Drachenschlucht: How to get there, circular hiking trails and all information about the mystical gorge in Thuringia

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Discover the fascinating world of Drachenschlucht - a magical place full of natural beauty, mystical legends and unforgettable hiking adventures. Explore the enchanted paths lined with sheer rock faces and discover the rich history and mysterious stories that make this gorge so unique. Welcome to a place that inspires the senses and touches the soul - welcome to the Drachenschlucht!

Why you should visit the Drachenschlucht

Narrow section in the Drachenschlucht. In winter, there are lots of icicles to admire here. The narrows are also a popular selfie spot.
© Photo: Artem Dontsov, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Natural beauty and hiking experience: The gorge offers a breathtaking natural environment with steep rock faces, moss-covered stones and a picturesque stream. It is a paradise for nature lovers and hikers who want to enjoy the beauty of nature.
  • Mythology and legends: The Drachenschlucht is interwoven with legends and fairy tales that make it even more captivating. The name comes from the legend of a dragon that is said to have once lived in this gorge. The mystical atmosphere and history attract many visitors who want to experience the legends.
  • Hiking possibilities: The paths in the Drachenschlucht offer a variety of hiking options for all levels of difficulty. From leisurely strolls to more challenging trails, the gorge offers a suitable route for every hiking enthusiast.
  • Adventure and relaxation: For adventure-seekers, the Drachenschlucht offers an exciting environment to gather new impressions and relax in nature. It is a place to escape from everyday life and lose yourself in a unique landscape.
  • Cultural significance: The Drachenschlucht is not only a natural jewel, but also a place of cultural significance. Historic paths and the remains of old buildings tell stories from times gone by and offer an insight into the history of the region.

All the facts about the Drachenschlucht

The Drachenschlucht, an approximately 2 kilometre long gorge near Eisenach in Thuringia, impresses with steep rock faces and a wild stream. Originally developed in the 19th century, it now attracts hikers and nature lovers. The gorge is rich in various tree species such as beech, oak and fir and is home to a variety of animal species such as foxes, badgers and rare bird species. It is also known for its legend of a dragon that is said to have once lived there. With its winding paths and unique natural splendour, the Drachenschlucht is a popular excursion destination that combines nature experience and mystical atmosphere.

Here is an overview of the most important facts about the Drachenschlucht.

Developed since 1832, by Gottlob König and others
Length approx. 3 km
Narrowest point 70 cm
Visitors around 100,000 per year
Nature conservation yes, since 1977
Flora acidophilous oak-beech forest
Fauna including fire salamanders and toads

These hiking trails are available in the Drachenschlucht

Stairs on one of the circular hiking trails through the Drachenschlucht. You should allow around 3-4 hours for a circular walk plus the journey.
© Photo: Stephan van Helden, CC BY-SA 4.0

Circular hiking trails in the Drachenschlucht offer you the opportunity to explore this impressive natural landscape in all its diversity. The various circular trails lead along the steep rock faces, through dense forests and along the picturesque stream. Hikers can view the gorge from different angles and experience nature in all its splendour.

The routes lead past striking rock formations, offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area and allow you to feel the mystical atmosphere of the gorge. Along the way, you will pass special spots such as idyllic resting places or viewpoints that invite you to linger and enjoy. The lengths of the circular routes vary, but offer all hikers, regardless of their level of experience, the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Drachenschlucht and enjoy the unique natural scenery.

Here is an overview of some interesting circular walks.

