Narzissenwiese im Fuhrtsbachtal in der Eifel, © Eifel Tourismus GmbH, Petra Grebe

Tour 4: Cuisine for pleas­ure - land­scape for dream­ing

On a tour of dis­cov­ery in the Siebenge­birge nature park and the Eifel na­tion­al park

The fourth nature tour of­fers a whole range of ex­per­i­ences, from hik­ing on the Wil­der­ness Trail, sleep­ing in a tree­house, tak­ing a snack in the mus­tard mill and walk­ing through a yel­low sea of nar­cissi.

Innenansicht Baumhaus V-Hotel, © V-Hotel

Check­ing in­to the tree­house

Mon­ast­ic peace and quiet and nat­ur­al wil­der­ness

The fourth nature tour ex­per­i­ence starts in the Kloster Heis­ter­bach mon­as­tery in the Siebenge­birge nature park. The former Cister­cian ab­bey is now privately owned by a so­ci­ety of holy or­ders, but is open for all vis­it­ors look­ing for peace, re­lax­a­tion and si­lence. For any­one with a rum­bling stom­ach, the ?Kloster­stube Heis­ter­bach? res­taur­ant of­fers tra­di­tion­al fare in a his­tor­ic­al en­vir­on­ment. Dur­ing the winter, the cosy room has enough space to of­fer, while in the sum­mer, vis­it­ors can en­joy the warm weath­er on the sunny ter­race.

For any­one want­ing to ex­per­i­ence un­spoilt nature, the wil­der­ness area in the Siebenge­birge nature park is the place to go. Here, nature is left to its own devices, and can un­fold ac­cord­ing to its own rules. Sign­posted paths through the wil­der­ness en­able vis­it­ors to enter the nature ex­per­i­ence area.

Those who don?t want to miss out on an overnight stay in the wild can check in­to the V-Hotel in the Kot­ten­for­ster Stadtwald forest in Bonn and share their ac­com­mod­a­tion shared with the squir­rels in one of three tree­houses - ?Little Red Rid­ing Hood?, ?Rust Buck­et? and ?Forest Spir­it?. Built about four meters above ground, the tree­houses, which are all around 20 meters in size, are fur­nished with a bath­room and a bal­cony. And be­fore you fi­nally close your eyes at the end of the day, there?s still time for a quick look out of the win­dow to wish the squir­rels in the trees good night.

www.ab­tei-heis­ter­bach.de | www.natur­park-siebenge­birge.de | www.v-hotel.de

Monschau, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Dis­cov­er­ing an­im­al tracks on the Wil­der­ness Trail

Roar­ing stags and a honey mus­tard par­fait

The second day of the nature tour also takes you to wild land­scapes. On the Wil­der­ness Trail in the Eifel na­tion­al park, hikers and leis­urely strollers pass gush­ing streams, and walk through deep forests and green mead­ows. Par­ti­cipants on a ranger tour on the Wil­der­ness Trail can even dis­cov­er the tracks of wild­cats, red stags and beavers.

The tour con­tin­ues to the his­tor­ic mus­tard mill in the won­der­ful Eifel town of Mon­schau. The fam­ily of NRW culin­ary am­bas­sad­or for the Eifel re­gion and Aachen, Ruth Breuer, has been pro­du­cing mus­tard here for five gen­er­a­tions. Guided tours of the mus­tard mill are offered for vis­it­ors who are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in how mus­tard is made. Gour­met fans and any­one pre­fer­ring to taste the mus­tard are served food gar­nished and seasoned with the mus­tard pro­duced in the mill in the ?Schnab­uleum? res­taur­ant next door. How about a honey mus­tard par­fait, for ex­ample? Any­one want­ing more of this sharp-fla­voured product can pur­chase vari­ous mus­tard del­ic­acies to take home from the mill shop.

Walk­ing fur­ther on through Mon­schau, vis­it­ors pass the fam­ous Red House. It was built by cloth­maker Jo­hann Hein­rich Schei­bler and is open to vis­it­ors from April un­til the end of Novem­ber. It is fur­nished in the ro­coco, Louis-Seize and em­pire styles, and re­flects the op­u­lence and splend­our of the bour­geois liv­ing cul­ture. The oak spir­al stair­case, which con­nects three floors, is par­tic­u­larly im­press­ive. 

From Mon­schau, it?s a short jour­ney to the wild nature of the Eifel na­tion­al park. There, it gets noisy dur­ing the au­tumn months of Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber. The roar­ing of the red stags, in their im­press­ive at­tempt to at­tract fe­males, rings out over mead­ows, through woods and in­to the val­leys. With a bit of pa­tience, from the view­ing plat­form in Dreiborn, vis­it­ors can en­joy a good view of the largest an­im­als in Europe liv­ing in the wild. Dur­ing the en­tire rut­ting sea­son, there are rangers on the plat­form who will be happy to give spe­cial­ist in­form­a­tion. The best way to wait for a sight­ing of these wild an­im­als is with bin­ocu­lars, a cush­ion to sit on and warm cloth­ing.

In the even­ing, hikers can re­lax and re­cov­er after a long day?s walk in the Kloster Stein­feld mon­as­tery gues­t­house, sur­roun­ded by the Eifel land­scape. The wide-open wrought-iron gates form the en­trance to the cen­tur­ies-old mon­as­tery build­ing. Wheth­er you?re look­ing for four-star hotel stand­ard or a simple mon­ast­ic at­mo­sphere, there is something here for any­one want­ing to spend a night in the middle of the green Eifel re­gion.

www.na­tion­al­park-eifel.de/wild­nis­trail | www.sen­fmuehle.de | www.lvr.de | www.na­tion­al­park-eifel.de/rothirsche | www.kloster-stein­feld.de

Narzissen in der Eifel bei Monschau-Höfen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Walk­ing through the Per­len­bachtal val­ley

Golden yel­low nar­cissi and shin­ing river pearl mus­sels

The fi­nal day of the tour be­gins in Kal­ter­her­berg, which is part of Mon­schau. From here, the tour takes vis­it­ors to the Per­len­bachtal val­ley, which is a par­tic­u­lar high­light es­pe­cially in the spring. From mid-April to the be­gin­ning of May, count­less wild nar­cissi bloom here along the banks of the stream. There are hik­ing trails along­side the daf­fodils, which can be ex­plored in­di­vidu­ally or as a group with a guided tour.

It?s not just the golden yel­low fields of nar­cissi that make the Per­len­bachtal val­ley a very spe­cial des­tin­a­tion. Here, the last stocks of river pearl mus­sels in NRW can be found. Since the mus­sels need very clean, clear wa­ter as a hab­it­at, they are among the most threatened loc­al mus­sel spe­cies. As the name says, around one in every two thou­sand mus­sels con­tains a pearl. Please note, how­ever: it?s still a well-pre­served secret where ex­actly these mus­sels are to be found!

www.eifel.de | www.eifel-natur-reis­en.de | www.eifel­steig.de/nar­zis­sen­route

  • ©
    Baumhaus V-Hotel, Bonn, © V-Hotel
    Mit dem Ranger unterwegs im Nationalpark Eifel, © Antje Zimmermann
    Wanderer im Siebengebirge, © Antje Zimmermann
  • ©
    Eifel_Einruhr, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Eifel Ausblick Sommer, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Narzissen in der Eifel bei Monschau-Höfen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
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