After walking along Die Bastie and enjoy the amazing landscape we decided to stay longer and explore the area a little bit more. We recommend you stay AT LEAST 2 nights and 3 days to have some time to do the treks. Of course, the more, the merrier.
A little bit south Rathen you will find Bad Schandau and just some meters away from the Czech border a small little village named Schmilka, both of them are good options to find accommodation and from both you will reach the park easily. The villages are well connected with the same S1 (train from Dresden) that passes every 30 minutes. There are buses to cover the inner town connections with frequencies of about 1h even less during the weekends.
We had the look to stay in a beautiful place for just some pennies. The Camping Kleine Bergoase, to arrive we had to take the bus 260 from the Bad Schandau train station and left at Mittelndorf Gasthaus, less than 20 minutes. There is one bus every hour.
Our main idea was to camp, we carried our tent and our foams but was still cold and we decided not to do it since we were not prepared for such temperatures. Even less when after talking with the owner of the place we could have a private room for less than 14€ person/night, the room was not even 2x3m but comfortable enough, warm and clean.
You can also have rooms for up to 6 people and of course the camping area is cheaper, they also have a communal kitchen and sitting area with some fire, absolutely cozy, also if you like you can ask for fresh bread the night before and it will be delivered to the camping on your name, the bun costs 0.60 cents.
How to reach the park
From the camping we reached Schmilka, there we found a lovely shop with self-brewed beers and organic bread. We bought some buns and a bottle for Jesper. We took the path that brings to Kuhstall, passing around Winterberg (big and small).
The first part of the hike was pretty easy and a little bit boring but once you reach the top the view is absolutely stunning and it’s worth the walk, give a look to this super short video to see where we were eating our organic buns and having a small break.
The way down till reaching Kuhstall is a similar experience to the Sweedish holes.
There are quite a few people at Kuhstall since is reachable from the pavemented road, is still worth it but just as Die Bastei all the visitors go there since is the easiest point.
As a curiosity, Kuhstall owns its name since it was the chosen place to hide the cows during the war.
Once you are there DO NOT miss the stairway to heaven on the other side of the stone arc. The way up is not for everyone, is short but intense since it’s done on a really narrow whole with really tiny stairs hanging from one side. Of course, the view is beautiful.
In total we walked about 4 hours to reach Kuhstall, we had the intention to keep on going but it was getting dark, sadly the days are short this time of the year, we really wanted to see the Schrammsteine , so if you have some spare time give it a try.
To go back you can take the bus 241 to Bad Schandau.
Tips and Pieces of Advice:
- There is a bar at Kuhstall, drinks are not too expensive but the food is expensive and bad. There are toilets there.
- If you are using public transport more than twice it’s better to take the daily ticket, there is also a familiar ticket that allows you to go Two adults + 3 kids for only 9 euros one zone, 13 two zones (our case) this ticket allows you to take ALL the transport in the area including the small ferries to cross the river.
- Here is the Camping kleine bergoase web, keep in mind most of the tourism in the area is German, it’s still not too hard to find someone with a good level of English.
- Forget about the “waterfalls” marked along the way, it seems german people have no idea what a proper waterfall look like, they are a true waste of time.
Here you can download a PDF with ALL the bus routes and timetables in the area, you will also find an image with some of the hiking routes, just give a like to unlock it.