As you lace up your boots and breathe in the crisp, invigorating air, prepare to be captivated by the enchanting landscapes that unfold along the Mullerthal Trail. Nestled in the heart of Europe, this hidden gem promises a trekking experience like no other, where every step leads you deeper into a realm of natural wonders.
The trail, often referred to as “Little Switzerland,” showcases Luxembourg’s stunning topography, with its rolling hills, rugged rock formations, and panoramic views that will leave you awe-struck at every turn.
But the Mullerthal Trail is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s a challenge for the adventurous spirit. As you traverse its diverse terrains, you’ll find yourself conquering rocky outcrops, crossing babbling brooks on wooden bridges, and ascending to vantage points that reward your efforts with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside.
Keep reading for insights on what to expect when hiking on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg.
For those more inclined to visuals than words, grab a warm beverage indulge in the 4K beauty of the video here and lean back.
Misty Beech Forest, Vol. 1 on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Day 1: Echternach – Rosport – Moersdorf
It’s a Monday morning at 7:00 o’clock. Rain is hitting against the windows of our medieval fortification tower where we are sleeping while staying in Echternach, Luxembourg. Martin and I get up, happy about all this dry space and the warmth inside – we have experienced these kinds of mornings very differently over the past ten years, and while we were skeptical about “not sleeping in a tent,” we really didn’t mind not having to pack up a wet shelter and gear this morning.
Instead, we sat in our warm & dry kitchen, ate breakfast and then set off hiking Route 1 of the Mullerthal Trail. While bells of the church ring, we start the hike from the centre of Echternach, the oldest town in Luxembourg.
Signs leading the way on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
We walk through the pretty park just behind the Abbey and then along the river Sûre, which is also the Border to Germany on the other side.
The light drizzle wasn’t a problem, and after around 2 km, we left the river behind and climbed up into the forest. Here, the real Mullerthal Trail starts. We immediately see impressive rock formations tower above our right while we hike towards Rosport, the first village along the trail today. But there are still many kilometres, and the drizzle is becoming a more steady rain.
It’s time for me to don my Montane Podium Pull-on & Pants, a procedure which will be done several times per day on this hike, depending on the intensity of the rain.
Rocks and Stairs along the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Except for the rocks – these tower in various shades of grey and brown along the trail, though truth be told – many are also covered in green moss. Once in a while, traffic noise comes through the trees from the street far beneath us, but there are other sounds closer by: The dripping of the rain on the beech leaves.
Bird song accompanies us while we wander through the green jungle. Small streams gurgle through their beds when they run over rocks. And that soft, wet sound when you walk through mud with your shoes.
Stoney windows along the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Never far away is also one of the Mullerthal Trailblazes, a red M on a white background. Overall, signs really aren’t an issue on the trail – it’s a Premium Trail, after all, which means there’s supposed to be a Trailblaze every 250 m. Also, other signs are in no short abundance to be seen, from Signposts which tell you how far it is to the next place to trail markers for the dozens of other local trails which criss-cross the Mullerthal Trail.
Sometimes, we encountered signposts that had markings for seven different trails on them, from MTB Trails over border-crossing trails to local loop trails – there’s no shortage of outdoor possibilities in this corner of Luxembourg, be it hiking, trail running or Mountain Biking.
Rosport, Mullerthal Trailblazes sign
We continue in a good mood on this pretty trail, and even when it really starts to pour down, we smile about the beauty that surrounds us. Mighty, green beech trees keep most of the rain at bay and act like a giant umbrella. A soft brown blanket of old leaves makes for comfortable hiking. And small details make me smile.
Misty Beech Forest, Vol. 6
We reach Rosport after a couple of hours and take a peak into the village to see if we spot an open Café, but no, there’s nothing to be seen. A large truck picks up milk from a local farmer as we hike out of Rosport, and we hope to get a short, dry moment in the Tudor Museum, but it is also closed.
Signs for guideance on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
We leave the forest behind for a moment, and right then, the wind starts to accelerate and hit us with its might – and the rain. We pass the Pilgrimage Chapel at Girsterklaus, and shortly ponder if we should try our luck and see if it is open or simply continue.
The rain and wind make us decide to search for shelter, and much to our surprise and luck the Chapel is open – as is the toilet building in front of it! We wash our hands to disinfect them and look for the door to gain entry to the small Chapel.
Again we are in luck and find the Chapel open and unoccupied. Better even, a heating system blows warm, dry air into the chapel, and we immediately sit in front of it. We hang up rain jackets to dry a bit, snack on some nuts, and drink water. I wander around the Chapel, admiring the beautiful wooden carvings – some of which are almost 500 years old.
As we set off a while later, the rain stopped, and we also got back into the forest. A younger forest.
Beech Forest in Luxembourg
A forest next to open fields. In one of these, we see a young deer, who is mighty unimpressed by us sneaking up on him to snap a photo.
The signs lead us on and never astray.
Stairs and signs on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Close to Moersdorf, we pick some absolutely amazing tasty apples, plums and pears from the trees next to the trail. These “Streuobstwiesen”, or mixed orchard meadows, are often to be found along the trail, and in this Region of Luxembourg, they use the fruits to make juice, cider and tasty food from them. And for us wet and hungry hikers, they are a very welcome snack!
Close to Moersdorf
Pflaumen found along the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
It’s around 15:15 when we reach the signpost, which says it’s 700 m to Moersdorf, the village where we planned to stop. But it’s so early we talk with Martin. “Should we still continue to Mompach or Herborn? Then we have less to hike tomorrow.”
Almost in Echternach!
In the end, we decided to stick to the original plan and hike down to Moersdorf. We locate the bus stop right away and don’t even have to wait long before the bus back to Echternach arrives.
