Volcanic Eifel: autumn paradise for hikers and photographers

Gurgling streams, golden leaves, an undulating landscape, castles and picturesque towns. That’s right, you’re in the German Volcanic Eifel. A beautiful area where you can walk to your heart’s content in the autumn and where the hobby or experienced photographer can indulge themselves. Beautiful beech and birch forests, all kinds of mushrooms, purple heather, well-filled waterfalls, fast flowing streams, volcanic cones, spectacular skies, reflections in the many maars and with a bit of luck, a flight of cranes, a roe deer or a deer.

Volcanic Eifel in Germany: location

The German Volcanic Eifel is part of the Eifel. An area that extends across both Belgium and Germany. The German Volcanic Eifel is located south of Aachen, between the Rhine and Moselle. As the name suggests, there are numerous volcanoes here. Although extinct, their cones still characterize the landscape. You can even go swimming in some volcanic craters. These craters filled with rain and groundwater are called maars in the Volcanic Eifel.

Walking and taking photos

In autumn the Volcanic Eifel is adorned with beautiful colours. The many beech forests provide golden yellow sparkles. The birch trees contrast beautifully with their white trunks. The heathland landscapes add a purple touch to the landscape. You will find mushrooms in all sizes and colors everywhere. The waterfalls are well filled and the water splashes down generously. The skies provide spectacular reflections in the many maars and when darkness falls, the volcanic cones are silhouetted against the sky. A wonderful time to go out and take out the camera. Both amateur photographers and professionals can get started here. With a bit of luck, a flight of cranes will even pass by or a deer will hop through the meadow.

Hiking tips with beautiful landscapes

It is beautiful everywhere in the Volcanic Eifel, but if you want to see real autumn scenes, there are a number of places that stand out.

Bad Bertrich

Bad Bertrich is located about 25 kilometers south of Mayen, towards the Moselle. It is a beautiful village, located in a valley, surrounded by mountains and forests. When you walk through the Kasengrotte, you will come to a waterfall and then you can take a beautiful, long walk next to the Ussbach, a winding river that takes you to the castle.

Kloster Martenthal

Kloster Martenthal is also located in a valley, about ten kilometers south of Kaisersesch. It is a beautiful monastery surrounded by forests. You can take beautiful walks there. Those who like long walks can go all the way to Cochem. You follow the River Endert the entire time. After seventeen kilometers and after passing a number of watermills, you arrive in Cochem. The tour is mostly downhill. To return you can take a bus to Kaiseresch. In addition to the Endert, you can also go to Müllenbach and Kaisersesch. The Eifelcamino also passes here. There is also a waterfall on the Endert, called the Rausch. Especially in autumn and winter it lives up to its name, because the water really splashes down.


Virneburg is located about 20 kilometers from Mayen. A small village in a valley, surrounded by four mountains. In the village, the castle of Virne, from which the village takes its name, stands on a small hill. Starting from the Virneburg you can follow a Traumpfad. Traumpfaden are perfectly planned and signposted walks. The Traumpfad Virneburg is about eleven kilometers long. It takes you through the village, over the mountains, through forests and past heathland, next to the Nitzbach and of course past the castle.

Next to the maars

There are about twenty maars in the Volcanic Eifel. The three Dauner maars near Daun are probably the best known, but there are also maars near Gillenfeld and Manderscheid that are worth seeing. The maars are lakes formed in the craters of extinct volcanoes. They are usually spherical and surrounded by nature. At the Weinfelder or Totenmaar near Daun there is a small church and goats, horses and donkeys graze there. You can walk around the maars via well-marked hiking trails. The dry mares, maars where there is no longer any water, also provide beautiful places to walk. There are buts at Boos. From the Booser Eifelturm you have a beautiful view of the volcanic cones and the beautiful autumn colors of the surrounding forests.

Laacher See

Strictly speaking, the Laacher See near Maria Laach is not a but. You can also take a beautiful autumn walk around this lake. In some places you come close to the water. With the trees in the lake and at nightfall, this creates very beautiful scenes. Sometimes there is a fisherman in a fishing boat on the Laacher See. The abbey is certainly worth a visit.


With so much natural beauty, it is not difficult to find a rewarding subject for a series of photos.


At the end of October the cranes fly to warmer places. And their escape route runs over the Volcanic Eifel. With a bit of luck you can see them fly over! Cranes are beautiful dark gray birds with a long neck and long legs. They fly through the air in strange formations and dozens of them at a time. They make a lot of noise. Their crossing certainly does not go unnoticed. If you are even luckier, you will see them when they are resting in the fields. The large group of cranes settles in a field to gain strength and to eat the remaining crops.

Roe deer and deer

Early October is the mating season for deer and roe deer. The deer roar in the forest to attract the deer. With a bit of luck you can photograph one. The deer also roam around a lot in the autumn. At dusk or in the morning light you see them near streams and on the edge of the forest, looking for food and drink. Autumn is also the season of hunting. On some days drive hunts are held. The roe deer, wild boars and foxes are hunted by hunters. Sometimes you see them running out of the woods and running across the streets.

Gurgling streams

There are many rivers and streams in the Volcanic Eifel. There are the Elz, the Endert, the Nette and the Nitzbach. All these rivers are a great subject for beautiful photos. Reflections of trees decorated in autumn colours, fast flowing water, leaves in various colors floating on the water surface, beautiful rock formations and splashing waterfalls.
Nürburg view from Booser EifelturmVirneburg


Since the Volcanic Eifel is squeezed between France on one side and Trier on the other, it was for centuries in the middle of the battlefield between the counts and princes of both powers. No wonder that numerous castles sprang up like mushrooms here. Monreal, Virneburg, Nürburg, Bürresheim, Mayen, Eltz, Pyrmont and so on. There are castles and castles in many towns and villages. Some shot to pieces and therefore no more than ruins, others beautifully preserved. Beautiful subjects for inspiring photos.

Picturesque towns

If you want to photograph something other than nature, you can visit the many towns and villages in the Volcanic Eifel. The villages seem to date from a bygone era. Old houses, small streets, churches and squares. In some villages and towns beautiful half-timbered houses. Usually painted white with wooden or red painted beams. Others were given modern colours. Green, orange or blue. There are many museums in the cities for those who want to learn more about volcanism or the history of the (Volcano) Eifel.

Volcanic cones and maars

The name Vulkaneifel says it itself. There were once fire-breathing volcanoes here that ravaged the region. But now that they are extinguished, they show their beauties. The spherical maars, called the eyes of the Eifel. Schalkenmeren with the village next to it or the Totenmaar with the church next to it. The volcanic cones that characterize the landscape and contrast beautifully at nightfall. The natural phenomena such as the lava walls or the lava bombs. Inspiration enough for a beautiful series of photos about an interesting natural phenomenon.

Forests, trees and mushrooms

For those who are not looking for something in particular, there are of course also the many forests. Mostly beech forests. The small leaves turn golden yellow and glitter in the sun. They contrast beautifully with the evergreen pine trees. The many birch trees also stand out because of their white trunks. Mushrooms grow on the ground in all kinds of colors and sizes. The traditional fly agaric, red with white dots. The elf benches on the trees. The porcini mushrooms. But also many smaller specimens that bravely raise their heads between the green moss or on fallen tree trunks.

Mountains in layers

When there is fog or mist, the many hills and mountains are shrouded in a mysterious atmosphere. The hills and volcanic cones appear to be lined up in layers. A beautiful sight, good for fantastic photos.