Bastei is a sandstone rock, rising approx. 190 m above the Elbe river. The place is usually full with crowds, but for a good reason. The views are gorgeous (pic 1). You see the bend of the Elbe river below you, the flat-top mountains Lilienstein, Pfaffenstein, Königstein in the middle, the Czech mountains Ruzova hora and Snieznik in the background....more
This is heaven for younger and older kids :-) On grounds of over 7,000 m2 they designed and built a fascinating model train (LGB) outdoor installation. The tracks have a length of 4,500 m, about 30 trains are permanently running on them. More than 200 historic buildings were copied in smaller scale and are to find all over the grounds.If you cannot...more
The ruins of the former castle were bought by a guy from nearby Dresden in 1888 and used for the construction of a romantic Neo-"castle", finished 1893. After confiscation by the communists in 1945 it was sold to two guys from Dresden in 1995. The place was reconstructed and is now restaurant and B&B.A castle was first mentioned in 1261. 1467 - 69...more
Hiking in winter has its pros and cons. The weather keeps you cool and there is hardly any crowd at all. The con, mushy grounds.The hiking trail can be easily located and if I remember correctly, it starts at the end of a shop lined street. Having a forest behind your store is pretty cool.more
The Elbe meanders peacefully through the Saxon Switzerland. Along the river are on both sides cycle and hiking tracks. It is also possible to take the ferry from Dresden to Rathen.The photo in the top right corner shows the mount of Lilienstein. In this region you find several so shaped flat-topped mounts.more
Amselgrund 3, Kurort Rathen, 1824, de
I use(d) to avoid having a meal in Rathen since it is very touristy and I always thought it's overpriced. I especially disliked the relatively new Hotel Elbiente which is sort of an eyesore in the otherwise picturesque village (see pic 5); a too large structure next to the old timber-framed and other small houses, and that at most prominent location right by the Elbe river and the paddle steamer/ferry station.
Anyway, on a nice, sunny day in May 2013, a hike almost finished, I saw their ad "coffee and a piece of cake of your choice for 3.90 Euro." Could I resist? No, of course not. LOL I had a table outdoor on their terrace with great panoramic views (pic 4) and simply enjoyed my time. Service was very good and friendly, not snobby at all as it sometimes happens in a 4star+ hotel.
Favorite Dish: I chose a piece of their pear-yoghurt cake which turned out to be yummy. Coffee was pretty good, too, on the mild side and not too strong.
Driving to Rathen is IMHO the least attractive option to get there. Not only is it an ecologic problem. The part of town where the tourist sights are - Niederrathen on the right bank of the Elbe river - is sort of car-free. Only locals, delivery cars and guests who stay overnight are allowed to drive into Niederrathen and park their car there (pic...more
Grab your bicycle or rent one and cycle to Rathen! The place is down by the river so it's no sweat to get there by bicycle. The Elbe cycling path runs to both sides of the river between Rathen and Dresden (and beyond), it's your choice which you chose - I personally prefer the left bank, the view of the sandstone formations is more impressive from...more
The fastest, inexpensive and convenient way to get to Rathen is the commuter train S1 Meißen - Bad Schandau (-Schöna). From Dresden main station it takes about a half hour to get to Dresden. Trains run from almost 24/7 - with the exception of a few hours after midnight. Trains are new, clean and comfortable. Bicycle transport allowed (extra...more
As you have to climb a mount you need good walking shoes.
Miscellaneous: There is no special rainy season
Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 7 – 18°C ( 45 - 64°F ); min: 1 - 8°C ( 34 - 46°F )
Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 20 – 23°C ( 68 - 73°F ); min: 11 - 12°C ( 51 - 53°F )
Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 5 – 18°C ( 41 - 64°F); min: 1 - 10°C ( 34 – 50°F )
Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 2 – 5°C ( 36 - 41°F); min: -2 - 0°C ( 28 - 32°F )
Right on the main walk in Niederrathen is a fountain that has pillars with figures on top. I wondered what these figures depict so I had a closer look. A plaque by the fountain explains that many of the sandstone rock formations around Rathen have names, often related to a legend, and the figures of the fountain depict these names of the rocks.So...more
Sure, the views from Kleine Bastei are not as spectacular as those from the Bastei. However, the views *are* beautiful and on a holiday or weekend with beautiful weather - when Bastei is crowded - I prefer to go to Kleine Bastei.You can see the Elbe river, Rathen, the other *real* Bastei as well as the impressive Mt. Lilienstein and the Rauenstein...more
In case you're in Rathen in May/June don't miss to see the blooming rhododrendron in the romantic garden of Dr. Keydel. There are nice places with benches for a rest or picnic in the garden. The views of Rathen and the bizarre sandstone formations are gorgeous.It is still a quite often overlooked gem. In the late 20th century it ran wild more and...more
Gamrig is a small sandstone formation that you can hardly call a "mountain." The highest point has an elevation of only 253 m above sea level. And yet, it is a fantastic viewing point. Pic 1 has the view of Gamrig (middle of the picture) from another viewpoint at the road Bad Schandau - Rathewalde (S 163).From Rathen - elevation 120 m at the Elbe...more
Did you know that free climbing was first ever done in the sandstone massifs of Saxon Switzerland? Yep, in 1890. And when Saxon climber Fritz Wiessner emigrated to the U.S. in the 1930s it was 'exported' to North America.Free climbing means the climber uses only hands, feet and other body parts (the latter can look funny - LOL) to get up to the...more
As mentioned in the respective transportation tip, cycling along the river is an excellent option to get to Rathen. The village is actually at one of the most popular cycling trails in Germany, the Elbe cycling trail (Elberadweg) which runs along the Elbe river from the Czech border (Schmilka on the right bank/Schöna on the left bank) to the North...more
Rathen attracts visitors especially with its lovely setting by the Elbe river, at the foot of the massive sandstone formations. The Niederrathen section (right bank) is spread all over the hillsides of a lovely side valley. Real architectural highlights are not to find, but the overall impression is that of a picturesque, almost unspoilt village with timber-framed and other houses, not overly decorated but well proportioned that fit right into the landscape. A negative exception IMO is the hotel at the riverfront that replaced the former, some hundred years old inn "Erbgericht" a couple of years ago. But it's still not *too* bad.
Very nice is the riverside promenade with benches, flower boxes, small shops and cafes. It is fun to walk or rest there, do some people watching or gaze at the landscape, see paddle steamers arriving and departing. It helps that the section of Niederrathen is car-free.
Unfortunately Rathen tends to be crowded on holidays and sunny weekends in summer. I try to avoid the place then.