A Walk to Hinterhermsdorf

Me, above Malá Pravcická brána © Ricky Yates


Now that summer is here, I’ve been determined to get out and explore more of this beautiful area on foot. Being as close as I am to Germany, I’ve frequently looked at the map and thought that it would be fun to walk through the mountains and over the border into Germany, staying overnight, before walking back to the Czech Republic, a day or two later. So on Monday 24th June, that is what I set out to do.

I first took the bus from Stará Oleška where I live, to the end of the 436 bus route in Vysoká Lípa. As it was nearly midday when I arrived, I treated myself to an early lunch in Restaurace Pension U Nás to give me sustenance for my walk. I also purchased a bottle of mineral water, one thing I had foolishly forgotten to pack in my rucksack, before leaving home.




Šaunštejn Castle © Ricky Yates

Leaving Vysoká Lípa on the yellow waymarked route, immediately ahead of me was the towering Šaunštejn Castle. Very little remains of the 14th century castle which once stood on this rocky outcrop. Below are a couple of photographs taken back in the Autumn of 2017 when I climbed to the top of it.

On Šaunštejn Castle © Ricky Yates

View from Šaunštejn Castle over Vysoká Lípa © Ricky Yates

On this occasion, I didn’t visit the top, deciding to save my energy for the walk ahead.

Sandstone steps © Ricky Yates

Now on the red waymarked route, the path climbs via a series of stone steps….

Wooden steps © Ricky Yates

. and wooden steps….

View from the red waymarked route © Ricky Yates

..with splendid views….

Malá Pravcická brána © Ricky Yates

..to Malá Pravcická brána. This is a far smaller natural rock arch than its much more famous namesake, Pravcická brána, which is located a few kilometres further west. Alongside Malá Pravcická brána is metal ladder that leads to a viewpoint where the photograph of me at the beginning of this post, was taken.

Leaving the red waymarked route shortly afterwards, a further four kilometres of walking along a wider track, which is also a designated cycle route, brought me to the Czech-German border which at this point is formed by the Krinice (Czech) Kirnitzsch (German) river.

Border bridge © Ricky Yates

This is the bridge between the the two countries, taken on the German side of the border, looking back into the Czech Republic.

Krinice (Czech) Kirnitzsch (German) river © Ricky Yates

Whilst here is a view of the river, taken from the bridge, with the Czech Republic on the left and Germany on the right.

Entering Germany © Ricky Yates


Stepping into Germany, my plan had been to take the Grüner Strich route to the village of Hinterhermsdorf, where I had previously booked to spend the night. Unfortunately, when I reached the point where this route goes off to the right, there was a notice in German, saying that it was currently blocked by fallen trees, following a recent storm. Instead the notice said, I should walk on further and take the next track on the right, a designated cycle route.

I did as instructed and realised, as I consulted my map, that further along this cycle route, a red waymarked route went off to the left, fairly directly towards Hinterhermsdorf. What I didn’t take note of at the time, was how many contour lines there were to cross! It was a steep, tiring climb on what was a very hot day, during the recent heatwave which has hit much of continental Europe.



Rock tunnel on the Tunnelweg © Ricky Yates

The stiff climb, the heat and ensuring I was on the correct path, meant I only took this one, slightly out of focus, photograph, where the path passes through a short tunnel under the rocks. I’ve since discovered that the path is called the Tunnelweg.

Hinterhermsdorf © Ricky Yates

I did eventually reach the top from where it was a further two kilometres walk, fairly gently downhill, into Hinterhermsdorf. It was good to finally reach Gasthof zur Hoffnung, get showered and changed before sitting out on the terrace and enjoying some well-deserved liquid refreshment 🙂

Liquid refreshment © Ricky Yates

Whilst I am used to feeling a bit stiff after a fairly long walk, when I woke up the following morning I could hardly move my right knee and putting weight on my right ankle was quite painful. So after gingerly making my way downstairs for an excellent breakfast, rather than going on a circular walk through the surrounding hills as I had originally envisaged, I returned to room to rest up. However, I did make good use of the day by writing and posting my previous blog post about Meissen 😉

I did eventually go for a brief hobble around the centre of the village. And in the evening, I once more hobbled, this time to the nearby Gasthaus zur Wanderstübel, as the restaurant where I was staying had Ruhetag 🙁

The following morning, with a right knee and ankle still not functioning properly, and with the continued excessive heat, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour. Instead of walking back over the border to Vysoká Lípa and getting the bus back to Stará Oleška, I decided to make my way home by public transport. First a bus from the stop right outside Gasthof zur Hoffnung, to Bad Schandau railway station. Then by train along the Elbe/Labe valley to Decín. Finally by bus from Decín to Stará Oleška.

However, I do hope to make a return visit to Hinterhermsdorf and explore the surrounding area. After my recent experience, I shall probably drive there and make it my base and also try to do so when the weather is a few degrees cooler.

Gasthof zur Hoffnung © Ricky Yates

6 comments to A Walk to Hinterhermsdorf

  • This hike reminds me of many of our hikes we’ve had and unforeseen issues leading to a grueling and sometimes painful journey. Good you could have some time to relax after the hike though – I really like the idea of walking across the border vs. public transport.

    • Ricky

      I was struggling a little over the last few kilometres – a combination of doing something to my right knee & ankle together with the excessive heat. As you’ve obviously experienced on your hikes, Cynthia, you can’t just stop where you are when you’re out in the middle of ‘the nature’.

      It was fun to be able to just walk across the border. There are several places in the Ceské Švýcarsko/Sächsische Schweiz National Parks where it’s possible to do this. But I was glad that it was also possible to get home by public transport.

  • Neil

    For my money, you can have any kind of free pass you need in the weather we’ve had. Here in central Prague it’s been a nightmare. Just moving slothfully has been unbearable, and that’s with my fully functioning knees and ankles! I hope you recover soon…

    • Ricky

      I know what you mean about the heat, Neil, though it has now cooled down somewhat. My right knee & ankle are still not 100% but they are much better. Thank you for your good wishes.

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Please forgive my laziness in taking so long to comment here. You have definitely settled in the heart of a beautiful region with fabulous scenery near and far and excellent walking paths; you are to be envied. I hope you’ve fully recovered from your injuries by now and are still both willing and able to venture forth into ‘the nature’; I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to tackle some of the terrain you’ve rambled over, I find I’m getting nervous as I get older.

    Thanks as always for the beautiful photographs in this and your previous post on Meissen – another city we have added to our ‘hope to see’ list thanks to your great Blog! I really think the local city and regional governments should have you on a retainer for services to tourism. 😉
    Take care, Sean.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      Thank you for commenting here again. I was beginning to wonder where you were 😉

      The area around where I live is very scenic & beautiful – one of the reasons I chose to live here. The paths are usually excellent, (except when there is storm damage 🙁 ), so there is no reason to be unduly nervous. I always carry my mobile phone in case I have a fall & use a trekking pole to ensure I remain upright 🙂

      Unfortunately, my right ankle still isn’t fully recovered but I can’t just sit still & do nothing. There is plenty to do in the house & garden which will hopefully have a blog post fairly soon.

      I’m glad you also enjoyed the Meissen post & I would certainly encourage you to put it on your ‘places to visit’ list. Thank you for your kind words in your last sentence but I doubt if the authorities in either Ústecký kraj or Freistaat Sachsen will be willing to pay me any commission 🙂