Public transportation in Luxembourg is free for everyone. As someone who does not own a car and who uses public transportation (or my bike!) all the time to get around, I absolutely LOVE this. Free, punctual public transportation across the whole country. Fantastic! It’s a 20-minute ride back to Echternach, and then we walk back to our medieval fortification tower for a warm shower and dry clothes.
Obviously, it also stopped raining now…
Day 2: Moersdorf – Herborn – Echternach
…which is not something one could say of the next morning.
The rain hammers against the windows of our tower, and after breakfast, we walk to the bus station to return to Moersdorf and continue our hike. Despite both of us wearing our waterproofs, we don’t look happy or in a high mood. But it doesn’t take long, and we stand at the bus stop in Moersdorf, so all we can do is continue to hike back to the trail up in the forest. Which we do. And the forest doesn’t last long.
In fact, a look on the map says we’ll be hiking out in the open for a considerable amount of time today. On a sunny, clear day, one is supposed to have great views across the land from up here, but all we see are fields, windmills and the rain that is blowing into our faces.
Rain and Asphalt
Until the village of Mompach, we are pretty much exposed to the wind and rain, so when we enter the forest after Mompach and then see two Pavilions, we are very grateful for the possibility of getting out of the elements for a moment. Martin brews us a coffee on his ∞ Primus Lite+, and after some more nuts, chocolate and a hot coffee, we are in a better mood.
Also, it seems we will now be hiking for a while in the forest and not out in the open between fields.
Pavillion, after Mompach in Luxembourg
Forest in Luxembourg
The weather is not very photogenic, so we are fast. Less than half an hour later, we saw Herborn already, the next village that we will pass through.
Again, there was no café in sight, so we simply passed through the village in the rain. Happily, just before the forest, there is another open hut with a bench, where we have another short break out of the rain. It is now so wet that I decided to put my camera into my backpack and use my new ∞ GoPro HERO 9 to take photos and videos instead.
It’s not something I would usually do, as I see my equipment as a tool that needs to survive these harsh conditions, but I also didn’t want to risk getting even more soaked on the 2nd day of the trip.
Green Roof in the Luxembourg forest
Happily, at some point, the rain decided to take a short break, and we were again in a forest. A pretty, vibrant green beech forest.
Markers on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Mushrooms, Vol. 6
These last few kilometers of Route 1 on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg were again enjoyable. We were in a good mood here, in this green forest. We made jokes. Laughed. Had another break in another hut.
Echternach in Luxembourg
The forest road became a pretty path.
Heading downhill on the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Slippery, yes. But better than an asphalt road between open fields.
Jakobsweg signs along the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
As Echternach’s familiar silhouette emerged on the horizon, we found solace in the familiarity of the trail’s end, cherishing the memories and lessons learned during our adventure on Route 1 of the Mullerthal Trail.
Swan in the rain in Luxembourg
Route 1: Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Our conclusion of Route 1 is that the first section from Echternach to Moersdorf via Rosport is beautiful (according to my Suunto Spartan Ultra GPS, it was 20 km), going through beautiful forests and along intriguing rock formations. The Chapel in Girsterklaus is pretty and does make for a good break spot. The apple, pear and plum trees, which occasionally are next to the trail, are full of tasty fruits in the autumn, and there’s some really scenic trail section.
Now for the section from Moersdorf to Herborn and back to Echternach… I would not hike it if you’re not a completionist who is hunting for the title of “I hiked the complete Mullerthal Trail.” Maybe in sunny and warm weather, the asphalt & forest roads next to fields are enjoyable, but in the rain they were not. Martin and I agreed that it would have made more sense to completely skip the 2nd part of Route 1 and hike on Route 2, the absolute highlight route of the Mullerthal Route with an amazing scenery spot every kilometre.
We were lucky that there were huts on the second day in which we could get a small break from the rain and wind, but this section was such a stark contrast to the beautiful forest part on Day 1 that we felt a bit let down. But then we had another four amazing hiking days on the Mullerthal Trail, so don’t worry ! Trip Reports from Route 2 and 3 will follow in short order.
Falling in Love with the views along the Mullerthal Trail in Luxembourg
Practicalities: Where to Stay, What to Eat and How to Get Around
We stayed at the start and the end of our trip in Echternach, which is a small town – the oldest in Luxembourg – which we really liked. We stayed the first three nights in the medieval fortification tower Hämelmaous, which was a beautiful experience. There’s a cozy kitchen on the ground floor, and then there are four more floors in this round tower.
It easily should sleep a family of four or more, and it’s also really close to the centre and the bus stop. At the end of our trip, we slept in a Wooden Barrel on the Campground, which was also a really cozy experience. I slept like a stone in my barrel, which is good for one to two persons and possibly a small child or two. The camping place is a wee bit outta town – some five to ten minutes of walking to the centre, but really close to the trail.
Sleeping Barrel Echternach Camping
We ate every evening in the Restaurant Aal Eechternoach, which we picked because of the positive reviews it had on Google Maps – and as we went there every evening, you probably understand that they also have good food =)
They use many local ingredients and also serve local beverages – the local apple juice was delicious, as were all their Vegan offerings. Martin ate the best Cordon Bleu of his life here, and it looked very good. There’s a small supermarket not far from the tower, and a few smaller ones on the main shopping street, where there’s also a nice wee bakery which has good baked goods.
As I wrote above, Public bus transportation in Luxembourg is free. Jump on a bus to get from one corner of the country to another (it’s a small country, so easy to do). The buses are plentiful and seem to stop even in the smallest villages, so hiking the Mullerthal Trail (or any other trail, for that matter) in sections is easy to do.
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