Right in front of the impressing rock massif you will find the spa Rathen- not far away from the river Elbe. Rathen was first mentioned in a document in 1261 but meanwhile it counts nearly 500 inhabitants. Due to its beauty and quietness as well as its features for relaxation it is one of the most visited locations in the Saxon Switzerland.
The spa Rathen is devided into the two parts – Oberrathen and Niederrathen- by the river Elbe. The connection between these parts is provided by a historical and unique rope ferry – called "Gierseilfähre". It is under preservation order and runs daily from 4.30 a.m. to 0.45 a.m. from 1st May to 31st October. On Fridays, Saturdays and on public holidays it runs from 4.30a.m. to 2.00 a.m. The access by car is only provided along the left banks of the river. Guests who plan to stay for some days, will be granted a special permit for driving through Niederrathen.
There is a suburban train link and from its station in Rathen you can travel towards Meißen or Schöna. These trains run every 30 minutes and enable you to reach Saxony's capital within 40 minutes.
A dock of the Saxon Steam Boat Association from where paddle steam wheelers lift their anchors every day makes it possible to reach Dresden or other destinations on a romantic boat trip.
Rathen offers a lot of variety and is due to its central location the main starting point of many hiking or climbing tours. The sights comprise of the Amselsee with rowing service –this lake is surrounded by impressive rocks like The Big Goose (Die Große Gans), The Small Goose (Die Kleine Gans), the Locomotive (Die Lokomotive),The Lamb (Das Lamm), The Beehive (Der Bienenkorb), The Honey Stone (Der Honigstein), The Storch Nest (Das Storchennest) and The Valley Watchman (Der Talwächter). Very close to Rathen is the "Amselfall" - a little water fall with a restaurant. An excellently equipped tourist information centre provides information on the purpose, sense and objectives of founding and maintaining the National Park "Saxon Switzerland".