Hund mit Frauchen beim Wandern auf einem Steg

Tour 1: Country feeling in Saxon Switzerland

Forget South Carolina. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are at least as beautiful. From many cities in Germany, they are only a few hours’ drive away. What you absolutely must see: the famous Bastei, probably the most legendary viewpoint in Saxon Switzerland. The best place to start with your dog is Lohmen. You can park your car in the Bastei car park. From there, follow the signpost to “zum Steinernen Tisch”. You can take a short break at this more than 300-year-old festive table. Then continue in the direction of the Bastei (also signposted). The view of the bridge, which is over 76 metres long, is simply stunning – and the view of the surrounding countryside even more so. There are numerous exciting vantage points around the bridge construction. So you can extend your round as much as you like. These include the ruins of the Neurathen rock castle. The way back is via Wehlgrund. This will take you back to Lohmen. Tip: Take advantage of the early morning hours. That’s when the atmosphere at the Bastei is at its best. And there are even fewer people on the road.

Tour facts for the Elbe Sandstone Mountains: Start/finish: Basteiparkplatz, 01847 Lohmen // Distance: 3 km // duration: 45 min // Important: Your dog has to climb a few steps. Leads are compulsory during the hike. Before and after, your dog can let off some steam.

Tour 2: Serenity training on the Rothaarsteig

The entire Rothaarsteig is more than 150 km long and stretches along the Rothaargebirge, the Westerwald, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Rhineland-Palatinate. The section with the suspension bridge in the Sauerland is particularly exciting for you and your best friend. Here you can walk a particularly charming circular route. The starting point is the hiking car park in Schmallenberg. There you follow the sculpture trail, which, as the name suggests, features various works of art. You will reach the 40-m-long suspension bridge after about 4 km. Not just exciting to look at. But also a real challenge for you and your dog. Or not. You can also simply take the path past the suspension bridge. The way back is about 5 km through the forest. It’s nice and shady – even in summer. On the way back, you will pass a restaurant with a garden. By the way, you can easily vary the route. That’s because there are plenty of signposted routes. Nevertheless, it is not overcrowded. The visitors spread out along the many different paths.

Tour facts for Rothaarsteig: Start/finish: Wanderparkplatz in 57392 Schmallenberg // Distance: 10 km // duration: 2.5 h // Important: Your dog remains on a lead during the hike. There are mountain bikers on the route from time to time. ]

Tour 3: Stay cool in the Partnachklamm gorge

Summer, sun, killer heat? An excursion into a gorge is a good idea. For example, the Partnachklamm gorge near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The best place to start is at the railway station. You are also welcome to travel by train. The walk to the gorge takes about 20 minutes. It will take you about 30 minutes to get through the valley itself. Dogs are expressly permitted, and there is no admission charge. What you can expect: Waterfalls, gorges, tunnels, and exciting rock formations. Also a dip in the river at the end of the gorge. For you and your four-legged friend. You can then cross the gorge again in the opposite direction. Or you can extend your hike towards the Eckbauer restaurant, where dogs are also most welcome. By the way: The Partnachklamm gorge is also a real highlight in winter. The rock faces are adorned by metre-long icicles.

Tour facts for the Patnachklamm gorge: Start/finish: 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen // Distance: approx. 5 km (through the gorge and back) // Duration: 1.5 h // Important: A lead is compulsory in the gorge. Some of the paths are quite narrow.

Tour 4: Savour the beach feeling in Berlin

Big city with a dog? Highly recommended in Berlin. The capital is not only large but also offers plenty of nature. And with the Grunewaldsee, a body of water with an official swimming licence for dogs. Without the need for a lead. You have the choice between three dog beaches. The largest of them is at the hunting lodge. If you go anti-clockwise, you will come to the next dog beach just a few hundred metres further along the shore path. The third and smallest of these is almost directly opposite the hunting lodge. Which beach is the best? Decide for yourself. The whole lake can be circumnavigated in about 45 minutes. So you can easily visit all three beaches. And the best part is: Berlin’s largest dog walking area is located in the surrounding Grunewald forest. In other words: your dog can sniff, rummage, and run to its heart’s content. A good starting point is the Hüttenweg. Or you can follow the signpost to “Onkel Toms Hütte”. Here you can stroll with your four-legged friend between streams and ponds. There is also a large clearing perfect for playing and running around.

Tour facts for Grunewald: Start/finish: Jagdschloss Grunewald, Hüttenweg 100, 14193 Berlin // Distance: approx. 5 km // Duration: 1 h 15 min // Important: Grunewald is off-limits to human bathers. However, your dog can let off steam as much as they like on the designated beaches.

Tour 5: A stiff breeze in the dog paradise of Hamburg

Finally, you should definitely visit Hamburg with your best friend. With 186 off-lead dog areas, the Hanseatic city is probably the most dog-friendly city in Germany. The 37-km Alsterwanderweg trail not only follows the source of the Alster in Schleswig-Holstein to where it flows into the Elbe. It also leads past numerous free-range areas. The section close to the city centre from Landungsbrücken to Poppenbüttel is particularly exciting. Why? You walk through a jungle in the middle of the city. The mix of wild rivers, dense forests, and locks as well as magnificent villas and picturesque bridges is simply magical. The section to Poppenbüttel is around 17 km long. However, you can also easily shorten the route to 5 or 10 km. You can then start in Övelgönne for example. The 1,000 m² dog run at the Alsterwiesen is also ideal for you and your four-legged friend. It is completely fenced in so that you can also relax.

Tour facts for the Alsterwanderweg: Start: Landungsbrücken St. Pauli // Destination: Poppenbüttel // Distance: approx. 17 km // Duration: approx. 3h 30 min // Return journey: from Poppenbüttel (e.g. with the S1) approx. 52 min

All the areas presented – whether Allgäu or Berlin, Saxon Switzerland or Sauerland, big city or open countryside – are, of course, suitable for more than just one hike. If you fancy spending an entire holiday there, these tips will help you plan your trip. But we have also put together lots of useful information for you for a day trip. So let’s get started. We wish you lots of fun!