Siebengebirge – Seven Beautiful Hills

View of the Drachenfels with the castle from Bad Honnef

We have a saying in Germany: Why travel far? If you look closely, you can find the best close to home.

While I like exploring foreign countries and places, I also enjoy hiking in my current “backyard”. The hiking trails of the Siebengebirge start literally just up my street.

The Siebengebirge, or Seven Hills, is a mountain range next to the Rhine River, and of volcanic origin. The highest is the Ölberg (461 m, 1509 ft), so I guess I would not really speak of “mountains”. But they nevertheless make for a nice hike, especially if you start at the bottom and do not drive half way up.

I love the lush greens and quite solitude of the trails and the forest. There are so many different hiking trails, that even on an Easter weekend, you don’t run into too many people.

Yesterday, I finally got to hike up to the Ölberg – and the view was spectacular.

View from the Ölberg looking towards the Rhine with Petersberg and Drachenfels

There is a cute little restaurant on top of the Ölberg. It is very popular, so for a Sunday brunch, you would have to make a reservation. In the afternoon, though, I had no problem finding a table.

So, avoid the big trails and streets. But then again, you might miss a special encounter with German “Sangesfreude” like this one…

My favorite of the seven hills is the Löwenburg (lion’s castle), because it is not as crowded as the Drachenfels (picture at top) can be, and there is a tree with a bench in the castle ruins that makes a nice place to rest and enjoy the view.

The ruins of the Löwenburg (lion’s castle)

The views are always spectacular, during the hikes, but definitely from the hill tops.

View of the Rhine River looking south
Looking north towards Bonn

Another one of the hills, the Petersberg, is famous also for hosting international conferences, and, after the Second World War, having been the seat of the Allied High Command, where German history was made. Here, you can pair the view with “High Tea” on the terrace of the Grandhotel Petersberg.

The area, btw, makes for beautiful sunsets – and nice walks through the fields and woods, even if you are not hiking.

And it has a special athmosphere at night.

Looking south from the Drachenfels at night

But be careful, don’t get lost in the woods, especially if there is a bloody moon . 😉

Blood Moon, July 2018, seen from the top of the Drachenfels

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