Also known as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland, the Mullerthal region is made up of a stunning and diverse landscape. It is the perfect place to get away from day-to-day life and enjoy some time in nature on a day trip or even spend a mini holiday at home.
The Mullerthal is an incredibly versatile region comprised of hills, valleys, meadows, forests, and more, making it well worth a visit. Literally meaning "miller’s valley", it got its name from the mills that were scattered along the borders of the Sauer river and adjacent streams. Perhaps surprising for Luxembourg, the region is known for its hilly landscapes, to which it owes the nickname Little Switzerland, and their characteristic sandstone. Over millions of years the sandstone formed in interesting and breathtaking ways. To promote and preserve the region’s exceptional geology, the Nature & Geopark Mullerthal was founded in 2016. Since 2022 the park is part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks, an international network that supports the protection and sustainable development of such geologically significant areas.
Being close to several towns, exploring the Mullerthal is not confined to nature but can also include visits to castles, museums, and other cultural sites, depending on your interests.
How to get there, and where to stay
The Mullerthal is in the east of the country near Echternach and is well connected to the public transport network if you do not want to arrive by car. From Luxembourg City, you can get the 110 or 111 bus every 30 minutes, and depending on traffic, it should take you around an hour to arrive in Echternach. Being close to the border, the Mullerthal is also easily reachable from Germany.
The region offers a variety of places to stay, from hotels to camping grounds. If you want to stay in a hotel, your best options are in the surrounding towns such as Echternach, Berdorf, or Beaufort. For more inexpensive options, you will also find a number of youth hostels in these towns. If you are feeling more adventurous and want to stay in nature, the region also has numerous campgrounds, where you can sleep in a tent, your mobile home, or even rent a small flat. These campsites offer all the necessary amenities and are perfect for a family holiday, as they also frequently have a pool and playground for children.
Several accommodations are official Mullerthal Trail Partners, which means they offer services geared towards hikers. They will provide you with a number of things that will make your hikes easier, such as luggage transfers between accommodations, packed lunches, and advice on hiking routes. A similar service is available for people wishing to go on a bike tour.
What to do
In the Mullerthal, you will find an array of outdoor activities, with options suitable for every age and ability. The Mullerthal Trail is the main hiking route through the region; it is a total of 112km long and allows you to discover how versatile the Mullerthal truly is. The trail is divided into three main routes of approximately 36-38km. The best place to set off from is Echternach which also allows you to explore the historic city, its Abbey and Basilica before you start the hike. However, it is also possible to start from other places such as Rosport or Moersdorf; either way, the trail is clearly labelled throughout, just look out for the signs with a red M on them.
The three main routes all have a specific focus; the first one will allow you to experience the natural variety of the region, taking you through forests, across meadows, and along rocks. If you’re particularly interested in geology, the second route, which is also the most difficult, will take you to the most interesting rock formations in the region. The third route combines geology with history, guiding you past several castles of the region. If you are looking for even more stages to cover, the Mullerthal Trail offers four Extra Tours (signposted with an orange M). These additional tours are shorter in length, the shortest being only 9km long, and complement the three main routes. But you can also complete them individually if you are looking for less strenuous hikes. You can find more information about the specificities of the individual trails here. Outside of the long Mullerthal Trail, the region also offers several barrier-free trails accessible for wheelchair users.
The Mullerthal is not only a region for hiking enthusiasts; but also a popular destination for cyclists, offering tours for various cycling abilities. There are five mountain bike routes, numerous flat cycle paths suitable for families and less experienced cyclists, and road cyclists can benefit from the lesser frequented roads. The Mullerthal Roadbook offers information on various tours and paths. Once a year, the race ‘La Charly Gaul’ takes place in the region, attracting over 1000 cycling enthusiasts each year. The 32nd edition is taking place on 4 September 2022 and registations are not yet open.
If you wish to explore the region by bike but don’t have your own, you can rent one from various accommodations or bike shops. Additionally, you can take part in guided cycling tours which range from adventurous mountain bike tours to tasting tours that allow you to try regional products along the way. These tours need to be pre-booked, and you can find more information here.
Another way to discover the region is by car or motorbike. You can find guides with specific directions on this webpage. These tours vary in length, and several combine driving and hiking, allowing you to explore large parts of the Mullerthal from the road and on foot.
If these options seem too complicated, just going for a gentle walk in the forest or visiting the Schiessentümpel (a small waterfall) are nice alternatives if you just want to spend a spontaneous day out in nature without having to do much planning in advance.