Location  Direction   Nature Parks   Tourism    Water Sports    Winter Sports  Traditions  Business


Land of the thousand mountains, there are 2711 Mountains to be exact

Why is the Sauerland called " SAUERLAND "?
I guess most people don't know that. In low German this area is called "Suerland" which does not mean that its inhabitants are "sour". On the contrary, the people from the Sauerland are down to earth, merry and courteous people.

The expression"sur " means "difficult"
ein Sauerländer sagt: Jo, wann' emme sur wird, is doy Sake schwor!
"De Aarbet was sur, un et is ne suren Dag wiäst!" Low German is related to the language of our neighbours, the Dutch. Perhaps that is the reason why so many of them like to come to our region. But of course other people like to come to. . 

When Charlemagne marched through the Sauerland with his soldiers and the landscape started to get flatter again, he is reported to have said: " Dies war mir ein surer Land " A lot of stories are told and written about the original name of the Sauerland, and Charlemagne may have had his influence on it.

Map of the Sauerland

The Sauerland is situated in the triangle of Dortmund, Kassel and Frankfurt and consists of: The markish Sauerland, southern Sauerland, northern Sauerland and the High Sauerland. In the mid seventies the county of "Hochsauerlandkreis (HSK)" was formed out of the old counties of Meschede, Arnsberg and Brilon.

Visitors and guests can reach the Sauerland via the German "Autobahn" system:
From the North: via A33 from Hannover Bielefeld
From the West: via A4 from Köln Olpe
From the South: Via A45 from Frankfurt Dortmund (Sauerlandlinie)
A46 / A445 Autobahn intersection at Werl from the Münsterland and the Ruhr area

Federal Roads (Bundesstrassen)
B7 Werl - Arnsberg - Brilon - Marsberg
B235 Unna - Lüdenscheid
B236 Werdohl - Grevenbrück - Lennestadt - Schmallenberg - Winterberg - Frankenberg
B55 Lippstadt - Meschede - Eslohe - Grevebrück - Olpe
B480 Bad Wünnenberg - Alme - Brilon - Olsberg - Winterberg - Bad Berleburg

By train
Hagen - Bestwig - Brilon Wald - Kassel
Hagen - Bestwig - Winterberg
Hagen - Frankfurt
Kassel - Scherfede - Brilon Wald
Frankfurt - Gießen - Marburg - Frankenberg

Paderborn - Dortmund Wickede - Köln Bonn - Düsseldorf - Frankfurt

Prominent mountain ranges - nature parks in the Sauerland
Arnsberger Wald 482 km2
Diemelsee 334 km2
Homert 550 km2
Rothaargebirge with Hunau and the Kahler Asten 1355km2
Eggegebirge 683km2

Indian Summer im Sauerland

The highest mountains in the Sauerland 

Langenberg, elev. 843m near Olsberg
Kahle Asten, elev. 842m near Winterberg (with overlook tower)
Hunau, elev. 818m near Bad Fredeburg, Bödefeld

Towns and Communities
Winterberg - Willingen -Wenden - Werdohl - Warstein - Schmallenberg - Sundern - Rüthen - Olsberg - Olpe
 Neheim - Menden - Meschede - Meinerzhagen - Marsberg - Lennestadt  
 - Arnsberg    - Bestwig  - Brilon - Lüdenscheid - Kirchhundem - Iserlohn - Hallenberg
  Hemer - Grevenbrück - Finnentrop - Brilon - Balve  - Eslohe -  Drolshagen - Altena - Attendorn


hier lässt es sich leben

 Over the past decades the Sauerland has developed to a popular holiday region with many leisure activities for every season. Visitors can expect a multi-facetted range of overnight accommodations in bed and breakfast houses, guest houses, condos and good hotels in various price ranges. Every town with its attractions and outing destinations is eager to offer the best to its guests .
Amusement parks like Fort Fun near Bestwig or the Panorama Park near Altenhundem, the Karl May Festivals in Elspe and a lot more offer diverse leisure activities for all ages for an eventful vacation. As a visitor you can reach all towns of the Sauerland by bus using your Sauerland Card which you get with your resort pass.  

Hiking is healthy

Wandern im Sauerland

Hikers will definitely get their share. An area that is as well equipped with trail marks will be hard to find anywhere else. New: The Rothaarsteig, a 60 km hike from Brilon to Dillenburg.

Water Sports

Badespass am Hennesee

People who are into water sports can do swimming, surfing, sailing, diving, and fishing on the Möhnesee, Diemelsee, Hennesee and Sorpesee reservoirs. Many towns have indoor- and outdoor pools.  

Winter in the Sauerland   

Winter im Sauerland, immer ein Erlebnis

In the Winter the Sauerland turns into the largest ski area north of the Alps. 125 lifts with modern grooming equipment, some with snowblowers for days without snowfall but low temperatures, as well as 1200 km of well maintained cross country skiing tracks do not leave a lot to be desired. Weather independent toboggan runs in Winterberg and Willingen as well as the bobsled run in Winterberg are popular trip destinations. The ski jumping facilities St. Georgschanze in Winterberg and the Mühlenkopfschanze in Willingen are the most modern of their kind.

Traditions in the Sauerland

Kutschentreffen in Siedlinghausen

The people from the Sauerland like to celebrate and guests are always welcome to join them. Every town celebrates the annual "Schützenfest" with a parade, the shooting down of a wooden bird and the coronation of a new "Schützenkönig". Many towns also celebrate carnival. In almost every town Easter fires are built to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. In many towns the children walk around with wodden rattles around Easter because the church bells do not ring from Holy Thursday until Holy Saturday. There is a wide range of customs and traditions that have been celebrated for centuries:


Schützenfest with border walk in Brilon
Schützenfest with Triller dance in Attendorn
Hüstener Kirmes in Neheim
All Saints Kirmes in Soest (originated from a horse market)
Ruins fest in Arnsberg
Caboodle and livestock market in Winterberg and Wenden
Passion Play in Hallenberg
Night of the cross in Hallenberg und Menden
Coach Meeting in Siedlinghausen

Industry and Business
There are a lot of crafts businesses of all trades and sizes in the Sauerland. Companies and factories whose products are known around the world are located in this region. Germany's biggest breweries are located in the Sauerland. These beers are brewed with pure spring water and are world famous: Warsteiner - Veltins - Krombacher - Westheimer

Photos by Foto Kräling, Siedlinghausen