Volcanic Eifel: Traumpfad Virneburg around town and castle

The German Volcanic Eifel is an excellent hiking area. You do need some fitness because although the area is ‘only’ hilly, there are sometimes some tough climbs. The Traumpfad Virneburg in the municipality of the same name belongs to the ‘medium’ category. So easy to do, even with children. The total circular walk is eleven kilometers long and you get a good mix of culture and nature along the way. The castle is a ruin but does have a beautiful wall with many views, an entrance gate and a watchtower.

Where is the Volcanic Eifel located?

The Volcanic Eifel is located in the west of Germany. It is part of the larger Eifel area that spreads across Germany and Belgium. You will find the Volcanic Eifel below Aachen and between the Rhine and the Moselle. The area is characterized, as its name suggests, by volcanoes. Although extinct volcanoes, the cones are clearly visible everywhere. You can go swimming in some craters. These craters are called maars in the Volcanic Eifel.

Virneburg

The town of Virneburg is located in the Volcanic Eifel, in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. You will find Virneburg about fifteen kilometers north of Kaisersesch and about fifteen kilometers south of Adenau. The town is located in a valley, surrounded by four mountains: the Brauberg, the Schafsberg, the Mühlenberg and the Bleiberg. You reach Virneburg after a steep descent full of hairpin bends. It is a beautiful small town with many half-timbered houses, which was built around the castle of the same name in the twelfth century. About 500 people live in the village (2017), which is almost a doubling since 1815 when the village had 259 inhabitants. The Nitzbach flows through the village. This stream flows into the Nette in Mayen near Schloss Bürresheim.

Virneburg Castle

Unlike most castles, Virneburg Castle is located in a valley, on a small hill. So you don’t have to peer at the hilltops, because you won’t find the castle there. The once beautiful and large castle, founded in the twelfth century and home to the counts of Virneburg, is now only a ruin. Like many other castles in the Volcanic Eifel, the Virneburg was also destroyed by the French. In 1689 more specifically. In 1910, the ruin was publicly sold for 1,080 Mark to the Rheinischen Verein für Denkmalpflege und Landschaftsschutz. This association is responsible for the maintenance of the Virneburg. Despite the fact that the castle is a ruin, it is definitely worth taking a look here. You can reach the castle from different sides. One side is a bit steeper than the other. A wall remains of the castle with many viewing holes, giving you a beautiful view of the town and the surrounding hills. There is also a fireplace in this wall. This was once the castle’s kitchen. Next to the wall is a round watchtower and next to it the entrance gate to the castle.

Chapel of St. Trinity

Just in front of the castle is a chapel with white walls and a dark roof, the St. Trinity Chapel. This was built at the end of the seventeenth century.

Traumpfad Virneburg

Course of the circular walk

The Traumpfad Virneburg leads you for eleven kilometers up and around the castle. You will see beautiful views of the castle and the Eifel landscape during the walk. The Traumpfad Virneburg, founded in the spring of 2008, was rated ‘moderate’, which means that it is not the easiest, but also not the most difficult walk. Still, there are serious calf bites in it. The tour takes you through beech forests and past meadows. The heath with juniper berries on the Schafsberg and the Blumenrather heath (where the heather turns purple in the autumn) are particularly worthwhile. In the spring you have beautiful views with a patchwork of green meadows and yellow rapeseed fields in the valley. From the Blumenratherheide you also have a beautiful view of Nürburg Castle in clear weather. After the Brauberg you descend into the Nitzbachtal and walk next to the stream for a while. In warm weather you can cool off here.

Signage

Like all Traumpfaden, this Traumpfad is well signposted. The orange signs with the white, winding hiking trail can be followed in both directions. So if you get tired of it after a while, you can easily turn around without getting lost. If you are tired, you can rest on wooden benches or on the Eifel furniture, beautifully shaped, comfortable wooden loungers. A picnic table has also been considered along the way. In September 2008, the Traumpfad Virneburg was named ‘Hiking Trail of the Year’ in the day trip category.

Starting points

The Traumpfad Virneburg has seven starting points. The most obvious is near the castle. Other possible starting points are: the parking lot at the town hall, the parking lot at the bridge at the Nitzbach, the parking lot on the Schafberg, the parking lot at the intersection with the B258, the Schutzhütte Virneburg and at the Schöne Aussicht parking lot.

Wet and dry

In Virneburg’s Hauptstrasse you will find bakery / café / restaurant Zur Burg and a little further on café / bistro / restaurant Das Wohnzimmer. You can have a picnic on the Traumpfad, but of course you have to bring your own food and drinks. Eleven kilometers is quite long, so don’t forget to take water with you, especially in summer!