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  • Frank Berben-Grøsfjeld

The Eifel - 360 Nürburg

The Eifel

A visit to the Nürburgring Nordschleife wouldn’t be complete without seeing a bit more of the Eifel region in which the Nürburgring is located. I, like many others, limited myself to a small radius around the track entrance when visiting the Nürburgring, but gradually I discovered more and more of what the Eifel has to offer.


So, what are the Eifel Mountains?

Located between the city of Aachen to the north and the picture-perfect valleys of the river Rhine and the Moselle further south, the Eifel is one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas in Germany.


The Eifel is characterized by high hills and circular lakes shaped by volcanic activity, deep valleys cut by numerous streams and rivers, roadside shrines and chapels, romantic castles, quiet villages, and unpredictable weather. The incredible diversity offered by such a geographically small area is one of the most striking things about the Eifel. Dense, rain-soaked forests in the Schneifel, mild and sunny wine-growing valleys around the Moselle and Ahr, gently rolling farmland in Maifeld, and impressive hills in the Hohe Eifel. Each offers its own take on motoring nirvana.


The outcome of the Gallic War from 58-50 B.C. helped shape the Eifel into the place we know today. After defeating the Celts, the Romans put their mark on the Eifel for the next 400 years. After the retreat of the Romans from the Eifel, in part due to the increasing aggressiveness of local Germanic “barbarian” tribes like the Franks, the Eifel gradually slid into obscurity. For centuries the Eifel constituted the border zone between the archbishops of Trier and Cologne, the County of Luxembourg, and the Duchy of Jülich, who were far from friendly with each other. The Eifel was also the site of fierce battles during the Thirty Years’ War between French and German troops. The many (ruined) castles spread along the countryside testify to this tumultuous past.


During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a combination of severe famines, deforestation, war, and natural disasters caused great hardship for the inhabitants of the Eifel. The Prussians who occupied the area considered the Eifel backward and rough and called it the “Prussian Siberia”. The rise of tourism, including the construction of the Nürburgring and the establishment of the Eifel National Park, has brought many visitors to the area. Nevertheless, the Eifel is still a relatively remote part of Germany without major population and industrial centers.


This unique combination of extraordinary natural beauty, relative remoteness, and perhaps the most legendary racetrack anywhere in the world create a true mecca for petrolheads.



Exploring the roads and sights of the Eifel

As mentioned, in my first couple of years visiting the Nürburgring, I spent almost all my time within a stone’s throw from the Nordschleife. Gradually though, I started discovering the local roads around the Nürburgring. I started off by going for some casual drives close to the Ring, and every time I drove, I would discover new and exciting roads. Over time, this gradual process of exploration developed into a love affair with driving in the Eifel Mountains. And as most of you will know, when you develop a passion for something, you can justify even the most irrational things in your own mind.


I decided to spend more than a year on creating the ultimate Eifel roadbook, so I could share my joy of driving the roads in the Eifel with as many people as possible. During my research for this roadbook, I have taken thousands of pictures and have driven more than 20,000 kilometers on Eifel’s beautiful country roads. The result was 360 NÜRBURG. A hardcover book with more than 300 pages and 14 routes throughout the entire Eifel. The routes take you on a journey along the most thrilling roads in the region.


Besides exciting roads, the book also contains more than a hundred Points-of-Interest for the entire family. Many visitors are familiar with the Eltz castle, Monschau, Cochem, and the Moselle valley - all of which are truly spectacular and well worth a visit. But mention Monreal, Schloss Bürresheim, Ordensburg Vogelsang, or Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker and the chances are high that they haven’t heard about these. This is a real shame since these sights are every bit as interesting as the more well-known sights. The 360 NÜRBURG book tries to change this. And what better way to explore new sights than by driving there via the most exciting route possible? In 360 NÜRBURG, you won’t find tedious straight-line A-to-B routes best suited to campervans or busses. It is a book made by a true motoring enthusiast - for true motoring enthusiasts.


To make things as simple as possible, the routes are available as GPX- and KML-files, which can be downloaded to most navigation devices and mobile phones for convenient navigation. To make things even easier, I also included QR codes, which take you directly to the route in the Calimoto app.

You can buy 360 NÜRBURG in many shops and track car rental businesses around the Nürburgring or on www.360roadbooks.com


360 NÜRBURG was just the beginning, and new books for Nürburgring enthusiasts are already in the works. In May 2022 we will release 360 NÜRBURGRING – The official guide to the Nürburgring Nordschleife. NürburgringLife’s own Roy Hastings and I have created a book that is essential reading for everyone that plans on visiting the Nürburgring. It contains loads of practical information, history about the Nürburgring, a very detailed driving guide written by Roy, and interviews with well-known (and less well-known) experienced Nordschleife drivers.


Make sure to follow the @360nuerburg Instagram account or the @360roadbooks account on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on all our Nürburgring projects!

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