Basalt, tuff, pumice – Seven tips for families in the Volcano Park

The Volcano Park in the eastern Eifel provides lots of opportunities to explore and experience volcanic activity in the region. We have put together seven tips to make your visit to the Eifel unforgettable for you and your family. Come and fall under the spell of the mystical world of volcanoes.

Family on a discovery tour in the lava cellar in Mendig, Eifel

Discovery tour with the family in the lava cellar in Mendig, Eifel

1. Bendisberg Pit


Stone upon stone … The stones of this wonderful landscape tell the story of the Eifel’s volcanic past. The Bendisberg Pit is a remarkable experience, which allows children to go on a wagon ride through the underground world. Lead and zinc ores were once mined here, and the traces of the back-breaking work carried out by the miners are still visible today. There are specialist guided tours, which turn a trip around the mine into a real adventure. One of them, the three-tunnel guided tour, takes you 270 steps down a spiral staircase deep into the mine.

2. Deutsches Bimsmuseum (German Pumice Museum)


You can see pumice stone on a walk to the Wingertsbergwand, a wall of rock formed by the eruption of the Lake Laach volcano. Pumice brought a real economic boom to the region once it’s qualities as a good building material were recognised. You can find out more in the Deutsches Bimsmuseum, the latest attraction at which is the Bimsbahn train, a new way to explore the museum.

3. Lava Dome with Lavakeller (lava cellars)


The Eifel was formed by volcanoes many thousands of years ago. And you can still get the volcano experience close-up today. An eruption in the Lava Dome feels like actually being there. This is all made possible by the interactive ‘In the land of the volcanoes’ room, which forms the heart of the Lava Dome.
The visit is rounded off by a guided tour of the massive underground Lavakeller, where you can stand in the exact spot where the lava forged its path through the landscape thousands of years ago.

4. Andernach Geyser


The Geyser Centre in Andernach is another impressive experience. First, you are taken on an exciting voyage of discovery 4,000 metres below ground. Then you get to experience the eruption of the tallest cold-water geyser in the world, which shoots water 60 metres up into the air. It is an amazing spectacle for all ages. Watch out, the fountain springing into life has been known to make people jump!

5. Volcano Park information centre


The information centre offers a range of interesting exhibitions and provides extensive information about volcanic activity, the volcanoes of the eastern Eifel and the history of basalt and tuff mining. From Roman times, through the Middle Ages and all the way to the modern era, it has been all about extracting these valuable volcanic raw materials.
The interactive stone garden is an experience for all the senses. There is a humming stone you can listen in to, another stone you can make music with, and you can even find out just how unbelievably heavy these stones are. It is definitely worth taking the time to wander through this amazing garden.

6. Rauscher Park


The Nette river flows down in steps over basalt boulders through the Rauscher Park, a wonderful place for a family excursion. The basalt stones are washed clean and are perfect for climbing and exploring. You can see traces of earlier basalt mining on the rocks. In summer, you can cool off in the river and enjoy a picnic in a lovely shady spot under the trees. There are information boards explaining the volcanic activity in the region. The cooled lava flow through which the Nette bubbles is some 200,000 years old.

7. Lake Laach and the stone adventure trail


If you want to see things bubbling, then Lake Laach is the perfect destination for an excursion. There are bubbles aplenty on the eastern shore of the lake: CO2 bubbles rise up from the lake, evidence of the fact that the volcano here is just dormant. The stone adventure trail is a wonderful experience. It explains volcanic activity in an interesting, child-friendly way, with a focus on pumice stone and its mysterious properties. Do you know why it floats in water?
Once you have done the circuit of Lake Laach, you can stop off at the impressive Maria Laach Abbey. The abbey church is considered one of the loveliest Romanesque historical monuments of our times and forms the centrepiece of a lively ensemble of monastery workshops, a garden centre and a bookshop. It is the perfect place to end a day of fun and adventures.

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