Consisting of the eight villages Darstein, Dimbach, Hauenstein, Hinterweidenthal, Lug, Schwanheim, Spirkelbach and Wilgartswiesen, as well as the annections Hofstätten and Hermersbergerhof, the Hauenstein holiday region is located right at the heart of the Palatinate Forest in southwest Palatinate.
Here, you can find over 500 km of clearly signposted hiking trails, plus seven premium hiking trails. With old castle ruins, small cottages and bizarre rock formations, for example, there is lots to discover and explore. The forces of nature - water, frost, wind and erosion -have needed millions of years to form some sensational colourful sandstone rock formations, which can be found throughout the whole southwest of the Palatinate Forest. These huge rocks, standing out of the dense green forest, provide some great opportunities for both beginner and advanced rock climbers.
The "Devil's Table", formed by the forces of nature to resemble an oversized table, is definitely one of the area’s most famous rock formations. This explains why people once begun to tell myths about this rock and gave it its nickname. Today, towering over an extensive adventure playground for the little ones, the “Devil’s Table” is a landmark for the Hauenstein holiday region.
Besides hiking and climbing, the area also offers a number of opportunities for biking. Easy bike tours lead visitors from one village to another: there is a German-Franco bike path, which winds along the banks of the River Wieslauter from Hauenstein via Hinterweidenthal to Wissembourg in France or from the source of the River Queich via Wilgartswiesen all the way to Germersheim, where it meets the River Rhine. Advanced bikers and mountain bikers can also take advantage of numerous tours right through the Palatinate Forest. The two small villages of Hofstätten and Hermersbergerhof, the highest settlements in the holiday region, offer wonderful views over the forest which is also a biosphere reservation nature park.
If you want to have a break from so many interesting and exciting outdoor, nature activities, you can treat yourself to a shopping trip in Hauenstein, where shoes and shoe production have a long tradition. One hundred years ago, Hauenstein boasted over 30 shoe factories, and roughly every second local person worked in this sector. To find out more about local life at that time and how the shoes were once designed and produced, please visit the "German Shoe Museum Hauenstein", where you can also take a guided tour in English.
Today, only two factories remain. However, in the meantime, a number of shoe shops as well as; some outdoor and lifestyle shops have sprung up. The “Schuhmeile” shoe shopping centre houses almost 25 shoe stores - with more than one million pairs of all kind of shoes- both no-name and brand-name. So, in other words: there’s something for everyone!. You can find hiking boots, outdoor shoes, football shoes, trainers, boots, as well as high heels and evening footwear. The “Schuhmeile Hauenstein” shopping centre is open Monday till Saturday, 9.30 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Between mid-March and October, you also have the chance to shop on Sundays and public holidays from m 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
As fresh air, physical activity and shopping often arouse appetite, it’s also good to know that young, creative and committed restaurateurs and hoteliers in the region are constantly creating new, exciting and delicious dishes with a focus on the local, Palatinate cuisine. Make sure you give it a try!
All in all, there is plenty to discover, see and visit in the Hauenstein holiday region. If you are interested in planning your trip, looking for accommodation or would simply like to ask us some question, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.