Length — 237km, of which 11km walked

Rockfall, Mattinger Hänge

The Jurasteig is a circuit walk in a predominantly Karstic landscape in mid-Bavaria, west of Regensburg and south of Nürnberg. It offers classic hill-country walking, with frequent dips into the main valleys. The conventional start-point (Kelheim) is on the Danube: local tributaries (including the Altmühl and the Naab) give the other folds in the landscape. As well as the main circuit (which would soak up a fortnight), there are day-loops which have been marked out.

For my sample morning on the Jurasteig, I hopped on a local bus in Regensburg, and alighted at Bad Abbach. After a short stretch of pavement walking, the route takes to a lane to gain almost 100m in height, before entering clifftop woodland. After a there-and-back-again spur (to look out over the Danube), the route drops into the village of Matting, where a cable ferry will take you across the river. When I arrived, there was a note on the ferry — “Ferryman at the church”. I found him helping dress the little church for Easter, but he was very happy to be dragged back to the oversized breadboard which is his ferry.

Art installation in the woodland above Oberndorf and (across the river) Gundelshausen

Now on the left bank of the Danube, the Jurasteig runs alongside the railway before doubling back to regain that 100m to cliff level. It then swings away from the river, striking northwards. At a little wayside chapel, the route crosses the Bavarian branch of the pilgrimage route to Compostela. I followed the latter back to Sinzing for a short train ride back to Regensburg, and lunch.

The Jurasteig website has lots of useful information in German, Dutch and English. This includes route descriptions (including the loop routes), maps, and even a portal into local accommodation options.

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