Hiking the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg during Corona times

Hiker on the Mullerthal trail near Beaufort

Luxembourg is such a small country that you are tempted to think it consists only of the City of Luxembourg. But of course there’s also countryside, with a long-distance hiking trail we have set our eyes on. “Hiking the Mullerthal Trail, you walk in several circles around the small town of Echternach, in a somewhat mountainous area with lots of rolling fields.”

Sounds strange? But it’s supposed to be a beautiful long-distance trail with impressive rock formations.

A hiking break on the Mullerthal trail

This being Luxembourg, the trail is also well-organised with a lot of information online. The official site includes details on currently closed tracks and suggestions for walking stages using (free!) public transport. A perfect first excursion into a foreign country after the long Corona restrictions – we think.

A hiking trip to Luxembourg

Equipped with hiking gear, tent and walking sticks we board a train for Luxembourg. Because of rail repairs and a replacement bus service we arrive in the area only in the afternoon. So we decide to get off the bus a little earlier than Echternach. That town is officially the starting point for hiking the Mullerthal Trail, but we skip the first part of today’s hike. A wise decision, as the trail turns out more strenuous than we had anticipated. What a good idea to take the walking sticks: There were rather a lot of ups and downs. That night on the campsite on the river Sûre we meet a young Belgian couple who have already strained their knees from their hurried descent into Born.

Hiker on the Mullerthal trail

The next day the trail leaves the frontier river and returns through solemn hills and woods to Echternach. There we can buy some food and sip a glass of white wine in a café on the market place. So far, the trail is well-routed on foot-paths and through reasonably pleasant landscape and beech forests. The altitude differences are enough to make it good training for the mountains later this year. But on the other hand it is not very exciting and would in normal, non-Corona years be second choice.

Hiking in circles

hiker on the Mullerthal trail

On day three, however, we start on the next circle, called Round 2 on the map. Round 2 encompasses two day hikes from Echternach to Mullerthal and back (and then there’s Round 3 beyond Mullerthal). This is the heart of the Mullerthal trail, we realise. For a whole day, we walk in mossy canyons, on craggy mountain slopes and among large fairy-tale boulders. After an already strenuous but exciting walk to Scheidgen, a sign points along the road and through wheat fields to Consdorf.

Strait over the plateau it would be only 3 km to our goal for today, but we dip down into those enchanted canyons, follow streams and rock formations in weird zigzags. Never mind, the signposting is excellent and a couple of kilometres before reaching Consdorf the number of visitors hiking the Mullerthal trail visibly increases. The leaflets had promised us extraordinary rock formations and narrow caves in this area and warned to take a flashlight.

Spring on the Mullerthal trail
Hiker in a narrow passage on the Mullerthal trail

“Hey, does the official Mullerthal trail nowadays skip the exciting narrow passages? Like, for safety reasons?”

When a small and promising-looking path leads upwards into the rocks, we follow it instead of the wider promenade down by the stream. Yes, that’s the path to the caves, an oncoming party tells us. And indeed, the rock passages are impressive. You can walk on top of some rock turrets, and it’s all very picturesque. But flashlights? Another fellow hiker assures us that she has been to really dark caves before, they must be somewhere around here. Finally we spot a crack in the rock wall with a path leading in and steeply down. There is no name painted on it (as there was sometimes on other famous rocks in the area), but it looks right.

Very dark and very narrow

Our headlamps would have needed new batteries – the cave is really quite dark and very narrow. With a backpack, it is impossible to turn round and sometimes we get slightly stuck between the walls and in the corners. After a few turns, we emerge onto a different path and now see the sign, “Kuelscheier,” and an instruction to walk only in one direction (not the one we had taken). On our way to Consdorf we then pass another two nearly as narrow rock passages, “Deiwepëtz” and “Rittergang”.

Hiker on a small passage on the Mullerthal trail

This type of canyon with fabulous rock formations continues until a small waterfall near Mullerthal, where we turn into Round 3 the next morning. The crowds disperse, and the path turns less inspiring. In fact, the stage between Mullerthal and Larochette is the most boring of the whole trail although the village of Larochette is quite cute with a lively market square, French-looking houses and a towering castle ruin. There’s even a few cafés, otherwise a rarity on the trail, and a food truck where we have sugary crepes.

From there towards Beaufort we pass some pleasant forests and many raspberry bushes, but apart from the small castle of Beaufort there isn’t much excitement on this stage, either.

Beaufort castle
Beaufort castle in Luxembourg

More fairytale rocks

The canyons and mossy rocks continue again between Beaufort and Mullerthal – along the small streams of Haupeschbach and Halerbaach, we meet nobody, and even the road is far away. The old mill of Mullerthal is a tourist destination with restaurant, but we hope for a nice café in Berdorf. Now back on the second half of Round 2, we leave the crowds again and walk through steep boulders and enchanted rock walls. There are several restaurants in Berdorf, but they smell of canteen food and don’t have outdoor seating – so we skip the break and eat the last few cookies on a bench. By the time we reach the so-called wolves’ gorge near Echternach, we are ready to battle the wolves for food …

Mossy rocks on the Mullerthal trail

During our hike on the Mullerthal trail, Luxembourg has just been placed on Germany’s Covid-19 travel warning list, due to a rising number of cases. So instead of our planned extra day in Luxembourg City at the end of the trip, we decide to use that day to walk the remaining stretch of the first hiking day, from Echternach to Rosport.

