This circular hike around the delightful, half-timbered town of Monschau and the surrounding countryside makes for a great day out.
This hike around Monschau and the surrounding countryside starts from a large car park near the centre of Monschau Town. Via public transport, you have to take the SB66 bus from Aachen. This leaves regularly every 30 minutes and the journey lasts about one hour. The bus arrives at a bus stop by a parking garage on the northern edge of town.
Monschau Town Walk
From the large car park, head along by the river towards the centre of town and then right before the cafe to reach a track. This path heads upwards to the city park and brings you to some wonderful views over Monschau town. You’ll come to some dedicated viewpoints before heading down fairly steeply into the town itself.
You’ll come out in the medieval old town, with its wonderful fachwerk (half-timbered) buildings. Pop over to the centre of the bridge for great views up and down the little river.
Head left through the main town, and again deviate to the river for lovely views of the half-timbered buildings. Walk across the main bridge across the river and take the first left. Just after the tourist information, cut upwards and then right to walk around St Maria’s church. Continue up some stairs around the back of the church and then right.
At the top of the hill you’ll see Burg Monschau, an old castle with large surrounding walls. Walk through one of the castle towers and then head left along a road. Take the left when the road forks to head downwards towards the Felsenkeller Brauhaus. Head right on the other side of the Brewery and up some steps. Cross over the road to reach a small track to leave Monschau behind and start the countryside section of this walk.
Countryside and Forest Surrounding Monschau
Follow the track through the forest as it heads gradually upwards. Soon you’ll be near the top of the valley and you’ll reach a rocky viewpoint (called Ehrensteinsley) over the trees below. Continue around the corner and downwards, where you’ll join a track coming in from the right. Follow the river along for about 1.3 km before heading right, up and away from the river again.
Soon you’ll reach the Vennbahn – a tarred cycle route from Luxembourg to Aachen. Head left here and look out for Reichenstein Monastry, through the bushes on the left. In a short while, leave the Vennbahn via a path on the left towards a road. Head right, and just after the river but before the small stone chapel (Chapel Sankt Norbertus), turn right.
On the Plateau
This track contours along, and after 1 km head left on a path upwards to a farming plateau. First take a sharp right, then follow the track as it bends around to the left. Take another left and continue until you see the land beginning to slope downwards away from you. Instead of continuing down, turn right to cross a road and remain on the edge of the plateau.
Keep contouring through the fields around the edge of the plateau and shortly after crossing another road turn left, down towards Perlenbach reservoir. Walk right to loop around the water’s edge. Continue past the dam and waterworks at the far end to follow the small river.
When you see a white building (Hotel Perlenau) hidden through the trees on your left, take a path upwards to the right. You’ll soon reach the edge of the plateau again, from which there are several viewpoints. The path will then head gradually downwards and soon you’ll reach the car park in Monschau where this hike started.