Hiking in and around Jena

Holidays in Thuringia

Jena’s surrounding area is considered as one of the most attractive in Germany for cyclists and hikers. There are numerous sights and “small gems’ in the immediate proximity of the university city that can be explored on foot within a day. The surrounding mountains offer numerous viewpoints which allow a view onto the beautiful surrounding or the city itself.

So lace up your hiking boots and explore Jena and its countryside.

As a guest of the hotel Schwarzer Bär, you can enjoy many advantages and special services.

The most beautiful hiking trails around Jena


Thanks to its mountains und forests, the city offers not only cultural sightseeing venues but also exceptional nature experience.
Below we have outlined some of the most popular hiking trails.


Short hiking tours: from the “Baer” to the Jenzig


This is a recommendation for a hiking tour that’s easy to do in just one day. It leads you from the Schwarzer Bär towards in the direction of Kunitz to the Erlkönig monument, where events of Goethe’s famous ballad are said to have taken place. Nearby, an innovative dinosaur trail awaits you, where you can get a glimpse of the lovingly lifelike prehistoric lizards and even bring them to life via app. This trail takes you up to one the “seven wonders of Jena”, the Jenzig, where you can fortify yourself with a packed lunch from the hotel and enjoy the fantastic view. You can spend the afternoon along the idyllic river Saale and then enjoy your dinner at the Schwarzer Bär.


Pure hiking pleasure around Jena: the SaaleHorizontale


The SaaleHorizontale is one of the most famous hiking trails around Jena and has also been awarded as a “quality trails” by the German Hiking Association. The total distance amounts to 72 kilometers and stretches around the mountains of Jena. Meadows, green forests and valley slopes overlooking the skyline of Jena, the Saale valley and small villages and castles make the SaaleHorizontale a very special hiking pleasure.

jena ziegenhain

One of the numerous perspectives on the mountains around Jena, here: Ziegenhain district

jena wandern

The SaaleHorizontale runs through forest in sections

Length of the SaaleHorizontale

The SaaleHorizontale runs like a ribbon around Jena’s mountains. From the centre, the route leads via the Mühltal up to the Napoleon stone, which is well worth seeing, on the famous battlefield of Jena-Auerstedt. The SaaleHorizontale continues through Porstendorf and the famous three Dornburg castles to Camburg. From here the route continues via Tautenburg with its castle tower and Golsmdorf back towards Jena. There it continues over the Kernberge with viewpoints such as the Jenzig, followed by Ziegenhain, Wogau and Drackendorf in the south of Jena, where the official route ends – or, depending on the direction of travel, begins.


Conquer the entire SaaleHorizontale within 3 to 5 days

It is ideal to complete the SaaleHorizontale with its more than 70 km on several days. The route runs over mountains and valleys with some ascents, each mountain being rewarded with a cultural highlight or a fantastic view from its own perspective of Jena and the Saale valley. These beautiful natural panoramas promise first-class photo motives. Officially, the hiking trail is divided into four daily sections.

The perfect hiking holiday: the SaaleHorizontale with the Schwarzer Bär


We recommend you to tackle the partial stages of the trail and hike a route of 15 to 30 kilometers daily – depending on your personal fitness and individual conditions. The hotel Schwarzer Bär offers its guests special services to make your hiking holidays as pleasant as possible.


Our service ensures seamless hiking segments


Our pick-up and drop-off service, specially designed to meet personal hiking needs of our overnight guests, can bring you to a starting point in the morning and pick you up reliably at another point in the evening at a pre-arranged time, for a fee and depending on the available capacities of the hotel. From there, you can continue to conquer the path of the SaaleHorizontale the next day. Feel free to contact our reception for a recommendation of a certain section and organization of the shuttle service. Of course, we have a certain flexibility regarding to pick-up locations and times if you inform us in good time in advance while on the move.

Rokoko-Schloss, Dornburger Schlösser

The Rococo Palace, one of the three Dornburg castles

hotel schwarzer bär außen

Food is provided for your hike


We gladly give our guest a nutritious, customizable packed lunch to bring with you on your hike. You can use this to get a good meal at one of the numerous vantage points.

In the evening, you can enjoy your truly deserved dinner in our restaurant.

With the “Schwarzer Bär” your hiking holiday in and around Jena will be an active and yet relaxing pleasure. Our team is looking forward to meeting you.

Are you a guest of the bear and have any questions about hiking routes or our special services?