Back in Berlin, we had to alert the health authorities about our trip and to quarantine for 14 days. Luckily we could get out of this earlier after a negative Covid-19 test.

How to walk the Mullerthal Trail

Hiker on the Mullerthal trail

The trail revolves around Echternach, which is accessible by bus from Wasserbillig (on the train line between Luxembourg City and Trier in Germany). All public transport in Luxembourg is free.

The normal schedule for 112 km of rather mountainous hiking is 6 full days. If you don’t want to carry more than a day pack, it is easy to walk all stages as day trips from one base (most conveniently Echternach or Mullerthal). There are hotels and pensions as well as many campsites along the way. However, there are few supermarkets or shops in the villages, and drinking water is also rarely available during the day. The trail is perfectly maintained with regard to signposting, rest areas and the condition of the trail.

Signposts on the Mullerthal trail

More infos on hiking the Mullerthal trail:

The official Mullerthal Trail Hiking site is: https://www.mullerthal-trail.lu/en

Note: We paid for the whole trip by ourselves and are not sponsored in any way to write this post.

25 Comments

  1. I wanted to visit Luxemburg forever – so I don’t know why I still didn’t go. Especially since it’s really not so far from northern Germany. I’m impressed on how beautiful the sceneries are. The small castle, however, is something I absolutely want to see. Can it be visited? As soon as the stupid pandemic is over, I’m off to Luxemburg – I’ll take a hike…literally.

  2. It was closed due to Corona – but can be visited under normal circumstances. Sometimes you don`t visit a place, because it is not so far away and that gives you the feeling you can visit whenever you want, I think….But yes, Luxemburg is worth a visit. Good wine too!

  3. I would never have even considered Luxembourg as a hiking destination but at least parts of this look lovely. Although I think those small caves with no possibility of turning would have been a bit claustrophobic for me. That middle section looks great & I’m pleased you were able to get back safe & sound in these strange & unpredictable times.

  4. Luxembourg has been in my bucket list for long. I am very impressed with the trails and the scenic beauty. The caves sound a bit adventurous but may be claustrophobic. Lovely images. I am saving your blog for future reference! 🙂

  5. During Corona time, hiking at natural places is perfect way to explore the world. Mullerthal Trail in Luxemburg looks very peaceful and beautiful hike. Oh some of the passages are two narrow in between rocks. I loved that cute yellow castle and it really looks amazing with beautiful greenery around.

  6. We were sorry we missed Luxembourg when we were in that area. How fun to walk the Mullerthal Trail in several circles. But it does not sound like it was a gentle walk but a real hiking path. I certainly would want hiking poles. But what amazing outdoor scenery you got. Good that it can be walked as a series of day trips.

  7. I only visited the City of Luxembourg but would love to come back for Mullerthal Trail as well. The trail looks amazing with beautiful scenery and rock formation. I think I might skip the dark cave cause I’m not a big fan of dark and narrow passages. I’d love to explore the small castle of Beaufort! Thanks for the review.

  8. I always wanted to visit Louxenburg, but more for the charm of the city than for the countryside. However, after seeing how beautiful the Mullerthal Trail is, I realize there there more to visit in this little European state. I love how the path goes by mountain springs, narrow rocky corridors and even by the ruins of Beaufort castle! This is gorgeous hike.

    1. Yes, the Mullerthal Trail has become quite popular in Europe, I think. And it is easy to understand why. Actually the countryside of Luxembourg looked amazing everywhere. And public transport is free in the small country.

  9. I’ve never really associated Luxemburg with hiking- but of course- every country does have some hiking. I love the twists and turns the Mullerthal Trail offers. The tight passageways, the massive rocks, the caves- it all sounds and looks like quite the adventure. I do enjoy hiking while travelling, and will have to remember this trail when holidaying close to this area.

    1. Dear Renee, I think you would enjoy hiking the Mullerthal Trail. You could do the whole trail or only parts of it as day trips from Echternach as well.

  10. I haven’t been to Luxembourg yet, but we plan to go there by van. I did not know that there were exciting hiking trails there. This is good news because I like hiking a lot. Great that you can also use public transport. The Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg seems to be exciting. 112 km of rmountainous hiking in 6 full days appears to be a little challenging and fantastic adventure. I am impressed by both this trial and nature. I did not think it is so beautiful there. Narrow gorges, waterfalls, and castles make this route extremely picturesque. I really like the Beaufort castle in Luxembourg.

    1. The Mullertahl Trail has become quite well-known in Europe for its scenic rock formations. There should be enough information online. Public transport is free in Luxembourg.

  11. You are right! I never thought there’s a long trails in Luxemburg. It looks beautiful and part of it reminded me of Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, the US. I’m not a backpacker, but I like that there’s a choice for daily hikes. That will be my choice when I get a chance to visit Luxemburg.

    1. Long distance hiking has become quite popular in Europe and most countries set up trails. The Mullerthal trail is a very scenic trail indeed!

  12. Luxembourg is such a beautiful place to visit. Loved the hiking trails and the castle. It’s such a beautiful location.

  13. With one of us from Belgian, we’ve passed through Luxembourg multiple times to gas up (haha) or spend time in the city but have never really done much nature or outdoor activities in the country. We had no idea about this trail but the greenery looks so lush and that architecture is amazing! Adding this to our list for next time we stop by!

    1. Actually a good share of the other hikers were Belgians. The Mullerthal trail really offers spectacular rock formations. You will enjoy it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.