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The Westerwald
Hiking, Nordic Walking & Water Sports

Experience an active holiday surrounded by unspoilt nature, idyllic lakes, romantic river valleys, cool forests and airy peaks. Attractive country towns such as Montabaur and Hachenburg are perfect for a leisurely wander around. There is something new to do every day: for instance, the very special historical Kannenbäckerstrasse — literally 'pot-baker route' — which runs for 36 km and showcases traditional potteries and ceramics museums.

Note by the Executive Editor

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is 116 km away from the Westerwald region (1:15 hours driving time by car to Montabaur).

1. Nordic Walking Paradise

Nordic Walking is a new and trendy sport that was developed in Scandinavia for training winter sports athletes. It has become a popular sport in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Nordic Walking is a more effective variant of Walking (a sport for health and stamina).

There are 11 Nordic Fitness Parks in Germany and two of them are in the Westerwald region. Train your fitness and go on tour with a Nordic Walking instructor to learn the basics of the sport. Relax and enjoy the beauty of nature while supporting your health. There are 7 routes (a network of 121 km) you can choose from. Each of them has three difficulty stages. Blue for easy, red for medium and black for difficult.

For advice go to the Nordic Fitness Centre in Bad Marienberg. It offers instructions, training programs, classes, and much more. If you need Nordic Walking equipment, no problem. You may rent it here.

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2. Unspoilt Nature

The 'Naturpark Rhein-Westewald/Wiedtal' is a wildlife park that provides on 446 square kilometres a very unique reserve. The landscape stretches from the Rhine Valley to the charming Wiedtal Valley. 'Das Kannenbäckerland' (pot-baker route) is the centre of pottery crafts that have been here a tradition for over 2,700 years. The 'Naturpark Nassau' is located at the 1,000 years old town of Nassau. It is surrounded by a heavenly landscape garden. The 'Hessischer Westerwald' provides beautiful nature, a picturesque landscape and spectacular panoramic views. In the 'Hoher Westewald-Wiesensee' you will find the highest elevations of the Westerwald that are surrounded by green forest, meadows and lakes. Very attractive is the 'Kroppacher Schweiz - Westerwälder Seenplatte' because of its lakes that have been constructed in the 17th century. 'Das Raiffeisenland' provides a journey back into the 19th century and tells you the story of the well-know social reformer Friedrich Wilhem Raiffeisen. One of the insider tips is 'Das Wildenburger Land' with its romantic landscape, its palace from the year 1550 and stories of the medieval witch-hunt. Last but not least: 'Das Erzbergland' has an over 2,000 years old tradition of ore mines that were used already by the Celts.

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3. Themed Hiking Trails

The Westerwald region offers to the rambler eight different footpaths, each with its own theme. Explore a varied landscape consisting of fields, meadows, forests and friendly people. Enjoy the fresh air and relax body, spirit and soul. Each of the footpaths are centred around the special features of the area. You will discover the local peculiarities and what makes this particular part of the region worth living. Part of the experience is the local culture, craft, agriculture, forestry as well as gastronomy and native cuisine.

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4. Travel Guides to Westerwald Destinations

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Video: Pictorial Journey through the Westerwald Holiday Region

