Holidaying in the “Land of 1,000 Mountains”
Stunning views: Holidaymakers in Sauerland will discover panoramic views, a huge programme of summer and winter activities and wonderful areas to unwind.
It is easy to be on top of things in the land of 1,000 mountains. In actual fact, the region has 2,711 peaks higher than 400 metres. As a hiking destination, Sauerland is distinguished in every sense of the word: numerous stunning hiking trails are certified and the area also boasts the first “Quality hiking region” designation to be awarded by the German Institute of Hiking. The “Sauerland-Wanderdörfer” hiking villages consist of the eleven municipalities of Brilon, Diemelsee, Medebach, Lennestadt, Kirchhundem, Olsberg, Schmallenberg, Eslohe, Willingen, Winterberg and Hallenberg and as many as 280 districts and hamlets. This also includes a tight-knit network of certified hiking paths such as the Winterberger Hochtour (Winterberg High-Altitude Trail) and the Briloner Kammweg (Brilon Ridge Trail). Long-distance pathways like the Rothaarsteig (Rothaar Trail) or the Sauerland-Höhenflug (Sauerland High-Flyer) provide the best way to see the mountainous terrain at its scenic best. The latter, for instance, runs along mountain ridges for almost its entire length of 250 kilometres, offering a fantastic panorama of the surrounding valleys. Hikers can find rest at one of the Sauerland Wandergasthöfen (hiking guesthouses), catering specifically to the needs and comforts of hikers.
Cyclists of all fitness levels will also feel right at home in Sauerland. The RuhrtalRadweg (Ruhr Valley Cycle Path) linking Sauerland with the Ruhr Area is a tourist highlight among Germany’s waterside routes. It links up with another cycle route that is especially family-friendly as it mainly follows an asphalted former railway line: the SauerlandRadring (Sauerland Cycle Circuit). This cycleway traces a route through the centre of the region for around 80 kilometres, taking in restored witnesses to past industrial and craft heritage, small museums and even a 700-metre bat tunnel. Finally, Bike Arena Sauerland offers racing cyclists, mountain bikers, bicycle tourists and leisure cyclists the choice of a huge network of trails.
The Sauerland region has as many as 17 reservoirs for drinking and irrigation water or for producing clean energy – and many of them are also recreation areas. The five biggest reservoirs are especially popular, one of which is the impressive Biggesee with its water sports facilities. Möhnesee, known as the “Westphalian sea”, is the largest reservoir in Sauerland by area. Its 40 kilometres of shoreline are perfect for relaxing, swimming or cycling. The region even has attractions deep underground: the Atta-Höhle cave in Attendorn is Germany’s largest continuous cave system. Its impressive stalagmites and stalactites were created over several millions of years. Those interested in finding out more about the underworld should visit Dechenhöhle cave in Iserlohn and its unique cave museum.
Did you know? A constant temperature of 9 degrees Celsius is maintained in caves year-round – even in the depths of winter. Speaking of which: Wintersport-Arena Sauerland is the largest ski resort north of the Alps. It hosts prestigious skiing events on its many pistes and cross-country courses, and bob, skeleton and luge world championships are decided on the bob-sleigh run in Winterberg.
Arriving by plane