Hiking at Eltz Castle: The Eltz Castle Panorama Dream Path

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

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.

Eltz Castle

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.

Eltz Castle hike 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.

My insider tip: a detour to the most beautiful vantage point at Eltz Castle
We first follow the path up to the mountain, which is not part of the official hiking trail. But we accept the small detour of about 2km in length, because the goal is a wonderful vantage point at Eltz Castle. You can find pictures of it on the net, but unfortunately not really directions – so here we go: You follow the path further upwards, it winds completely up the mountain through the forest in a large curve. As soon as it becomes level again, you have to look out for a junction on the right-hand side. You follow this path, passing a bank covered with moss and finally reaching a rocky plateau that offers a breathtaking view of Eltz Castle.
Eltz Castle hike
Then you just go back down the path and follow the official dream path again from the fork in the road.
At first it goes a long way through the forest along the babbling Elzbach, which invites you to take short breaks in many places. After a few kilometers we finally reach the Ringelsteiner Mühle , where we take a real break to fortify ourselves with a cool shandy and a meat loaf.
Hike to Eltz Castle
As we continue our hike, we realize that this was actually the right decision – the most difficult part of the path follows from the Ringelsteiner Mühle. It goes up quite steeply for quite a while and unfortunately the signs are not really good here either (cell phone reception for GPS location is also not possible here), so we get lost quite badly and have to climb up a steep slope with scree. I admit it – I was scared to death.
Therefore my appeal: After the Ringelsteiner Mühle, pay attention to the signs to stay on the official route.
We finally get back on our way and are just glad not to have died. From here it gets less breakneck, as the hike now leads out of the forest into the vastness of the Moselle plateau. It goes for a while through the plain, past blooming fields and fragrant meadows.
Dream path Eltz castle panorama
In the wet late autumn or winter this is probably not the most exciting section and on hot summer days the sun will certainly burn relentlessly, but in spring it is really a pleasure for all the senses.
It goes past the village community center in Wierschem (the point where you can also start the hike, no matter in which direction), past colorful fields and back into the shady forests of the Elzbachtal.
Eltz Castle Dream Path Hike
The hiking trail now leads past craggy rocks, follows the quiet babbling of the Elzbach again and finally the forest clears and surprises you relatively unexpectedly with Eltz Castle, which is only a few meters away – the start and end point of the dream path.
Eltz Castle Dream Path Hike
If you like, you can make a second stop at the castle and fortify yourself at the end of the day in the castle restaurant. We were well done with the meanwhile 15km in our bones (including the little dangling to the viewing spot) and it was already quite late, so that we can get the last 1.2km to the parking lot behind us without another break.

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.

Dream paths

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.

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