How to Explore the Saarland Sustainably

Begin organizing an eco-friendly trip to Saarland

Looking for a vacation that’s both fun and environmentally conscious?

A trip to Saarland is the perfect opportunity to discover an area filled with cultural, historical, and natural wonders. With numerous outdoor activities and a variety of eco-friendly accommodations, Saarland serves as the ideal destination for an eco-friendly getaway. From biking and trekking with a hammock, to woodworks and glamping under the stars or indulging in luxury retreats, there are countless ways to explore this region without causing harm.

To make sure your visit is as sustainable as possible, consider these tips:

Research responsible travel alternatives, invest in eco-friendly products, and be mindful of your carbon footprint during your stay. By choosing the right activities, restaurants and accommodations, you’ll be much closer to your goal.

By planning ahead and doing your homework, you will not only maximize your enjoyment, but also make a positive contribution to preserving our environment during your time in beautiful Saarland!

Here are some of the eco-friendly attractions and things to do in Saarland

Going to explore the Saarland sustainably is a fantastic way to familiarize yourself with the area and its customs while protecting our planet.

With options ranging from biking and trekking routes to wildlife sanctuaries, this region caters to environmentally aware visitors through various activities. Ride your bike along riverbanks, delve into exceptional UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, go hiking with a donkey or take a dip in unspoiled rivers and lakes.

You can also wander around charming towns and hamlets, stroll through woodlands or check out numerous museums and fortresses. Regardless of what you choose, the adventure will be memorable as well as beneficial for Mother Earth.

Here are some green activities you can enjoy during your visit to Saarland.

Hike with a hammock

Just chill out and relax! Now you can do that on some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Saarland. Rent a hammock from one of the 5 rental stations for only €20 deposit per hammock, with a maximum rental period of 72 hours.

The friendly staff at the stations will give you all the necessary information on how to use your rented hammock, how to hang it up properly, and where to find “Baumel Stations” along the trail marked with their logo. These locations are also available as rest stops within the Saarland Tours app for each hike.

Lounge in the sun and take pleasure from the beech tree’s leaves glimmering. Let your hammock hang on its trunk, for you have found some of nature’s best spots to relax! So make yourself at home; revel in a hike and add enough time to just chill out – it is all yours to enjoy.

Hike for example the dream loop “Panoramaweg Perl”.

Enjoy your time outdoors and check out: The Best Sunglasses for Hiking & Outdoor Activities

Treetop path Saarschleife

Take a stroll along the winding path surrounded by beech, oak and Douglas fir trees for about 800 meters.

The height of the Saarschleife treetop path reaches up to 23 meters!

Once you reach the top, get ready to spiral upwards over the treetops until you reach an observation tower that stands at a whopping 42 meters. From there, you can take in breathtaking views of not only the Saar Loop Valley, but also the green hills of the Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park, all while feeling a fresh mountain breeze on your face.

If the skies are clear, we’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Vosges Mountains!

And don’t worry if mobility is an issue – with a maximum gradient of only about six percent, anyone can easily manage those twenty altitude meters, including wheelchair users or families strolling along with their little ones.

The hiking area around the Saarschleife is one of the most beautiful premium spots in the entire Saarland, so don’t miss out on exploring its beauty for yourself.

Farmers market

Explore the farmers’ market at St. Johanner Markt in Saarbrücken. Saarbrücken’s markets are bustling and vibrant gathering places for shopping and leisurely strolls.

The weekly market is held in the historic setting of St. Johanner Markt and features fresh regional produce. Local farmers from all over the Saarland present their home-grown goods for sale!

As visitors sample these delicious agricultural offerings, they can also learn how each product was made directly from the vendors.

Address: Sankt- Johanner Markt, Saarbrücken

Food tour through Saarbrücken

Besides the state theater, the castle, and the ancient forest on the city’s edge, Saarbrücken has something special to offer: Delicious food!

Let’s begin your journey in St. Johanner Markt at the heart of town. This bustling area features a delightful mix of restaurants alongside cafés and various shops.

But let’s focus on exploring those hidden gems tucked away down charming side streets where you’ll find some truly amazing culinary creators.

