Geierlay - Suspension Bridge
Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:
Geierlay is one of the most picturesque bridges in Germany. It's a half-day trip to the popular suspension bridge if you are in the Hunsrück area, at river Moselle, Eltz Castle, or as a good stopover. The bridge is open 24/7. The visitor terminal is opened each day from 10 am to 4 pm and provides a map in different languages.
It's utterly crowded during the summer and weekends are the worst, especially on sunny days. In autumn the views are just spectacular with the fall foliage. To avoid the crowds, visit the bridge early morning or late in the evening in the summer. Very few visitors in winter only.
Tip for photographers; The sunlight is best in the evening. The sunset is just gorgeous here.
Geierlay is the second-longest suspension bridge in Germany with 360 meters at the height of 100 meters. In contrast to the longest suspension bridge in the Harz, the entrance is for free. The bridge was opened to the public on October 3. 2015. The construction began in May, and it was completed in a record of 130 days.
The bridge is located in the heart of the Hunsrück mountains. It's a truly unique experience to walk from Mörsdorf above the valley floor to Sosberg. The bridge is an attraction for people without a fear of heights and suitable for all ages. It's not swinging much just a little if it's bustling. The view in front of the bridge, at the bottom of the valley or from the side, is quite impressive.
There are four huge parking areas, and all of them are full during the peak season at midday. The fee is 1 € for 1-hour minimum of 2 € from 7 am to 9 pm. Bring enough coins; the ticket machine can't change and doesn't take notes. Parking 1 at the visitor center is the closest. No 2 is very good located if you like to walk through the forest with lots of shade to the suspension bridge instead of the main paved track along the fields. It's a 2 km walk from the visitor center and roughly 2.5 from parking No 2 to the bridge. Parking 4 is quite far from the bridge; try the other ones first. Map Geierlay Bridge and Hiking Trails
Need to Know
If you have any mobility issues or you come with small children; it's quite a distance of about 2.5 km one way to the bridge. The car park at the visitor center is 2 km away and often full. The footpath to the bridge is wheelchair and stroller friendly except the last 150 meters or so. Bear in mind the last restrooms are at the visitor center and Parking P2! Fee for the restroom at P2 is 0.70 €.
Food and Beverages
The visitor center in Mörsdorf provides an information terminal, restaurant with beer-garden, and public facilities. During the summer months and especially at weekends, there are also some food and beverage stalls and ice cream as well. For the rest of the year, bring plenty of water and a snack.
To enjoy the beautiful tranquil landscape hike the Geierlayschleife (loop trail), which is 6.4 km long. You almost see any people as soon as you left the suspension bridge. Proper trainers or hiking boots are recommend. The loop looks like an eight and takes roughly 2 hours.
Hiking in the Hunsrueck Area
- Nearby is the Saar-Hunsrueck-Steig, a 410 km long premium hiking trail.
- Layensteig is a 14 km loop trail and takes about 4-5 hours.
- Baybachklamm - Baybach Ravine is a 10.5 km long loop trail and our favorite one. Along the trail is a beautifully located hotel and restaurant; the Schmausemühle.
- Best Accommodation around:
Hotel Schmausemühle (our favorite). Stay here for a couple of days and explore the area. You'll love it! Make your booking in advance. It's one of the most popular ones due to the location. Weekends are often fully booked. A delicious breakfast is included. Lunch and dinner are also yummy. Try a smoked fish or local game. We celebrated my birthday in the old mill with family and friends. We couldn't have chosen a better place. Alternatives if you're too late for a reservation: Hotels near Geierlay Bridge (via TripAdvisor)
- Another popular spot is the unique Eltz Castle surrounded by beautiful nature scenery. It was already built in 1157 and got bigger and changed through the centuries. The owners are still the same family, which is pretty rare. Come here to be set back to the medieval time. It is open to the public from the beginning of April to the beginning of November from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm last guided tour. Midday is utterly busy; to avoid the queues come either in the morning or in the late afternoon. Our top tip for Eltz Castle is the Eltz Castle Panorama Trail.