei rock massif – a mountain fortress ground surrounded by protective stone handrails. The main attraction of these places is the beautiful Bastei Bridge passing through the Mardertelle gorge.

The Mardertelle Gorge

The Bastei Bridge

The Bastei Bridge is built between the rocky mountains at the height of 195 meters on the right bank of the river Elbe. From the viewing platform, you can observe the wonderful view of the Saxon sceneries. The forests, meadows, odd cliffs, plateau, and the smooth silhouettes of Saxon Switzerland – all these natural sights you can observe from the bird’s-eye view.

You can get to the Bastei Bridge from the Rathen village.
The Bastei Bridge panorama
The Bastei Bridge The Bastei Bridge view

The Bastei Bridge in Saxony Switzerland is a state-of-the-art engineering of the first part of the 19th century. The first bridge construction, built in 1824, was made from wood but then it was replaced with a sandstone erection, the length of which is 76,5 meters.

*Please note, that on Weekends and during festive days, when a lot of tourists rush to the country, Bastei Bridge is full of visitors.

When to come - weather in Saxon Switzerland

Actually, you can come to Saxon Switzerland any season, as all the year around the National Park is fantastic! In Spring and Summer, everything is in bloom and flowers, and the weather is more than favorable for hiking and observing the sights of the region; in Autumn, the nature is beautifully dressed in golden and crimson colors, but you should take warm clothes with you, as the season is rather windy. Late autumn can bring downpours so it’s better to check with weather forecast before planning your vacation in Saxon Switzerland. In December, a lot of Christmas fairs and colorful events are held here… Sometimes the region is covered by snow during the winter season, but in general, winter is soft and not so cold.

Winter in Saxon Switzerland

Hiking in the Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland is a paradise for mountain-climbers and lovers of hiking. The imposing cliffs give a possibility to test your skills and adroitness. You can also go on a breathtaking kayaking trip down the mountain rivers. If you prefer hiking tours, there are several tourist tracks, and the most popular among them is the ascent to the mountainous plateau of Bastei, from where you can make astonishing photos with an eye to the river Elbe valley. “Painter’s Way” is one of the loveliest hiking routes in Germany: the places are so beautiful, that from the old times they attract a lot of artists and painters for inspiration.

The Elbe valley
Active rest, inspiring walking, spectacular beauty of nature and plenty of historical places – Saxon Switzerland offers memorable vacation.
Forest in Saxon Switzerland

In the Wehlgrund valley, there is a summer theater – Rathen Open-Air Stage, where the guests of the area can enjoy the theater plays performed on the natural background. Be sure, the shows are really amazing!

The main historical sight of Saxon Switzerland is Königstein Fortress, which towers over at the height of 245 meters. Königstein is the old military fortress that has never been conquered. On the territory of the Fortress, there is one of the deepest wells in Europe, the depth of which is 152 meters. The ticket prices to Königstein Fortress differ depending on the season:

Ticket Type

Winter season


01.11.2017 - 29.03.2018
01.11.2018 - 31.12.2018

Summer season


01.04.2017 - 31.10.2017
30.03.2018 - 31.10.2018
Adult 8 € 10 €
Privileged 6 € 7 €
Family (2 adults and 4 children maximum) 21 € 25 €
Mini-family (1 adult and 2 children maximum) 13 € 15 €
Group of Schoolchildren 3 € 3 €
Annual 20 € 20 €
You can reach Königstein Fortress along a footpath that leads from the town Königstein or use the elevators.
Königstein Fortress

If you dream about the fantastic unusual Christmas Holidays, you should definitely come to Saxon Switzerland, where the Christmas fair is organized within Königstein Fortress! Amazing views, the ancient fortress, Christmas melodies, and the fabulous atmosphere will make your holiday unforgettable!

Main towns

Bad Schandau is one of the biggest towns in Saxon Switzerland, and one of the oldest balneal resorts of Saxony – the salutary natural springs were discovered here in the 18th century. There is the Toskana Therme complex, which specializes in different types of massage and water-cure bath. The thermal complex offers special baths with mineral water and elements of sound- and light-therapies.

Bad Schandau

The town of Pirna is a wonderful old town, one of the most attractive in Saxony. Pirna is known as “gates to Saxon Switzerland”. The town is surrounded by many ancient castles and fortresses. There is the water park Geibeltbad Pirna with the swimming pool and sauna for relaxing after an active day in the region. There is a touristic path “Saxon wine way”, which starts from Pirna, goes along the river Elbe and ends in Meissen.

Pirna

Rathen is a charming village with many places of interest around. Here you can observe a tumbledown mill of the 16th century, many fascinating wooden houses, the ruins of the Burg Altrathen castle, which is today the pretty hotel and restaurant with the astonishing view to the Elbe, and also there is a tumbledown ferry service and a riverside station in Rathen.

Rathen village

Accommodation options

The range of hotels in the Saxon Switzerland region amazes with its diversity, high-quality service, and attractive views. Here you will find the country-houses, cottages, and inns starting from two-star rating to gorgeous five-star hotels as well. If you are looking for an ideal place to stay with the perfect view of the river and mountains, supreme services, a wide range of relaxing procedures, and delicious food of high quality, HotelFriend recommends you the five-star hotel Elbresidenz an der Therme in Bad Schandau. The hotel has a great private wellness park including swimming pool and sauna. The price for accommodation in the hotel starts from about 100 € per night.

Not far from the center of Rathen, there is a pretty cozy three-star hotel Rathener Hof. The hotel is an ideal starting point for hiking tours in Saxon Switzerland. The prices for the rooms are rather reasonable, which start from 55 €.

Prices for accommodation in the area are different, ranging from 36 to 150 Euro per night.

Camping opportunities

Saxon Switzerland is a great place for camping. There are several camping grounds in the district, which are equipped with necessary facilities. Sanitary buildings, shower cabins, Wi-Fi connection are provided in all campgrounds in the area. Here you can find common camping sites with standard conveniences, as well as four- and five-star campgrounds with spa area, sauna, massage service, and wonderful playgrounds for children.

The Elbe river

With HotelFriend you can plan your accommodation in the area of Saxon Switzerland in details beforehand! Reserve your attendance to sauna or massage treatment in advance together with room booking. Most of the local hotels offer various arrangements and attractive deals for the guests, which can be booked right now via the HotelFriend website or mobile application.