Take a leisurely stroll through Saarbrücken’s vibrant city center while visiting these fantastic Genuss Region producers:

Kaliski: Tradition and innovation come together here to give you what you want in a plate: simply good sausage. And because a good sausage is just sausage without the perfect sauce, you will find many unusual currywurst dishes. Rotating street food dishes like pulled pork burgers complete the experience.

Address: Kaltenbachstraße 4, 66111 Saarbrücken

Brot & Sinne: New creative recipes are always in the works and the result is always a new taste experience and enthusiastic customers. What is also special about this bakery is that you can have warm bread all day long. A dough with a lower yeast content prepared the night before makes this possible.

Address: several locations in the city

Henrys Eismanufaktur: Handcrafted ice-cream. Milk ice-cream made with milk from the Bliesgau region and fruity sorbets. No artificial colors or preservatives.

Address: Kappenstraße 1, 66111 Saarbrücken

Pastamanufaktur: Passion for Italy and love for the Saarland are the ingredients used to create the refined pasta. The organic farmer Wintringer Hof provides the meat, vegetables and fruits. There is also a small but fine menu available for lunch.

Address: Mainzer Str. 107, 66121 Saarbrücken

Lillies Kuchenwerkstatt: Lovingly decorated vintage ambiance with delicious breakfasts, cakes and other sweet treats. Their assortment is always 50% vegan. You will not only find the “standard” cakes, but the varieties are very modern.

Address: Sankt-Johanner-Markt 18, 66111 Saarbrücken

Fruchteria: Here they make their own sweet and savory spreads, syrups, chutneys, relishes, barbecue and pasta sauces. These are based on old recipes that have been handed down from grandmothers. They are constantly being improved and new ones invented. Of great importance is the use of the products of the region. Their products are made by hand, with time and a lot of love. You can taste it.

Address: Nauwieserstraße 39, 66111 Saarbrücken

Cafe Kostbar: Let your soul dangle carefree in this “precious” oasis in the heart of Saarbrücken. The senses are pampered with international and local delicacies from a down-to-earth, creative cuisine. The cuisine is based on regional ingredients. It’s seasonal, fresh and 50% vegetarian. An extensive wine list offers a selection of excellent organic wines. The hospitality staff is dedicated to making your every wish come true.

Address: Nauwieserstraße 19, 66111 Saarbrücken

Saar-Lor-deLuxe: The concept of Saar-Lor-deLuxe supports the trend of regional and sustainable nutrition and offers the largest selection of regional products from the entire greater Saar-Lor-Lux region with more than 300 hand-picked products. Besides classic products such as honey, oil, mustard, spreads and noodles, Saar-Lor-deLuxe also offers specialty products. For example, Saarland lentils, Lorraine salts, pestos, spices, and selected wines and spirits. The largest selection of regional gins can be found on the shelves.

Address: Cecilienstraße 4, 66111 Saarbrücken

UNESCO World Heritage Site Völklinger Hütte

The Völklingen Ironworks is an incredible and remarkable place where past, present and future come together in an amazing way.

It’s a unique industrial relic from the heyday of industrialization, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offers visitors a fascinating experience like no other!

In its heyday, the Völklingen Ironworks was a center of excellence with the highest number of metallurgical patents in the world. This site paved the way for innovative breakthroughs and conducted groundbreaking research in its laboratories. At the Ferrodrome, you can discover the roots of these inventions and explore them in a fun way!

Today, the Völklinger Hütte is a place of unique beauty.

The sprawling complex features a number of exhibition halls and open-air areas, as well as an intricate network of piping systems. It’s become a highly sought-after location for international shows, festivals and concerts!

And as if that weren’t enough, you can also find the wilderness of Paradise Garden on the grounds near the coking plant: making this place even more special, with nature intertwined with culture like never before!

Address: Rathausstraße 75-79, 66333 Völklingen

Donkey hike in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Bliesgau

Let’s explore the beautiful southern Bliesgau region in an eco-friendly way. How about taking a leisurely stroll with some donkeys?

This unique experience will allow you to appreciate the stunning scenery at your own pace and really connect with nature. So, let’s slow down and listen to what this breathtaking landscape has to say!

