Vegan Sächsische Schwiez, i.e. Saxon Switzerland…is it doable?! The Sächsische Schweiz is my go-to hiking location for a weekend trip from Berlin. It’s easy to and cheap to get to, beautiful, well-kept trails, and totally manageable as a vegan. In April I went hiking in the Sächsische Schweiz with a friend and found a hotel with vegan food in the middle of the forest! I had googled “vegan Sächische Schweiz” expecting not to find anything, but oh my! We’re not talking salads either, friends.
Vegan Sächsische Schweiz – Where to Stay
I stayed at the Bergwirtschaft & Herberge Großer Winterberg for 67€ per night. It’ about an hour from Dresden, Germany in an area called the Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland), which is totally beautiful. Just take the S-bahn public transit to Schmilke-Hirschmühle and the ferry across the river. If you’re walking, it’s about an hour hike from the nearest public transportation, up a beautiful mountain, follow the trail labeled “Großer Winterberg”. You can also pay €12 and get picked up. We opted to get driven there and walk back at the end of our trip.
NOTE: Großer Winterberg has since closed permanently, but you can access their other vegan-friendly properties from Elbsandstein here. Or try the other places I’ve linked below. The Sächsische Schweiz is stil a great place to visit!
Entrance to Großer Winterberg Berg Pension
The trails begin right out the front of the building!
Helvetia – Organic and National Park Hotel (Bad Schandau) – all vegetarian and organic hotel, vegan and gluten-free also catered for. Not far from the Toskana thermal baths. They’re on the Elbe bike path and the Malerweg hiking path. Easy to get to location. Starts at €109 per night.
Ökopension Villa Weissig ( Struppen) – organic hotel with vegetarian and vegan options. They have a focus on environmental-friendliness. It says their pillows are filled with organic spelt and millet, sounds interesting! They also use all organic cleaning products. Prices start at €90 per night, you can get a room or a whole flat if you’re going with a group. They advertise vegan and gluten-free food all over their website.
Sächsische Schweiz Snapshots
The Sächsische Schweiz is mostly made of sandstone, so you get lots of giant interesting rocks like these below.
Vegan Sächsische Schweiz – The Vegan Food at Großer Winterberg
Anyway, let’s talk about the food, because you get hungry after hiking and there was a lot of vegan food to be had at Großer Winterberg! I checked their menu online and saw lots of vegan options. When I was arrived and was presented with the vegan menu, I panicked when at first I didn’t see anything labeled vegan. I spoke with the chef, who informed me that they just don’t label it, but lots of the dishes were made with soy cream instead of dairy cream, hah! So basically loads of non-vegans are eating vegan food and are none the wiser, which I think is pretty hilarious.
The first night, I had a starter of vegan onion soup with bread. It was really nicely flavored and perfect for the slightly cold weather in April.
Vegan fettucine with tomatos and rucola. Hearty and yum.
Vegan Rote Grütze (translated red compote), is lots of berries cooked down with sugar, topped with vegan vanilla cream sauce.
The breakfast was great too. They had labeled vegan spreads, lots of bread, cereal, nuts and dried fruits, coffee.
Lots of juices too, here’s some sour cherry juice!
Now hiking in this area is fun, because during your mountain hike you pop out at places you can have food and beer, like this Zeughaus for example:
We stopped in here to pee and drink some warm tea, and I was surprised to see labeled vegan things on the menu….in the middle of the forest!
Menu at Zeughaus with vegan options!
After our hike, it was back to the hotel. This time I got some type of pumpkin soup with veggies on top and bread.
The second course was fettucine with vegan mushroom cream sauce. It’s not labeled vegan, but I checked with the chef that it was. This was amazing and SO filling.
Fruit and roasted almonds for dessert
Anyway, if you’re looking for a naturey day trip from Berlin, I absolutely recommend you check out the Sächische Schweiz. It’s super beautiful and miraculously vegan friendly! Also how cool that you can delve right into the middle of nature without needing a car!