You know it’s going to be a good day of hiking when your trail includes a visit to Luxembourg’s most famous castle and a jaunt into Germany. I love my two peak hiking days, but a two country hiking day? This would be a first.
My hike starts in the medieval village of Vianden. I will be hiking the Nat-Our Route 5 Vianden-Falkenstein trail for a total of 12 km and 684 meters of elevation gain. The elevation is not gained all at once as is typical of hikes in the Alps, but over the course of the hike as the route goes up and down the rolling hills.
The trail is part of the NaturWanderPark delux, named not for its luxurious or elegant features, but because the trail is in both Luxembourg and Germany (in German, Germany is Deutschland, hence the de part of the name).
The first part of the trail leads up a steep hill to Vianden Castle, Luxembourg’s most famous castle. I didn’t stop, but returned to it later. The castle with roots back to the 10th century is also one of Europe’s largest west of the Rhine. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Travel tip: I tested an audio guide that had just been released and really enjoyed it. I would recommend purchasing one as it will make your visit to the castle more meaningful.
I continued on along a ridge with views overlooking Vianden Castle:
Then it was a gradual decent into the forested slopes and back up again where my reward was views over the Our (pronounced Or) River:
I crossed a bridge and found myself in Germany, indicated only by a small emblem:
While I love the idea of a two country hike, to be honest, this part of the hike, looked more or less identical to the part in Luxembourg. Still a two country hike sounds rather impressive, especially to this Canadian.
Without a doubt my favorite part of the hike was walking along the ridge of Löctgesberg. This part of the hike is at the edge of the forest and you are offered views of the Our River snaking along in the valley:
I ended in Vianden where the hike had started. Viaden is a village that was known for its’ craftsmen in medieval times. The village first referenced as far back as 698 is worth exploring in its own right – or at least grabbing a drink at one of the several cafes/restaurants that line the Our River.
I enjoyed my hike in the Luxembourg Ardennes. It’s much different from hiking in the Alps – my usual terrain, but offers its own rewards: i.e.: castles, medieval villages and views of the idyllic country side. It’s very peaceful, but you can easily work up a sweat should you choose to. The 23 different trails in the NaturWanderPark delux ensures there is something for everybody’s ability. The Luxembourg Ardennes is not just of interest to hikers either. There are also plenty of mountain bike trails. There was a mountain bike enthusiast in my group who was itching to come back and try out some of the trails.
In addition the Luxembourg Ardennes also offers numerous thematic trails. There is the the Remembrance Path which traces the different places of confrontation during the Battle of the Bulge or Geological Paths, which point out places of nature and geological interest. There’s even a Cultural Trail in the town of Wiltz!
The Luxembourg Ardennes would not be the first place I would think of when it comes to hiking, but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of trails, the thematic trails and the condition of the trails. It’s definitely worth exploring.
See the Luxembourg Ardennes for further info.
Thank you to the Luxembourg National Tourist Office for making my visit possible. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.