Address: Hof Sonnenbogen, Wolfharistr. 75, 66440 Wolfersheim

Gut Hartungshof

The Hartungshof Estate has a long and illustrious history, stretching all the way back to the 19th century. For over two decades now, it’s been managed by the Keßler family with great success.

Today you’ll find much more than just agriculture here; there are also several businesses based on this estate!

Plus visitors can purchase products from these enterprises in their farm store located nearby. The Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve – recognized by UNESCO – is of course most famous for beef production which is on sale at Hartungshof.

There are 5 main areas covering forestry, agricultural land, renewable energy management as well as herb gardens complete with an adjacent shop where customers may sample liqueurs or tasty apple juice plus curd cheese carrying homemade herbal salt topping freshly baked spelt breads & pastries too!

Not only that, but tours around the premises take place regularly so come along if interested.

Moreover, numerous quaint businesses specializing in crafts and services have made the Hartungshof estate their home over recent years.

In addition, a number of smaller craft and service businesses have settled on the Hartungshof estate in recent years.

There are:

An oil mill (Ölmühle, see below). They produce various oils, vinegar and mustard.

The manufactory MaLi’s Délices, who are producing fruit spreads and chutneys, a production of natural cosmetics.

A forestry factory; firewood, wild salami and wild ham are produced here.

An equestrian farm with training and boarding stables.

and many more.

Address: Hartungshof, 66271 Kleinblittersdorf

MaLi’s Délices

Their quality standard: All items are handcrafted in their manufactory at the delightful Gut Hartungshof; no artificial flavourings; no chemical dyes; decreased sugar content when compared to regular jams and marmalades, with preference given to regional fruit and vegetables from the Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve in Saarland.

Address: Hartungshof 6, 66271 Kleinblittersdorf

Bliesgau Ölmühle

Since 2007, they have wholeheartedly committed to growing and creating delightful, unique edible oils sourced locally. Their focus is on supporting local agriculture while ensuring top-notch quality and an exceptional culinary experience that combines delicious flavors with beautiful landscapes.

Address: Hartungshof 6, 66271 Kleinblittersdorf

Farm store at Wintringer Hof

The farm shop at Wintringer Hof offers a variety of products that are either produced on the farm itself or by certified Bioland partners. Vegetables, plants, apples, pears, plums and quinces are grown according to Bioland guidelines. They also have cattle, chickens, pigs and laying hens that are raised in a species-appropriate manner.

The meat is processed by their own master butcher into traditional meat and sausage products. Finally, they make various fruit juices and an apple cider from their own press.

Address: Am Wintringer Hof 7, 66271 Kleinblittersdorf

“Forestworks – forest art” (WaldWerken)

Discover the ancient ways of woodworking, fueled by a deep love for nature and all it provides. The artisans behind “Forest crafting” embrace simplicity as they craft with wood sourced straight from the forest – where birdsong reigns supreme in peaceful clearings.

Join them at their open-air studio within Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve to explore their unique selection of woodland creations.

Explore three distinct courses:

Wildwood creations – naturally grown furniture

Construct your very own wildwood chair! No previous experience is required for the Wildwood workshop, just a passion for nature and an eagerness to create. We build in the serene Blieskastel forest on a lush meadow where birdsong prevails as the dominant sound. The untamed wood is utilized in its natural form, giving each piece of furniture its one-of-a-kind character due to their “individual” growth patterns. For seating, you’ll weave cotton straps according to your preferred color scheme. Once satisfied with your wildwood chair’s functionality, plant deciduous trees that contribute sustainably towards preserving our beautiful forests.

Create your custom knife using forest materials

We all use knives daily, but imagine having one that’s specifically designed for your hand and its intended purpose – be it in the kitchen, garden or outdoors. Join our course instructor Roland to craft a personalized knife using an array of natural materials such as horn, leather, bark and wood. Not only will you have a practical and sturdy tool at your disposal; this unique piece is sure to impress!

The course comprises two segments: An introductory evening followed by hands-on knife construction. During the initial session, you’ll gain valuable insights into local nature-derived materials while exploring different types of knives along with some fascinating blade trivia! Additionally we provide guidance on sourcing suitable woods plus advice regarding blade selection.

