The king of Eifel trails

Approach the heart of the landscape, one step at a time. Gradually absorb its character, its peculiarities and its typical shapes and features. The Eifelsteig is a trail that reflects a whole landscape. It leads straight through the Mittelgebirge mountains, linking the old border town of Aachen with Roman Trier and covering 312 kilometres of a landscape which could not be more varied. It has 15 stages and a difference in height of 15,000 metres, but you will barely notice if you take your time. Those who wander instead of rushing can enjoy all the rest areas and side routes, and the leisurely paths which are perfect for dawdling awhile.

The king of Eifel trails begins at the edge of an imperial city. Charlemagne and nearly all the heads of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned in Aachen. At that time, they had no real residence, they wandered with their retinue through the land, governing in stages, a bit like walking the Eifelsteig.

Nature is king here. The first few kilometres belong to the moors and the heathland in the Hohes Venn Natural Park. The landscape beyond Monschau has even been designated a National Park, a wild piece of land with reservoirs, forests and gorse in bloom. Eifel gold! The colour is reflected in the logo for the Eifelsteig, a stylised ‘E’ with the blue of the crater lakes, the green of the meadows and the yellow of the golden gorse bushes.

The Eifelsteig trail crosses borders. The first stretch is in North Rhine-Westphalia, while the majority is in Rhineland Palatinate. This is an example of a successful cooperation that put the spotlight on 1,600 kilometres of hiking trails before combining the best 312 in a long-distance hiking trail in 2009. It has a quality seal as a premium hiking trail, is among the first ‘Top Trails of Germany’ and was named Germany’s loveliest hiking trail by Wandermagazin in 2015.

Weinfelder Maar on the Eifelsteig trail, Eifel

Weinfelder Maar on the Eifelsteig trail, Eifel

So it is a pearl and each stage is a jewel of a different colour. In the middle of the route, the colour gradually shifts to deep blue, with round crater lakes you can even swim in. These water-filled volcanic sinkholes, known as maars, were formed in the landscape in ancient times.

Rocks and running water are your constant companions on the Eifelsteig. The forests and meadows, caves and vents reflect the struggle between the elements. You can walk through nature for miles before another village, fortified church or monastery pops up at the side of the path. There are 30 trail guardians who make sure that even the most remote sections are well maintained and signposted, plus around 70 quality hosts, including guest-houses, restaurants and accommodation tailored to hikers’ specific needs.

Genoveva cave on the Eifelsteig trail, Eifel

Genoveva cave near Kordel on the Eifelsteig trail, Eifel

Waterfall on the Eifelsteig trail near Kordel, Eifel

Hikers at a waterfall on the Eifelsteig trail near Kordel, Eifel

The Eifelsteig is a work of art that also includes the various partner trails, regional loops and adventure trails alongside the main trail. If you take the time, you can discover them and take inspiration from their different characters. The Mußepfade, literally leisurely paths, are among the most unusual of these side routes. They tell stories from the very dawn of the earth, when fire, air, earth and water vied for supremacy. In the Eifel, they met in the Mittelgebirge mountain range, with its tight gorges, volcanic cones, rocks and forests. A landscape that was once served up to people on a silver tray and now allows visitors to experience it anew at selected resting places.

At the end, the Eifelsteig pulls out all the stops again and offers some spectacular viewpoints. Panoramic views of the Moselle are followed by a 360 degree view at Rodt on the last of the stages. The final destination is Trier, a city that even the Roman emperors fell in love with, making it a suitable culmination to the majestic walk along the Eifelsteig.

View of the city Trier with the Trier Cathedral, Moselle valley

View of the city Trier with the Trier Cathedral, Moselle valley

More leisure tips for nature lovers in the Eifel region:

More information about holidays in the Eifel

Find out everything you need to know on events, attractions and other destinations at Eifel Tourismus GmbH.

Dream paths "Traumpfade" Rhein-Mosel-Eifel

Covering a distance of between three and seven kilometres, the dream paths are perfect for gentle walks. For example the Traumpfade "Booser Doppelmaartour" or the "Vulkanpfad".

Schwarzes Icon, das eine Strecke mit Ziel- und Endpunkt zeigt

Cycle paths in the Eifel region

Discover the Eifel by bicycle, with gentle rides along the Kyll, Prüm or Sauer, a family ride along disused railway lines or a more ambitious, sporty ride to the heights of the Eifel.

Partner route of the Eifelsteig: Castles route / Burgen-Route (Blankenheim-Wald - Hellenthal)


17,3 km

5:30 h
The castle route (Burgenroute) from Hellenthal to Blankenheim invites you to a medieval foray into…

Romantic Cities: Trip to Trier

On the trail of the Romans: the remains of the Porta Nigra city gate, the amphitheatre and the Aula Palatina basilica bear witness to the great history of the city.

Schwarzes Icon, das einen Kompass zeigt

Gemündener Maar

Daun The Gemünden maar is lined up along a fissure running SE to NW. About 20,000 to 30,000 years ago they erupted and Gemünden Maar lake was formed.

Schalkenmehrener Maar

Schalkenmehren Especially if you visit the GesundLand Vulkaneifel in summer, a detour to the Schalkenmehren Maar is a must. Located directly at the village of the…

Weinfelder Maar

Daun also called Totenmaar [maar of the dead] The Weinfelder Maar is considered the "symbol of the Eifel melancholy". Gentle slopes, on which the Eifel…