Europe-wide route network

Founded shortly before 1100, the Cistercian order quickly spread throughout Europe with a network of mother and daughter monasteries. A dense network of paths, which was oriented towards the original monastery in Cîteaux in French Burgundy, connected the abbeys with each other.

Cistercian monks were often on the move. Once a year, all the abbots met in the mother monastery of Cîteaux in Burgundy, France, for the general chapter. There were also regular visits between mother and daughter monasteries, so-called visitations.
during which the abbots of the mother monasteries or their representatives visited their “daughters”(filiations). Granges, town courts and official residences also had to be visited regularly. This travel activity plays a central role in the organization of the Order and the transfer of knowledge.

Map: Across Europe – a dense network of paths connected the Burgundian mother monasteries with all their daughters.

On the trail of the monks

A 5,000 km long cultural trail through 6 European countries is currently being created: the Cistercian Way. It connects the landscapes and people of the Cisterscapes network.

Smaller and larger monastery tours open up the landscapes in the immediate vicinity of the abbeys.

You can find the tours on our outdooractive map below.

View from the panorama trail into the middle Ebrachtal © Thomas Büttner

Cistercian Way

The Cistercian Way, newly opened in May 2022, is a 5000 km long cultural hiking trail that leads through six European countries. The trail connects the 17 monastery landscapes of the
Cisterscapes network and touches numerous other attractive sights along the way. It leads through unspoiled landscapes, which are filled with culinary specialties and
architectural treasures. The route is oriented towards Cîteaux in Burgundy, the cradle of the Order, where all the abbots met for the General Chapter.

The Cistercian Trail runs along existing, already marked hiking trails. Again and again, small detours lead to other elements of the monastery landscape. The Cistercian Way is not marked with its own marker. Please orientate yourself with the help of the gpx data, with hiking maps or using the markers of the respective
shared hiking trails.

In our constantly growing Cistercian Way
download area
you will find
– more current information (coming soon)
gpx data of the main routes
Hiking maps with detours as PDF

Our sections with all the detours, shortcuts and interesting routes
Intermediate destinations are also available at (please use the “Long-distance hiking trails” filter in the tour search). We recommend installing the free Outdooractive app.

You can download our hiking trail flyer here.

Bavarian section

Cisterscapes on Geoways:

Cisterscapes tour portal

Experience the monastery landscape on extensive walks and easy hikes of 6-9 km in length: We provide you with circular routes around the monasteries of Morimond, Ebrach, Waldsassen, Rein, Vyssy Brod, Zwettl and Plasy with interesting descriptions of the monastery landscape, GPS routes and download via outdooractive.

Would you like to follow the path of the Cistercians? Here you can already find the Langheim-Bamberg and Waldsassen-Langheim sections.

Info on site

A hiking information system will be set up along the Bavarian pilot route in 2022 at particularly prominent points in the Ebrach, Langheim and Waldsassen monastery landscapes.


How time flies… Our Polish, Czech and Slovenian translations of the hiking information are in progress. We will upload them successively as soon as they are finalized.

Kako čas beži… Naši poljski, češki in slovenski prevodi informacij o pohodništvu so v teku. Naložili jih bomo po koščkih, takoj ko bodo končani.

Jak ten čas letí… Naše polské, české a slovinské překlady turistických informací se připravují. Budeme je nahrávat postupně, jakmile budou hotové.

Jak ten czas leci… Trwają prace nad tłumaczeniem informacji o wędrówkach na język polski, czeski i słoweński. Będziemy je przesyłać krok po kroku, jak tylko zostaną ukończone.

How time flies… Our Polish, Czech and Slovenian translations of the hiking information are in progress. We will upload them one by one as soon as they are finished.

Making of “The Cistercian Way”

How a 5000 km long-distance hiking trail across Europe is being created

The long-distance hiking trail, which aims to connect the Cistercian monastery landscapes in Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland via Germany with the original monastery of Cîteaux in France, is being developed as part of the transnational LEADER cooperation project “Cisterscapes – Cistercian landscapes connecting Europe”, which has been connecting Cistercian monasteries in Europe via numerous trade and travel routes since the 12th century. The innovative founding constitution of the Cistercians, the Carta Caritatis, stipulated that the abbots should meet annually at the general chapter in Cîteaux and also visit their daughter monasteries annually. In addition to these administrative connections, the monasteries were also in spiritual and economic contact with each other. The network was compacted by “stations” in the landscape: granges, manor houses and town courtyards. together with our project partners as well as tourism and hiking associations, these historical connections in the landscape are to be brought back to life. We want the process of designing the path to be transparent: We will therefore shortly be providing up-to-date information for download here and look forward to your feedback.