When it comes to blades there are two options: You can either choose from ready-made ones during this workshop or take part in our “Knife Blade Forging” class where you learn how to forge your very own custom creation!

Knife blade forging

The hot metal will be shaped in a furnace of heat and skill, as the hammers move fluidly over an anvil. On this weekend course all learners are introduced to fundamental concepts such as material science, component selection, hardening/tempering practices and grinding methods. The goal is to craft a usable blade with either flat or pointed tip that can demonstrate their newfound skillset! This class caters to rookies looking for insight into bladesmithing while having fun doing it.

Address: Fischerhütte, 66440 Blieskastel

Schlossberghöhlen

The Homburg Fortress on the Schlossberg contains Europe’s largest red sandstone caves.

These passages are believed to have been used for defense in the Middle Ages, and Louis XIV had them remodeled into a modern fortress during the Reunion period.

Later, quartz sand was mined from the Schlossberg for use in glass production and iron industry. The caves have a special charm due to their yellow and red colors.

The Schlossberg caves have an interesting and eventful history, with people taking shelter there during World War II. They also offer a unique insight into the formation of red sandstone around 250 million years ago, when the area was part of a large desert.

Visitors can observe wave patterns and fossilized ripple marks in between sand deposits, as well as footprints of small lizards that lived in the desert landscape.

The caves were recently renovated and now feature safety facilities made from concrete and steel to ensure visitors are protected while exploring them.

Address: Schlossberg-Höhen-Straße 1, 66424 Homburg

Cycle the tour “Combination of the Saarland Cycle Route & the Adebar Loop”

Use one of the following files for your own navigation / cycling app:

Komoot app

Combination of the Saarand Cycle Route & the Adebar Loop – gpx file

PDF with map

Your cycling tour starts at the Peter’s Hotel

– Address: Kleinottweilerstraße 112, 66424 Homburg

Get ready for an amazing bike tour that will take you through the stunning Kirkeler Bachtal forests, where you can enjoy a refreshing view of Kirkel castle and idyllic Blies meadows towards Homburg-Beeden. On hot days, don’t miss out on taking a dip in the bubbling spring at Kirkeler Bachtal after starting from Blieskastel-Lautzkirchen train station. As you cycle along this route, be sure to stop by small marshy areas before reaching resort town of Kirkel-Neuhäusel with its ruins of historic Castle which has been standing tall for over 1000 years! Today it’s open to visitors as one of region’s most popular excursion destinations suitable for all ages.

A short distance away is Naturfreundehaus-Kirkle – perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate while enjoying some refreshments or letting your kids play around in their playground area. So why wait? Grab your bikes today and experience nature like never before!

The path ahead leads towards Kirkel-Limbach, passing through a vast and picturesque meadow area. You’ll come across the saw pond and solar outdoor pool along the way before entering the village briefly. From there, you can continue on asphalted farm roads alongside Blies river to reach Homburg-Beeden while enjoying scenic views of Bliesauen’s idyllic landscape. Once at Beeder biotope, take some time to observe rare animals like Konik horses, Heck cattle and water buffalo from a viewing platform where they graze naturally in their habitat.

A short walk away is Beeder Fischerhütte where visitors can rest for a bit with another chance of spotting white storks that have been breeding here for years amidst this woodland-meadow setting inviting observation by people like us!

Take the scenic 9 km journey to Lautzkirchen along the Bliestal-Freizeitweg! This carless asphalt path was constructed over two decades ago and has been a favorite amongst locals and visitors ever since. Meander through Wörschweiler, Bierbach, and across tranquil meadows as you make your way down this picturesque route. Enjoy an invigorating stroll or bike ride on one of Germany’s most beloved trails – it won’t disappoint!

The Adebar Runde is perfect for those travelling by train due to the convenient access it provides via two stations, Blieskastel-Lautzkirchen and Kirkel-Limbach.

With its white stork emblem this bike ride stands out with alluring natural views as well as cultural attractions – making it a stress free journey!

Pausing for refreshments:

You can discover these at the Fischerhütte in Homburg-Beeden, within Kirkel’s castle community, and over at Blieskastel-Lautzkirchen.

