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How nice that there are still enough corners where you can be close to nature! Because where else could you celebrate such a feast for the senses? Smelling pine resin and moss, letting your gaze wander over widely tiered ranges of hills, listening to the hoarse cry of herons, feeling velvety soft forest soil under your feet, tasting berries and dew ... Whether on a hike along root-covered paths, a cycling excursion, a swim in soft moorland water, a picnic with a view, or scrambles on rocks and castles - the Palatinate with the Palatinate Forest Nature Park and the vineyards along the German Wine Route make it possible.

Reading sample from the Dumont escapades: 52 small & big escapades in the Palatinate region

This article comes from the Book 52 small and large escapades in the Palatinate region from DuMont Reiseverlag.

Whether hiking, biking, paddling or simply quietly enjoying nature - 52 irresistible excursions into the countryside await. For a few hours, a day or a weekend; alone, with friends or family - there is quite simply more to experience than the familiar. So get outside! - Get out of the daily grind - fast and uncomplicated - 52 adventure reports and orientation maps, over 200 great photos and all the necessary info in one volume - For every time budget, without financial outlay and with free GPX data. Written by Thomas Diehl.


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On the Small Kalmit

"Fall in love with Ilbesheim!" - with this slogan the winegrowing village welcomes its guests. That should be easy: The village is not only a pearl in its own right, but also offers a wonderful picnic spot in the form of the Kleine Kalmit, a hill jutting out of the vineyards.


The unique location of the Kleine Kalmit has attracted people since time immemorial. Mesolithic finds testify to an early settlement, Celts settled here, the Romans used the sunny location for wine growing. In pre-Christian times, the hill was considered the seat of weather demons, as thunderstorms often developed here due to its exposed location. By the way, the Kleine Kalmit has only the word origin "calvus mons" - bare mountain - in common with the Großer Kalmit, the highest peak of the Palatinate Forest, which is located further north. The Kleine Kalmitweg, a three-kilometer-long circular trail, begins at Ilbesheim's town hall. On limestone soil, which allows the Pinot Blanc grape, also known as Pinot Noir among wine lovers, to thrive, the path climbs steeply up the hill, which is protected because of its special botany and geology. At the top is the Mater Dolorosa chapel, surrounded by several wooden seating areas - ideal for an extensive picnic with the sea of vines at your feet and the postcard silhouette of the Palatinate Forest peaks dropping steeply into the Rhine plain (Eskapade #45).

From the town hall of the pretty wine village of Ilbesheim, a three-kilometer circular trail leads across the Kleine Kalmit, which is surrounded by vineyards. © Thomas Diehl

August Becker, founder of the Palatine folklore in the 19th century, put it in a nutshell: "... In general, the Kalmit seems to be there only to give us the most beautiful view of the Wasgauberge and the Haardt as the most magnificent belvedere, planted at a right distance in front of the mountains." On the way back we pass the Kalmitwingert, an open-air wine-growing museum that shows the development of viticulture since ancient times and brings to life the time when people only used spades, hoes and winegrowers' knives to cultivate the vineyards.

Let's go!

And after the Kleine Kalmit? In the Ilbesheim wineries you can indulge in a wine tasting and stock up on everything the grape has to offer. In between, there is still time for a visit to the museum barn, which provides an entertaining insight into the life and work of earlier times. By the way: One of the paths at the Kleine Kalmit is called "Affenschaukel". The people of Ilbesheim are happy to tell guests that "monkey" is their common nickname in the region, but they also mention the terms "stable rabbit" and "donkey", which are common for their Arzheim and Eschbach neighbors. It is a matter of honor to bear these "Utznamen", as they are called in Palatine, with pride.

By train and bus comfortably to Ilbesheim: Plan arrival.

This is the way to live! A sensuous picnic in front of the silhouette of the Palatinate Forest peaks is an extraordinary experience at any time of day. © Thomas Diehl


A more beautiful picnic spot can hardly be found on the German Wine Route - at any time of the year!
There & away
Landau train station, bus line 530 to Ilbesheim, 5 km away, bus stop Rathaus.
Duration & Route
45 min. walking time, 3 km.
Best time
May-November, especially in autumn, when the vineyards shine in bright colors.
Light hiking boots, a lovingly filled picnic basket, camera.

DuMont Escapades: Side trips, excursions, mini-vacations

For all those who want to get out of the daily grind quickly without having to travel far! Eskapaden are the new active guides from DuMont: Whether hiking, biking, paddling or simply quietly enjoying nature. The Eskapaden offer 52 small and large excursions and mini-vacations in Germany's most popular regions and cities. Whether for a few hours, a day or a wonderfully long weekend, whether alone, with friends or family - irresistible excursions into the countryside await. So off you go outside!

Further readings from the Dumont publishing program

Cover © Thomas Diehl