THE DONAUBERGLANDWEG has long been one of the classics among the certified hiking trails in Germany. Four varied stages lead from the highest mountains of the Swabian Alb in the »Region der 10 Tausender« (ten mountains above1.000 metres/3.281ft) through typical Alb landscapes down into the wild and romantic valley of the Danube. The lightflooded forests and idyllic sheep meadows around the 1015 meter high Lemberg are soon replaced by the promising steep slopes between Kehlen, Klippeneck and Dreifaltigkeitsberg on the Albtrauf of the »Südwestalb«. From the mountain top »Alter Berg«, so beautifully crowned with a
pink and white chapel, you will walk through fascinating juniper heaths and hidden side valleys down to the Danube. Brightly lit, sky-high limestone walls and knightly castles impressively built on pointed rocks are the next destinations. The ribbon of the Danube deep down in the valley provides the route to the grand finale at Beuron Monastery.
The Donauberglandweg is supplemented by six »DonauWellen«. The »cream puffs« in the Donaubergland, all designed as day trips and certified as Premiumweg, allow as Donaufelsen-Tour, Donauversinkung, Eichfelsen-Panorama, Klippeneck-Steig, Kraftstein-Runde and Alter Schäferweg an even more intense experience of the different landscapes of the »Südwestalb« with their castles, chateaux, caves and viewpoints. Most of the stage locations and all starting points of the predicate trails are reachable by public transport in the Donaubergland.
We start at the Lemberg hikers' parking lot, from where we first head up to the roof of the Alb, the summit. In doing so, we walk a bit along the Schwäbische-Alb-Nordrand trail Albsteig (HW1). We can even venture to even loftier heights, namely to the Lembergturm, where after 152 stairs we can see as far as the Alps, the Black Forest or even the Vosges Mountains with good distant views. The further section of the trail takes us via Wehingen and Gosheim to the Klippeneck and is a special highlight with descents, short climbs and diverse changes of landscape and formation. On the Klippeneck we find a glider airfield and a restaurant with good overnight accommodation.
From there, the second stage takes us over the Dreifaltigkeitsberg with its pilgrimage church and the Alter Berg through the Schäfertal and the Lippachtal to Mühlheim an der Donau with its medieval upper town. The third, rather short stage takes us from Mühlheim on the Danube via the Kolbing Cave, an impressive stalactite cave on the southwest Alb, and via the Knopfmacher Rock and the Stiegeles Rock to the Danube town of Fridingen on the Danube.
The last stage on the Donauberglandweg rewards us with unique views into the Upper Danube Valley, from the Knopfmacherfels over Beuron, from the ruins of Kallenberg and also at Bronnen Castle we can look forward to some beautiful long-distance views. The end point of the tour and certainly one of the highlights is the imposing monastery of Beuron, spiritual center of the Upper Danube Valley.
Sturdy shoes, weatherproof clothing, drinks and refreshments.