Recommendations for stop in Saxon/Bohemia Switzerland from Prague

Family of 5 taking train from Prague to Berlin. Would like to stop in Saxon on the way and spend the night as heard good hiking, mountains, caves, etc. any recommendations as not sure how to make it from train right to park? Do we lodge in Saxon or is there somewhere closer to park?
Connie

Posted by Martin
Germany
210 posts

The train from Prague to Berlin crosses Saxon/Bohemian Switzerland and stops at Bad Schandau, which is a centrally located town. The touristic highlights, Königstein fortress and the Bastei rock formation, are a few minutes down the Elbe river and easily accessible by train (S1 from Bad Schandau to Dresden). Bad Schandau is a small spa town, Rathen, below the Bastei, a cosy village. http://www.kurort-rathen.de/en/ http://bad-schandau.de/ (sadly only in German) Rathen is on the other side of the train station, and you have to take the ferry. Here are two hiking maps of the Bastei area: http://www.boehmwanderkarten.de/kv/is_mssg.html (1:30.000) http://www.boehmwanderkarten.de/kv/is_mbas.html (1:10.000) As you can see, the mountains are very compact, and there is a very dense network of hiking trails. A short tour could look like this (have a look at the two maps): 1) follow the green bar into the Amselgrund 2) turn left and follow the blue/yellow bar into the Schwedenlöcher 3) visit the Bastei 4) turn back and follow the red dot
5) turn left into on of the gorges (like Griesgrund or Hirschgrund) 6) follow the path above the Elbe back to Rathen You can also shorten this tour by descending from the Bastei to Rathen

Posted by Connie
Rota
10 posts

I have an apartment reserved for two nights at Bad Schandau. Are there hiking trails near here without getting on a train? Connie

Posted by Martin
Germany
210 posts

Sure. 2 kilometers (1,2 miles) to the east of Bad Schandau are the Schrammsteine rocks, the most spectacular part of the mountains. Have a look at Openstreetmap, which also shows some hiking trails if you zoom in: http://www.openstreetmap.org/ When you walk the 2 kilometers you can use this elevator http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Schandau_Elevator and cross Ostrau, a suburb of Bad Schandau with nice Scandinavian villas. You could also walk through the valley of the Kirnitzsch river to the Schrammstein rocks, but many people prefer to use the nostalgic tram that follows the valley from Bad Schandau to the Lichtenhain waterfall: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirnitzschtal_Tramway The Schrammsteine rocks are great for hiking and very impressive. Here is a site (sadly in German only) that describes hikes in the Schrammsteine rocks: http://www.wandern-saechsische-schweiz.de/Wandergebiet_Schrammsteine.asp Click on the links and have a look at the pics. It's damn spectacular sometimes. The downside is that the area is very compact, and a good hiking map is not a must, but very helpful. Look at this map and you know what I mean: http://www.boehmwanderkarten.de/kv/is_mssa.html
You can of course also follow the main hiking trails, but it helps to write down the route before you start.