Walkers are spoilt for choice in Luxembourg’s varied landscapes, with three of Europe’s leading trails.
Europe has thousands of beautiful walking trails, but only a handful have been given special recognition by the European Ramblers Association and issued with Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe classification. Three of them traverse the surprisingly varied landscapes of Luxembourg – the Mullerthal Trail, the Escapardenne Lee Trail and the Escapardenne Eislek Trail. The Mullerthal Trail passes through a fairy-tale landscape of rocky tors, mossy ravines and crystal-clear lakes, while the Escapardenne trails cross the vast wooded Ardennes plateau.
The Mullerthal Trail
The 112km Mullerthal Trail (below left) consists of one 38km and two 37km loops, each with its own extraordinary character. An ideal base for two of the loops is the medieval town of Echternach, with its distinctive basilica, ancient abbey and Roman villa. Trail 1 follows the course of the Sûre . along the German border, passing impressive rock formations to Rosport and Moersdorf with its tiny pilgrimage chapel (Girsterklaus). Continuing down the valley, through Hinkel, the trail then loops back to Echternach via the beautiful Herborn forest. Trail 2 starts with a steep climb up to . the Troosknäppchen viewpoint before descending into the Wollefsschlucht (wolf gorge) to Huel Lee caves. The path leads to Berdorf, with its famous goat cheeses, and onto the Schnellert forest towards Mullerthal. Next stop is the Schiessentümpel waterfall, followed by a 100-metre walk through the Kuelscheier, a narrow tunnel through the rocks (torches advised), before returning to Echternach. Trail 3 can be started in Mullerthal, . following the Black Ernz towards Beaufort and its castles (below). Cassero, a traditional blackcurrant liqueur, is made here. The trail then heads through the Hallerbach valley to the picturesque village of Larochette, before continuing through a beech forest back to Mullerthal via the waterfall.
The 159km Escapardenne Trail straddles the border with Belgium and traverses the scenic Ardennes plateau. Divided into two main paths – the Lee Trail and the Eislek Trail – it offers an almost Alpine hiking experience through forests and undulating mountain paths.
The shorter Escapardenne Lee Trail (53km), between Ettelbruck and Kautenbach, showcases the Grand Duchy’s steep paths and rocky ridges through the wooded valley of the Sûre. Best tackled in three challenging days of walking, the trail passes through several villages, which are perfect for a rest stop. A highlight is the viewpoint at Gringlee in Bourscheid-Moulin, overlooking a superb meander in the Sûre.
The Lee Trail connects to the cross border Eislek Trail (106km) in the village of Kautenbach. From here it passes ancient crosses, dry stone walls, Celtic ruins, deep forests and peaceful pastures, offering a challenging but rewarding journey on foot through some wonderfully varied landscapes.
Walking in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has hundreds of hiking paths – from long-distance trails to pilgrim routes, circular routes and themed paths – to suit walkers of all abilities. Go to visitluxembourg.com/en/hiking