Deep in the forests of the Elzbachtal in the Eifel, Eltz Castle is probably the most famous and one of the most beautiful castles in Germany. Her image adorned the 500 DM note before, but since Instagram at the latest, Eltz Castle has become an absolute magnet for tourists from all over the world and one of the most frequently photographed motifs in Germany.
I have also been drawn to the famous fairytale castle in the Eifel several times. Last time I finally managed to combine my visit with a hike to Eltz Castle . Because the castle is not only a pretty photo opportunity , but the hike on the Eltz Castle Panorama dream path is also very worthwhile for a day trip. Over a length of 12.6 km, the varied circular route leads past Eltz Castle, through the meadows of the Elzbach and over extensive fields and meadows that bloom in the most beautiful colors in the warm season. It is not without reason that the Eltzer Burgpanorama dream path was named Germany’s most beautiful hiking trail in 2013.
Eltz Castle: starting point of the hike
The official starting point of the hike to Eltz Castle is the parking lot of the village community center in Wierschem. Since the Eltzer Burgpanorama Traumpfad is a circular hike, you can of course start at any other point. We decide to start our hike directly at Eltz Castle, because in this way you can see the castle, which is the undisputed highlight of the whole, once at the beginning and once at the end of the route. This is particularly worthwhile if you also want to take nice photos of the castle, because you will have two different lighting situations during the day.
It starts at the Eltz Castle parking lot, your GPS will guide you there accurately. From there two paths lead down to the castle, the approx. 800m long road or the approx. 1.2km long footpath. Which one you take doesn’t matter. We take the shorter (and steeper) road, because we want to go down to the castle as quickly as possible so that we can take photos before the onslaught of the tourist masses by 9 a.m. at the latest.
We take the opportunity to visit Eltz Castle from the inside, for € 11 you can join a guided tour that lasts around 45 minutes. Then we start with our actual project, the hike. You can find more information about Eltz Castle here .
Dream path Eltz castle panorama
On the stone bridge in front of Eltz Castle there is a small staircase on the left that leads down to the picturesque Elzbach, which flows around the castle. The small staircase is already part of the Eltzer Burgpanorama dream path, which is well signposted. We follow the path down and cross the bridge over the Elzbach.
After a few hundred meters through the forest, the path divides – to the left it continues on the official hiking trail, to the right it goes up to a mountain on which one of the most beautiful vantage points at Eltz Castle is hidden.
Practical tips for the hike to Eltz Castle
Starting point & parking
You can start the hike to Eltz Castle either at the Wierschem village community center or directly at Eltz Castle. There are chargeable parking spaces at both starting points. Since this is a circular hike, you will come out at the starting point either way and it does not matter in which direction you hike. If you start at Eltz Castle, you will see the fairytale castle twice during the hike (at the beginning and at the end). The route is well signposted in most places, you can recognize it by the orange and white signposts.
Equipment & definitely pack
The hike is not very demanding, but because of the long distance you should wear comfortable shoes. The path leads largely over forest paths, these are also narrow and sometimes stony in places, and when it rains they can be slippery. Trainers with grip or comfortable walking shoes * are mandatory. If you do the hike in summer, I would recommend open trekking sandals * , then you can cool off with them on the way directly in the Elzbach.
The camera should not be missing on a hike to Eltz Castle. A small and light system camera is perfect for this, I take photos with the Sony Alpha 6500 * and I am super happy with the results. You should also pack enough water and a few snacks for on the go, as you will be on the road all day.
Refreshments on the way
If you want to take a real break on the way, the Ringelsteiner Mühle is ideal. We got ourselves a cool shandy and a meat loaf, but of course there is also a real menu with warm dishes, salads and cakes. Another option is Landhaus Neuhof in Wierschem * , where you can also spend the night.