HikeStartDestinationViewpointsLengthDurationDifficulty
Circular hike through Drachenschlucht and Landgrafenschlucht B19, Bus stop Mariental B19, Bus stop Mariental Landgrafenschlucht, Wooden staircase, Oxen stable, View to Wartburg Castle, Small waterfall, Narrowest part of Drachenschlucht 13 km 4 hours medium
Circular hike via Hohe Sonne through Drachenschlucht Car parking Hohe Sonne Car parking Hohe Sonne View of Wartburg Castle, Drachenschlucht, Narrowest part of Drachenschlucht 12 km 3.5 hours medium
Circular hike through Drachenschlucht B19, Bus stop Mariental B19, Bus stop Mariental Droll forest spirit, wooden bridge in the Drachenschlucht, waterfall, narrowest part of the Drachenschlucht,
Thuringian primeval forest trails
11 km 3 hours mittel
Drachenschlucht circuit from the centre of Eisenach Car park Zentrum Eisenach Süd Car park Zentrum Eisenach Süd Wichmann promenade, wooden bridge in the Drachenschlucht, narrowest part of the Drachenschlucht, waterfall, Thuringian primeval forest trails 7.6 km 2 hours medium

Closure of the Drachenschlucht

The middle section of the Drachenschlucht. In winter, the passage is somewhat dangerous as icicles can come loose.
© Stephan van Helden, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Drachenschlucht has no opening hours and is usually open to visitors and hikers all year round. Occasionally, however, there may be closures, for example due to renovation work on the fortifications or forestry work.

In winter, the Drachenschlucht is more difficult to walk through due to icy conditions. The passage is sometimes dangerous due to icicles that can come loose.

Incidentally, the Drachenschlucht is also accessible with dogs! However, bicycles are not allowed.

How to get there: How to get to the Drachenschlucht

On foot: Marked hiking trails lead from Eisenach to the Drachenschlucht. The starting point can vary depending on the hiking trail, but it is around 3-4 kilometres on foot from the town. For example, you could start in the town centre on the market square and head towards Wartburgallee/B19. You will reach the Drachenschlucht via the Prinzenteich, Mariental and the "Phantasie" venue.

By bus & train: The town's bus station is located right next to Eisenach railway station. From there, for example, you can take line 3 directly to the Drachenschlucht bus stop.

By car: If you are travelling by car, parking is available near the Drachenschlucht. There are car parks from which visitors can reach the entrance to the gorge. The exact address for your navigation device may be the car park near the gorge (search for "Drachenschlucht Eisenach, Mariental"). You could also park in the town of Eisenach. An overview of parking facilities can be found here.

 Cover photo: Alexander Schäfer, CC BY-SA 3.0

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Reviews for this sight

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Perfect for family outings, nice for walks
7 months ago  · von
I really like the Dragon Gorge for a walk. Very pretty to look at in winter, but also difficult to walk through. When the snow melts, you sometimes jump from stone to stone on the muddy paths.

Usually quite full of visitors. If you want to be undisturbed, you should visit during the week.

Personally, I much prefer the Landgrafenschlucht, not far from the Drachenschlucht. It's quieter there and sometimes even more impressive than in the Dragon Gorge.

Nice place for selfies, if you're into that. Perfect for family outings!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Between primeval forest & medieval fantasy
7 months ago  · von
Minus the man-made "walking aids", it really is a very beautiful piece of nature and a special, atmospheric backdrop that will impress nature lovers and children alike.

Families, hiking enthusiasts and walkers are sure to enjoy the 3 km route in equal measure.

No less impressive in winter, but (if at all) more difficult to walk.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unforgettable Adventure: Exploring the Drachenschlucht in Eisenach
4 months ago  · von
A visit to the Drachenschlucht was an unforgettable experience for me. The natural beauty there is breathtaking, but it's advisable to arrive early to secure a parking spot and make the most of your visit. Early arrival also provides the opportunity to capture great photos. Please note that small dogs may need to be carried as some sections are equipped with grids. Additionally, sturdy footwear is highly recommended, especially in damp weather as it can get quite muddy at times. Despite these minor challenges, the excursion to the Drachenschlucht is definitely worth it!
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Great nature experience
7 months ago  · von
This was our 2nd hike from Eisenach through the Drachenschlucht to the Hohe Sonne. It's always nice to see what nature creates. Maybe it was the weather (dry but cold) or the time of day (10.30am), we were completely alone on the trail.
Tip: you should have a bit of stamina...
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