Max. Altitude: 342m
This hike has been completed on 4th July 2020.
That's the postcard hike of Saxon Switzerland, including three of the most famous highlights of the region: the Bastei Bridge, the Swedish Holes and the Wolfsschlucht. Since the Bastei is one of the top tourist attraction in Germany, I suggest starting this hike early in order to avoid the crowd at the bridge, especially during these pandemic times.
We parked our car at the free Wanderparkplatz Füllhölzelweg. Go early, since the parking lot can accommodate about ten cars maximum. From there, the trail starts with a nice descent into the forest. The sandstone rocks accompanied us also in this hike, like the day before.
After about a kilometre, we reached a nice meadow with a view over the Bastei rocks. After that we continued to go down the hill, till reaching the Amselsee lake, reconnecting with main trail to the Bastei.
From the lake trail, we took the stairs to the Bastei bridge, stopping for a moment to admire some skilled climbers.
On the way to the Bastei make sure to stop at the terrace on the left to admire the Elbe river and its valley. After that, stop also at the castle ruins (entrance ticket 2€), which provide great views over the bridge and the surrounding sandstone stones in the Saxon Switzerland.
Once we have felt satisfied with the amount of pictures taken, we continued by crossing the bridge, leaving behind the growing crowd.
We continued then through the Swedish holes. This is another famous canyon in the region, probably the most populated since it brings you to the Bastei, while walking in a fairytale trail. Be patient here, since the many people and the narrowness of the trail can create some congestions.
Passed the Swedish Holes, we turned left towards the charming village of Rathewalde, leaving the crowd for good this time. There we stopped for our usual lunch break, right in the middle of our hike.
Afterwards we continued passing first a nice meadow full of flowers and then crossing the road in direction of Hohnstein. The trail continues then passing over a little bridge, before reaching the other highlight of this hike, the Wolfsschlucht.
This is another beautiful canyon, walkable thanks to steel stairs. The canyon is very narrow, so can be walked by one person at the time. Its colours reminded us to the famous Arizona's canyons. Once out of the Wolfsschlucht, we continued to go down till reaching the Polenz river.
The trail continues then in the forest, going up on the other side of the valley. We hiked up till arriving at the crossing for the town of Hohnstein. We went right there in directions of the Füllhölzelweg, where we parked our car, stopping for a final time to have a look at the magnificent Gautschgrotte.