Saxon Switzerland NP
The Saxon Switzerland National Park south-east of Dresden, protects more than 36,000 hectares of Elbe sandstone massif created by the Elbe river over a period of 100 million years.
The area's strangely eroded rock formations, which date from the Cretaceous period, are an unforgettable experience for visitors. With its chalky sandstone cliffs, deeply carved valleys, table mountains and gorges, this fascinating landscape is the only one of its kind in central Europe.
The national park's flora and fauna reflect the diversity of this unique habitat. It is still possible to catch a glimpse of rare species like the eagle owl, the otter and the fat dormouse. Ferns, lichens and mosses thrive in this confined eco-system. Rock climbing in the national park is an excellent way to get an overview of Saxon Switzerland, but there are also more leisurely ways to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, such as the Bastei rocks, which have panoramic views of the river Elbe. Other ways to explore this amazing landscape include hiring a rowing boat or taking a boat excursion and admiring the scenery from the river.
Saxon Switzerland Highlights:
* Saxon Switzerland national park centre
* Königstein Fortress
* Felsenbühne Rathen outdoor theatre
* Bad Schandau Museum
* Flössersteig Castle
* City of Dresden and Neurathen Fortress
* Postal milestone in the "Canaletto town" of Pirna
These include walks with the national park ranger and exciting boat rides down the river gorges. Captain, rower or passenger? Take your pick. Visitors can also take a romantic tour on the river Elbe on one of the world's oldest paddle-steamers, or a trip to the Lichtenhain waterfall on the historical Kirnitzsch valley tram.
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