Starry sky in the Eifel National Park, © Harald Bardenhagen

Un­der the starry sky

Nature park Ho­hes Venn-Eifel

It does seem pretty dark here, doesn’t it?! You may not be able to see a thing in the nature park Hohes Venn Eifel at night. In fact, you are going to find barely any other region in Germany that has as little (artificial) light as this one does. However, the stars in the sky shine all the brighter for it, allowing you to even spot the Milky Way with the unaided eye in good weather. The SternenGuides will explain about the other things shining and sparkling up there and how to recognise the Big Dipper or the Little Bear on one of the night tours through the SternenLandschaft Eifel. The trained nature and landscape guides of the “Unterm Sternenzelt - Eifel bei Nacht” nature park project also know why the darkness of the night is particularly important for animals and why an excess of artificial light will destroy habitats. This should be reason enough never to set off alone at night in the forests of the German-Belgian border region between Aachen and the districts of Euskirchen and Düren. However, some designated trekking sites in the nature park, which happens to virtually encompass the entire Nationalpark Eifel as well, will allow you to legally pitch your tent upon prior registration on your trip along the Wildnis-Trail to spend the night here. Make sure to have some binoculars or a telescope in your hiking backpack.

Eifel views

When the morning awakens ... you are going to discover the many other special features that distinguish the nature park Hohes Venn-Eifel as well. This landscape is characterised by high moors such as the “Hohes Venn” (on the Belgian side), many rivers, lakes, and reservoirs as well as wooded mountain heights, making the Eifel particularly attractive to hikers. The most popular route is the 313-kilometre-long Eifelsteig, crossing some very diverse areas such as the limestone, high, and volcanic Eifel under the motto of “in the company of rocks and water”. You’ll have to take a break here and there along the way, even if you haven’t run out of steam yet: The “Eifel views”, a series of signposted platforms and observation towers along the hiking routes, afford 360-degree panoramic views of the Eifel landscape that may be an entirely new experience for you. Even if you can’t get reception with your smartphone, you’ll still have a working camera on you...

By the way, a trip towards Olef, Perlenbach and Fuhrtsbach is a yellow affair in spring: The nature park Hohes Venn is famous for its wild and romantic daffodil valleys with millions of yellow blossoms. The most beautiful way of experiencing this splendour is taking a hike along the approximately twelve-kilometre-long daffodil route, a circular trail that starts out in the pretty Eifel half-timbered town of Monschau.

KlimaTour Eifel

If you want to know just how climate-friendly you are moving across the Eifel region, you can measure your own CO2 consumption. The nature park Hohes Venn-Eifel launched the “KlimaTour Eifel” a while ago to raise awareness for sustainable nature experience. Among other things, it offers advice on climate-friendly travels by public transport and presents some hosts who, among other things, value regional products. You’ll be in good hands there.

  • View of the Rur in Monschau in the Eifel region, © Johannes Höhn
     Signposts on the Eifelsteig, © Johannes Höhn
    Sheeps on the Struffeltroute in the Eifel, © Johannes Höhn
  • Lake Freilingen in Blankenheim in the Eifel region, © Johannes Höhn

Rocks with a view

Portrait Instagrammer Holger Forst, © Holger Forst
Ideas for ex­cur­sions in the sur­round­ings? In­s­tagram tip by Hol­ger Forst@for­st­fo­to­grafie
Rocks of the Ehrensteinley in the Eifel, © Holger Forst

"The rocks of the Ehrensteinley are a favourite and repeatedly visited destination for me during my photo hikes in the Eifel. After a short but crisp climb, you are rewarded with a great view over the Rur-Eifel. And at sunrise or sunset you experience fascinating light and a very special atmosphere."