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Saxon Switzerland

By train and ferry to Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland with the imposing Elbe Sandstone Mountains is a great travel destination for everyone who wants to breathe fresh mountain air again. Especially Berliners and Dresdeners will find a place there with a short journey time. It takes two and a half hours by train from Berlin, 45 minutes from Dresden. Even day trips are possible. Especially now in the colder months of the year, the landscape has a very special atmosphere.

In autumn, for example, you can admire the change in color of the trees, some of which are shrouded in clouds of fog, and in winter there is enough snow here to transform the landscape into a real winter wonderland.

Saxon Switzerland is characterized by bizarre rock formations

As the name suggests, Saxon Switzerland is located in Saxony and right in front of the Czech border. This is why the region is often called Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland. Here bizarre rock formations shape the landscape and the region is a popular travel destination, especially in summer. In the colder half of the year, on the other hand, if you're lucky, you can have entire hiking trails to yourself. Then everything is a bit more comfortable.

Saxon Switzerland is also worth a visit in the colder months

Even arriving by train has a decelerating effect on us

Even the journey by train has a decelerating effect on us. We are sitting in the Eurocity train that is supposed to take us from Berlin Central Station and Dresden to our destination in Bad Schandau. The train is not a typical Deutsche Bahn train, but a Czech train with comfortable seats and closed compartments that offer more privacy.

There is also a charming on-board bistro that serves Czech dishes. You almost feel as if you were going on a train journey through the middle of the Czech Republic. The train's terminus is Prague and we briefly consider whether we should just stay seated in the cozy seats of this Czech train.

But then the landscape slowly begins to change in front of the train window. We are now driving directly along the Elbe and discover the first rock formations. In between there are a few small half-timbered houses and every now and then a few cows or sheep graze directly on the water. You could get used to this idyllic sight and so we discard the idea of ​​simply staying seated and get off at Bad Schandau train station.

From the Bad Schandau National Park train station, take the ferry across the Elbe

The national park train station is on the other side of the small town, which is why a ferry crossing is necessary. For this alone, however, the journey by train is worthwhile, because the short trip across the water is a really nice experience that also has a very decelerating effect.

The ferry crossing is a great experience

Enjoy fresh mountain air and inspiration on the way to the cowshed

After a short refreshment in Bad Schandau, we continue into nature. After all, we are here to enjoy the fresh air. To do this, take the traditional Kirnitzschtalbahn, which is also a special experience, up to the “Lichtenhain waterfall” and then on foot to the “Kuhstall”.

With a height of 11 meters and a width of 17 meters, the “Kuhstall” is the second largest rock gate in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and has always been a source of inspiration for numerous artists. This is not surprising, because from here you can enjoy a really breathtaking view over Saxon Switzerland. Now at the latest, no matter how big a city-plagued person, a pleasant feeling of relaxation and tranquility should spread.

Ride the traditional Kirnitzschtalbahn
Comfortably and leisurely it goes up to the hiking
The view from the second largest rock gate over Saxon Switzerland is breathtaking
The natural landscape now looks mystical in the colder half of the year

Finally, in the panorama sauna with a view of the starry sky

Those who, like us, want even more relaxation can visit the thermal baths with a spacious sauna area back in Bad Schandau. There you can enjoy infusions with names like honey-pepper, which smell as good as they sound, in the panorama sauna with a view of the wide starry sky. And after that there is not much left than to fall into bed, deeply relaxed and look forward to the remaining time in Saxon Switzerland.

Day trip to Schmilka and the Little Bastion

The next few days can be spent in one way or another. Excursions to the small town of Schmilka just before the Czech border, which can be easily reached by bus, are also worthwhile. From here a hiking trail leads up to the Small Bastion. There is a wonderful panoramic view of the Elbe valley. After or before that, you can strengthen yourself in the old mill, where you can choose to enjoy home-brewed beer and bread or huge pieces of cake and good coffee.

Regardless of what you decide in the end: Saxon Switzerland is a region that is worth discovering and that you can travel to in a sustainable way - without a car and instead by train, ferry, train and bus.

The tranquil village of Schmilka with refreshment stops

Lisa helped set up the Good Travel Blog and will write for us as a freelance author in the future. She is passionate about traveling and dancing around the world with a small ecological footprint.


  • Romy

    I am impressed with this article! It was a real pleasure to read and it gave me a new perspective 🙂 Thank you.


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