Hikers let the wild donkeys accompany them part of the way.
Deep blue. Crystal clear. Ancient. The maars of the volcanic Eifel.
What was created thousands of years ago by mighty forces of nature can hardly be surpassed in beauty today. Twelve maars filled with water make the volcanic Eifel a unique and colorful natural scenery. The crystal clear water sparkles in the sun, the clouds reflect on the surface. Get to know these magical places during a hike along the shore - and in some volcanic craters you may also swim and bathe.... Read more
Visit the Trautzberg Maar, the smallest volcanic lake in the Eifel! For many years, the maar was a dry maar, until it was rewetted in 2014. This allowed the flora and fauna in the immediate vicinity to recover. Unlike many other maars in the Eifel, the Trautzberger Maar is not surrounded by forest, but is small and fine in the middle of flower-covered meadows. From the bench on the small hill you have a beautiful, peaceful view over the small maar lake and the Tiefenbach valley.
You have the most beautiful view over the Meerfelder Maar from the lookout tower Landesblick. You look down on the lake, which lies about 200 meters below and sparkles in the sun. It is gently embedded in the largest volcanic funnel in the Eifel. The power with which the maars were once formed becomes clear at the edge of the path: So-called olivine bombs can be found everywhere. The roundish rocks were ejected during the eruption of the Meerfeld volcano and still impressively document what once happened there. By the way: In summer you can swim and fish in the Meerfelder Maar - a very special experience.
Listen carefully: Birds are chirping here that you otherwise hear only rarely or not at all. The area around the Jungferweiher is a paradise for feathered animals. That is why a bird sanctuary has been established there. The Maar is one of the oldest and has an eventful history. Where today visitors enjoy the view of the crystal clear water, people slaved very hard hundreds of years ago. At that time, peat was mined at the Jungferweiher, which was used for heating. As a result, the Maar almost fell dry in the meantime. Currently, the circular path around the Maar is being made barrier-free, so that it will soon be suitable for wheelchair users.
Strictly speaking, the Windsborn Crater Lake is not a maar - even though it used to be called such. Here, the funnel of a volcano has filled with water over the millennia. Unlike the Maars, however, there has never been a steam explosion. Windsborn Crater Lake is the only crater lake north of the Alps that is constantly filled with rainwater. At its edge, rare animals and plants feel at home and provide an extraordinary and fairytale atmosphere.
An almost melancholic atmosphere surrounds the Weinfelder Maar. Many legends entwine around the quiet Eifel eye. It is said that a castle once stood on the site of the crater, where a count lived with his wife and only child. After returning home from a hunt, the castle had sunk as punishment for his wife's nastiness, and he found only a lake on which a cradle miraculously propelled his child safely to shore. It is said that if you look long enough at the dark surface of the water, you can see the outline of the castle.
The fact that volcanoes are still active today can be seen at Ulmener Maar. With an age of around 11,000 years, it is by far the youngest maar. At the edge of the water you will discover small bubbles rising from the depths - a sign of active volcanism. When you hike there, take a detour to the Ulmen castle ruins and walk in the footsteps of medieval knights.
The Pulvermaar is a maar like something out of a picture book. Almost circular and embedded in steep beech slopes, it lies there like a small paradise. Anyone who comes here is immersed in a world that seems to stand still. The blue water and nature have a calming and at the same time invigorating power. The Pulvermaar is one of the deepest lakes in Germany. In summer, you can also swim there.
During a walk around the Holzmaar you will notice the buoys floating on the water. They serve scientific purposes, because research is currently being conducted on this maar. The lake was formed about 40,000 years ago. This makes it younger than its siblings, the Hitsche Maar and the Dürre Maar, both of which are dry. The Holzmaar owes its name to its former use: a few hundred years ago, the water powered a wooden mill that ensured the survival of the inhabitants.
The oldest of the three Daun maars was formed about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. Originally, it was probably even more impressive in its form, because another maar adjoined today's western maar lake. During the eruption, a double maar was formed. But the eastern funnel was filled up again by the tuffs of the western maar and completely covered. It became marshy with time. Great fen vegetation has developed in this part, willows give this area a rural charm. Pipegrass meadows and sedge fens provide habitat for several rare species of wildlife, especially wetland and waterfowl species. The shore and the slopes also present a lively spectacle: herds of goats and sheep graze on the pastures all around - Eifel landscape conservation of a special kind.
If you come on foot from the Weinfelder Maar via the Eifelsteig, the view from above opens onto the Maar 150 meters below - a breathtaking scenery in dark blue and fresh green. In autumn, the forest seems to glow colorfully, fascinating mushrooms thrive between leaves and wood.
With about 7 hectares of water surface, the Gemündener Maar is the smallest of the three famous Eifel eyes. Moreover, at 416 meters above sea level, it is embedded deepest in the volcanic landscape around Daun. The clear water lets you look deep, but it does not reach down to the bottom at 39 meters.
Almost every maar invites you to walk around it. The dreamlike paths around the quiet waters let the hiker feel the vitality of the Eifel. Just follow the signs to the maars, parking lots can usually be found directly at the blue lakes.