The Eifel region in Germany is very diverse. In September/October 2020 I went here together with my sister for holidays. As we live close to the German border, it was only a three-hours drive for us to get to our holiday home for the week in Hellenthal.
In this article I’d like to share with you my itinerary for the week as, hopefully, an inspiration for your own trip to this region.
Day 1: Arrival in Hellenthal
Our first day of the holidays started with packing our last things and other preparation before we drove towards Hellenthal around noon. In the afternoon we arrived at our holiday home which we booked through Airbnb. It was a really nice holiday home which had everything we needed during our week. Especially because of Covid-19 we were happy to have a kitchen as well, so we could cook ourselves sometimes.
Our hosts came by after arriving to show us around and to explain some stuff in and around the house. They also introduced us to the outdoor app Komoot which we could use for planning our hikes. We were very happy about that, because we used the app a lot during the week.
The rest of the day we settled a bit, did some groceries, cooked and made some plans for the next days.
Day 2: Monschau – hiking around Hellenthal
Our first full day in the Eifel region we spend in Monschau en around Hellenthal. In the morning we went to the small and idyllic town of Monschau, which was only a driving distance of 30 minutes. The town offers narrow alleys, beautiful half-timbered houses and is surrounded by green hills. It’s really nice to wander around the streets of Monschau. Thanks to the fact we went early in the morning and also because of Covid-19, it wasn’t very busy in town. However, I’ve heard that it can be quite touristy in Monschau. Take this into account when you’re planning a visit (try to avoid weekends for example). During our time in Monschau, we walked around the streets, around the hills (to have some lovely views over town) and enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate together with apfelstrudel.
In the afternoon we went back to Hellenthal to start a hike of 7 kilometers which started in the town center of Hellenthal, went through grasslands & forests and along the Wildpark and the beautiful Oleftalsperre. We found the hiking trail via Komoot: it’s a really beautiful trail with lots of diversity and absolutely not that hard to walk.
Day 3: hiking around Vogelsang IP – quick visit to Einruhr
During the next day, it was time for more hiking! This time, we went to the Eifel National Park for a 8 kilometers long hike which started and ended at the Vogelsang IP. It’s also a beautiful trail to hike, although the diversity in landscape is small. You come across Wollseifen, an interesting, abandoned town and at the Vogelsang IP you can learn more about the history of this area.
As we were close, we decided to pay a quick visit to the small town of Einruhr. On the internet I found the spot ‘Eifelblick Wolfshügel’ where we wanted to hike to. It was just a small hike of approximately 20 minutes upwards after which we had a nice view over the area, as you can see in the left photo below.
Day 4: Day trip to Cologne
On the fourth day it was time for a day trip to the city of Cologne, which was only on a driving distance of one hour. Although we both had been here before, we were really excited to visit the city again. We really wanted to pay a visit to the Chocolate museum, so we bought our tickets beforehand. We decided to arrive in Cologne early in the morning, so we could spend enough time in the museum. It’s a really nice museum where I’ve wrote an extensive article about. At the end, we spent the whole morning in the museum.
In the afternoon we spent some time in the city. We walked along the Rhine river, over the Hohenzollern Bridge and across the Kölner Dom. We went shopping a bit and at the end of the day we ate sushi at Restaurant Kaizen, it was really delicious! We’ve had a nice day in Cologne.
Day 5: Relaxing day
Well, how can you call it holidays when there isn’t a day of relaxation? This was the day we decided to do absolutely nothing. Alright, we went for a quick visit to the bakery and supermarket, but that’s it. We enjoyed a Netflix marathon and played some card games.
Day 6: Dreimühlen Wasserfall – lakes around Daun
Although it was a very rainy day, we were absolutely ready to see more after a day of relaxation! We made the plan to drive a little southwards and to visit some sights where we read about by our trip preparation. Our first stop was the Dreimühlen Wasserfall, located at a driving distance of approximately 50 minutes from Hellenthal. Even on a rainy day as this, there were people walking around this nature reserve called Ahbachtal. It’s a beautiful environment where you can have a lovely walk. It’s nice to see the magnificent Dreimühlen Wasserfall from up close (on the right photo below).
After our visit to the Ahbachtal, we drove further towards the lakes of Daun. These lakes are located in a stunning environment and it was nice to have a look at the lakes. However, I think the area would even be more beautiful with sunny weather. We unfortunately had the misfortune that it was raining heavily, so after a short time we decided to drive back towards Hellenthal which took us a little more than an hour.
Day 7: Wildpark Hellenthal – hiking around Reifferscheid
On our last full day of the holidays, we paid a visit to the Wildpark of Hellenthal, which is only a few minutes driving from town. We already walked along the Wildpark during our hike on the first day and at that moment we told each other that we definitely wanted to visit the park another day in the week. We had a lovely time, as we both love animals! Next to the birds of prey, you come across several other animals while walking through the park. You’ll find wild animals, like deers, mouflons and wild pigs, but also farm animals, like goats, donkeys and sheeps.
In the afternoon we hiked another trail which we found on Komoot. This trail started (and ended) in Reifferscheid, a picturesque town, and had a length of 7 kilometers. It was, again, a very lovely hike. The trail went through charming little towns, along grasslands and through a forest.
Day 8: End of our trip
The day of check-out and driving back home. Although the weather wasn’t that great on several days, we did have an amazing time. We did lots of the things we wanted to do, but of course there’s so much more to see and do in the Eifel region.
Hopefully this personal point of view on my itinerary gives you some inspiration for places to visit / things to do during your own trip to the Eifel region!