Eco-Friendly accommodations in Saarland

Saarland offers a variety of eco-friendly accommodations that are not only comfortable, but also sustainable and affordable for travelers. Whether you prefer hotels, resorts, campgrounds or eco-lodges, there is something to suit your needs. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking to experience nature in its purest form, campsites offer just that, with breathtaking views of wildlife and nature.

If sustainability is as important as comfort when traveling, here are some places to consider:

Saarschleifen Lodge

Welcome to a haven of relaxation and natural beauty, where you can unwind and savor the picturesque scenery as far as your eyes can see.

Nestled in Dreisbach, the only village situated directly at Saarschleife’s heart, this charming spot serves as an ideal base for embarking on diverse hiking or biking adventures while exploring the enchanting Saar-Lor-Lux border triangle.

If unwinding is more your style, simply kick back and indulge yourself with regional treats, cozy lodging options, and unparalleled views of both the serene Saar River along its lush surrounding woodlands.

Committed to environmental sustainability through eco-friendly construction methods that reflect modern sensibilities towards preserving nature; they are mindful about reducing their carbon footprint by utilizing minimal land sealing techniques coupled with naturally renewable resources whilst encouraging climate-neutral travel practices aimed at minimizing CO₂ emissions overall.

Hotels that are certified by GREENSIGN prioritize sustainability and this fact resonates profoundly with their visitors, which is why they decided to apply for the certification. This program ensures eco-friendly operations in accordance with ecological requirements, social responsibility as well as financial success.

Let’s talkabout food at the Saarschleifen Lodge! They’re all about supporting their local community and using fresh, high-quality ingredients. From a tasty breakfast basket to delicious seasonal dinners and even locally sourced wine from nearby vintners – they’ve got it all covered. You won’t be disappointed with the amazing culinary delights on offer here!

Address: Am Steinbach 2, 66693 Mettlach

Glamping Resort

Nestled within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Bliesgau, you can experience an overnight stay unlike any other.

Their glamping units feature modern amenities and comfortable sleeping arrangements for up to 3 people – offering a level of luxury usually only found in boutique hotel rooms complete with private bathrooms!

They are also committed to using sustainable materials during construction so your nature getaway is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Enjoy beautiful views while being surrounded by incredible natural splendor – this will be a holiday that you won’t soon forget!

Address: Zum Bergwald 6, 66271 Kleinblittersdorf

Schlossberg Hotel Homburg

Perched atop the Schlossberg, just a stone’s throw away from the Hohenburg ruins, you’ll find the delightful Schlossberg Hotel Homburg. This charming hotel boasts breathtaking views of both Homburg and its picturesque surroundings.

Nestled right below this cozy retreat are Europe’s largest sandstone caves – the impressive Schlossberg Caves.

Moreover, as an added bonus for outdoor enthusiasts, their lovely hotel also serves as a starting point for embarking on premium hiking adventures like “Schlossberg Tour.”

Long recognized as a city landmark due to being situated highest among other hotels in town. The 66 modern yet timeless rooms and suites at this iconic establishment beckon all travelers seeking comfort with style during their stay.

Address: Schlossberg-Höhen-Straße 1, 66424 Homburg

Eco-friendly, plant-based restaurants in Saarland

If you’re looking for sustainable and vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Saarland, look no further! This region offers a variety of options to satisfy your cravings, whether you’re in an urban setting or enjoying the rural countryside. From farm-to-table restaurants to vegan fast-food joints, there’s something for every palate.

Not only do these restaurants prioritize sustainability and healthy eating, but they also focus on creating delicious dishes with distinctive flavors that are guaranteed to delight your taste buds. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that all ingredients are locally and ethically sourced.

Saarschleifen Lodge

During the evenings, guests gather around a large communal table to relish a modest yet exquisite assortment of seasonal “EBBES VON HEI” offerings from the local area.

When you hear it, you will notice that “Ebbes von Hei” is pronounced differently all over the Saarland. But it always means the same thing: products and services from the Saar-Hunsrück region that are characterized by quality, care and commitment.

