The nature surrounding Dresden can already been seen along the outskirts. In addition to Pillnitz, the Linger, Albrechtsberg and Eckberg castles are also located on the Elbe River and offer a breathtaking view of the landscape surrounding the Saxon capital.
If you brought a little more time with you, take the chance to experience this area up close. Vineyards dot the banks of the Elbe River in Saxony, and can be admired either from a paddle steamer on the river or on foot or bike from the hiking trails behind the vineyards. Just as precious as a good bottle of Saxon wine, is the porcelain from Meissen. Visitors can watch how the ‘white gold’ is produced at the local porcelain factory.
A trip to the Saxon Switzerland national park is a must for hiking and climbing enthusiasts. The magnificent sandstone formations have also provided countless backdrops for painters, poets and musicians for centuries. If you are here at the right time, you can soak in this inspiring scenery yourself or even take in an opera outdoors: Carl Maria von Weber’s “The Marksman” is often performed at the Wolfsschlucht theatre in the Saxon Switzerland, and it is part of the repertoire of the Felsenbühne in Rathen each year. The hearts of romantics will skip a beat when they see the Königstein Fortress or Burg Stolpen.
The Erzgebirge, or East Ore Mountains, are just as recommendable as Saxon Switzerland. This area is famous for the locally-crafted Christmas ornaments, such as the Schwibbögen (candle arches), incense smoker figurines and wooden pyramids, which adorn innumerable windows and living rooms all over Germany during the holiday season. Tobogganing is a year-round sport in Altenberg: thrill-seekers hit the ski slopes in the winter and the summer toboggan run makes for fun during the warmer months Glashütte, famous the world over for the art of watchmaking, is not far from Altenberg. The Vogtland region is located along the border to Bavaria, Thuringia and the Czech Republic. This area is known for the musical instruments produced in what is affectionately referred to as “Musicon Valley” or the Plauener Spitze. Numerous health resorts have also turned the Vogtland into a popular destination for relaxing. Sports also play an important role here: the Vogtland Arena, Europe’s largest ski-jump, frequently hosts international competitions.
The region surrounding Dresden has even more to offer: trips to the Oberlausitz (Upper Lusatia) and the Niederlausitz (Lower Silesia) or into Saxony’s moorlands and its countryside speckled with castles reveal the natural magnificence that surrounds this Florence of the Elbe.