For some beautiful Summer hiking and tranquil nature in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, the small town of Berdorf is a great spot. Berdorf (Bäerdref in Luxembourgish) is located on a plateau that overlooks the valleys of the Black Ernz, the Sure and the Aesbach. On the plateau areas much farmland is located, while the valleys are densely forested.
Berdorf is part of the canton of Echternach and is part of the Mullerthal region, known as the “Little Luxembourgian Switzerland”. It’s close to the German border in Eastern Luxembourg. The valleys have amazing sandstone rocks with grottoes, crevices and viewpoints. Berdorf is also famous for rock climbing with a great choice of routes. Permits are required to go for rock climbing in Berdorf.
Echternach has plenty accommodation and Berdorf has three campings from where you can directly start your hikes or walk down to the rocks designated for climbing. The trails have good signposts and carry between a couple kilometers to about 30 km. Some of the well-known rock formations include the Perecop, Hohllay, Teufelsinsel, Predigtstuhl, Roitzbachschlüff, and, Siebenschlüff. If you look around, you will see the signs that lead into some of the grottoes, or crevices. A head torch will come handy to explore some of these, and to follow some narrow paths that take you through deep crevices (cracks or clefts) of as narrow as 30 centimeters (1 foot).
In the Middle Ages mill stones were cut out of the sandstone rocks of the valleys. The “Hohllay“ is a rock that was hollowed out, for the purpose of producing mill stones. The round shapes where the mill stones were cut out can still be seen. “Hohllay” literally means “hollow stone” and it now is a large cave with multiple entrances. Rock quarrying in the sandstone formations is said to date back to the Roman times. These caves and forested valleys are perfectly shaded places to undertake hikes on hot Summer days. Fresh breezes pass through the crevices, functioning like natural air conditioning.
Text and Photography by Jan Haenraets