From the Gateway of the Eifel to the Edges of Volcanoes
It’s no secret that the Eifel has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in all of Germany. With Fall quickly approaching, we decided to spend a few hours driving some of the prettiest stretches of backroads between the southernmost tip of the South Eifel up to the Vulkan Eifel area. We only skirted the Vulkan Eifel, though, as the focus of this drive was really on the area referred to by Germans as Südeifel.
I spent the days leading up to our drive scouring the motorcycle forums because, let’s face it, they know all the best streets. Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately in some cases- we ran into several road closures that detoured us from our planned route. All of the map images below are the actual roads we took (detours included).
The Gateway to the Eifel
The city of Kordel is nicknamed “The Gateway to the Eifel,” so this is where started. We drove through Zemmer, Herforst, between Spangdahlem (the town) and Spangdahlem (the base), over the autobahn and up towards Schwarzenborn. You get a really nice mix of scenery here. Some roads were very flat, but they were elevated above small valleys, So, you could see everything in the distance. Lots of fields and trees and villages. Some roads were more country than others. Some roads, especially closer to Kordel, were more curvy and at times a little steep.
Abtei Himmerod (Abbey)
From Schwarzenborn, we cut off to the east, passing by Himmerod Abbey.
This is the only place along the route where we actually stopped and got out of the car. We needed a bathroom break, and, as it was already early afternoon, took the chance to explore the Abbey and have lunch.
Unfortunately, the lighting was really bad, so my pictures of the Abbey came out really bleached. So, here’s one from Rhein TV –
We drove up through Manderscheid, and it’s just past there that you cross into the Vulkan Eifel region.
Skirting the Vulkan Eifel
As you can see from the map, this route takes you really close to some of the old volcanoes. (Each of those lakes in the upper right corner were once volcanoes.)
As we wanted to make a circle back through the South Eifel, we did our best to cut across from Oberstadtfeld back to the west. This is where we hit the most detours, though.
The landscape in the Vulkan Eifel is gorgeous. You don’t see all of the curves on the map, but there were a whole lot of windy roads. When we started driving, it was cold but sunny. The further north we went, the more cloudy and rainy it got. But it was around this part of the ride that the sun started to peek out again.
From Salm, we crossed over to Birresborn and then started our journey back down into the South Eifel.
There were some crazy curves in this part of the ride! Some of them were downright terrifying. They were in the forest, with these incredibly steep slopes just off the shoulder. Most places did not have guardrails, and so I felt that, for about 10 minutes, we were inches away from certain death.
Some parts were less scary, though.
Back to the South Eifel
From Densborn, we headed back south. We wanted to drive along the Kyll, but we got detoured again.
The nice thing about this detour was that it took us past Malberg. There are some really hilly roads here that weave through the forest. You also get some beautiful views of Schloss Malberg.
We followed the Kyll south towards Kyllburg from here. Unfortunately, the rain came back again at this point.
As you can see, once we got past Wilsecker, we were back on the Kyll again. We basically followed the river all the way down to Hüttingen an der Kyll before heading back towards Kordel.
The rain stopped just long enough for us to enjoy the beauty of some of the sleepy little villages that are so typical of the Eifel.
And then, roughly 4.5 hours after we began, we were back at the Gateway to the Eifel.
If you’re looking for a route to drive later this month, once the leaves have all turned their brightest colors, you should definitely consider this one – or at least parts of it.