A Natural Park: Kurort Rathen Bastei – Germany
The Saxon Switzerland National Park (Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz) is southeast of Dresden, and is part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, up to the Czech Republic. The surface you are protected is 38,000 hectares of rock formations in the form of towers, originated by the Elbe River, which travelers who make the journey Dresden – Prague can see and be amazed
The Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz), also known as the Elbsandstein hill (Elbsandsteingebirge), is located in the easternmost part of the federal state of Saxony that borders the Czech Republic. On the other side of the border the mountain of the Elbsandstein continues and bears the name of Switzerland Bohemia (Ceske Svycarsko).
Saxon Switzerland is only 20 minutes from Dresden by train, making it an additional visit highly recommended for those visiting this city. The river has amazing and wonderful landscapes. Among the attractions within the national park is the Königstein fortress, the spa town of Bad Schandau, Rathen with the Bastei and Lilienstein, the most representative mountain in Saxon Switzerland. Today we will concentrate on the area of Kurort Rathen
How to Get
The Village of Kurort Rathen and its Natural Park
By train :The S1 train line connects Dresden with the cities of Saxon Switzerland and Dresden. Trains run every half hour and stop at Pirna, Obervogelgesang, Stadt Wehlen, Kurort Rathen, Königstein, Bad Schandau, Krippen, Schmilka-Hirschmühle and Schöna.
Boat From April to October there are steam boats that circulate between Dresden and Schöna several times a day. They stop in Pirna, Wehlen, Rathen, Königstein, Bad Schandau and other cities. The company that makes the tour is Sächsische Dampfschifffahrt.
The Saxon Switzerland National Park offers many alternative activities in nature, such as climbing, hiking or cycling along the river.
The website of the park has a very complete map with descriptions of all the marked trails, which allows you to plan the routes. Unfortunately it is only in German.
Tourist places: Pirna
It is a small town on the banks of Elbe, known as “the door to Saxon Switzerland”, which has a beautiful old town. It is an interesting option to stay halfway between Dresden and the other attractions of the region.
It can be reached by car, steamboat, bus and suburban train (S1 / S2).
Climbing in Kurort Rathen Bastei
The Bastei is a curious rock formation that rises two hundred meters from the Elbe. A bridge of 1850 and different bridges connect the rocks with each other. The viewpoint offers an amazing panoramic view of almost the entire nature reserve. There is a hotel with a restaurant there. The Berghotel Bastei
What we did that day at the Bastei
We took the train from Dresden to the Kurort Rathen station approximately 20 minutes. When arriving at the station you have to walk half a mile to the ferry dock that you have to take to get to the other shore. Only a trip of 5 minutes. It leaves every 30 minutes in season.
When you reach the other shore you can choose a path that goes in the direction of the Berghotel Bastei hotel, to walk to the bridge of the Bastei. Approximately one hour walked and uphill. Road in very good condition.
Upon arrival, incredible rock formations can be seen as the photos show. To go down you can choose the same way one way. Or the most advisable to continue on the way to the hotel, surpass it and return by the forest path, which is really amazing. Approximately 1 hour more walking.
Already in the final stop you can appreciate a channel where you can kayak, or just enjoy a relaxed and at the same time stimulating landscape. When you get to the village there is everything you need to eat and enjoy a few hours before returning to Dresden.
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