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5. Points of Interest

Barockkirche Daaden
This fine baroque church was built by Julius Ludwig Rothweil between 1722 and 1724. It has galleries, sometimes two-tier, on all four sides. The splendid chancel has the altar, pulpit and organ arranged one above the other.
The Basalt Park offers remarkable insights into volcanic activity around 30 million years ago. The open-air museum is a fascinating illustration of quarrying methods and geological processes.
Bergbaumuseum Herdorf Sassenroth
The visitor mine, true to the original, offers fascinating insights into life underground. The exhibition traces the history of mining and displays crystallised treasures from deep below ground.
Brugruine Reichenstein
There are guided tours of Reichenstein Castle ruins, a landmark in the Puderbach region, on the first and third weekend of every month. The castle was built in the 14th century by Ludwig III of Reichenstein.
Burgruine Hartenfels
There are magnificent panoramic views from Hartenfels Castle ruins, which are nicknamed ‘the cream churn’ because of the shape of their tower.
The druid stone, an amazing natural basalt rock formation 20 metres tall, is steeped in myth and legend. Its owes its name to the Gallic druids who performed holy ceremonies and rituals there.
Where, according to legend, the devil wanted to conquer heaven and an abbey sank beneath the ground. To the east of Niederbreitbach is the start of one of the most romantic tributary valleys of the Wied, the Fockenbach valley, dominated by Neuerburg Castle ruins.
Mount Fuchskaute – the Westerwald's highest peak — and the beautiful surrounding high heathland offer fabulous walking. In winter there is a Westerwald cross-country ski trail to Bad Marienberg. Restaurant with beer garden.
Grube Bindweide
The iron ore mine, which closed some 70 years ago, can be still be visited by pit railway travelling 1,300 metres into the shaft and mining area. The colourful metal salt deposits are also impressive. Ore mining museum at the entrance.
Grube Georg
The winding tower of the disused Georg mine stands proudly as the last witness to an era of iron mining history. There are guided tours of the winding tower on the 3rd Saturday of every month.
Narrow streets and alleyways lead to Alter Markt, a medieval square framed by beautiful half-timbered buildings, two churches and a wing of the great baroque palace, the town's main landmark.
The trail follows the course of the wild, romantic stream through steep rock formations. The Holzbach gorge has rocky walls up to 30 metres in height and can be reached on a circular tour from Gemünden or Seck.
Keramikmuseum Westerwald
German collection of historical and contemporary ceramics. Ceramics have been made in the Kannenbäcker region for over 500 years. The Westerwald Ceramics Museum displays works spanning this history — from early saltglaze Westerwald stoneware to contemporary ceramic art.
Kloster Marienstatt
The Gothic church of the 800-year-old Cistercian abbey features the St. Ursula shrine of around 1350. The carved wooden choir stalls and the organ are remarkable. Beautiful abbey offering accommodation, bookshop and brewery tavern.
Mount Köppel (540 metres) near Montabaur is a popular excursion destination. The observation tower offers fabulous panoramic views of the Westerwald forest and the neighbouring highlands. Stop off at the Köppelhütte.
Landschaftsmuseum Westerwald
The Countryside Museum comprises six characteristic Westerwald buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum's buildings and collections offer a vivid insight into the history of the Westerwald and its people.
Monte Mare
The wave pool at the Monte-Mare pool complex promises fun for all the family. The highlight in the sauna area is an outdoor terraced garden — breathe wonderful fresh air in summer and in winter.
The Raiffeisen Museum at Raiffeisenstrasse 10 is dedicated to the founder of the rural cooperative movement, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, who was born in Hamm on 30 March 1818.
Renaissanceschloss Hadamar
Hadamar's focal point is the castle, one of the largest and most important Renaissance castles in Germany. The municipal museum in the adjoining stables has an exhibition of rare silhouette art. Concerts in the Prince's Hall and the castle courtyard.
The Stöffel is the largest self-contained basalt quarry area in the Westerwald region. There is a unique fossil site beneath the basalt. Guided tours of the quarry and the disused quarry buildings.

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6. Events Finder

There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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7. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.

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8. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

8.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Montabaur
(116 km distance / 1:15 hours driving time) » get directions

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8.2 By Rail and Bus Services

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has no direct railway connection. However, the buses from the airport will take you to the railway stations in Koblenz, Trier, Mainz, Frankfurt Main Airport, Frankfurt Main City, Kirn, Idar-Oberstein and Saarbrücken where you can connect with Deutsche Bahn trains or local transport links.

Weblink: Deutsche Bahn — show integrated Rail and Bus Services from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Montabaur

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Tourist Office Address

Westerwald Touristik-Service
Kirchstrasse 48a
56410 Montabaur

Tel.: +49 (0) 26 02 -30 01 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 26 02 - 94 73 25