The Saarland Lodge guiding principle is quality over quantity; they typically serve one or two meticulously chosen dishes with vegetarian/vegan options available. These meals are freshly prepared, often by themselves but occasionally in collaboration with their eager-to-learn guests who enjoy participating in shared cooking experiences.

The Saarschleifen Lodge is dedicated to enhancing its location by using only the freshest and highest quality local ingredients. From a delicious breakfast basket to an exquisite seasonal dinner paired with wines from nearby vineyards, EBBES VON HEI has it all! Enjoy unique culinary experiences that will tantalize your taste buds while exploring this beautiful part of the world.

Address: Am Steinbach 2, 66693 Mettlach

Buchnas Landküche – fine dining

The fireplace room focuses on quality and craftsmanship. Fresh, fair-trade, local and European quality food is prepared here with ambition and creativity. A wide selection of wines to match the dishes is expertly recommended and served. Courteous and cordial service guarantees a memorable visit to the restaurant.

It belongs to the Hotel Saarschleife, just as the next choice.

Buchnas Dorfküche – down to earth and delicious

Two cheerful, rural guest rooms designed with love. Here visitors are welcomed with contemporary Saarland hospitality.

Drinks and meals from their homeland as well as from the neighboring region of Lorraine are served in an informal yet quality-conscious manner.

The cuisine is creative but classic with a profitable price-performance ratio! They offer honest cooking, cordial service and a modern rustic atmosphere here in the village kitchen of Buchna – come and visit them!

Both kitchens take great care to preserve their traditions and master the art of cooking, led by skilled chefs. They are wholeheartedly dedicated to their profession with a professional fidelity that excludes artificial flavor enhancers or food coloring.

The preparation methods of both restaurants, product selections and offerings reflect the seasons, with products sourced primarily from nearby fields, rivers, forests and meadows. Producers, suppliers and partners who share similar environmental values have been carefully selected for guidance. Overall, they maintain high standards without compromising on quality!

They create innovative and unique dishes at reasonable prices, using mainly high-quality ingredients from local suppliers. Their approach to product development and production in the kitchen is both budget-friendly and eco-conscious, and is a driving force behind their contemporary and energetic Buchnas Landhotel Saarschleife.

They strive for a balance of resource use that aligns with their business strategy, while keeping creativity, quality and profitability as key priorities in their day-to-day operations.

Address: Hotel Zur Saarschleife GmbH, Cloefstraße 44, 66693 Mettlach

Restaurant “Unter der Linde”

At “Unter der Linde”, they prioritize the use of local, high-quality ingredients in their cooking.

They work with regional suppliers to bring you the freshest products like sea bass from Völklingen, exquisite mushrooms from Saarbrücken, and Riesling wine straight from the Saar-Mosel region.

Address: St. Arnualer Markt 8, 66119 Saarbrücken

Restaurant Chez David

At Chez David, prepare to be pampered and delighted with fresh dishes made from their very own creations using top-notch ingredients sourced from local producers.

They pride themselves on utilizing high-quality products in their recipes, ensuring their excellence by personally verifying them regularly.

David, the chef and owner, like no other expertly combines freshly procured food items either directly from markets or reliable suppliers to craft a diverse range of delectable specialties.

For him, sustainability is paramount; he emphasizes organic produce traceability right back to the farmer. This commitment extends even further as Chef David exclusively uses meat obtained whole from Welsch’s Organic Farm in Rubbenheim for his pâtés, hams and smoked goods that are all handmade at his restaurant.

Additionally, they obtain game meats through friendly partnerships with regional hunters who share similar values when it comes down to quality.

Address: Auf dem Hassel 1, 66271 Kleinblittersdorf

Wintringer Hof

In their restaurant, they use products that they grow and harvest themselves. Other products are 100% organic. Natural delicacies and fresh ingredients are among the specialties of their restaurant.

The Wintringer Hof is an organization that focuses on providing regional and organic ingredients for their products. They avoid ready-made sauces and junk food in order to provide the best quality.

People with disabilities are involved with the work at Wintringer Hof, making it a Saarland inclusive brand.

The ingredients come from regional producers that they know personally, and they even have their own wine press to make juices, brandies and sparkling wines from the fruits of their orchards. The Bioland products can be found directly in the farm store or various retailers as well as weekly markets.